I cried in seminary.
I was bearing my testimony about Joseph Smith and all he has done to bring back Christ's church to the earth. I told my seminary students that when I get to the other side of the veil I'm going to go looking for Joseph Smith. I can't wait to give him a big, huge hug and thank him, with tears streaming down my spirit cheeks, for all the sacrifices he made for me and my family. I am so excited to see him again!
FHE Idea about Joseph Smith
Song we used: Praise to the Man. I had the young people read the words on a handout while we sang, and mark anything important to them.
Video we used: Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration (13 minutes). My husband LOVES this movie, and used in a deacon lesson recently.
Another awesome video. It's Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" (5 minutes).
Quotes about Joseph Smith's Legacy
I gave these quotes as a handout, inviting my students to read and mark anything important to them and then glueing the handout into their scriptures on D&C 135. Then we discussed our favorites.
John Taylor (D&C 135:3):
"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. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!"
“We do not worship the Prophet. We worship God our Eternal Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of His Church and for the blessing of His people” (“Joseph Smith Jr.—Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,” Ensign, Dec. 2005, 4).
“[The Prophet Joseph Smith] left behind a legacy that enables [millions of] followers today on every continent to proclaim him as a prophet of God. May we, each of us, strive to continue the Prophet Joseph’s vision for this work and to magnify his legacy through our works and testimonies to others, that they may know him as we do and that they may experience the peace and joy of the gospel he restored” (“Brother Joseph,” Church News, Dec. 31, 2005, 4).
President Brigham Young:
“I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet whom the Lord raised up and ordained, and to whom he gave keys and power to build up the Kingdom of God on earth and sustain it” (DBY, 456). … “I can truly say, that I invariably found him to be all that any people could require a true prophet to be, and that a better man could not be, though he had his weaknesses; and what man has ever lived upon this earth who had none?” (Brigham Young to David P. Smith, 1 June 1853, BYP).
In the spring of 1844, Josiah Quincy, former mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, and then president of Harvard University, along with his cousin Charles Francis Adams, son of former United States President John Quincy Adams, visited Nauvoo. They spent a day with the Prophet Joseph Smith. Years later, Josiah Quincy wrote of his experience: “It is by no means improbable that some future text-book, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet” (Figures of the Past: From the Leaves of Old Journals , 376).
Then we took a few minutes to write in our journals about these questions:
- How would your life be different if it weren't for the influence of the Prophet Joseph Smith?
- How has Joseph Smith influenced your connection with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
- What will you do to show your gratitude for what Joseph Smith has given you?
We ended by sharing what we wrote, like an informal testimony meeting.
I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and the infinite blessings he restored for me and my loved ones! I feel sad that so many have turned against him from his day through today. But that just fulfills Angel Moroni's prophesy that Joseph's name would be known for good or evil in all nations.(see Joseph Smith History 1:33). That's exactly what has happened.
I try to always give my kids an invitation to act on what we learn.
So I invited them to do something to receive or strengthen their testimony of Joseph Smith. I think the best way to do this is to study the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Click here for a very doable way to do just that!