Changing Lives

Rebuilding Shaken Testimonies

I’m a 48 year old Gen X church leader and I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for the work you, your father, and the foundation have done. I’ll be honest that with some of the crazy revisionist history of the Prophet Joseph, I often shied away from bearing testimony of him and was not a big fan of church history.  What I had heard and read about the restoration and Joseph Smith just didn’t feel right.  I knew the Church and the Book of Mormon were true but I just kind of had to put the junk I knew about the Prophet Joseph Smith on the back burner and move forward. I grew up loving the old history and felt a little like something had been held back when the new history came out and was a bit repelled by it.  I was not affected by this new history enough to leave the church but enough to neglect my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and that period of time in our church’s history. I basically retreated from studying church history and chose to focus on everything else but that area such as our Savior and the Plan of Salvation. I worried what I would say if my kids came to me with questions especially since all but one are adults now. I lived in this weird cognitive dissonance choosing to focus on everything else while ignoring some of the things I found disturbing about the new church history.

A few months ago I was listening to Troy Ables’ Last Dispensation program when I was exercising. You were on the program and I felt like I had been betrayed, not by the Church or the Apostles and Prophets, but by those members of the church who professed to be faithful members of the church and historians.  I went to the Joseph Smith Foundation website and ordered the Faith Crises Bundle which was surprisingly inexpensive for four books and a DVD. I have read the first three and am currently reading the fourth one on Joseph Smith’s wives. I shared the information I learned with my wife and listened to two more interviews with you on Midnight Mormons. I have a masters degree and understand good research and sourcing and your research is amazing. I appreciated the footnotes at the bottom of each page.  I appreciated how you used the actual quotes and references. When you bore testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith when you were on Midnight Mormons, it was one of the most powerful testimonies of the Prophet that I have ever heard and felt.  I felt like you were speaking to me directly.

Thank you for helping to restore my love for the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and real church history.  Thank you for helping me see what was happening in academia and helping me find the tools I need should any of my family or fellow members come to me with questions about these faith-shaking, twisted stories about the founding of our Church in the last days. I felt like I was not fully prepared to defend the story of the restoration before.  Now, I am bearing a strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph when I give testimony to others either in Sacrament meeting, in other church meetings, or with individuals I am counseling with. I feel the Spirit bearing strong witness to his Prophetic call and the restoration.  I am still a bit disappointed in myself for trusting the so-called expert historians who fed us these dubious sources of information. But, I feel truly blessed to have found you in that YouTube conversation which led me to the foundation.  

I can now truly say I’m proud to be a Holy Ghoster and that I want to stand with those like Ezra Taft Benson and other prophets of the restoration that were staunch defenders of our history.

Best wishes to you and the foundation in your continued work.  I can only imagine how unpopular you are with the credentialed class, those that Nibley referred to as wearing the black robes of the false Priesthood in a talk at BYU I heard this week.  Thank you for being staunch defenders of our Faith. 

— J.O., Member in California

Reactiving Members

“If it wasn’t for your book . . . I would have walked away”

I will say that if it wasn’t for your book [Faith Crisis Volume 1] and the phenomenal research you have put into this resource as a convert of 13 years to the church I would have walked away. I am grateful for the Joseph Smith Foundation and its remarkable work. Keep producing and writing . . . God bless you.

For those struggling for the truth of the lies that x members are telling about the church and Joseph Smith, please pick up a copy of this book. I struggled for many years about the truthfulness of the church. After reading this book I have gained a remarkable testimony knowing that this church is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.

I wish to testify to you that I know that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of God; and through his death, we too shall all live again. As we learn of, and follow his teachings, our sins can be forgiven and guilt removed through his sufferings for them. (Those we cease doing)

 The Book of Mormon is a second witness that Jesus is the Christ and his teachings in their fullness are available to help purify our lives in preparation for the great day of his second coming.

I encourage my dear brothers and sisters to pray each time to know for yourself, the truthfulness of this book. Ponder these truths and through the power of the Holy Ghost ,and according to (Moroni 10:3-5) you may know the “TRUTH” of all things. . . .

— Edwin Rivera

Saving from Faith Crisis

“I was about to leave the church . . . [but] the Stoddard’s Faith Crisis book helped me navigate through many questions.”

Years ago, we stopped going to church. Suddenly, God awakened me and brought me back into the fold. As I hungered and learned more about the restoration, it was upsetting to hear things being said about Joseph that I KNEW were not true. I hit a major faith crisis. Right as I was about to leave the church and follow another sect that follows the teachings of the Book of Mormon, I read the Stoddard’s Faith Crisis book. This book, along with promptings and teachings from the spirit helped me navigate through many questions. This book only helped grow my testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration of the gospel and of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I now stand strong in the Faith and know that I am in the only true church. I’m so thankful for the Joseph Smith Foundation and the many hours put in toward helping others stay strong in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

— Latter-day Saint mother of six

“As a [13-year-old] teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood . . . now I feel confident”

As a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood, I have a duty to “warn, expound, exhort, teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:59).

Last year, while serving as the Deacon’s Quorum President, a member of my Quorum came to me and told me his parents were going through a faith crisis, and he would no longer be attending church. I remember feeling sad, and I wanted to help, but I didn’t know how.

Late one night, right before I turned 13, I was reading section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I got to verse 59 and I realized I have a duty before God to help everyone I can come unto Christ. I made it my goal to seek out as much truth as possible and arm myself with the knowledge necessary to help anyone going through a faith crisis.

My mom recently gave me this book [Faith Crisis Volume 1] to read from the Joseph Smith Foundation. This book has helped me to understand why so many people, young and old, in the church are struggling. Now I feel confident that I can help people find answers to any of their faith crisis questions. My faith and testimony has also been strengthen in the Restoration of the Gospel and in our church’s history. I am happy I found this book.

— Hudson Smith

“I wish [Seer Stone v. Urim & Thummim] was required reading for every Church member!”

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Seer Stone V. Urim and Thummim!!  I wish EVERY member could read it…up to the top leadership of the Church. I pick it up often and read excerpts!  I wish it was required reading for every Church member!!

If I did not know what was going on, I would be one of the members leaving the Church right now and joining the sister in the lawsuit in court over being deceived about the process of the translation of the Book of Mormon. 

Thank you so very much for what you are doing, dear Stoddards!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are in this together. You can count on me telling every member I know about all of this!  It will be harder to get members to listen with what is happening. But there will be some.  I want to find as many as I can and share what I know!

— Latter-day Saint convert

Strengthening Testimonies

“Faith Crisis Volume 1 has been an answer to prayer for me”

I want to thank the Joseph Smith Foundation for doing what you are doing to bring truth to thousands of people!  I first heard about you on one Rod Meldrum and Dean Session’s podcasts recently.  I was thrilled to learn of you and what you are doing!  I went and ordered a few things, although I would have ordered the whole store right away if I could have! 🙂  The book Faith Crisis Volume 1, has been an answer to prayer for me.  Thank you!  I have finally had some questions answered that made sense, along with the feeling of truth and light!  My testimony in our Savior and the Prophet Joseph Smith has always been strong.  But we’ve got children and grandchildren (one child having left the church) that have questions, which is a good thing, but some questions I’ve never been able to answer.  This book has helped immensely! I’ve been praying for some time on things that this book helped answer! Thank you, thank you!

— David & Tana West

“Statesmen and Symbols was everything I had hoped for and more!”

My favorite uncle and aunt sent me some anti-literature 2 weeks before we went to the temple in 1982.  I was naive at the time and read it!  Much of it was about Joseph being a Mason and that the temple ordinances were copied from the Masons and it was all a farce!  I did not eat for three days….I was too nauseous!  After three days, I got on my knees and made a covenant with the Lord.  I told Him I was going to serve Him with all of my might, mind, and strength and that I would trust Him to give me the answer when He saw fit!  I kept my end of the bargain!  We lived in a small ward and I served just as I promised!  The Lord gave me a tender mercy:  that question did not disturb me as I served Him!

The Statesmen and Symbols video was everything I had hoped for and more!  Our first and oldest grandson is going on a mission to Brazil on October 16.  We have been to the temple twice with Alex and his parents recently.  Going to the temple for the first time can be overwhelming especially for a young person, I think.  So we are sharing the Statesmen video with him and we bought a small booklet from Deseret Book on the ceremonial clothing and the symbolisms.  He has read the book and he seems much more comfortable.  I actually wish I could have read it when I first went through! 🙂  But explanations such as your Statesmen video are just wonderful!

— Latter-day Saint convert

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