Lately I've been getting a lot of questions and hate about something especially precious to me.
*My testimony of Joseph Smith.*
If you look at the Mona Lisa long enough with the intent to find imperfections; you will find them. That doesn't take away from the fact that A) It was created by Leonardo Di Vinci, and B) it IS a classic and beautiful work of art.
But we're not just talking about art here, we're talking about some serious allegations, claiming to stem directly from God Himself.
We, as Mormons, believe that Christ was the literal son of God, born on earth with the intent to do 3 things.
1. Teach the fullness of the Gospel to all that would listen.
2. Build an organization (church) that contained the authority to act in God's name.
3. Die for our sins and resurrect.
For those of you that actually believe the Bible, let's address #2 for a second.
11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
There was an actual structure and organization, built of men who were called by Christ Himself.
Now for you Christians . . . Imagine if you lived at the time of Christ. What would you say if someone decided to build a separate church that taught similar things with slight variations? Would you want to join that church or have the fullness of the church that Christ was heading up. No brainer right?
After Christ's resurrection, before He returned to the Father, He told those He called to --- ¶Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 19)
They listened, but unfortunately they were rejected and were killed off . . . Well crap. Did that end Christianity?
No. Not at all. But because those holding God's authority were no longer alive, the ability to receive direct revelation from God was also lost.
There are currently 41,000 different Christian dominations that all read the same book, (the bible) yet believe something at least slightly different from each other.
Which one is right?
Well Joseph Smith in 1820, as a 14 yr old, was just as curious with that same exact question.
Long story short, because of his curiosity, he decided the only one who could tell him which church to join was God Himself. Being taught that God would answer prayers, this young man went to a grove of trees and did just that. Prayed.
In that moment our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him to answer that question.
Their answer . . . None of the churches on the earth, at that time, were the same as the church that Christ organized, nor did they have the same authority. God and Christ went on to explain that they were choosing Joseph to restore that original Church, with the original authority in its fullness.
Now pause. . . . If you are skeptical in any way.
Whether it's polygamy, blacks in the priesthood, women in the priesthood, some rude moron who was a mormon, or your friend who left the church. It doesn't matter. At all. The real question is.
Did what I just say happened, actually happen?
Did God and Jesus Christ appear to a 14yr old kid--- Joseph Smith and ask him to be a prophet; just as he did with a stuttering Moses? A scared Jonah? A inferior David .... and the list goes on.
When I was 22, I heard an old woman (to this day I forget her name) bear her testimony about Joseph's encounter, and I felt the sweetest most powerful peace, as if an angel were in my presence. To confirm that experience I asked God and he verified, and through prayer I know that yes, Joseph Smith was chosen as a prophet.
Don't get caught up with the result of imperfections with leaders or members in the church. That doesn't matter. No one is perfect and the people in Christ's restored church can be idiots, racists, bigots, and overall dumb; just like anyone can.
The restoration of Christ's original church is the largest claim to happen to humanity ever. I encourage you to not take that lightly, and to spend at least a tiny bit of effort asking the only source of absolute truth whether or not Joseph Smith's story is real.