Thursday, February 21, 2013
Sunday, January 20th, 2013 Farewell Talk
My name is Trevor Smith for those of you who don’t know me I have been called to serve in the Morristown, New Jersey Mission. I will be serving in the same mission as Colby Jones,
I have been asked to speak on “The role of Joseph Smith”
In 1951 in Washington DC a newspaper article read: A Russian historian had visited the United States for over a year to study the history of great Americans. As he was about to board his ship to return to his native land, a group of reporters asked him to let them interview him about his discovery of Great Americans. One of the reporters asked him this question: “In your study of great Americans during this past year which of them do you consider to be the greatest?” He said, “You have only had one truly; Great American, one man who gave to the world ideas that could change the whole destiny of the human race—Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet.”
You and I are here because of that great man, Joseph Smith; Our Prophet of the Restoration. There are millions all over the world who revere his memory—You can see something of what the Russian historian, saw in this great American.
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. . . . [He has] 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. [D&C 135:3]
In a space of about 24 years, From 1830 to June 1844, the Prophet Joseph accomplished much that has eternal, historical, and personal meaning for each of us. I want to talk about just 4 of the contributions, Joseph Smith has made. If you take the time to truly think about Joseph Smith’s life, it is simply amazing that a man of such humble beginnings made such a difference in generations of families throughout the world.
1. Joseph Smith opened up communication our Heavenly Father.
Because he was willing to ask God directly, the Prophet Joseph Smith—and each of us through him—have learned eternal truths about the nature of God. We know that the forces of Satan are real and fights against all that is righteous and pure. Joseph also learned that the Father and the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ; are separate beings; who knew him and spoke to him and gave him instructions. He learned that none of the churches on the earth at that time had the truth and that he should join none of them. If not for Prophet Joseph Smiths’ experience in the Sacred Grove, We would not have an understanding of the loving nature of God.
2. Joseph Smith translated ancient scripture and recorded modern-day revelation.
With the assistance of his scribes, Joseph's efforts resulted in the translation of the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ; the Pearl of Great Price; and the Doctrine and Covenants. We know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, It is the keystone of our religion, we can get nearer to Heavenly Father by abiding by its precepts. If not for Joseph Smith, we would not have this book of scripture. Think how limited our understanding would be if we did not have The Book of Mormon, where we can read about Lehi's vision of the tree of life, Nephi, Alma, Moroni, and others through their own words. How incomplete our view of the Savior's ministry would be if we did not have The Book of Mormon. and how lacking our understanding of the creation would be; without the accounts recorded in the books of Moses and Abraham.
3. Through his persistent efforts, Joseph Smith brought people to their Savior Jesus Christ.
In this dispensation the Prophet Joseph Smith literally brought heaven closer to earth. He brought to light the Savior's plain and precious doctrine. He was the chosen instrument of the Lord who was called both to distinguish the true, restored church from other churches and to bring forth the power and purity of Christ's true doctrines.
4. Joseph Smith established the kingdom of God on earth today.
Under divine supervision, the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Church. He directed the construction of the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples and restored the ordinances of the house of the Lord for the benefit of individuals and families. He was ordained to the holy priesthood, and, through him, its powers and blessings were restored to the earth. Joseph saw that missionaries were sent forth to teach the gospel all over the world. He established the Relief Society for the sisters that they might have opportunities to extend charity to those in need and to save souls. I now can't imagine my life without the refuge of the temple. If it were not for Joseph Smith, the priesthood keys could not be exercised in our behalf. We now have the priesthood, and fathers blessings of comfort, healing, that strengthen our families, Without the gospel in our lives.
The world's "three Ds"—Distraction, Discouragement, and Despair—would never be far away from our door.
I know this church is true. I know that the Gospel is here on this earth today. I know that Jesus is our Savior. I am grateful for the gospel in my life. I am grateful for the privilege to serve full-time mission; that I can help bring individuals unto Christ through the gospel that Joseph Smith restored. I know that day in the grove, Joseph Smith did see God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith was their instrument in bringing the Book of Mormon and the Gospel to us today. I know that God our Father lives. I know that His Son Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Lord, and our Redeemer.
I am thankful so many friends and family members that have been great examples to me. I am thankful for my parents, my brother and sister and sister-in-law. They have done so much to help me prepare for this day.