Love and Gratitude
Joseph Smith Jr.
(25 December 1805–27 June 1844)
"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." (John Taylor, June 1844)
Praise to this man, anointed by God to commune with Him and restore the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. We have its ordinances, its truths, its requirements, and its blessings thanks to him.
The Book of Mormon that he translated is scripture, true as the Bible and containing the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized by Joseph Smith, exists under the authority of the One whose name it bears. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. My life is forever touched for the better because of this great, good man.
He lived for Christ; he died for Christ. His name and sacrifice will be blessed by the Savior's disciples for all time, and the effects of the Restoration will ripple and swell throughout the eternities.
God's work is the salvation of mankind; Joseph Smith's work was to restore the Gospel and the Church that leads to this salvation; our work is to receive those restored saving ordinances for ourselves, live the Gospel they embody, and daily live to help others receive the same gifts.
Indeed, the greatest praise we can give the Prophet Joseph Smith is to emulate his example, to point our lives to Christ and live as witness of the sacred partnership we each hold with our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ fulfilled His partnership; as did Joseph Smith.
Now the torch is ours, the Way paved and clear for us to do the same: to bring God glory through our own salvation and our work on behalf of our fellows. Step by step; line by line; day by day; person by person.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?