I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since I was born. Ever since I was a young girl, starting in nursery, I learned about Joseph Smith. I learned about who he was, and why he was so important. But, I never took the chance to research about him myself. So, I chose to do that for my class, just to re-learn things, find out new information if possible, and increase my testimony in him.
Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. He was the son of Lucy Mack Smith and Joseph Smith, Sen. He had eight brothers and siblings. Their names were Alvin, Hyrum, Samuel Harrison, William, Don Carlos, Sophronia, Catherine, and Lucy. During his childhood, he lived in Sharon, Vermont, Palmyra, New York, and Manchester, New York. At the age of six or seven, while living in Sharon, VT, Joseph and his siblings got typhus fever. While all his siblings that got the sickness healed, Joseph had a sore on his leg. The doctors operated on his leg, all while he was being held by his father. The doctors had offered him some brandy to drink in order to help dull the pain, but he didn’t take any. Although he was lame for a little while afterwards, he was healed. He was a hard worker, even at a young age.
At the age of fifteen, Joseph was being bombarded by many different religious sects. His mother was part of one, his father another, and he didn’t have any clue as to which religion to join. While studying the scriptures late one evening, he came across James 1:5, 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.” After reading this, he decided to pray unto Heavenly Father to see which church to join. He went to a grove of trees, now known as the Sacred Grove, and prayed. While praying, he was overcome by an evil spirit, but he continued to pray. After some time, he had a vision, where he was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ. They were separate beings. During this vision, he was told to join none of the sects, because they didn’t have the whole truth. Because of this vision, known as the Frist Vision, Joseph was able to prepare himself to bring the Lord’s church back onto the earth.
Joseph Smith became the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days. He translated the Book of Mormon, was baptized, and got the keys of the priesthood in order to restore the true church to the Earth, and to bless the lives of those who would listen.
While doing my project, I knew I wanted to find out about Joseph, his life as a child, and how his faith led to the restoration of the church that I am now a part of. By doing this research, my testimony of him has grown. I know, without a doubt, that his story really happened. I know that, without praying, Joseph wouldn’t have brought the church about. I am thankful for all the things Joseph did, and for being the man God knew him to be. Since I know these things, I want to share them with others I know. Yes, they may not understand and believe, but at least they will be able to know a little more about Joseph Smith from me.
If you have any questions, or just want to know more about him, just ask in the comments on the bottom. I promise I will get back to you. J
The information I got on Joseph Smith was from Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price, and the talk “The Prophet Joseph Smith: Teacher by Example” by President Thomas S. Monson in the November 2005 Liahona. Both of these can be found using the search tool on LDS.org. Image found at http://byustudies.byu.edu/features/josephsmith/js.aspx.