5 | Joseph Smith

An infographic explaining how God and Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith, and called him to be a prophet.

Previous PageNext Page

 

Joseph Smith wrote several accounts of his vision and his experiences. The full account is here:

Joseph Smith’s personal history and account of his vision.

A few excerpts below:

“In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of  James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.”

Joesph Smith then was visited by God and Jesus Christ as explained in the graphic above. After his vision he shared what he had been told with others, often with limited success:

I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.

It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.

However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.

So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was concerned—that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but to continue as I was until further directed. I had found the testimony of James to be true—that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain, and not be upbraided.

Joseph Smith was asked by God to be a prophet. Using Joseph Smith as a messenger, Christ proceeded to restore his church on the earth. Joseph Smith related his experiences, and under Christ’s direction organized a church. The name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name was divinely chosen to emphasize several things:

1. The “Church of Jesus Christ” portion of the name indicates that the church is divinely directed by Jesus Christ.

2. The “Latter-day Saints” portion of the name indicates that it is the same church that Christ set up thousands of years ago, but restored currently,  in these “latter-days.”

3. The term “Saints” refers to those that follow Christ, or all the members of the Church.

The name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could be recast as: “Jesus Christ’s Church from roughly 2000 years ago, restored to earth, today, filled with people willing to follow Christ’s example and teachings.”

If this kind of church, personally led by Jesus Christ exists, then it would be very important to know about it. The next graphic, The Book of Mormon, explains how we can know if Joseph Smith really was called to be a prophet and restore Christ’s church.

 

 

Also, more information on: www.mormon.org

***Update! If you like the style of these infographics, I’ve also created some artwork based on parables from the New Testament. Please take a look and pin/share them if you like them:

www.thesimpleword.net

Pin It