Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brother Joseph

     In school once, we had to think about what famous person we would first want to talk to if we died. I can't really remember who I chose at the time, (For some reason I think it was Amelia Earhart...?) But now... I'd choose Joseph Smith. In a heartbeat. I'd love to talk to him and thank him from the bottom of my heart for everything that he did for me and for our church.
     I've always known that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I've never doubted the fact that he had a vision, and that he translated the Book of Mormon with divine help.
     As I've gotten older, I've gained a new love and respect for our prophet Joseph Smith.

     One of my favorite sections in the Docterine and Covenants is section 135. It was written by John Taylor, and it was the first section written after Joseph and Hyrum were martyred.

Here are a few of my favorite verses in this section... (And I know that this looks like a lot of words.... if you want, just read the highlighted parts.)

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!

6- Hyrum Smith was forty-four years old in February, 1844, and Joseph Smith was thirty-eight in December, 1843; and henceforward their names will be classed among the martyrs of religion; and the reader in every nation will be reminded that the Book of Mormon, and this book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century to bring them forth for the salvation of a ruined world; and that if the fire can scathe a green tree for the glory of God, how easy it will burn up the dry trees to purify the vineyard of corruption. They lived for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward. From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the sanctified.

7- They were innocent of any crime, as they had often been proved before, and were only confined in jail by the conspiracy of traitors and wicked men; and their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to “Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth, and their innocent blood on the escutcheon of the State of Illinois, with the broken faith of the State as pledged by the governor, is a witness to the truth of the everlasting gospel that all the world cannot impeach; and their innocent blood on the banner of liberty, and on the magna charta of the United States, is an ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations; and their innocent blood, with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the aaltar that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on the earth. Amen.


     Wow.... Our prophet Joseph Smith died so that I can have the gospel... So that you can have the gospel, too... He was persecuted by people his whole life, but endured it well. He had an amazing eternal perspective and trusted in God. Always.
     When I was at youth conference, we watched the Joseph Smith movie, and then sang Praise To The Man. It was a very spiritual experience for me, and my testimony of Joseph Smith grew a mile that night. 
     One thing that is very evident to me when I watch movies, look at pictures, and read about Joseph Smith, is that he was such a kind and loved man. Everybody loved "Brother Joseph". He was always preaching, doing service, playing with the kids, and smiling. He always put the gospel and its teachings first, even though many people hated him for it. 

     It is a very noble thing to die for your religion. Nowadays, you may be persecuted for being a member of this church, but most likely not as much as the saints in Joseph's day were. 
     Living in the United States in 2011, we have laws that protect people of different religions. Because of this, you will probably never be asked to die for your religion. 

I think that it may be just as noble to live for it.  

     This is the video that we watched while I was at youth conference. It is about an hour long, but SO worth watching. Maybe you could watch it for family home evening. Maybe you could wait till everyone else is in bed, enlarge it on your screen, and pop some popcorn. 

Either way, if you find time, you will not regret watching it. It will definitely bring the spirit to your day and increase your testimony. (Just have tissues handy... I bawled the first time I watched this... and I am not a cryer.)

Video can be found at this site.

Praise to the Man is now my favorite hymn... it has such powerful words...
1. Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.
2. Praise to his mem’ry, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.
3. Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
4. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know “Brother Joseph” again.

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