19) Does Joseph Smith stand next to Jesus Christ in righteousness and station?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

The Savior said when these tribulations should take place, [the gospel of the kingdom] should be committed to a man who should be a witness over the whole world; the keys of knowledge, power and revelations should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world. 1

I am tired, I have been mobbed, I have suffered so much. Some of the brethren think they can carry this work out better than I can, far better. I have asked the Lord to take me out of this world. I have stood all I can. I have to seal my testimony to this generation with my blood. I have to do it, for this work will never progress until I am gone, for the testimony is of no force until the testator is dead. People little know who I am when they talk about me, and they never will know until they see me weighed in the balance in the kingdom of God. Then they will know who I am, see me as I am. I dare not tell them, and they do not know me. 2

Hyrum Smith

There were prophets before, but Joseph has the spirit and power of all the prophets.   3

Brigham Young

I honor and revere the name of Joseph Smith. I delight to hear it; I love it. I love his doctrine. I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet whom the Lord raised up. I am bold to say that, Jesus Christ excepted, no better man ever lived or does live upon this earth. I am his witness.   4

I was as well acquainted with him, as any man. I do not believe that his father and mother knew him any better than I did. I do not think that a man lives on the earth that knew him any better than I did; and I am bold to say that, Jesus Christ excepted, no better man ever lived or does live upon this earth. I am his witness. 5

John Taylor

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated! 6

Wilford Woodruff

It has been my faith and belief from the time that I was made acquainted with the Gospel that no greater prophet than Joseph Smith ever lived on the face of the earth save Jesus Christ. He was raised up to stand at the head of this great dispensation – the greatest of all dispensations God has ever given to man. He remarked on several occasions when conversing with his brethren: ‘brethren, you do not know me, you do not know who I am.’ 7

I look upon Joseph Smith as the greatest prophet that ever breathed the breath of life, excepting Jesus Christ. Father Adam, as I have said, stands at the head; but Joseph Smith was reserved to lay the foundation of this great kingdom and dispensation of salvation to the whole human family in these last days, to build up Zion, to establish God’s Kingdom, and to prepare it for the coming of the Son of Man. He held those keys. . . . [/ref]Wilford Woodruff, Discourses of Wilford Woodruff 38:389, March 3, 1889[/ref]

Joseph F. Smith

I say, as the name of the Son of God shall be held in reverence and honor, and in the faith and love of men, so will the name of Joseph Smith eventually be held among the children of men, gaining prestige, increasing in honor and commanding respect and reverence.  [Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, October 1907, pp. 125-126[/ref]

Brother Woodruff, in the course of his remarks, made the assertion that Joseph Smith was the greatest prophet that has ever lived, of whom we have any knowledge, save and except Jesus Christ himself. 8

 

Scripture

 D&C 135

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!

Supporting Statements

Eliza R. Snow Smith

Great men have fall’n and mighty men have died–
Nations have mourn’d their fav’rites and their pride;
But TWO, so wise, so virtuous, great and good,
Before on earth, at once, have never stood
Since the creation–men whom God ordain’d
To publish truth where error long had reigned;
Of whom the world, itself unworthy prov’d:
It KNEW THEM NOT; but men with hatred mov’d
And with infernal spirits have combin’d
Against the best, the noblest of mankind!
We mourn thy Prophet, from whose lips have flow’d
The words of life, thy spirit has bestow’d–
A depth of thought, no human art could reach
From time to time, roll’d in sublimest speech,
From the celestial foundation, through his mind,
To purify and elevate mankind:
One in their life, and one in death–they prov’d
How strong their friendship–how they truly lov’d:
True to their mission, until death, they stood,
Then seal’d their testimony with their blood. 9

References:

  1. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 364
  2. Joseph Smith, as told by Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, in They Knew the Prophet, comp. Hyrum and Helen Mae Andrus, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974, pp. 26–27
  3. Hyrum Smith, History of the Prophet Joseph Smith, rev. George A. Smith and Elias Smith, [1902], p. 346
  4. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], pp. 458-459)
  5. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:332
  6. John Taylor, written in D&C 135:3
  7. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses 21:317
  8. Joseph F. Smith, Discourse delivered in Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City, October 29, 1882.  Journal of Discourses, Vol. 24, 1884, pp. 8-16
  9. Excerpt from poem by Eliza R. Snow Smith, published in Times and Seasons July 1, 1844, four days after the assassination.

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