Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why I Believe: Evidence Thirty: Joseph Smith and the Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ

101 Reasons Why I Believe Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God

Evidence Thirty: 
Joseph Smith and the Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ.©
(Updated 6 April 2015)

In this issue I propose consideration of two simple statement by modern apostles.  First, Hyrum Mack Smith asks a rhetorical question about Joseph Smith with an implied answer. It is brief, to the point, and powerful. The Spirit bore witness to me that it is true when I read it.  I believe the same can happen to you. Here is what he said:
If Joseph Smith was not inspired, if he was not, indeed, a true prophet, how can we account for the fact that he, though an unlearned youth, not educated or graduated from colleges or seminaries, organized a church that is so far superior in every sense of the term, to any organization yet effected by the learned and the wise? (1)
Second, is an earlier but very similar sentiment from Elder Orson Pratt:
If Joseph Smith were an impostor, whence his superior wisdom?  What power inspired his mind in laying the foundation of a church according to the ancient order?  How could an impostor so far surpass the combined wisdom of seventeen centuries as to originate a system diverse from every other system under heaven, and yet harmonize with the system of Jesus and His apostles in every particular?(2)
Much could be said about the prophet’s organization of the Church,(3) and I may do so on another occasion, but for now I feel like these brief statements can stand on their own, without further comment from me. Read and listen!

Thank God for Joseph Smith!

Let’s think together again, soon.


1.  Hyrum Mack Smith, cited in M. Russell Ballard, Yesterday, Today, and Forever: Timeless Gospel Messages with Insights from His Grandfathers Melvin J. Ballard and Hyrum Mack Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015), p. 5.  Hyrum M. Smith was truly a spiritually gifted apostle of this generation.  He was ordained an apostle at the age of twenty-nine.  He co-wrote the “influential” and authoritative Doctrine and Covenant Commentary.  When he died at age forty-five in 1918, we lost a man with among the most insightful understandings of scripture in the modern Church. He was elder Ballard’s maternal grandfather.

2.  Orson Pratt, "Divine Authority or the Question, Was Joseph Smith Sent of God?" in Orson Pratt's Works on the Doctrines of the Gospel (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1945), p. 5.

3.  I like the following sentiments from my friend Jeffrey Marsh, "Since the death of the original apostles, no person, no committee, no council, and no creed had been able to bring back the original Church with all its doctrines, priesthoods, and principles.  Many have recognized that things have been missing.  But no individual, nor any group of individuals, were ever able to recover what was lost.  The work of the Restoration was simply beyond human ability."   "The Church that Joseph Smith was inspired to restore was revealed from heaven.  It was not something Joseph conceive in council with others.  It has been built up by the power of God to be a light, standard, and messenger to prepare the world for the second coming of Jesus Christ (D&C 45:9). It did not originate with Joseph Smith, nor did it end when was martyred." W. Jeffrey Marsh, Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration, (Springville, UT: Cedar Fort, 2005), pp. 41, 43..

1 comment:

  1. True statement. For me, the order and continuity in the organization of the Church speaks for itself. It's hard to pick at apart!