Have you ever had a burning question of the soul? A question that no one seems to be able to answer? A question that eats you inside and out every day you don't find a solution? I have, and so did someone else. As a young man, Joseph Smith wanted to know what of all the many churches he should join. Growing up in up-state New York in the early 1800's, a large religious revival had taken place and churches were everywhere. Joseph stated, "...great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, *"Lo, here!" and others, "Lo, there!" ". However, although he was persuaded to join many different churches, he was confused as to which one was the right one to join. All the pastors and ministers of the different denominations seemed to argue one with another about doctrinal points found in the Bible. Joseph recorded,
*"While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Espistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." This passage hit Joseph to the very core, and he knew that the only way for him to find the answer to his burning question of what church was correct and right was to ask God.
On a spring morning in 1820, Joseph Smith went to a grove of trees that was behind his house. Not being much of a prayer, he decided that he was going to go and offer his first vocal prayer. It was a beautiful morning. In his own words he recounts,
*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, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other- This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
That day the world changed. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ really did in actuality appear to Joseph Smith. Revelations have not ceased among men! A new prophet was called in these days to lead and guide the church of God just as in the days of old. I am a witness that Joseph Smith really was called to be a Prophet. Was he perfect? No. Do we worship him? No. However, through Joseph Smith, our merciful Heavenly Father once again brought forth His priesthood power, the authority to baptise, establish and run His church, and to lead His disciples on the Earth today.
* Excerpts from Joseph Smith's History
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