LAST WEEK IN THE MTC.
SAM FLIES OUT NEXT MONDAY SEPT 12 AT 3:30 PM.
HE IS READY TO GO!
I got my flight plans for Madagascar today. I am excited and ready to go even though I cant speak Malagasy very well. I am the travel leader for my district. If someone gets lost or misses their flight it is my fault. Hopefully we all make it there.
Until I am in Madagascar I will not have much to share, so I have just been sharing my spiritual thoughts from the week.
I have been studying and praying about the Joseph Smith story a lot lately. Specifically, why did he do all that he did? If he did not actually see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, then why did he try so hard to start a restored church of Jesus Christ? He did not receive any gain, a higher social status, or money. He actual received the exact opposite. His life was full of one hardship after another because of what he was doing. So why would he keep trying so hard to fulfill this purpose?
Joseph Smith actually had his life threatened unless he would admit to not having seen God and Jesus Christ. He refused to deny it... This is because he could not deny it.
When Joseph Smith was just a young man his family and himself were confused about which church to join. They all taught similar doctrine but were all a little different. One night he was reading in the Bible in James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God". This touched his heart and he decided to do as this scripture directed. He went to a quiet place, knelt down before God, and opened up his heart to him. This is his own account, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me i saw two personages who's brightness and glory defy all description standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me calling me by name saying, this is my beloved son, here him."
The only way a person would go through so much peril, sacrifice, and devotion throughout their whole lives is if this happened to them. Joseph Smith was a latter day prophet. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. When his children lose their way he will not leave them alone to figure it out by themselves. He loves us too much. He provides a path for us to follow. It is up to us to decide whether we are going to follow it or not.
Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That information is the second most important thing we can come to know. The first is the coming and Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ.
All of these things about the life of Joseph Smith should not be the reason someone comes to believe in its truth. A sure testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration only comes through asking God yourself. If you do with a real, sincere, intent to receive an answer, then the feelings of the spirit will make it known unto you.
That is why i believe what Joseph Smith saw and did was real.