Joseph Smith, Jr.

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“Joseph Smith, Jr.” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 96

Joseph Smith, Jr.

My son, my servant, mine anointed, and my friend are terms the Lord uses in referring to Joseph Smith. And the Lord commanded, “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ.” (D&C 21:1.)

Born in Sharon, Vermont, December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, Jr., was only thirty-eight years old when martyred at Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. But in his relatively brief life on earth he served as the Lord’s agent, receiving visitations from God the Father and Jesus Christ themselves, and from many other heavenly messengers.

Through him, gospel truths, the holy priesthood, and the administrative kingdom were again restored to earth for the benefit of all mankind and in initial preparation for the upcoming millennial reign of Jesus Christ. With unfailing care, “Brother Joseph” guided thousands of new entrants into succeeding growth epochs, until at last the infant Church stood on strong legs of understanding and faith.

“And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him; And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming.” (D&C 35:17–18.)

And it has been as the Lord said, “The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee; While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.” (D&C 122:1–2.)