Today is the anniversary of the birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was born on December 23, 1805. As a young man not yet fifteen years old, Joseph desired to know which of all the churches he should join. He read in James 1:5: “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.”
Joseph accepted the scripture to be true. He explained, “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” (Joseph Smith – History 1:12).
After making plans to ask God for help, Joseph went into a grove of trees, now known as the Sacred Grove, and knelt in prayer. God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the boy Joseph. The Father introduced His Son, and the Son spoke to Joseph. After overcoming his surprise, Joseph asked the heavenly Beings which church he should join and was answered that he must not join any of them because they were all wrong.
President Thomas S. Monson stated, “No description of models for us to follow would be complete without including Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation. When but fourteen years of age, this courageous young man entered a grove of trees, which later would be called sacred, and received an answer to his sincere prayer. There followed for Joseph unrelenting persecution as he related to others the account of the glorious vision he received in that grove. Yet, although he was ridiculed and scorned, he stood firm. Said he, `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’ (Joseph Smith – History 1:25)” (A Future As Bright As Your Faith, , p. 387).