June 27th, 2019 marks the 175th anniversary of the martyrdom of the two prophets and presidents Joseph & Hyrum Smith.
“Every Church member ought to think about what those two prophets were willing to do to restore the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ.”(President M. Russell Ballard)
Never in the history of the Church has the Prophet Joseph Smith been more maligned, or as the prophet Isaiah saw in vision, “marred” (3 Nephi 21:10), than right now. Here is a list of resources provided by the Joseph Smith Foundation for studying the life of and defending the work and character of Joseph Smith.
Did you know that Joseph Smith was the greatest and most pure and holy prophet ever to live, excepting the Lord Jesus Christ? In fact, the Prophet’s brother, Hyrum Smith, who was joint President and joint dispensation head, made this statement:
“There were prophets before, but Joseph has the spirit and power of all the prophets.”(President Hyrum Smith)
Simply stated, Hyrum Smith and other leaders have taught that the Prophet Joseph Smith was the culmination of all the prophets. In other words, all the works of the other prophets (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Isaiah, Elijah and so forth) were foreshadowings of and preparation for the marvelous work and wonder performed through the grace of God by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith is the only prophet in scripture to have seen and become an eyewitness of both the Father and the Son. This makes his witness and testimony of both the Father and the Son distinct from and transcendent above any other man. (3 Nephi 16:6)
Some lesser-known works of the Prophet Joseph Smith:
The Prophet Joseph restored temple covenants and sacred symbols that can be found in ancient China, in ancient Egypt, among the early Christians, in the heartland of the United States and among symbols used by the Founding Fathers.
The Prophet Joseph was the Grail Prince. He was the rightful heir to the tribe of Judah and the house of David, as well as the house of Joseph and the house of Ephraim. His work heals the breach between Ephraim and Judah in the Latter-day.
The Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum performed a specific ministry within the period of 1260 days (3 1/2 years) that triggered the fulfillment of thousands of years of ancient Biblical prophecy. The Prophet was crowned King of Israel in Nauvoo and the ancient Ark of the Covenant foreshadowed his work of bringing each of us to the Lord.
According to Latter-day prophets, the Prophet Joseph will yet sit in the great council of God in Jerusalem. He holds the keys for the Latter-day signs, tribulation and destruction. The Prophet fits the description of angels described in the book of Revelation. The Prophet will yet lay out the inheritances in Jackson County, Missouri.
Many are now belittling the Prophet’s character and marring him as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, claiming he was involved in occultic activity and used an occultic seer stone in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. These claims, however, are not corroborated by history.
Some are now advocating that we set Joseph Smith aside and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ alone. President Heber J. Grant testified that,
“The day can never come when we will do that. As well might we undertake to leave out Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.”(See full reference, Gospel Standards)
President Hinckley also summed up how we should all treasure the work of Joseph Smith in these words.
“I look to him. I love him. I seek to follow him. I read his words, and they become the standards to be observed in guiding this great Church as it moves forward in fulfilling its eternal destiny. To slightly paraphrase the words of our wonderful hymn:
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he has entered God’s kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Such is my solemn and sacred witness to you, my brethren and sisters.”(President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Presidency Christmas Devotional, 7 December 2003)
We add our witness that the prophet Joseph Smith still holds all dispensation keys and “ever and ever the keys he will hold.” We again add our witness that “he has entered God’s kingdom” and he has been “crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.”