Early 1820 was a scene of religious revival, with churches popping up and traveling throughout the region of upper state New York.
Young Joseph Smith, a 14 year old farmer’s son, had great desires to know which of the many religions were true. He’d read in the Bible that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5), but each church claimed to be the truth, leaving a very confused boy.
One night as he read in the book of James, a verse stood out to him, touching his heart like nothing had before. The verse is in chapter 1, verse 5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”
Young Joseph knew that he lacked wisdom, and knowing the Bible to be the word of God, he set out to pray to know which religion to join.
Kneeling in a wooded area near his home, he opened up his heart to God. As soon as he did so, an evil influence overpowered him, causing darkness and despair. Struggling for release, he called out to God, and had the following experience:
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. 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!” (Joseph Smith History 1:16-17)
Like Stephen and others of old, Joseph Smith saw God the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ.
When Joseph asked his question, he was told he should join none of the churches, but that through him, God would restore His church, as in days of old with prophets and apostles and Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.
Through the years, Joseph had other angelic visitors who taught him God’s word and instructed him as to how he should build God’s church.
One of these angelic visitors was an ancient American prophet, named Moroni, who directed Joseph to a record of God’s dealings with the ancient people of the American Continent, buried in a hillside near his home.
Joseph received this record and translated it by the power of God. It is known as The Book of Mormon. To learn more about the Book of Mormon, Click Here.
To receive your own free copy of the Book of Mormon, Click Here.
The church God restored through Joseph Smith, The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has grown since that humble beginning to include over 17 million members and spread to cover nearly every country on the Earth. As each prophet passed away, another was chosen by God to take his place. The current prophet is President Russell M. nelson. To learn about him, and read some of the messages God has for you through His holy prophets, Click Here