Tag: Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith’s birthdate

Joseph Smith was born December 23, 1805, in Sharon Vermont. His mother, Lucy Mack Smith was 30 years old. His dad, Joseph Smith Sr, was 34. It was Lucy’s fifth pregnancy, and fourth child. I’ve read many books about Joseph Smith; the most recent was Richard Bushman’s book, “Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling“. The title aptly describes his life — Joseph said, “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else…” (History of The Church 5:401)...

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How can I be saved?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the story of Joseph Smith’s first vision. There are numerous accounts. As a church, we’ve always focused on the belief that Joseph prayed because he wanted to know which church to join. But I’m not sure that was the reason Joseph prayed. I think he was confused about the churches, and that they contradicted each other, but he was concerned about his salvation. He wanted to know what he must do to be saved. He wanted forgiveness for his sins. That seems to be the question in his heart when...

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Damned for believing too much?

I woke up this morning, too early to get up, and chose to listen to an audio book —  Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration. My daughter bought it, we share accounts and I needed something new. Plus, I have been reading about “vibrations” — specifically that higher beings vibrate at a higher level, and lower ones at a lower level. I suppose I’ve lost some of you. Or you think I’m off my rocker. It’s also called high frequencies and low frequencies. In fact, as I was praying over my list of names, and when I said one...

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Joseph Smith’s name for good and evil

Mobbings, tar and featherings, slander and murders are part of Mormon history. In the United States of America, where freedom of religion and freedom of speech are major tenets, Joseph and his brother Hyrum were assassinated by a mob intent on eradicating the Mormon religion. The more people speak evil of Joseph, the more they fulfill  prophecy. Joseph related a prophecy that came forth in his initial visit with Moroni, the ancient American prophet who was the last of his lineage holding the gold plates containing the history of his people: He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent...

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Give Me Something Tangible or I Die

I had gone up to my room, explaining to my husband that it would be much easier for me to exercise my faith if I could lay hold of something tangible. When Jesus anointed the eyes of the blind man, he used mud and spittle, not for himself, but for the blind man to have faith. When Joseph Smith asked Wilford Woodruff to cross the Mississippi River and bless the malaria-stricken children, he gave him his handkerchief, as a token that acted as something tangible between the two men. Wilford went across the river and healed the sick with the aid of that token. (1839, Nauvoo, Illinois) “As Joseph was about to cross the river, a man came to him and asked him if he would go about three miles and heal two of his small children, who were twins, about three months old, and were sick nigh unto death. He was a man of the world, he had never heard a sermon preached by a Latter-day Saint. Joseph said he could not go, but he would send a man. After hesitating a moment, he turned to me and said, “You go with this man and heal his children,” at the same time giving me a red silk handkerchief, and said, “After you lay hands upon them, wipe their faces with it, and they shall be healed; and as...

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Walking Into the Water Before it Parts

It’s much easier to believe in something, if someone has already done it. I guess that’s why we like stories about how the underdog succeeds. The principle of faith is difficult to grasp. How does it work? When fear enters, faith is gone. An athlete must be positive before the race, and during the race. If you say “I can’t do this” your ability is diminished. Seth Godin blogged, “Make big plans…that’s the best way to make big things happen..” Cancer patients often beat the odds. But sometimes they don’t. We often say that this was God’s will. I guess that’s what makes faith so difficult. Is it God’s will I walk on water? Is it God’s will that I succeed in this endeavor? Or is this one of those times when it is good for me to learn patience, to learn compassion, to learn lessons I have not conquered? I know of stories, where family members had faith for a loved one who was near death. Their prayers seemed to keep alive, and when they realized it was God’s will otherwise, they let him go, they stopped praying to keep him alive. And he passed quietly. My step dad at age 89 all of a sudden developed very low blood platelets, he was slipping away, but he wanted desperately to stay. Until he had a priesthood blessing that informed him...

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The Penguin Classics Publishes 1840 Version of The Gold Plates

Today I started to read the Penguin Classic, The Book of Mormon. This is a new addition to the Penguin Classics, and was published in 2008. It is a copy of the 1840 edition which was the last of three revisions edited by Joseph Smith. He died in 1844. This was his final edit to correct grammatical errors and words that he felt were copied incorrectly. There were hundreds of different 1830 copies around, but Penguin chose this 1840 edition because they wanted it to be closest to what Joseph Smith translated. Of interest is the one word change from the 1830 editions to the 1840.  Joseph changed one word for better clarification. One word that had a big impact.  In 2 Nephi he writes bout the Lamanites that had repented and come to accept Christ– “And their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes: and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people.”   In the 1840 edition Joseph changed “white” to “pure” which he must have done to clarify that people of lighter complexion were not more righteous than those of darker complexion. LDS editors , until 1981, used an 1830 edition which had the word “white.” Since 1981, the text has read as Joseph had originally intended. Words often have different meanings at different times in history....

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Beggars

A few Sundays back my husband headed off to church early. As he approached the front doors two women with a baby and child in tow stopped him at the door. They were asking for money to feed their children. As they did not look familiar at all, in fact, more foreign in dress, he asked them where they were from. Romania. Having some familiarity with the Romanian culture (one of my sons served a mission there and Moldova) my dear husband asked them if they were gypsies. Offended a bit, they claimed “no, no.” Now my husband is...

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