Sunday, May 9, 2010

Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon

In deciding on an article for this week, I realized that much time has passed since we've discussed or read about Joseph Smith.

Joseph is the prophet of the Restoration, the prophet of this last dispensation of the fulness of times. A "messenger sent from the presence of God" told him that "God had a work for [him] to do; and that [his] name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people" (JS-H 1:33). Indeed this is true. Jesus Christ began the work of the Restoration, the work of spreading His Gospel to the four corners of the earth and the gathering in of the lost tribes of Israel by calling Joseph Smith as a His prophet. Christ continues His work today with President Thomas S. Monson leading His work through an unbroken line of priesthood authority.

This angelic messenger also told Joseph of "a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent [the Americas], and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;" (JS-H 1:34).

Joseph Smith found the plates and by no other means than the power of God, he translated the record called the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon was written for "the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations" (Title Page of the Book of Mormon).

The article of the week, entitled "Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon," was written by the apostle President James E. Faust and published in the January 1996 Ensign. President Faust shares his testimony of the divinity of the work of God in which Joseph Smith was involved. He testifies how the Book of Mormon is both proof of and a vital instrument in the work of the Lord.

I add my testimony to that of President Faust. Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. He translated the Book of Mormon which book was prepared for us in our day. The Book stands a witness of the divine work of God which began before the foundation of the world and which was restored through Joseph Smith. This I know through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost will witness to any sincere seeker that this is true (see Moroni 10:3-5).