Monday, May 30, 2011

Joseph Smith-Prophet of the Restoration (Movie)

I was so excited to see that this film is available to watch online.  I highly recommend watching this hour long movie about the life of Joseph Smith.  It is very well done and most definitely worth watching. 

Watch in full screen for better viewing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon?


In an attempt to answer this question, here’s something to think about…If Joseph Smith’s story of the origin of the Book of Mormon is not true, then where did the record come from?

Well, there are some non-believers that have conjectured that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction written by Joseph Smith himself.  So the question is, Is it possible that Joseph Smith could have written the Book of Mormon himself? It’s not likely.  Those who make this claim don’t understand all that would have been entailed if Joseph Smith had attempted such a feat.

Please consider the following points and determine for yourself whether you, had you been Joseph Smith could have written the Book of Mormon:

1.  You are between 23 and 24 years of age.

2.  You are not a college graduate.  In fact, you have only had three years of formal schooling.

3.  Whatever you write must be on the basis of what you know.

4.  You must write a book with 239 chapters; 54 of them about wars, 21 about history, 55 about prophecy, 71 about doctrine, 17 about missionaries, and 21 about the mission of the Messiah.

5. You  must write a history of an ancient country, covering a period from 2200 B.C. to 421 A.D.

6.  You must include in your writings the history of two distinct and separate nations, along with the histories of different contemporary nations or groups of people.

7.  Your writings must describe the religious, economic, social and political cultures and institutions of these two nations.

8.  You must write the history, covering a period of over 2500 years in approximately 80 days.

9.  After pauses for sleep and food, you must continue dictating to your stenographer without ever asking to have the last sentence read back to you.

10.  Your history or record must be long, approximately 522 printed pages, with over 150 words per page.

11. You must announce that your narrative is not fiction, but true, sacred history.

12.  In fact, your narrative must fulfill the Bible prophecies that foretell the coming forth of the book, even down to the exact manner in which it shall come forth, to whom given, and its purposes and accomplishments.

13. Three honest, credible witnesses must testify to the whole world that an angel from heaven appeared to them and showed them the ancient records from which you claim your record was translated. (Read the Testimony of Three Witnesses here)

14. Eight other witnesses must testify to the world that they saw the ancient records in broad daylight and that they handled them and felt the engravings thereon. (Read the Testimony of Eight Witnesses here)

15. These eleven witnesses must bear their testimony, not for profit or gain, but under great personal sacrifice and severe persecution, even to their deaths.

16. You must find someone to finance your book with the understanding that neither he nor you will ever receive any remuneration from it.  You must sell the book at cost or less.

17. Finally, after suffering persecution and revilement for 14 years after you finish the book, you must willingly give your own life for your testimony that the record is from God.

(Taken from “What is the Book of Mormon” published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)

These are interesting facts to consider.  If you know anything about the life of Joseph Smith, you know that because of the testimony he bore, he and his family endured extreme persecution throughout his life.  Why would he be so willing to endure such persecution and pain, even to death? How much easier life could have been if he would have just denied what he knew to be true.  But he didn’t.  I have read the Book of Mormon many times in my life and I personally believe that it would be an impossible task for Joseph Smith, or anyone else for that matter, to have had the knowledge necessary to have written such a complex book. 

I truly believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God.  I have a testimony that he did indeed see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and that with the help of God, translated the ancient records which are now known as the Book of Mormon.  Although the above facts about Joseph Smith are interesting, I want to clarify that it is not the facts that convince me that Joseph Smith’s claims are true.  I can’t base my testimony on facts alone.  The facts only confirm what I already know to be true through the witness of the Holy Ghost.

joseph smith translating[1]

“No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” (George Cannon)