Who was Joseph Smith?
Joseph Smith Jr. was born in 1805 in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. He had 10 brothers and sisters. His parents taught him to pray, read the Bible, and to have faith in God. At age 14, as an answer to fervent prayer, Joseph saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in his First Vision. At age 17, Joseph began to receive heavenly messengers who prepared him for his role in the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. He was a prophet, just like Moses, Isaiah and others in biblical times. He was strengthened by God to fulfill His mission much as was Jeremiah who said, “Ah Lord God! Behold I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7).
Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God in these latter days, just as Moses or Abraham were prophets of God in ancient times. In 1820, while 14 yr old Joseph was praying in a grove of trees, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in a glorious vision. One of the many beautiful truths that came to us in this vision is the truth that the heavenes are NOT closed, but that God guides his people today as He always has, through revelation. Through this young prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ restored His gospel to the earth in its fullness. As an eye witness of the resurrected Lord in these latter days, Joseph Smith is a special witness to all the world that Jesus is the Christ, and that He lives! Additionally, through this boy, the Lord taught mankind about eternal families, the holy priesthood, the truth about what hell is, the nature of God, who we are, where we come from, the purpose of life and so much more. Show more
I am unable to tell you just who Joseph Smith was. However, I can describe some of his life experiences and further provide a rather extensive list of his accomplishments. However, to know of his prophetic calling from God, the reality of him having seen the Father and the Son, and his restoration of the Savior's church again upon the earth comes only through fervent prayer and the resulting testimony of the Holy Ghost. I say to the reader in words of soberness that I know this for myself and you in turn can receive this knowledge from God, as well. A brief synopsis of the Prophet Joseph Smith's life: As a young man living in the early 1800's J oseph was seeking religion but was confused about which church to join. He followed the admonition of James in the New Testament and prayed. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and he was eventually visited by Peter, James and John who ordained him to the Holy Priesthood. By command of the Savior he organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830. Joseph translated the Book of Mormon from ancient records, received and recorded many revelations, sent missionaries to many cities and countries, and died as a martyr in June 1844. Show more
Gerrit Kay answered...
Joseph Smith is a prophet of God similar to Moses, Abraham, or Isaiah. He was called by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to restore important and eternal gospel truths to the earth. He was the first prophet and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was concerned about his eternal salvation from an early age, and he was confused by all the conflicting doctrines he found. Joseph Smith Saw God and Jesus Christ in response to his humble, fervent prayer to know which church to join in a vision. This marked the beginning of what Latter-Day Saints call the Restoration. Show more
We refer to Joseph Smith as the prophet of the restoration. Why restoration? We believe, and I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the same church that Jesus Christ established while on the earth. Joseph Smith lived in a time of much confusion, religiously speaking, there were many churches and therefore many different teachings that caused him to question which church was the true and right church of God. If there is one God, ought there not to be one church is a question he mentioned having. After much pondering and meditation over the issue, Joseph Smith decided to ask God which church he should join. As James 1:5 in the Bible teaches to ask of God if you lack wisdom, Joseph decided to do the same thing, he asked of God. As Joseph Smith knelt in a grove of trees in the spring of 1820, God the Father and his son Jesus Christ came down and appeared to Joseph Smith and told him not to join any of the churches but that there was a great work for him to do. Through this experience and others like unto it, Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God. He was called to translate the Book of Mormon which you can read to know if he is a prophet or not by simply doing the same thing that he did, asking of God like the scriptures teach us. Through time, Joseph eventually restored The Church of Jesus Christ with a prophet and 12 apostles just like Christ had organized it while he was here on earth. Show more
Over my lifetime, I have heard countless theories concerning Joseph Smith - his intellect, his integrity, his sanity, everything about him. Some of the stories about him being a prophet sounded convincing... but then, some of the stories of him as a criminal sounded convincing, too. Then I read about Joseph Smith's visitation by the angel Moroni. Moroni told him that his name would be "had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken among all people." Well, that was certainly a true prophecy. So, it seemed, whether Joseph Smith was a prophet or not, tons of accusations and slander would be said against him anyway! That realization made me understand that only God could confirm whether or not Joseph was truly called of him. I got a strong confirmation of that truth. When others tell me that they "know the truth about the Joseph Smith," I always question their sources - it's usually a book or magazine article, possibly even by an esteemed, intellectual person. But I cannot and will not question my source of the real answer. Show more
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Like Moses and Peter from the Bible Joseph wasn't perfect but he sought to do Gods will and he sacrificed a lot in his life to proclaim his message. Under the direction of God he restored the church of Jesus Christ, translated the Book of Mormon and taught the truths of the gospel. One of the neat things about Joseph is that he lived less than 200 years ago, we can travel to the places where he lived and read many of the details of his life. In Joseph I see a very human man who earnestly sought to turn his life over to God and do his will. The stories and the histories I have read paint a picture of a man who loved to serve and help others, he was a tireless laborer who would sacrifice just about anything for someone else. Joseph's teachings help to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ into focus, the stories from the Bible transform into a continuing history one where prophets still walk the earth, a history in which we all can take part. I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet that he was called of God to restore truths lost to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I see Gods guiding hand in the things that he did and hear the message of Christ in the things he taught. Show more
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, like Abraham, Moses, Jacob, and others. However, Joseph Smith was a prophet that restored the gospel of Jesus Christ. After much researching other religions and asking God which church he should join God and His son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph and explained to him that he was to restore God's church on the earth. Show more
Joseph Smith was a man that lived in the 1800 's and through whom God restored his church to the earth. At a young age (14) Joseph was confused about religion and which church he should join. He believed that God was not the author to so much contradictory doctrine and confusion and he wanted to do Gods will. He prayed to know from God what he was to do, and which church he should join. In answer to his humble prayer, Joseph saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. He was told to join none of the religions on the earth and that at a future date Joseph would be instrumental in restoring Gods church and priesthood power and authority to the earth. He was called as a prophet, seer and revelator. He translated an ancient record now called the Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ. Show more
Joseph Smith was a boy that was curious about where he should go to church and how he should worship his God. He followed the scriptures and prayed to our Heavenly Father for answers. He Knelt down and asked which church was right and God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that no church that was currently on the earth was correct. Joseph Smith restored the true church to the earth through the power of revelation from God. Show more