Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Joseph Smith, Prophet of God

            My VIP for this week is the Prophet Joseph Smith because he is the prophet of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to earth. He accomplished more for mankind than any other mortal who ever lived on earth, and he did it in short period of time. President Russell M. Nelson shared the following information about Joseph Smith.

Joseph’s mission in mortality was foreordained. His receptive and pristine mind was open to the Lord’s instruction. But, by worldly standards, Joseph was most unlikely. And his task to be the Prophet of this last dispensation seemed totally impossible. This example demonstrates a principle that is often true of how the Lord works; He uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible.

            The Prophet was young, but he was prepared to be taught by heavenly beings. He saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ when he was a lad of 14. He was an instrument in God’s hands in restoring His gospel to the earth. President Dallin H. Oaks shared the following list of Joseph Smith’s accomplishments.

·         The nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

·         The relative functions of these three members of the Godhead and Their relationship to mortal beings.

·         The nature of the Fall of man.

·         The purpose of mortal life in furtherance of the Father’s plan for His children to attain their eternal destiny.

·         The role of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in assuring immortality and providing the opportunity for eternal life.

·         The role of earthly and eternal marriage in the Father’s plan.

·         The essential role of priesthood and ordinances in the Father’s plan.

·         The essential role of temples and proxy ordinances in the Father’s plan.

·         The knowledge that God desires to save all of His children and that every person who has lived upon this earth – whether then knowing of Jesus Christ or not – is capable of attaining the highest heaven hereafter.

·         The relationship of the threefold sources of truth about man and the universe: science, scriptures, and continuing revelation.

            President Oaks did not include the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ in his list. He said that this “new volume of scripture” is “the source of many of those new religious ideas and that it deserves special mention. He shares the following quote about the book from a best-selling scholar.

The Book of Mormon proposes a new purpose for America: becoming a realm of righteousness rather than an empire of liberty. Against increasing wealth and inequality, the Book of Mormon advocates the cause of the poor…. Against republican government, it proposes righteous rule by judges and kings under God’s law. Against a closed-canon Bible and nonmiraculous religion, the Book of Mormon stands for ongoing revelation, miracles, and revelation to all nations. Against skepticism, it promotes belief; against nationalism, a universal Israel. It foresees disaster for the nation if the love of riches, resistance to revelation, and Gentile civilization prevail over righteousness, revelation, and Israel.

            This is just part of the information shared by President Oaks. I invite you to study the rest of his article titled “The Miraculous Mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Ensign, Jan. 2019, 30-39. As a student of Joseph Smith, President Oaks has much to share about him as a prophet of God, a man, and a supporter of law. I add my witness to that of President Oaks and millions of other people. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God because the Holy Ghost has borne witness to my spirit that he is.

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