Friday, December 23, 2011

Commemorating The 207th Birthday Of The First LDS Prophet, Joseph Smith: Prophet Of The Restoration

On December 23rd, 1805, a man who was to change the world entered the world in Sharon, VT. From humble origins, Joseph Smith Jr. would launch one of the most important events in the history of the world -- the Restoration of the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It would mark the return of full priesthood authority for the first time since the first century A.D. The Deseret News published a recent tribute to Joseph Smith. You can find more information about Joseph Smith on

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced a 62-minute video which brings the legacy of Joseph Smith to life:

Members of the LDS Church believe Joseph Smith did more for humanity except for Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the sins of the world at Gethsemane, gave His life for those sins at Calvary, and broke the bands of death through his resurrection three days later. But Joseph Smith also owes a debt of gratitude to Martin Luther for launching the Reformation; the Reformation was a necessary precursor to the Restoration.

Joseph Smith wasn't chosen for him mission because he was perfect. He was chosen because he was a persistent seeker of knowledge and also because he took the counsel of James 1:5 literally; "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him". He took the Lord at His word, knelt down in a grove to obtain wisdom, and received the answer that would change the world. We also believe that Joseph Smith was one of the great and noble spirits who were foreordained for their mortal missions before the foundation of this world. Foreordination is NOT the same as predestination; while predestination precludes free agency, foreordination implies that free agency is possible. But the Lord made every effort to ensure that Joseph Smith would follow through by placing him in the best place at the right time; namely, 19th century America.

A December 1990 Ensign article entitled "I have a question" addresses the contrasts between predestination and foreordination.

By the way, the LDS Church is not the only church claiming Joseph Smith as a founder; the Community of Christ, the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Fundamentalist LDS, and several Restorationist branches also claim him.

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