“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” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).
“This morning, I read German and visited with a brother and sister
from Michigan, who thought that `a prophet is always a prophet’;
but I told them that a prophet is a prophet only when he was
acting as such” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 5:265).
“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man
that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the
days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me.
Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man
ever did such a work as I” (Joseph Smith, May 26, 1844, History of
the Church 6:408-409).
“God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel,
and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders
to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it”
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 363).
“When did I ever teach anything wrong from this stand? When
was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart
hence and am no more seen. I never told you I was perfect; but
there is no error in the revelations which I have taught” (Joseph
Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 368. Also cited by
Apostle Neil A. Maxwell, “How Choice a Seer!” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November, 2003, p. 100).
“While I was thus in the act of calling upon God I discovered a
light appearing in my room which continued to increase until the
room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage
appeared at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not
touch the floor. …He called me by name, and said unto me that
he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that
his name was Nephi” (Joseph Smith, 1842 Times and Seasons 3:753.
Ellipsis mine. See also 1851 Pearl of Great Price, pp. 40-41).
“I combat the errors of the ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I
cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the
Gordian knot of powers; and I solve mathematical problems of
Universities: WITH TRUTH, diamond truth, and God is my ‘right
hand man’” (Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons 4:375).
2nd President Brigham Young
“Who called Joseph Smith to be a prophet? Did the people or
God? God, and not the people called him. Had the people gathered
together and appointed one of their number to be a prophet,
he would have been accountable to the people; but inasmuch as
he was called by God, and not the people, he is accountable to
God only and the angel who committed the gospel to him, and not
to any man on earth” (Brigham Young, History of the Church 5:521).
“The Book of Mormon came to Ephraim, for Joseph Smith was a
pure Ephraimite, and the Book of Mormon was revealed to him,
and while he lived he made it his business to search for those who
believed the Gospel” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:269).
“If we can pass the sentinel Joseph the Prophet, we shall go into
the celestial kingdom, and not a man can injure us. If he says,
‘God bless you, come along here;’ if we will live so that Joseph
will justify us, and say, ‘Here am I, brethren,’ we shall pass every
sentinel; there will be no danger but that we will pass into the
celestial kingdom” (Brigham Young, March 8, 1857, Journal of Discourses
“It was not for me to question whether Joseph was dictated by the
Lord at all times and under all circumstances or not. …He was
called of God; God dictated him, and if He had a mind to leave
him to himself and let him commit an error, that was no business
of mine. And it was not for me to question it, if the Lord was disposed
to let Joseph lead the people astray, for He had called him
and instructed him to gather Israel and restore the Priesthood
and kingdom to them. It was not my prerogative to call him in
question with regard to any act of his life” (Brigham Young, March
29, 1857, Journal of Discourses 4:297. Ellipsis mine).
“I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, that this is the Gospel
of salvation, and if you do not believe it you will be damned,
every one of you” (Brigham Young, March 29, 1857, Journal of Discourses
“Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now
engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days. I can tell
our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and
butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day
Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and
thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven,
and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren
and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that
the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt
will mortify them-something that, to say the least, is a matter of
deep regret to them-namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation
will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without
the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood
was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things,
every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith,
junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God
and Christ are-I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without
his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last
dispensation-the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there
triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over
the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr
to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most
perfect victory in the spirit-world. He reigns there as supreme a
being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven.
Many will exclaim- ‘Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous!
We cannot bear the thought!’ But it is true” (Brigham Young,
October 9, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:289. See also Search These
Commandments, 1984, p. 133).
“Every intelligent person under the heavens that does not, when
informed, acknowledge that Joseph Smith, jun., is a Prophet of
God, is in darkness, and is opposed to us and to Jesus and his kingdom
on the earth. What do you suppose I think of them? They
cannot conceive their own degradation. If they could, they would
turn away from their wickedness” (Brigham Young, October 21,
1860, Journal of Discourses 8:223).
“Did the Devil believe that Joseph Smith was an impostor? He
knew that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet. Did the first priest
who persecuted Joseph Smith, when Joseph was about nineteen
years of age, believe that Joseph was an impostor? No. The Devil
and his emissaries are not afraid of an impostor; for the world
is full of imposition. Men who lecture against God, Jesus Christ,
and the Bible, are not persecuted, but figure in what is called the
best society” (Brigham Young, August 3, 1862, Journal of Discourses
“Well now, examine the character of the Savior, and examine the
characters of those who have written the Old and New Testaments;
and then compare them with the character of Joseph Smith, the
founder of this work – the man whom God called and to whom
he gave the keys of Priesthood, and through whom he has established
his Church and kingdom for the last time, and you will
find that his character stands as fair as any man’s mentioned in
the Bible. We can find no person who presents a better character
to the world when the facts are known than Joseph Smith, jun.,
the prophet, and his brother, Hyrum Smith, who was murdered
with him” (Brigham Young, August 31, 1871, Journal of Discourses
“Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal
the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation
for gathering Israel, and building up the Kingdom of God on
the earth, that spirit is of God, and every spirit that does not confess
that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting
Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it
is found in a pulpit or on a throne” (Brigham Young, Discourses of
Brigham Young, p. 435).
“How are you going to get your resurrection? You will get it by the
President of the Resurrection pertaining to this generation, and
that is Joseph Smith Junior. Hear it all ye ends of the Earth; if ever
you enter into the Kingdom of God it is because Joseph Smith let
you go there. This will apply to Jews and Gentiles, to the bond,
and free; to friends and foes; no man or woman in this generation
will get a resurrection and be crowned without Joseph Smith says
so. The man who was martyred in Carthage Jail [in the] State of
Illinois holds the Keys of Life and Death to this generation. He
is the President of the Resurrection in this Dispensation and he
will be the first to rise from the dead” (Brigham Young, an unpublished
discourse given October 8, 1854. The Essential Brigham
Young, p. 99. Brackets in original).
“To my certain knowledge Emma Smith is one of the damdest liars
I know of on this earth; yet there is no good thing I would
refuse to do for her, if she would only be a righteous woman; but
she will continue in her wickedness. Not six months before the
death of Joseph, he called his wife Emma into a secret council,
and there he told her the truth, and called upon her to deny it
if she could. He told her that the judgments of God would come
upon her forthwith if she did not repent. He told her of the time
she undertook to poison him, and he told her that she was a child
of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that
there was not one more wicked then she. He told her where she
got the poison, and how she put it in a cup of coffee; said he, ‘You
got that poison so and so, and I drank it, but you could not kill
me.’ When it entered his stomach he went to the door and threw
it off. He spoke to her in that council in a very severe manner, and
she never said one word in reply. I have witnesses of this scene
all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice
she undertook to kill him” (Brigham Young, The Essential Brigham
Young, pp. 188-189).
“I honor and revere the name of Joseph Smith. I delight to hear it;
I love it. I love his doctrine” (Brigham Young, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 345).
“There is not that being that ever had the privilege of hearing the
way of life and salvation set before him as it is written in the New
Testament, and in the Book of Mormon, and in the book of Doctrine
and Covenants, by a Latter-day Saint, that can say that Jesus
lives, that his Gospel is true, and at the same time say that Joseph
Smith was not a Prophet of God. That is strong testimony, but it
is true” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 459. See also Teachings of
Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 345).
3rd President John Taylor
“Who was Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, raised up in these
last days? He was a descendant of Joseph, the son of Jacob, and
his father’s name was Joseph, as had been anciently prophesied
should be the case, when the work he should perform was being
referred to” (John Taylor, June 24, 1883, Journal of Discourses
“Who was Joseph Smith? The Book of Mormon tells us he was
of the seed of Joseph that was sold into Egypt, and hence he was
selected as Abraham was to fulfil a work upon the earth” (John
Taylor, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 547).
4th President Wilford Woodruff
“When Joseph Smith’s body was laid in the grave, his spirit, like
unto the Son of God, went into the spirit world with the keys of
this dispensation to unlock the prison doors. There were fifty
thousand millions’ of spirits that never saw the face of a prophet,
or heard a gospel sermon in their lives, until Joseph Smith
preached to them the message of salvation” (Wilford Woodruff,
The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 36).
“I believe that God Almighty reserved a certain class of men to carry
on his word. They have been born into the world in this generation.
I believe this was the case with Joseph Smith. I believe he was
ordained to this work before he tabernacled in the flesh. He was a
literal descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and the Lord
called him and ordained him. He gave unto him the keys of the
kingdom. He received the record of the stick of Joseph from the
hands of Ephraim, to stand with the Bible, the stick of Judah, in
the last days as a power to gather the twelve tribes of Israel, before
the coming of Shiloh, their king. —JD 22:206, January 9, 1881”
(Wilford Woodruff, The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 43-44).
6th President Joseph F. Smith
“Where shall we go to find another man who has accomplished
a one-thousandth part of the good that Joseph Smith accomplished?”
(Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph
F. Smith, 1998, p. 18).
“The day will come—and it is not far distant, either— when the
name of the Prophet Joseph Smith will be coupled with the name
of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God, as his representative,
as his agent whom he chose, ordained and set apart to lay anew
the foundations of the Church of God in the world, which is indeed
the Church of Jesus Christ, possessing all the powers of the
gospel, all the rites and privileges, the authority of the Holy Priesthood,
and every principle necessary to fit and qualify both the
living and the dead to inherit eternal life, and to attain to exaltation
in the kingdom of God” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. ,
134)” (Joseph F. Smith, Ensign, “Joseph Smith: Restorer of Truth,”
December 2003, p. 17).
7th President Heber J. Grant
“The whole foundation of this Church rests firmly upon the inspiration
of the living God through Joseph Smith the Prophet”
(Heber J. Grant, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant,
2002, p. 16).
8th President George Albert Smith
“To my mind one of the strongest testimonies of the divinity of
the life of our Savior is the testimony of Joseph Smith who laid
down his life as a witness of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ”
(George Albert Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George
Albert Smith, 2011, p. 27).
“Many of the benefits and blessings that have come to me have
come through that man who gave his life for the gospel of Jesus
Christ. There have been some who have belittled him, but I would
like to say that those who have done so will be forgotten and their
remains will go back to mother earth, if they have not already
gone, and the odor of their infamy will never die, while the glory
and honor and majesty and courage and fidelity manifested by the
Prophet Joseph Smith will attach to his name forever” (George
Albert Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith,
2011, p. 34).
9th President David O. McKay
“The principles of the restored gospel as revealed to the Prophet
Joseph Smith are the surest, safest guide to mortal man” (David
O. McKay, Ensign, “Joseph Smith: Restorer of Truth,” December
2003, p. 18).
10th President Joseph Fielding Smith
“Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph
Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly
appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds
this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground” (Joseph Fielding
Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:188. Italics in original).
“If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who wilfully attempted to mislead
the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be
refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of
an impostor cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with
divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud
and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions,
which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not
stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the
scriptures” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:188. Italics
“NO SALVATION WITHOUT ACCEPTING JOSEPH SMITH. If
Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth when
he said that he stood in the presence of angels sent from the Lord,
and obtained keys of authority, and the commandment to organize
the Church of Jesus Christ once again on the earth, then this
knowledge is of the most vital importance to the entire world. No
man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences,
for he cannot enter the kingdom of god. It is, therefore the duty
of every man to investigate that he may weigh this matter carefully
and know the truth” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation
1:189-190. Italics in original).
“President Young declares that Joseph Smith was a pure
Ephraimite. This is true, Joseph Smith, father of the Prophet, received
the birthright in Israel which he inherited through his fathers
back to Ephraim and Joseph and Jacob to Abraham, For that
reason the Patriarchal Priesthood was conferred upon him with
the commandment that it should be handed down from father
to son” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 3:253, 254).
“No one else, but Joseph Smith, has ever made the claim that this
restoration and setting up of the kingdom (i.e. Church of Jesus
Christ) has ever been revealed. Joseph Smith has proclaimed to
the world that power, keys, and authority were bestowed upon
him. No one else has arisen to make such a claim; yet, this was
revealed preparatory to these momentous and final restorations”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Selections from Answers to Gospel Questions: A
Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorum 1972-73, p. 338).
11th President Harold B. Lee
“A testimony of Joseph Smith is vital. No man can accept Jesus
Christ as the Savior of the world, no man can accept this as His
church, the Church of Jesus Christ, unless he can accept Joseph
Smith as God’s mouthpiece and the restorer of His work in these
latter days. First, to say that we are Christians then requires two or
three certainties. We must know for certainty in our hearts and
minds that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. We must
know that this is indeed the Church of Jesus Christ, the kingdom
of God on earth in these last days; and finally we must have a tes-
timony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God” (Harold B. Lee,
The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 371).
“We must accept the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith
as the instrumentality through which the restoration of the gospel
and the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ was accomplished.
Each member of the Church, to be prepared for the
millennial reign, must receive a testimony, each for himself, of the
divinity of the work established by Joseph Smith” (Harold B. Lee,
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 2000, p. 71).
12th President Spencer W. Kimball
“And his hour had come to seal with his blood his testimony, so often
borne to multitudes of friends and foes. His Judas came from
his own circle—Governor Ford was his Pontius Pilate, Nauvoo was
his Gethsemane, and Carthage his Calvary. There were also modern
Pharisees to goad the mobs—and another martyr testified”
(Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Reports, April 1946, p. 45).
“And now a young man, named Joseph centuries ago, selected and
foreordained before mortality, had an unsatisfied urge for the answer
to questions and truth sprang from the earth. For this young
boy, clean, free from all antagonistic and distorted ideas and with
a sincere desire to find the truth, knelt in a secluded spot in a
New York forest and poured out his soul to God, and with a faith
the size of mountains he asked serious questions that none of the
sects upon the earth had been able to fully answer” (Spencer W.
Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 429).
“Joseph knew, as no other soul living, these absolutes: He knew
that God lives, that He is a [glorified] person with flesh and bones
and personality, like us or we like Him, in His image. He knew
that the long-heralded trinity of three Gods in one was a myth, a
deception. He knew that the Father and the Son were two distinct
beings with form, voices, and … personalities. He knew that the
gospel was not on the earth, for by the Deities he had learned
it, and the true Church was absent from the earth, for the God
of heaven and earth had so informed him” (Spencer W. Kimball,
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 2006, p. 230.
Ellipsis in original).
13th President Ezra Taft Benson
“Joseph Smith has done more for the salvation of men in this
world than any man who ever lived in it, except the Master” (Ezra
Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 132).
“The bringing forth of these sacred volumes of scripture ‘for the
salvation of a ruined world’ cost ‘the best blood of the nineteenth
century’ – that of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum (D&C
135:6)” (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine
and Covenants,” Ensign, January 2005, p. 24).
“The message of Joseph Smith—the message of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the message of Mormonism—is
the most important message in this world. And Joseph Smith the
Prophet, who lives today, continues to have an important part in
the direction here on earth” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, 2014, p. 110).
“So it was with Joseph Smith. He too was there. He too sat in council
with the noble and great ones. Occupying a prominent place of
honor and distinction, he unquestionably helped in the planning
and execution of the great works of the Lord to ‘bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of man,’ the salvation of all our Father’s
children [see Moses 1:39]. His mission had had, and was to
have, impact on all who had come to earth, all who then dwelt on
earth, and the millions yet unborn” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings
of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, 2014, p. 111. Brackets
14th President Howard W. Hunter
“I testify that the boy prophet, who is so many ways remains the
central miracle…of this church’s experience, is living proof that,
within God’s hands and under the direction of the Savior of the
world, weak and simple things should come forth and break down
the mighty and strong ones” (Howard W. Hunter, Teachings of
Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter, 2015, p. 90. Ellipsis in
“When we sing of Joseph Smith, ‘Praise to the Man’ (Hymns, 1985,
no. 27), we remember so many praiseworthy things about him. We
praise him for his capacity to commune not only with Jehovah but
also with other personages of heaven…We praise Joseph Smith,
too, for his diligence and capacity to translate and to receive hundreds
of pages of revealed scripture. He was the revealing conduit.
Through him, it has been estimated, more marvelous pages
of scripture passed than through any other human in history. We
praise Joseph not only for his capacity to endure to to ‘endure it
well’ (D&C 121:8)….We praise Joseph for the capacity to endure
persecution,…We praise Joseph for enduring bitter and repeated
betrayals and disappointments” (Howard W. Hunter, Teachings of
Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter, 2015, pp. 94-95. Ellipses
“I am grateful for my membership in the Church, and my testimony
of its divinity hinges upon the simple story of the lad under
the trees kneeling and receiving heavenly visitors–not one God,
but two separate individual personages, the Father and the Son,
revealing again to the earth the personages of the Godhead. My
faith and testimony hinges upon this simple story, for if it is not
true, Mormonism fails. If it is true–and I bear witness that it is–
it’s one of the greatest single events in all history” (Howard W.
Hunter, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter,
2015, pp. 96-97).
15th President Gordon B. Hinckley
“We stand in reverence before him. He is the great prophet of this
dispensation. He stands as the head of this great and mighty work
which is spreading across the earth. He is our prophet, our revelator,
our seer, our friend. Let us not forget him. Let not his memory
be forgotten in the celebration of Christmas. God be thanked for
the Prophet Joseph” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Joseph Smith: Restorer
of Truth,” Ensign, December 2003, pp. 18-19).
“An acquaintance said to me one day: ‘I admire your church very
much. I think I could accept everything about it—except Joseph
Smith.’ To which I responded: ‘That statement is a contradiction.
If you accept the revelation, you must accept the revelator” (Gordon
B. Hinckley, “Joseph Smith, Jr.: Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,”
Ensign, December 2005, p. 2).
“Once while riding in a plane, I engaged in conversation with a
young man who was seated beside me. We moved from one subject
to another and then came to the matter of religion. He said that
he had read considerably about the Latter-day Saints, that he had
found much to admire in their practices, but that he had a definite
prejudice concerning the story of the origin of the Church
and particularly Joseph Smith. He was an active member of another
organization, and when I asked where he had acquired his
information, he indicated that it had come from publications of
his church. I asked what company he worked for. He proudly replied
that he was a sales representative for an international computer
company. I then asked whether he would think it fair for his
customers to learn of the qualities of its products from a representative
of its leading competitor. He replied with a smile, ‘I think I
get the point of what you’re trying to say’” (Gordon B. Hinckley,
“Joseph Smith, Jr.: Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,” Ensign, December
2005, p. 4).
16th President Thomas S. Monson
“Joseph Smith’s last great act here upon the earth was one of selflessness.
He crossed the room, most likely ‘thinking that it would
save the lives of his brethren in the room if he could get out, …
and sprang into the window when two balls pierced him from the
door, and one entered his right breast from without.’ He gave his
life; Willard Richards and John Taylor were spared. ‘Greater love
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us love—by example” (Thomas
S. Monson, “The Prophet Joseph Smith: Teacher by Example,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2005, p. 69. Ellipsis and
bold in original).
17th President Russell M. Nelson
“Think of this, my dear young brothers and sisters, right now I am preparing for the day when I will be required to give an accounting to the Prophet Joseph Smith, to President Brigham Young, and others—and ultimately to the Lord—about my stewardship as God’s prophet upon the earth today” (Russell M. Nelson, Hope of Israel: Worldwide Youth Devotional, June 3, 2018, p. 13. Supplement to the New Era and Ensign Magazines, August 2018.)
“SALVATION WITH HIS PERMISSION. If we get our salvation,
we shall have to pass by him; if we enter into our glory, it will be
through the authority that he has received. We cannot get around
him; we cannot get around President Young; we cannot get around
President Taylor; we cannot get around the Twelve Apostles. If we
ever attain to that eternal glory that God has promised to the faithful,
we shall have to pass by them. If we enter into our exaltation,
it will be because they, as the servants of God, permit us to pass
by, just as the revelation says, ‘pass by the angels, and the Gods,
which are set there’ (D&C 132:19), to our exaltation” (George Q.
Cannon, Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q.
Cannon 1:255, 1974).
“You call us fools: but the day will be, gentlemen and ladies, whether
you belong to this Church or not, when you will prize brother
Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon
him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor in
the Territory of Deseret” (Heber J. Grant, July 26, 1857, Journal of
“Joseph Smith was less than 15 when he had his first vision, 24
when he translated the Book of Mormon, 25 when the Church
was organized, and he died a young man-yet he left an imprint
upon this world second only to that of Christ the Lord” (Hugh B.
Brown, The Abundant Life, p. 138).
“One day in the future, we will have to account through President
Gordon B. Hinckley to the Prophet Joseph for what we have done
with this great power which the Lord has invested in us” (James E.
Faust, “By What power…Have Ye Done This?” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November, 1998, p. 47).
“As we remember and honor the Prophet Joseph Smith, my heart
reaches out to him in gratitude. He was a good, honest, humble,
intelligent, and courageous young man with a heart of gold and
an unshaken faith in God. He had integrity” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf,
“Precious Fruits of the First Vision,” Ensign, February 2009, p. 7).
“The Prophet Joseph Smith is an example and a teacher of enduring
well in faith. I do not worship him, but I thank and love him
as the Lord’s prophet of the Restoration” (Henry B. Eyring, “Witnesses
of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Ensign, January 2009, p. 11).
“I have heard the Prophet say that he would yet tread down his enemies,
and walk over their dead bodies; and if he was not let alone,
he would be a second Mohammed to this generation, and that he
would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky mountains to
the Atlantic ocean; that like Mohammed, whose motto in treating
for peace was, ‘the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword.’ So should it
be eventually with us, ‘Joseph Smith or the Sword.’” (Sworn affidavit
signed by Mormon Apostle Thomas B. Marsh, Richmond,
Missouri, October 24, 1838, History of the Church 3:167. Brackets
“If Joseph had a right to dictate me in relation to salvation, in relation
to a hereafter, he had a right to dictate me in relation to all
my earthly affairs, in relation to the treasures of the earth, and in
relation to the earth itself. He had a right to dictate in relation to
the cities of the earth, to the natives of the earth, and in relation to
everything on land and on sea. That is what he had a right to do,
if he had any right at all” (Jedediah M. Grant, February 19, 1854,
Journal of Discourses 2:13).
“What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked
him for his money? He would say, ‘Yes, and I wish I had more to
help to build up the kingdom of God.’ Or if he came and said,
‘I want your wife?’ ‘O yes,’ he would say, ‘here she is, there are
plenty more’” (Jedediah M. Grant, February 19, 1854, Journal of
“Let us now take a closer view of this marvelous man, Joseph Smith,
the most remarkable character that has appeared upon our planet
in the past two thousand years. His coming into the world fulfilled
a prophecy uttered many centuries before his birth—a prophecy
concerning ‘a choice seer,’ to be raised up ‘out of the loins’ of Joseph
who was sold into Egypt. The seer’s name was likewise to be
Joseph, and this also was to be the name of his father. That prophecy
was fulfilled in Joseph Smith, Jr., son of Joseph Smith, Sr., and
founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ‘Joseph
the Seer’—so was he designated, pursuant to divine revelation”
(Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, p. 24).
“I do not believe we can be good Latter-day Saints and question
the integrity of Joseph Smith” (Mark E. Peterson, Conference Reports,
April 1953, p. 84).
“That he [Christ] was aided in the creation of this earth by ‘many
of the noble and great’ spirit children of the Father is evident from
Abraham’s writings. …Joseph Smith, and many other ‘noble and
great’ ones played a part in the creative enterprise” (Bruce R. McConkie,
Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 169. Ellipsis and brackets mine).
“If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there
would be no salvation” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine,
1966, p. 670).
“And thus, all men — every living soul who has lived or shall live
on earth between the spring of 1820 and that glorious future day
when the Son of God shall return to reign personally on earth all
men in the latter days must turn to Joseph Smith to gain salvation.
Why? The answer is clear and plain; let it be spoken with
seven thunders. He alone can bring them the gospel; he alone can
perform for them the ordinances of salvation and exaltation; he
stands, as have all the prophets of all the ages in their times and
seasons, in the place and stead of the Heavenly One in administering
salvation to men on earth” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial
Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, p. 334).
“In the days of Jesus, wicked and evil men separated themselves
from the true Christians by defaming the name of Jesus and cursing
him as a false prophet. In our day the same approach is made
by ill-disposed persons to the name of Joseph Smith. The way men
feel about him and his prophetic successors divides true believers
from those who serve another master” (Bruce R. McConkie,
“The Caravan Moves On,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November
1984, p. 82).
“We do not have to defend the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book
of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ will defend him
for us. Those who reject Joseph Smith as a prophet and revelator
are left to find some other explanation for the Book of Mormon”
(Boyd Packer, “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus
Christ—Plain and Precious Things,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
May 2005, p. 9).
“One hundred twenty-five years ago, day after tomorrow, there was
born into the world one destined, in the providences of God, to
do more to contribute to the world’s real knowledge of the mission
and ministry of Jesus Christ than any one who has lived since
the apostles, who were His special witnesses, fell asleep” (Melvin J.
Ballard, “Many celebrations honored Prophet,” Church News, December
24, 2005, p. 3).
“Our Eternal Father and Jesus Christ made multiple appearances
to the Prophet Joseph Smith” (Russell M. Nelson, “Catch the
Wave,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2013, p. 46).
“I testify that Joseph Smith was an honest and virtuous man, a disciple
of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Neil L. Andersen, “Joseph Smith,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2014, p. 31).
“Immersing oneself in persistent doubt, fueled by answers from
the faithless and the unfaithful, weakens one’s faith in Jesus Christ
and the Restoration. ‘The natural man receiveth not the things
of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.’ For example,
questions concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith are not
new. They have been hurled by his critics since this work began. To
those of faith who, looking through the colored glasses of the 21st
century, honestly question events or statements of the Prophet Joseph
from nearly 200 years ago, may I share some friendly advice:
For now, give Brother Joseph a break! In a future day, you will
have 100 times more information than from all of today’s search
engines combined, and it will come from our all-knowing Father
in Heaven” (Neil L. Andersen, “Faith is Not by Chance, but by
Choice,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2015, p. 66).
“But though a man of like passions with other men, yet to Joseph
Smith was given access to the mind of Deity, through the revelations
of God to him; and likewise to him was given a divine authority
to declare that mind of God to the world” (B.H. Roberts, A
Comprehensive History of the Church 2:360-361).
“And there is a passage in the Book of Mormon which is a part of
the prophecy of Joseph written on the plates of brass and quoted
by Lehi, concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, it says, was
to be raised up in the latter days to translate the records of the
Nephites, and whose name should be Joseph, and who should
be a descendant of that Joseph that was sold into Egypt, and also
that that should be the name of his father. Joseph Smith fulfilled
these prophecies. Joseph had said, ‘His name shall be called after
me,’ Joseph. ‘And it shall be after the name of his father.’ Joseph
Smith’s father’s name was Joseph. Then the prophet said, ‘And he
shall be like unto me.’ Joseph, the son of Jacob, was sent before
the face of the Egyptian famine to preserve life. And Joseph Smith
was sent before the face of the spiritual famine spoken of by Amos,
for exactly the same purpose, to unlock the granaries of spiritual
truth, to dispel the darkness that covered the earth, and make possible
that every living soul might have ‘life everlasting.’” (Sterling
W. Sill, Conference Reports, April 1956, p. 15).
“We know that it is not a popular thing to teach that a backwoods
boy from Vermont, reared in New England and trained on the
frontier, was a prophet. But, popular or not, it is a fact! Joseph Smith
was a prophet, and all the calumny and aspirations to the contrary cannot
controvert that fact. Anyone who has concern for the welfare of his
eternal soul should give attention to this message. Every man who
has lived since the days of Joseph Smith is subject to accepting him
as a prophet of God in order to enter into our Heavenly Father’s
presence” (A. Theodore Tuttle, “The Message of the Restoration,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), June 1971, p. 70. See also “No greater
prophet” Church News, March 17, 2001, p. 14. Italics in original).
“The gospel is somewhat like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. When
young Joseph came on the scene, perhaps 100 pieces were already
in place. Then the Prophet exercised his divine mantle and put
most of the other 900 pieces together” (Tad R. Callister, “Prophet
of the Restoration,” Ensign, June 2002, p. 65).
“As the Bible is the tangible evidence of divine revelation to the
prophets of ancient times, in the same way the Book of Mormon:
Another Testament of Jesus Christ is also the modern convincing
evidence that Joseph Smith was a prophet receiving revelation and
authority as they did” (Charles Didier, “The Message of the Restoration,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2003, p. 75).
“How grateful we are to Joseph for his worthiness to witness what
he did for us. How grateful we should be that we are allowed to
stand by Joseph with our own actions and testimonies of the Father
and the Son” (Emeritus Cecil O. Samuelson, “Stand by my
Servant Joseph,” Ensign, February 2013, p. 39).
“Our Eternal Father and Jesus Christ made multiple appearances
to the Prophet Joseph Smith” (Russell M. Nelson, “Catch The
Wave,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2013, p. 46).
“Which is more likely, that he [Joseph Smith] dreamed it all up
on his own or that he had the help of heaven? Do the scriptures
he produced sound like the words of man or the words of God?”
(Lawrence E. Corbridge, “The Prophet Joseph Smith,” Ensign
(Conference Edition), May 2014, p. 105. Brackets mine).
“To any who may be questioning their testimony of Joseph Smith or are struggling with erroneous, misleading, or superficial information about his life and ministry, I invite you to consider the fruits—the many blessings that have come to us through the miraculous mission of Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration” (Craig C. Christiansen, “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2016, p. 21).
“President Young’s lifelong conviction of the Seer and his work was confirmed
at his deathbed in a final expression of recognition and anticipation:
‘Joseph, Joseph, Joseph’” (Brigham Young, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 343. Italics in original).
“D&C 132:49–50. Exaltation Assured to Joseph Smith. The Prophet
Joseph Smith received the promise of eternal life—he had his
calling and election made sure. God will extend the same promise
to all of his children if they will obey him. Verse 49 explains why
the Prophet Joseph received this promise… The Prophet Joseph
is an example in this dispensation of how children of God should
act. (See Notes and Commentary on D&C 131:5.)” (Doctrines and
Covenants Student Manual Religion 324 and 325, 2001, p. 334. Bold
in original. Ellipsis mine).
“Joseph Smith, as mayor, ordered the city marshal, John Greene,
to destroy the press, scatter the type, and burn any remaining
newspapers. The order was carried out within hours. The city
council acted legally to abate a public nuisance, although the legal
opinion of the time allowed only the destruction of the published
issues of the offending paper. The demolition of the press was a
violation of property rights” (Church History in the Fulness of Times:
Religion 341-43, 2003, p. 275).
“While Joseph Smith lived only thirty-eight and a half years, his accomplishments
in the service of mankind are incalculable. In addition
to translating the Book of Mormon, he received hundreds
of revelations, many of which are published in the Doctrine and
Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. He unfolded eternal principles
in a legacy of letters, sermons, poetry, and other inspired
writings that fills volumes. He established the restored Church of
Jesus Christ on the earth, founded a city, and superintended the
building of two temples. He introduced vicarious ordinance work
for the dead and restored temple ordinances by which worthy
families could be sealed by the priesthood for eternity. He ran for
the presidency of the United States, served as a judge, mayor of
Nauvoo, and lieutenant general of the Nauvoo Legion” (Church
History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341-43, 2003, p. 284).
“For your testimony of the restored gospel to be complete, it must
include a testimony of Joseph Smith’s divine mission. The truthfulness
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on
the truthfulness of the First Vision and the other revelations the
Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference,
2004, p. 90).
“I heard Joseph Smith say that in the year that Jesus made his second
appearance there would be no rainbow” (History of the Life of
Oliver B. Huntington: Written by Himself, 1878-1900, typed copy, p. 8).
“The Book of Mormon preserves a prophecy of Joseph of Egypt (2
Ne. 3:5-21) wherein the Lord promised Joseph that ‘a choice seer
will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins…[to bring] them to the
knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers’ (2
Ne. 3:7)… The prophecy states that the seer ‘shall be called after
me [Joseph]; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he
shall be like unto me’ (2 Ne. 3:15). For Latter-day Saints, this seer
is Joseph Smith” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2:707. Ellipses and
brackets in original).
“If Joseph Smith is what he professed to be: A true Prophet of
God, no one can reject his testimony without being condemned,
while on the other hand, if he was an impostor, or a false prophet,
we can reject him without fear of Divine punishment, and the condemnation
will rest upon the man who assumes to speak in the
name of the Lord presumptuously” (LDS Historian Andrew Jenson,
January 16, 1891, Collected Discourses, 2:149-150).
“Joseph, like many of those of old whom God had chosen, fell
into error; and why should we want to follow any man into error?
Should we put our trust in an arm of flesh? Nay, verily!” (David
Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 25).
“In thirty nations are men and women who look upon [Joseph
Smith] as a greater leader than Moses and a greater prophet
than Isaiah” (John Henry Evans, Joseph Smith, An American Prophet
(1933), p. vi. See also Church News, June 27, 1998, p. 16).
“In 1988, Ted Cannon, then director of the Mormon Visitor Centers
at Carthage and Nauvoo, told reporter Doug Schorpp that
Carthage ‘…holds the same significance…as Calvary holds for
Christians all over the world’” (Journal Star, Peoria, IL, Sunday,
June 26, 1988, D3. Ellipses in original).
“In speaking of the importance of Joseph Smith, President
Brigham Young explained that: ‘…no man or woman in this dispensation
will ever enter into the celestial kingdom without the
consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was
taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every
man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior,
as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and
Christ are….’ Joseph Smith stands as a spiritual father to this dispensation,
and, under Christ, is the means of blessing the people
of this age” (BYU Professor Emeritus Robert L. Millet, Magnifying
Priesthood Power, 1989, p. 132. Citing Brigham Young, October 9,
1859, Journal of Discourses 7:289. Ellipses in original).
“As suggested earlier, the life of Joseph Smith was in some degree
patterned after that of his Master, Jesus Christ. That pattern holds
true even when extended to its tragic conclusion. Like his Master,
Joseph shed his blood in order that the final testament, the reestablishment
of the new covenant, might be in full effect” (BYU
Professor Emeritus Robert L. Millet, “Joseph Smith among the
Prophets,” Ensign, June 1994, p. 22).
“Thus to bear witness of Joseph Smith is to bear witness of Jesus
Christ, who sent him, in the same way that a testimony of Christ
also implies clearly a testimony of the Eternal Father, who sent
Him. On the other hand, to deny Joseph Smith outright – to deny
the spiritual impressions which attest to his prophetic assignment
– is to deny the Lord who sent him” (BYU Professor Emeritus Robert
L. Millet, “Joseph Smith among the Prophets,” Ensign, June
1994, p. 20).
“Others knew of the coming of Joseph Smith in the last days and
of the vital role he would play in the winding-up scenes. Joseph of
old (see Ne. 3:7,18), the resurrected Savior to the Nephites (see 3
Ne. 21:9-11), Moroni (see Mormon. 8:14-16. 23-25), and John the
Baptist (see JST, John 1:20-22) all spoke of a great prophet that
was to come” (BYU Professor Emeritus Robert L. Millet, “Joseph
Smith among the Prophets,” Ensign, June 1994, p. 19).
“But be it remembered that the God of heaven has called and
approved Joseph Smith; those who attempt to mar his name and
image of the Prophet of the Restoration will eventually answer to
God for their actions” (BYU Professor Robert L. Millet, “Joseph
Smith among the Prophets,” Ensign, June 1994, p. 23).
“As we again commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas
season, let us also remember the birth of Joseph Smith on the
23rd of December. Let us continue to testify of his special mission
in translating the words of the prophet Mormon and his role in
the restoration of the gospel in this, the dispensation of the fullness
of times. Both Mormon and the Prophet Joseph excelled in
their youth and accomplished mighty works. We, the recipients of
their efforts, are blessed eternally because of them” (“Preserved
for our day,” Church News, December 2, 2000, p. 16).
“Few Mormons today can grasp the polarizing charisma of their
founding prophet. Some may feel uncomfortable when confront-
ed with the full scope of Joseph Smith’s activities as youthful mystic,
treasure-seeker, visionary, a loving husband who deceived his
wife regarding about forty of his polygamous marriages, a man for
whom friendship and loyalty meant everything but who provoked
disaffection by ‘testing’ the loyalty of his devoted associates, an anti-Mason
who became a Master Mason, church president who physically
assaulted both Mormons and non-Mormons for insulting him,
a devoted father who loved to care for his own children and those
of others, temperance leader and social drinker, Bible revisionist
and esoteric philosopher, city planner, pacifist and commander-in-chief,
student of Hebrew and Egyptology, bank president, jail
escapee, healer, land speculator, mayor, judge and fugitive from
justice, guarantor of religious freedom but limiter of freedom of
speech and press, preacher and street-wrestler, polygamist and advocate
of women’s rights, husband of other men’s wives, a declared
bankrupt who was the trustee-in-trust of church finances, political
horse-trader, U.S. presidential candidate, abolitionist, theocratic
king, inciter to riot, and unwilling martyr” (D. Michael Quinn, The
Mormon Hierarchy – Origins of Power, pp. 261-262).
“He studied Hebrew and Egyptian but never claimed fluency in
ancient languages. Even the Book of Mormon was translated by
the ‘gift and power of God’ rather than through any prior knowledge
of ancient language. As Orson Pratt later recalled, ‘I saw him
translating, by inspiration, the Old and New Testaments, and the
inspired book of Abraham from Egyptian papyrus.’ When applied
by Mormons to Joseph Smith, the term translator thus has a special
meaning” (James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the
Latter-day Saints, 1992, p. 77-78, Italics in original).
“No man in earth’s history has been responsible for restoring
more truth than the Prophet Joseph Smith, and thus we can suppose
that no man in earth’s history will have more evil spoken
of him” (BYU Professor Emeritus Joseph Fielding McConkie, Answers:
Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions, p. 53).
“If it had not been for Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the perfect
knowledge of Christ would not be had in the world in this day. If
it had not been for him and his mission there would be no legal
administrators now on earth to administer in the ordinances of
salvation. If he had not come the Church of Jesus Christ with all
its saving powers and graces would not again be set up on earth”
(What the Mormons Think of Christ, pamphlet published by the LDS
Church, p. 46).
“Latter-day Saints hold that Malachi’s prophecy [4:5-6] was fulfilled
when, on April 3 1836, Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland (OH) Temple, in company with
Moses and others, to restore the keys of the ‘gathering of Israel’”
(“‘Elijah’ Oratorio wins enthusiastic audience response,” Church
News, October 23, 2004, p. 5. Brackets mine).
“Bushman observed in an interview that the hostility Smith suffered
in his lifetime is hardly surprising, given that his theological
views were alien, even abhorrent, to most Christians. For example,
Smith’s position on God the Father ‘is incredibly heretical’ by orthodox
Christian standards, Bushman said. Smith said that matter
is eternal, so ‘God is the master of the universe, not the creator,’
Bushman said, and humans ‘are all gods in embryo’” (Richard
Ostling quoting Mormon historian Richard L. Bushman, “Smith
Bicentennial Renewing Debate Over Mormon Founder,” December
19, 2004, The Boston Globe, http://articles.boston.com/2004-
Retrieved November 15, 2008).
“Yet, it is unlikely there will ever be consensus on Joseph Smith’s
character or his achievements. The multiplication of scholarly
studies and the discovery of new sources have only heightened the
controversies surrounding his life” (Richard L. Bushman, Rough
Stone Rolling, p.ix).
“Joseph Smith is for me a window to Christ, the clearest one I‘ve
ever found” (BYU Professor Truman Madsen, “Joseph Smith Provides
Window to Christ,” Church News, February 5, 2005, p. 4).
“During his short life, Joseph was frequently harassed by false legal
charges but had always managed to prevail. This occasion was
different. With a prophet’s gift, he foretold his own death, saying,
‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a
summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards
God, and towards all men. I SHALL YET DIE INNOCENT, AND
IT SHALL YET BE SAID OF ME — HE WAS MURDERED IN
COLD BLOOD’ (Doctrine and Covenants 135:4). Joseph’s utterances
were often graced with scriptural allusions. In this case, the
reference was a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53:7, ‘He is brought
as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is
dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ Like biblical prophets and
apostles, Joseph emulated the Lord Jesus Christ in sealing his testimony
with his blood” (“Brother Joseph,” Church News, June 18,
2005, p. 16).
“‘If one cannot square with Prophet Joseph, we have nothing as
a church,’ said Elder Donald Staheli, President Gordon Hinckley’s
liaison to Nauvoo. ‘If Prophet Joseph and his mission are
true, then the church has everything. If it’s not true, we become a
fraud’” (“Mormons revisit sacred place,” Chicago Tribune, July 29,
“Joseph of old prophesied of a great seer in the latter days whose
‘name shall be called after me’ (2 Ne. 3:15). He will ‘be called Joseph;
and it shall be after the name of his father’ (JST, Gen. 50:33).
That seer was Joseph Smith, Jr., referred to by a fellow prophet as
a ‘pure Ephraimite.’ He was called to establish the Lord’s work
in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. Like our common
great ancestor, he too was foreordained to be a ‘savior’ to Israel”
(George A. Horton, Jr., “Joseph: A Legacy of Greatness,” Kent P.
Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Volume Three:
The Old Testament – Genesis to 2 Samuel, p. 90).
“The doctrine my father taught me was that the measure of a
man’s spirituality was to be found in his loyalty to Joseph Smith
and the revelations given through him” (BYU Professor Emeritus
Joseph Fielding McConkie, “From Father to Son: Joseph F. McConkie
on Gospel Teachings,” http://www.meridianmagazine.com/
articles/050503father.html. Retrieved November 15, 2008).
“And certainly, we are aware of the great roll that the Prophet
of the Restoration, Joseph Smith, fulfilled in the bringing to the
world a greater understanding and knowledge of the Savior. Since
the Prophet’s birth is commemorated Dec. 23, it often receives little
attention. But what a happy circumstance of timing: the greatest
advocate of the Savior known to this dispensation was born at
Sharon, VT., within 48 hours of that day in 1805 that Christendom
observed the birth of Jesus Christ” (“Advocate of the Savior,”
Church News, December 20, 2003, p. 16).
“He restored to the earth a correct understanding of the nature of
Deity and the gospel of Christ, correcting errors that had become
embedded in the consciousness of mankind through centuries of
apostasy and the resulting corruption of doctrine” (R. Scott Lloyd,
“Like and Ministry of the Prophet,” Church News, December 22,
2007, p. 10).
“Joseph and Hyrum Smith were gentlemen from boyhood, even
when life was not gentle. And when heaven’s power was bestowed,
they became ‘officers’ as well. Yet, the gentleman trait only deepened
under the impress of God’s spirit. It was not merely a public
behavior they tried to display. It was built in. For example, they
were gentlemen as they entered their final residence—Carthage
Jail. They continued that way as the dreary confinement wore on,
despite the bizarre refusal of local authorities to protect and intervene.
The seasoned combination of civility with certainty—grace
with truth—did not break down as hostile outbursts grew louder
in the streets. The gentleman trait was steady as screaming enemies
poured into the building and up the stairs, and as the rest
of the mob chanted wildly outside their window. Then the unbroken
thunder of gunfire began. Their chamber was suddenly filled
with a hailstorm of lead, shattering glass and exploding wood and
plaster. Yet, they who had been continual gentlemen—in Palmyra,
Kirtland, Missouri and Nauvoo—were gentlemen still in their last
acts and dying words. Of course, the ultimate Gentle Men are the
divine Father and Son. Witnesses testify that they are ‘full of grace
and truth’—two sides to the divine nature: the officer-like, steady
adherence to truth, blended with the unvarying, gentleman’s
readiness to show grace. In their harshest moments, our gentle
brothers of Carthage Jail managed largely to imitate the Gentle
Men of heaven. In a much higher setting, Joseph and Hyrum continue
as pilot and copilot of a mighty work. They continue to be
gentlemen as the stone rolls forth to fill the earth” (Columnist
Wayne Brickey, “Joseph and Hyrum lived and died as true gentlemen,”
Mormon Times, November 14, 2009, p. 4).
“There has never been a man on the face of the earth that had
greater faith in the Bible than the Prophet Joseph Smith, and save
Jesus only there has never been a man who knew more about it.
A library containing everything the world knows about the book
would not rival his understanding. It is one thing to read the book
and quite another to be instructed by its authors. Who among the
world’s scholars can boast of having stood face to face with Adam,
Noah, a messenger from Abraham’s dispensation, Moses, Elijah,
John the son of Zacharias, Peter, James, and John? While religious
leaders were claiming the heavens to be sealed to them, Joseph
Smith was being personally tutored by these ancient prophets and
had their hands laid upon his head that they might bless him and
confer upon him the power, keys, and authority they held” (Joseph
Fielding McConkie, Gospel Symbolism, p. 236).
“Joseph Smith spoke as one having authority. He was a living Bible,
and in restoring the Book of Mormon and giving us the revelations
in the Doctrine and Covenants he has done more to enhance the
world’s understanding of the Bible than any man who ever lived in
it” (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Gospel Symbolism , p. 236).
“Although the Prophet recalls, in his 1838 account of the First Vision,
that ‘it had never entered into my heart that all [churches]
were wrong” (JS-H 1:18), his prior autobiographical sketch, written
in 1832, states that, as early as 1818, he had concluded that all
‘had apostatized from the true and liveing faith and there was no
society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ
as recorded in the new testament.’ Given his family and environmental
influences, it is little wonder that Joseph had essentially
already rejected the Christian denominations of his day before going
into the grove of trees near his home to pray for guidance”
(BYU Professor Charles R. Harrell, ‘This is my Doctrine’: The Development
of Mormon Theology, p. 41. Brackets in original).
“There are no prophecies in the New Testament that can reasonably
be construed as direct references to Joseph Smith. The
Prophet did, however, alter Matthew 24:14 to provide such a reference.
The KJV reads, ‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the word for a witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come’ (emphasis mine). In Nauvoo, Joseph stated
that this passage should read: ‘the Lord in the last days would
commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people.’
This change from ‘for’ to ‘to’ alters the sense of the passage from
the gospel being preached as a witness, to the gospel being restored
to a witness. Notably, the Prophet had earlier approved the
KJV rendering, which is preserved this way in the Pearl of Great
Price (JS-M 1:31). With two different versions and meanings of the
same passage, Latter-day Saints must determine whether it is more
appropriate to use the earlier canonized meaning of this verse or
the meaning later given by the Prophet” (BYU Professor Charles
R. Harrell, ‘This is my Doctrine’: The Development of Mormon Theology,
p. 56. Italics in original).
“Joseph made other acquaintances in his early life that presaged
the plural marriages he would consummate in the 1840s. His relationships
in Ohio with various families and their daughters—some
quite youthful at the time—allowed him to invite the young women
into his further confidence when they were older. In most cases,
the women were adolescents or in their twenties when he met
them. About ten were pre-teens, others already thirty or above…
He became acquainted there with some twenty-seven of the women
who would later become his mates,…” (George A. Smith, Nauvoo
Polygamy, p. 30. Ellipses mine).
“By the time the Latter-day Saints settled in Illinois, the young
women Joseph once met as pre-teenagers had become old enough
for him to marry” (George A. Smith, Nauvoo Polygamy, p. 51).
“Until decisive DNA testing of possible Smith descendants—
daughters as well as sons—from plural wives can be accomplished,
ascertaining whether Smith fathered children with any of his plural
wives remains hypothetical” (George A. Smith, Nauvoo Polygamy,
“The Book of Mormon contains a prophecy attributed to Joseph
of Egypt declaring that one of his descendants—clearly Joseph
Smith—would be ‘a choice seer’ bringing other descendants ‘to
the knowledge of the covenants’ that God made with their ancestors
(2 Nephi 3:6, 7)” (Richard E. Turley, Jr., Robin S. Jensen, and
Mark Ashurst-McGee, “Joseph the Seer,” Ensign, October 2015,
“Elder [Bruce R.] McConkie believed, that the measure of a person’s
spiritual maturity is found in his or her loyalty to the prophet
Joseph Smith” (BYU Idaho Professor Jayson Kunzler, “Millions
Shall Know Brother Joseph Again,” BYU Idaho Devotional given
October 20, 2015. Brackets mine).
“The devil knows that if he can only destroy the character of the
prophet Joseph Smith in our hearts, then we will be barred from
the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ” (BYU Idaho
Professor Jayson Kunzler, “Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph
Again,” BYU Idaho Devotional given October 20, 2015.)