77 Descriptions of Joseph Smith


77 Titles/Descriptions of Joseph Smith


     This article came about based on a discovery of sorts for some research I was doing on another article.  Whenever I’ve presented a topic about Mormonism, I’ve made it a rule to only go directly to the source; that being the LDS Church itself.  The Church provides many venues in which to retrieve their information and one of my favorites is the LDS computer program Gospelink®.  In this program the Church has made just about everything they’ve ever written available for the home computer and we’ve used it since 2001. I noticed that in my “favorites folder” I had earmarked a wealth of information about Joseph Smith.  While I haven’t listed all of my findings here, let me assure you there are more than enough here to shock anyone.

     Pastor Elbert Sorrell, an ex-Mormon as well, provided his biblical insight to each of the 77 points we’ve made in LAM’s radio program “Way of the Cross”.  You can download and listen to the Podcasts that originally aired in late February and early March.  Way of the Cross

     As always we want for all Mormons to know that we care deeply for each of them and pray daily for their salvation!  The most remarkable thing about these descriptions of Joseph is how closely they resemble Jesus Christ.  While I know and appreciate that as a Christian we want to emulate our Lord, I am also very aware that as a created “man”, I won’t ever come close.  The Holy Spirit that indwells the believer reminds us of who we are, how to obey, prompts us to pray and serves us in countless other ways.  Because of His presence in us we know that it is blasphemy to compare ourselves in this way to Christ Jesus, the Only Lamb of God, prophesied about from the beginning of time.



1.        Prophet – HC 6:364; “My enemies say that I have been a true prophet. Why, I had rather be a fallen true prophet than a false prophet. When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones.


2.        Priest – D&C 13:1; “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.


3.        Medium – D&C 132:7; “…by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred…


4.         Chosen – DS 1:184; “PROPHETS CHOSEN IN PRE-EXISTENCE. In the far distant past before the foundations of this earth were laid, a grand council was held in heaven. At that council plans were perfected and an organization formed for the government of this earth during its mortal probation. Our Eternal Father, knowing the end from the beginning, chose from among the spirits those to be his rulers and prophets to assist in carrying through his eternal purposes on this earth in relation to the final destiny of men.


5.        Foreordained from foundation of the world – DS 1:184; “Joseph Smith was chosen to stand at the head of the work of the Lord in the last days, and his work was assigned to him through the fore-knowledge of our Eternal Father in the eternities before he was born. He came in the spirit of Elias to prepare the way for the coming of our Lord. No prophet since the days of Adam, save, of course, our Redeemer, has been given a greater mission.


6.       Martyr – HC 6:617-619; “The Assault on the Jail… In the meantime Joseph, Hyrum, and Elder Taylor had their coats off. Joseph sprang to his coat for his six-shooter, Hyrum for his single barrel, Taylor for Markham’s large hickory cane, and Dr. Richards for Taylor’s cane. All sprang against the door, the balls whistled up the stairway, and in an instant one came through the door.  Joseph Smith, John Taylor and Dr. Richards sprang to the left of the door, and tried to knock aside the guns of the ruffians.  Death of Hyrum Smith.  Hyrum was retreating back in front of the door and snapped his pistol, when a ball struck him in the left side of his nose, and he fell on his back on the floor saying, “I am a dead man!” As he fell on the floor another ball from the outside entered his left side, and passed through his body with such force that it completely broke to pieces the watch he wore in his vest pocket, and at the same instant another ball from the door grazed his breast, and entered his head by the throat; subsequently a fourth ball entered his left leg.


7.        A shower of balls was pouring through all parts of the room, many of which lodged in the ceiling just above the head of Hyrum.  The “Handsome Fight” of Joseph Smith and John Taylor.  Joseph reached round the door casing, and discharged his six shooter into the passage, some barrels missing fire. Continual discharges of musketry came into the room. Elder Taylor continued parrying the guns until they had got them about half their length into the room, when he found that resistance was vain, and he attempted to jump out of the window, where a ball fired from within struck him on his left thigh, hitting the bone, and passing through to within half an inch of the other side. He fell on the window sill, when a ball fired from the outside struck his watch in his vest pocket, and threw him back into the room.  Taylor Wounded and Helpless.  After he fell into the room he was hit by two more balls, one of them injuring his left wrist considerably, and the other entering at the side of the bone just below the left knee. He rolled under the bed, which was at the right of the window in the south-east corner of the room.  While he lay under the bed he was fired at several times from the stairway; one ball struck him on the left hip, which tore the flesh in a shocking manner, and large quantities of blood were scattered upon the wall and floor.  When Hyrum fell, Joseph exclaimed, “Oh dear, brother Hyrum!” and opening the door a few inches he discharged his six shooter in the stairway (as stated before), two or three barrels of which missed fire.  The Death of the Prophet.   Joseph, seeing there was no safety in the room, and no doubt thinking that it would save the lives of his brethren in the room if he could get out, turned calmly from the door, dropped his pistol on the floor and sprang into the window when two balls pierced him from the door, and one entered his right breast from without, and he fell outward into the hands of his murderers, exclaiming. “O Lord, my God! “


8.        “Choice Seer” – Joseph Smith, The Choice Seer, Epilogue #10; “As the man who stands at the head of the dispensation of the fulness of times, Joseph Smith is the preeminent prophetic witness of Christ and the source through which we receive every saving principle and the attendant authority to perform every saving ordinance. To him the Lord said: “I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time. And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.” (D&C 132:45–46.)


9.        Joseph was a general – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 7; “Yet this man became mayor of the biggest town in Illinois and the state’s most prominent citizen, the commander of the largest body of trained soldiers in the nation outside the Federal army, the founder of cities and a university, and aspired to become President of the United States.


10.     Mayor – ibid; “Yet this man became mayor of the biggest town in Illinois…


11.     God to all – TPJS, pg. 363; “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. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him. (April 8, 1844.) —DHC 6:318-320.


12.     Meek and lowly – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 30-31; HC 5:218; “Some of the company thought I was not a very meek Prophet; so I told them: “I am meek and lowly in heart,” and will personify Jesus for a moment, to illustrate the principle, and cried out with a loud voice, “Woe unto you, ye doctors; woe unto you, ye lawyers; woe unto you, ye scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites!” &c. But you cannot find the place where I ever went that I found fault with their food, their drink, their house, their lodgings; no, never; and this is what is meant by the meekness and lowliness of Jesus.


13.     Related to Jesus – CR, April 1929, pg. 124-125; Great Are the Words of Isaiah, pg. 71; “Isaiah 11:1 – The interpretation of this passage has been given by Joseph Smith in D&C 113:1-4. The stem of Jesse is Christ. The book of Revelation also identifies Jesus as such (see Rev. 5:5;  22:16). The rod is “a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim” (D&C 113:4). That the servant is Joseph Smith himself seems evident. President Brigham Young taught that Joseph was a “pure Ephraimite,” and this was confirmed by President Joseph Fielding Smith (see DS, 3:253-54, for both statements). His being a pure Ephraimite does not necessarily mean he had only the blood of Ephraim; it may mean he had some of the pure blood of Ephraim in his veins. This is also evidenced by the fact that his father was the Patriarch to the Church, which office belongs to “the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham” (TPJS, p. 151). Joseph Smith would likely have had the blood of other tribes in his veins as well, since Israel lived among the Gentiles for hundreds of years. Certainly Joseph Smith had “much power” laid upon him, as D&C 113:4 states. All this fits well with the angel Moroni’s declaration to Joseph Smith that the eleventh chapter of Isaiah was about to be fulfilled (see JS-H 1:40).


14.     Not always a prophet – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 178; HC 5:265; “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 was a prophet only when he was acting as such. (HC 5:265.)


15.     Voice of one crying in the wilderness – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 200; “Why do not my enemies strike a blow at the doctrine? They cannot do it: it is truth, and I defy all men to upset it. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Repent ye of your sins and prepare the way for the coming of the Son of Man; for the kingdom of God has come unto you, and henceforth the ax is laid unto the root of the tree; and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, God Almighty (and not Joe Smith) shall hew it down and cast it into the fire.” (HC 6:273-74.)


16.     Controls minds of believers – TPJS, pg. 341; “President Joseph Smith again arose and said—In relation to the power over the minds of mankind which I hold, I would say, It is in consequence of the power of truth in the doctrines which I have been an instrument in the hands of God of presenting unto them, and not because of any compulsion on my part.


17.     Continues to lead from heaven – Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 101; “The Prophet Joseph Smith was not only “one of the noble and great ones,” but he gave and continues to give attention to important matters here on the earth even today from the realms above. For in the eyes of the Lord, the God of this world under the Father, it is all one great eternal program in which the Prophet Joseph plays an important role, all through the eternal priesthood and authority of God. (God, Family, Country, pp. 30-31.)


18.     Knows more than the entire world put together – TPJS, pg. 350; “Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost; they account it blasphemy in any one to contradict their idea. If you tell them that God made the world out of something, they will call you a fool. But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and He is within me, and comprehends more than all the world: and I will associate myself with Him.


19.     A complete sacrifice – Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man, pg. xxxiv-xxxv; “When a man gives his life for the cause he has advocated, he meets the highest test of his honesty and sincerity that his own or any future generation can in fairness ask. When he dies for the testimony he has borne, all malicious tongues should ever after be silent, and all voices hushed in reverence before a sacrifice so complete. (Dalby)


20.     Shed his blood for truth – Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man, pg. xxxiv; “For the truths that will be taught here, he gave his life. For the testimonies that will be spoken here, he shed his blood. I like these words spoken by one who admired and loved him.


21.    Holds endless priesthood – LDS Hymn #27 & Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man, pg. 3; “Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.  Ever and ever the keys he will hold.  Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.  (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns #27)


22.     Smith as a teacher – Joseph Smith the Educator, pg. 1; “Joseph Smith held that man can obtain truth through spiritual and intellectual processes. He should utilize both methods in his quest for understanding. In evaluating the two methods, he said: “The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teachings.”


23.     His name will never perish – Gospel Doctrine, pg. 479; “God lives, and Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God—living, not dead; for his name will never perish.


24.     Intelligence is superior – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 4-5; “…as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the heavens, and comprehend all worlds…his intelligence universal, and his language abounding in original eloquence peculiar to himself—not polished—not studied—not smoothed and softened by education and refined by art; but flowing forth in its own native simplicity, and profusely abounding in variety of subject and manner…I have known him when chained and surrounded with armed murderers and assassins who were heaping upon him every possible insult and abuse, rise up in the majesty of a son of God and rebuke them, in the name of Jesus Christ, till they quailed before him, dropped their weapons, and, on their knees, begged his pardon, and ceased their abuse…


25.     Has done more than anyone – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 22-23; “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized April 6th, 1830. Joseph Smith was martyred in Carthage, Illinois, on the 27th of June, 1844—14 years after the organization of the Church. What did he accomplish in these 14 years? He opened up communication with the heavens in his youth. He brought forth the Book of Mormon, which contains the fullness of the Gospel; and the revelations contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; restored the holy Priesthood unto man; established and organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an organization which has no parallel in all the world, and which all the cunning and wisdom of men for ages has failed to discover or produce and never could have done. He founded colonies in the States of New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, and pointed the way for the gathering of the Saints into the Rocky Mountains; sent the Gospel into Europe and to the islands of the sea; founded the town of Kirtland, Ohio, and there built a temple that cost about a quarter of a million dollars; he founded the city of Nauvoo in the midst of persecution; gathered into Nauvoo and vicinity some 20,000 people, and commenced the building of the temple there, which when completed cost one million dollars; . . . In a word, he did more in from 14 to 20 years for the salvation of man than any other man save Jesus only, that ever lived. (JD 24:14-15.)


26.     As great as Adam and Abraham – MD, pg. 395; “In the providences of Almighty God, and according to the plan before ordained in the councils of eternity, Joseph Smith, Jr., was born into mortality, December 23, 1805. As a pre-existent spirit he had ranked with Adam and Abraham; he was one of the noble and great ones of whom Abraham wrote (Abra. 3:22-23), a truth which President Joseph F. Smith also saw in vision. (Gospel Doctrine, 4th ed., p. 601.) In that prior existence, by diligence and obedience, he gained the spiritual stature and capacity which entitled him to be foreordained to stand as the head of the greatest of all gospel dispensations. (Teachings, p. 365.)


27.     Smith’s work is eternal – Gospel Doctrine, pg. 481; “The work in which Joseph Smith was engaged was not confined to this life alone, but it pertains as well to the life to come, and to the life that has been. In other words, it relates to those who have lived upon the earth, to those who are living and to those who shall come after us. It is not something which relates to man only while he tabernacles in the flesh, but to the whole human family from eternity to eternity.


28.     Rough rolling stone – HC 5:401; “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty, who will give me dominion over all and every one of them, when their refuge of lies shall fail, and their hiding place shall be destroyed, while these smooth-polished stones with which I come in contact become marred.


29.     Noble and great spirit like Jeremiah – MWW, pg. 278; “The spirit of Joseph Smith, like Jeremiah, was also one of the “noble and great” ones. The Lord appointed unto him his work and reserved him to come forth in this dispensation to be a prophet and seer unto the nations. That is why the Lord called Joseph Smith while yet a boy, because he knew Joseph and knew of his integrity and greatness.


30.     Joseph and God are partners – Handbook of the Restoration, pg. 50; “There is only one explanation which is tenable. God chose this man. He spoke through him. The virgin, unsophisticated mind of the youth was a fertile field for the planting of spiritual seeds. They grew and matured into a perfect faith that brought Joseph into partnership with God. When that came to be, there was nothing unattainable, for as we are told of old, one man and God are a majority.


31.     Bears infirmities of others – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 28; “Notwithstanding my weaknesses, I am under the necessity of bearing the infirmities of others, who when they get into difficulty, hang on to me tenaciously to get them out, and wish me to cover their faults. (HC 5:516.)


32.     Brings purpose to life – Handbook of the Restoration, pg. 50-51; “It would seem scarcely necessary to point out the obvious conclusion and purpose of this recital. If any man has received in his heart the witness of the divine truth embraced in the contributions of the Prophet Joseph, I charge him to be true,-true to his testimony, true to the Prophet, the founder, true to the cause and its duly commissioned leaders, true to the covenants he has made in holy places, and true to the brotherhood of man in the service that he renders. If any man has not received this witness, I appeal for his thoughtful, prayerful, sympathetic consideration. I offer to him, out of the experiences of my life, a humble but certain assurance that if he will receive and apply the teachings of Joseph Smith he will be made happy. Doubt and uncertainty will leave him. Glorious purpose will come into life. Family ties will be sweeter. Friendships will be dearer. Service will be nobler, and the peace of Christ will be his portion. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


33.     Keeps Church together – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 31; “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. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. (HC 6:408-9.)


34.     Humble as a child – Joseph Smith the Prophet, pg. 28; “Eliza R. Snow, who had heard of the Prophet and some very ugly things in that connection, happened to be at home one day when the Prophet called and visited with her family. “In the winter of 1830 and ’31, Joseph Smith called at my father’s,” she wrote of this visit, “and as he sat warming himself, I scrutinized his face as closely as I could without attracting his attention, and decided that his was an honest face.” Later, after joining the Church, she was often in his home as a kind of babysitter and help for a time in Kirtland. She first admired him in his public ministry, saw him as a prophet, but not until she saw him in his own home, on his knees in prayer, and in his relationship with his children did her whole heart go out to him in admiration. “He was,” she said, “as humble as a little child.”


35.     Heavens rested while Joseph left to mature – Life of Joseph the Prophet, pg. 6; “The great work of opening the dispensation thus accomplished by the august administration of the Father and Son, the heavens rested for a season. There was divine wisdom in this. Joseph was too young at that time to be sent forth with the wondrous proclamation to all nations, kindreds and tongues, that God had called him to be the prophet of a new civilization; too young, at fourteen, to seek out from the multitude strong apostolic men, saying unto them, “Leave your nets and follow me.”


36.     Athletic – Lord Needed a Prophet, pg. 4; “At six feet tall and weighing about two hundred pounds, the Prophet Joseph had an athletic build. He enjoyed hard work and energetic play. Joseph frequently joined the young boys in Nauvoo in outdoor games. He could hit a ball with a bat so great a distance that the other players would call to the boy who was going for the ball to take his dinner while he was at it. Joseph would laugh and go on with the game.


37.     Genius with no education – Divine Authority or the Question, Was Joseph Smith Sent of God?, pg. 4; “How came Mr. Smith, if a deceiver, to think of all this? Did Martin Luther, Wesley, Whitfield, Swedenborg, or Irving think of this? Whence his superior intellect, his depth of understanding, his extensive foresight, that he should so far surpass all former impostors for 1700 years? John testifies that when the everlasting gospel is restored to the earth it shall be by an angel. Mr. Smith testifies that it was restored by an angel, and in no other way. This is another presumptive evidence that he was sent of God.


38.     Mason – EM, pg. 1018; “For a time Nauvoo was a community almost unto itself. Its singular status, the inclusive character of its life patterns, and the extension of the religious vision into all aspects of culture were stabilized by a strong self-sufficient charter and even a militia, the Nauvoo Legion. Many visitors came to view the new city, and efforts to promote cultural and intellectual exchange increased. Joseph Smith and about 1,500 other Church members joined the Masonic lodges in Nauvoo and nearby Keokuk and Montrose to promote fraternal relations (see Freemasonry in Nauvoo). However, once again the old settlers outside the Church clashed with the LDS settlers, and hostilities grew.


39.     Joseph’s consent needed to enter heaven – JD 7:289-290; “I will now tell you something that ought to comfort every man and woman on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith, junior, will again be on this earth dictating plans and calling forth his brethren to be baptized for the very characters who wish this was not so, in order to bring them into a kingdom to enjoy, perhaps, the presence of angels or the spirits of good men, if they cannot endure the presence of the Father and the Son; and he will never cease his operations, under the directions of the Son of God, until the last ones of the children of men are saved that can be, from Adam till now.


40.     People studied at the feet of Joseph – Joseph Smith, The Choice Seer, Preface #3; “In assessing the marvelous impact of the Choice Seer’s work on this dispensation, we will turn first and foremost to the doctrinal teachings of Joseph Smith as set forth in his sermons, letters, revelations, translations, and narrations. In addition, we will rely occasionally on the clarifications and expansions of those who knew Brother Joseph firsthand and studied at his feet, as well as those apostolic and prophetic successors to whom is given the divine mandate to build on the doctrinal foundation he laid.


41.     Joseph holds keys until Christ’s return – D&C 112:15; “Exalt not yourselves; rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward, shall not be taken from him till I come.


42.     Joseph & martyr syndrome – Joseph Smith the Prophet, pg. 63; “The Prophet had to endure and not know why or when. Along the way he had premonitions. “May I borrow that book?” he asked at the home of Edward L. Stevenson, in Pontiac, Michigan, in the early 1830s. The book was titled Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. When he returned it to Mother Stevenson in Missouri, he said, “I have prayed about those old martyrs.” These were men and women who had literally given their blood and their lives for the testimony of Jesus. They were people of various faiths and backgrounds, but allegiance to their conviction meant death, usually in horrible forms. When he returned the book, he said: “I have, by the aid of the Urim and Thummim [perhaps the seer stone], seen those martyrs. They were honest, devoted followers of Christ, according to the light they possessed, and they will be saved.” Why would he have been preoccupied with that? Perhaps he anticipated that he would be numbered among them.


43.     A lamb to slaughter – TPJS, pg. 379; “Henry G. Sherwood went up to Joseph and said, “Brother Joseph, shall I return to Nauvoo and regulate about getting the arms and get the receipts for them?” Joseph inquired if he was under arrest, or expected to be arrested. Sherwood answered “No,” when Joseph directed him to return ahead of the company, gather the arms and do as well as he could in all things. Joseph then said to the company who were with him, “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 toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me, ‘He was murdered in cold blood!'” He then said to Father Sherwood, “Go, and God bless you.” Sherwood then rode as swiftly as he could to Nauvoo. (June 24, 1844.) —DHC 6:554-555.


44.     Joseph had more followers than Jesus – JD 14:202-203; “…this personage whom we call the Savior of the world, there were not, strange to say, as many persons believed on him as have believed on Joseph Smith in the latter days. Not that Joseph was the Savior, but he was a prophet.


45.     Man of Sorrows – Joseph Smith, The Choice Seer, Prologue: Joseph Smith Among the Prophets; “Like his Master, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith was called upon to endure a life of loneliness. It was a life characterized not only by persecution and suspicion but also by an isolation known only to those who walk in the glorious light of noonday sun, who know with an absolute certainty and yet must minister among others who seem content to walk and talk in the fading rays of dusk, those who struggle with faith, those who doubt, and even those who dare not believe. The farm boy who grew to become a prophet’s prophet was also, to some degree at least, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Mosiah 14:3), one who knew firsthand the costs of Christian discipleship. “God is my friend,” he wrote to his wife, Emma, at a difficult time. “In him I shall find comfort. I have given my life into his hands. I am prepared to go at his call. I desire to be with Christ. I count not my life dear to me, only to do his will.” (The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, p. 239; punctuation modernized.) Such expressions enable us to discern the soul of Joseph Smith, to discover the underlying secret of his success, his humility. But he was the prophet of the Almighty; God knew it, and he knew it.


46.    Had to go Away, but Will Return – JD 13:164-165; “Joseph Smith was what he professed to be, a prophet of God, a seer and revelator. He laid the foundation of this Church and kingdom, and lived long enough to deliver the keys of the kingdom to the Elders of Israel, unto the Twelve Apostles. He spent the last winter of his life, some three or four months, with the Quorum of the Twelve, teaching them. It was not merely a few hours ministering to them the ordinances of the Gospel; but he spent day after day, week after week and month after month, teaching them and a few others the things of the kingdom of God. Said he, during that period, “I now rejoice. I have lived until I have seen this burden, which has rested on my shoulders, rolled on to the shoulders of other men; now the keys of the kingdom are planted on the earth to be taken away no more for ever.” But until he had done this, they remained with him; and had he been taken away they would have had to be restored by messengers out of heaven. But he lived until every key, power and principle of the holy Priesthood was sealed on the Twelve and on President Young, as their President. He told us that he was going away to leave us, going away to rest. Said he, “You have to round up your shoulders to bear up the kingdom. No matter what becomes of me. I have desired to see that Temple built, but I shall not live to see it. You will; you are called upon to bear off this kingdom.” This language was plain enough, but we did not understand it any more than the disciples of Jesus when he told them he was going away, and that if he went not the Comforter would not come. It was just so with Joseph. He said this time after time to the Twelve and to the Female Relief Societies and in his public discourses; but none of us seemed to understand that he was going to seal his testimony with his blood, but so it was. What he said to us and the Church we have had to perform. Joseph Smith was a good man, a prophet of God. His works are before the world; they are before the eyes of the nation; they are before the heavens and the earth. The foundation that he laid we have built upon until the present day; and that foundation no power on earth or in hell will ever be able to remove. That Church and kingdom of God that is planted here in these valleys of the mountains will remain on the earth until the little stone Daniel saw will become a mountain and fill the earth—until the reign of Jesus is supreme and universal.


47.     Smith carries your sin – TPJS, pg. 193; “I charged the Saints not to follow the example of the adversary in accusing the brethren, and said, “If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sin is not sin.”


48.     Smith has natural and constitutional right to be false prophet – HC 6:304; “But meddle not with any man for his religion: all governments ought to permit every man to enjoy his religion unmolested. No man is authorized to take away life in consequence of difference of religion, which all laws and governments ought to tolerate and protect, right or wrong. Every man has a natural, and, in our country, a constitutional right to be a false prophet, as well as a true prophet.


49.     Holds power of Jesus – Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man, pg. 10-11; “It was decreed in the counsels of eternity, long before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he [Joseph Smith] should be the man, in the last dispensation of this world, to bring forth the word of God to the people, and receive the fulness of the keys and power of the Priesthood of the Son of God. The Lord had his eye upon him, and upon his father, and upon his father’s father, and upon their progenitors clear back to Abraham, and from Abraham to the flood, from the flood to Enoch, and from Enoch to Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its fountain to the birth of that man. He was fore-ordained in eternity to preside over this last dispensation. (Journal of Discourses 7:289-90)


50.     Salvation Available because of Smith – MD, pg. 396; “Joseph Smith’s greatness lies in the work that he did, the spiritual capacity he developed, and the witness he bore of the Redeemer. Since the keys of salvation were restored to the Prophet, it is in and through and because of his latter-day mission that the full redemptive power of the Lord has again become available to men. It is because the Lord called Joseph Smith that salvation is again available to mortal men. “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.”


51.     Reverence for Smith’s name advised – Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, pg. 181; “Whenever we speak of the Prophet Joseph Smith … it should be in reverent appreciation of the Lord who called him and whom Joseph served so well. (“‘A Choice Seer,'” p. 113.)


52.     Smith’s odd teachings – By Study and Also by Faith 2:605; “As Nibley puts it, Joseph gave us “a choice between nothing or something—and what a something!” As we ponder that something’s seeming strangeness, we might profitably consider the criteria which the Savior suggested in his own behalf: “The same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (John 5:36); “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (John 5:46); “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). John Taylor—Joseph Smith’s counselor, witness to his martyrdom, and his eventual successor (after Brigham Young) as prophet, seer, and revelator—declared in 1853, “If there is any truth in heaven, earth, or hell, I want to embrace it. I care not what shape it comes in to me, who brings it, or who believes in it, whether it is popular or unpopular.”


53.     Smith brings assurance of salvation – Joseph Smith, The Choice Seer, Prologue: Praise to the Man #4; “Because of Joseph Smith, we know that we are members of the house of Israel and heirs to all the blessings promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph Smith did more than restore a New Testament church. Indeed, the genius of the Restoration is found in the Old Testament. It centers in the covenant God made with father Abraham.


54.     Confessing spirit of Smith is of God – Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 435; “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. 8:176.


55.     Greater than the prophet Isaiah – Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 7; “In thirty nations are men and women who look upon him as a greater leader than Moses and a greater prophet than Isaiah; his disciples now number close to a million [the present figure is over 3.5 million]; and already a granite shaft pierces the sky over the place where he was born, and another is in course of erection over the place where he is credited with having received the inspiration for his Book. (John Henry Evans, op. cit., introduction.)


56.     Root of Jesse – D&C 113:1-6; “Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?  2 Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.  3 What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?  4 Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.  5 What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?  6 Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.


57.     Visits of Jesus, Moses & others – Lord Needed a Prophet, pg. 14; “There in the Kirtland Temple Joseph again saw the Savior as well as the ancient prophets Moses, Elias, and Elijah. Those heavenly messengers strengthened Joseph’s faith, gave him important priesthood authority, and filled him with courage to face the trials that were soon to come.


58.     Jesus’ & Joseph’s visage marred through sacrifices – Answers: Straight forward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions, pg. 125-126; “In a prophetic description of the promised Messiah, Isaiah said “his visage” would be more “marred” than that of any man (Isa. 52:14). Though no mortal man has endured what Christ did in his matchless labor of atonement, the effect of his suffering was not such that it distorted his appearance in a manner to justify this prophecy. Significantly, the resurrected Christ gave a dual meaning to these words by applying them to another servant of the Lord in the last days (see 3 Ne. 20:44). We understand that servant to be Joseph Smith, who died a martyr’s death, though not in a manner to distort his appearance, either. This evidence suggests that the distortion of image spoken of by Isaiah may refer to the manner in which the promised servant and his labors were to be misinterpreted and misperceived. Surely, the image of no one in earth’s history has been as often or as completely distorted as that of Jesus of Nazareth. In like manner, Joseph Smith was promised that his name (image or visage) would be had for both good and evil among all nations and peoples of the earth (see JS~H 1:33JS-H 1:33).


59.     Joseph defies world to refute him – TPJS, pg. 372; “The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me.


60.     Joseph enlarged conception of covenants – The Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 167; “Thus has Joseph enlarged our conceptions of the priesthood, of the covenant, of religion.


61.     Joseph holds authority to speak for God – TPJS, pg. 345; “I will prove that the world is wrong, by showing what God is. I am going to enquire after God; for I want you all to know him, and to be familiar with him; and if I am bringing you to a knowledge of him, all persecutions against me ought to cease. You will then know that I am his servant; for I speak as one having authority.


62.     Helped save the world – Doctrines & Covenants Speaks 2:456; “One of Joseph Smith’s contributions to the salvation of men in this world was the bringing forth of “. . . the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God. . . . ” (D&C 135:3.)


63.     Joseph is Heaven’s Gatekeeper – JD 7:290; “Should not this thought comfort all people? They will, by-and-by, be a thousand times more thankful for such a man as Joseph Smith, junior, than it is possible for them to be for any earthly good whatever. It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption. You will be thankful, every one of you, that Joseph Smith, junior, was ordained to this great calling before the worlds were.


64.     Joseph is greatest fulfillment of the Church – JD 24:14-16; “…Through Joseph Smith, God has revealed many things which were kept hid from the foundation of the world in fulfillment of the Prophets—and at no time since Enoch walked the earth has the Church of God been organized as perfectly as it is to-day—not excepting the dispensation of Jesus and His disciples—or if it was we have no record of it.


65.     Joseph lied?  When? – HC 6:366; “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. Must I, then, be thrown away as a thing of naught?


66.     Joseph is all he claimed to be – DS 1:189; “There is no possibility of his being deceived, and on this issue we are ready to make our stand. I maintain that Joseph Smith was all that he claimed to be. His statements are too positive and his claims too great to admit of deception on his part. No impostor could have accomplished so great and wonderful a work. Had he been such, he would have been detected and exposed, and the plan would have failed and come to naught.


67.     Joseph is Jehovah’s epic – Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 165; “Jehovah’s epic!  There is no other defining that will adequately express the subject and themes grasped by the genius of the Mormon Prophet.


68.     Three questions to ask about Joseph Smith – Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, pg. 181; “Yet another way of testing and appreciating the significance of the ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith is to ask oneself: (1) “What would we know about the holy temples and about the sealing power without the Prophet Joseph Smith?”; (2) “What would we know about the plan of salvation with its different estates without the Prophet Joseph Smith?”; (3) “What would we know about the precious and plain doctrine of premortality of mankind without the Prophet Joseph Smith?” The answer to each question is the same: “Very, very little; certainly not enough.” (“‘A Choice Seer.'”)


69.     Joseph’s vocabulary – Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 362; “It is pretty generally agreed, however, that on the average a fairly well-educated man uses about eight thousand words in daily conversation.  Joseph Smith used only between two thousand and three thousand words in his written publications. This smaller number would be expected from a knowledge of his educational opportunities.  An actual count shows (leaving out all inflected forms of words) the following vocabulary for the Book of Mormon: General Words 2,896;  Persons’ Names 245; Place Names 166; Total 3307.


70.     Thousands thank God for Joseph – Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration, pg. 112; “Consequently, as I have said, Joseph Smith is held in reverence, his name is honored; tens of thousands of people thank God in their heart and from the depths of their souls for the knowledge the Lord has restored to the earth through him, and therefore they speak well of him and bear testimony of his worth. . . .They speak to his praise, to his honor, and they hold his name in honorable remembrance. They revere him and they love him as they love no other man, because they know he was the chosen instrument in the hands of the Almighty of restoring the Gospel of life and salvation unto them.


71.     Witnesses to Joseph’s polygamous relationships – Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 341; “A number of men, who in their lives showed themselves honest, have testified that they actually performed the ceremonies that united Joseph Smith to plural wives. Among these were Joseph B. Noble, Hyrum Smith, James Adams, Newell K. Whitney, Willard Richards, and others. Several of these men lived long after the Prophet’s death and always declared that they officiated in marrying the Prophet to a plural wife, giving place, date, and the witnesses present. 3. Many of the women who were thus sealed to Joseph Smith lived long after his death. They declared that they lived with the Prophet as husband and wives. These women were of unblemished character, gentle and lovely in their lives who spoke with loving respect of their martyr husband. They substantiated in detail the statements of those who performed the ceremonies.


72.     Joseph’s name not in Bible – Answers to Gospel Questions 3:6; “Question: “If Joseph Smith was truly called to be a prophet of God, surely there would be some prophetic references to him in the Bible. Is it possible to point out any ancient predictions showing that he was so called?”  Answer: There are many passages in the Bible pointing to the fact that a prophet would be called in the last days, and that there would be revelations and visions and restoration of the gospel in its fulness. If a person thinks the name of Joseph Smith ought to be found in the Bible spelled out in so many letters, he will search in vain. It seems rather strange that the truth, which is so plainly written showing an apostasy, and a restoration of the gospel in the last days, would be so generally misunderstood.


73.     Loyalty to Joseph brings rewards – Joseph Smith: The Choice Seer, Epilogue #12; “We know that loyalty to Joseph Smith and the Restoration will reap rich rewards for individual members of the Church and will result in miraculous conversions throughout the earth.


74.     Joseph a Restorer & Teacher – Handbook of the Restoration, pg. 25; “Joseph Smith was a restorer of the pure and uncorrupted gospel of Jesus Christ. At no time did he declare that he brought a new message of salvation to the world; his mission was to restore and declare, to expound and enlarge the old truth, which has always been part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was also an interpreter of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The accounts in the Holy Bible are but outlines of the labors and teachings of the Savior; and the commentaries by the apostles, which constitute the latter part of the New Testament, are fragmentary and incomplete.


75.     Joseph’s name known for good and evil – Joseph Smith History 1:33; “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 Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.


76.     Joseph’s omniscience – Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 125; “The holy men of the Lord, such as the beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, who understood the unseen world beyond the veil of mortality, not only had a firm conviction that life is eternal, but had a comprehensive philosophy of the stages of progression that men pass through. Shortly before the Prophet’s death he expounded in a masterful sermon the Mormon philosophy of progressive-eternalism. “As a teacher he reached the climax of his career in this discourse. After it there was but one thing more he could do—seal his testimony with his blood. This he did in less than three months.”

 77.  Joseph’s Idea of Original Sin – Joseph Smith’s Idea of the Gospel, pg. 9; “It is said in a revelation that no less personage than God explained this fact to Adam. After observing that the atonement took care of the legalities of the “original guilt,” God said: “Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.”

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