Joseph Smith was the founder and first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He formally organized the Church at Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830 with five other people. He presided over the Church until 27 June 1844, when he was martyred. Under his leadership, Church membership grew from six to over 26,000.
Joseph Smith Jr. was born 23 December 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. Born into a poor farming family, he was the fifth child of 11 — nine of whom survived childhood. Because his family could not afford the luxury of public education, Joseph received only three years of formal schooling. Along with his brothers and sisters, he was educated mainly at home from the family Bible.
Joseph Smith married Emma Hale on 18 January 1827. During their 17-year marriage, they were parents to 11 children, two of whom were adopted. Joseph and Emma’s first three children died within hours of their birth. In 1831, they adopted twins, one of which, a boy, died before reaching his first birthday. Over the next 12 years, Emma gave birth to six more sons, four of whom survived infancy — the youngest was born five months after Joseph’s death.
Confused about religion during a time of revival in the state of New York where he lived in 1820, 14-year-old Joseph read a passage in the New Testament and went to the woods to pray. Joseph records that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him. “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head,” he wrote, “above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.” Within that light, he saw two personages — one of whom spoke Joseph’s name, pointed to the other, and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Church members refer to this experience as the “First Vision.” It forever changed Joseph Smith and has become a central tenet of Latter-day Saint belief. It began the work of restoring the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.
Joseph Smith is perhaps best known for his translation of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Church members believe that Joseph was led to a hill near Palmyra, New York, where he received an ancient record from an angel known as Moroni. The record, engraved on gold plates, gave the history of a people who lived on the American continent during the time of Christ. Joseph translated the plates in about 3 months, and the Book of Mormon was first published in New York by E. B. Grandin in 1830.
Although born a farmer, Joseph worked as an editor, entrepreneur and businessman. In the years he led the fledgling Church, Joseph organized an international missionary program and founded what is today one of the largest women’s organizations in the world. He oversaw the building of three cities and directed the construction of two temples — all the while facing intense persecution from local mobs, who eventually drove Church members from all three cities Joseph settled.
Joseph and his older brother Hyrum were shot to death on 27 June 1844 by a mob of 150 to 200 men. They had been imprisoned in an Illinois jail on false charges of riot and treason after surrendering themselves to the law. Joseph was 38; Hyrum was 44. On 28 June, the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were prepared and laid out for the estimated 10,000 mourners to view, and on the following day were buried secretly to avoid further attacks or desecration by mobs.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today numbers more than 14 million. Latter-day Saints revere Joseph Smith as a prophet, just as they revere biblical prophets such as Moses and Isaiah. (See the full article)
Joseph Smith Jr. Quotes
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason there of until all of the events transpire.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none. ― Joseph Smith Jr.
“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“A man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“When God commands, do it! ”― Joseph Smith
Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and at the same time more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect in every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be. ― Joseph Smith Jr.
“We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; and that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Christ is true”― Joseph Smith Jr.
I told them I was but a man, and they must not expect me to be perfect; if they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them; but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities. ― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and to watch over them in tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what pow’r it has over my mind.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“You don’t know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don’t blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself. I never did harm any man since I was born in the world. My voice is always for peace.”― Joseph Smith Jr
“A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”― Joseph Smith
“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”― Joseph Smith
Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of “Mormonism”; [it is designed] to revolutionize and civilize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers. ― Joseph Smith
“The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on this Earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book.”― Joseph Smith
“God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits. (King Follett Discourse) ”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“God judges men according to the use they make of the light which He gives them.”― Joseph Smith
Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization. ‘Father, I pray not for the world, but I pray for them which thou hast given me.’ ‘Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are.’ All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God—he would be a giant or a monster.― Joseph Smith
Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, the East Indies, and other places, the standard of truth has been erected: no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done. ― Joseph Smith
“It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. ”― Joseph Smith, Jr.
“The exaltation and happiness of any community, goes hand in hand with the knowledge possessed by the people, when applied to laudable ends; whereupon we can exclaim like the wise man; righteousness exalteth a nation; for righteousness embraces knowledge and knowledge is power.”― Joseph Smith
“If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves…”If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds the world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible, – I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form – like yourself in all the person, image, and very form as a man.”― Joseph Smith
“Sometimes the Lord brings us low before he can lift us higher.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Never give up an old tried friend, who has waded through all manner of toil, for your sake, and throw him away because fools may tell you he has some faults.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“The important consideration is not how long we can live but how well we can learn the lesson of life, and discharge our duties and obligations to God and to one another.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“We say, that the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“The nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”― Joseph Smith Jr
“Perhaps I am meant to swim in deep waters…. better deep than shallow!”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” ― Joseph Smith Jr., (The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
“Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pits of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.” ― Joseph Smith Jr.
“When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’; at another time He said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.”― Joseph Smith
“When we are accomplishing the good, the greatest opposition comes.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“[God] never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of His law and ordinances.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Kindness is our religion.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”― Joseph Smith, Jr., The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
“By proving contraries, truth is made manifest.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“It is a false idea that the Saints will escape all the judgments, whilst the wicked suffer; for all flesh is subject to suffer and “the righteous shall hardly escape.” …So that is an unhallowed principle to say that such and such have transgressed because they have been preyed upon by disease or death, for all flesh is subject to death; and the Savior has said, “judge not, lest ye be judged.”― Joseph Smith, Jr.
“Whatever happens, the Lord is in it.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“An angel of God never has wings”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“It must be emphasized that as a father, you are always teaching. For good or ill your family learns your ways, your beliefs, your heart, your ideas, your concerns. Your children may or may not choose to follow you, but the example you give is the greatest light you hold before your children, and you are accountable for that light.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Even this nation (the US) will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Patience is heavenly, obedience is noble, forgiveness is merciful, and exaltation is godly; and he that holds out faithful to the end shall in no wise lose his reward. A good man will endure all things to honor Christ.”― Joseph Smith
“God sees the secret springs of human action, and knows the hearts of all living.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“Great blessings await us at this time, and will soon be poured out upon us, if we are faithful in all things, for we are even entitled to greater spiritual blessings than they [the faithful at the time of Christ] were, because they had Christ in person with them, to instruct them in the great plan of salvation. His personal presence we have not, therefore we have need of greater faith.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”― Joseph Smith
“I am like a huge rough stone…and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force…thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almightly.”― Joseph Smith Jr.
“For a man to be great, he must not dwell on small things, though he may enjoy them.”― Joseph Smith Jr.