Praise to the man
Tomorrow marks the 200th birthday of the LDS prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. He was born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. In his own account he states:
Today, in December 2005, his name is both revered and cursed. Current world wide membership in the church he organized stands at 12.2 Million and growing.
"An acquaintance said to me one day: "I admire your church very much. I think I could accept everything about it—except Joseph Smith." To which I responded: "That statement is a contradiction. If you accept the revelation, you must accept the revelator."In my own experiences in talking to people I have had the same responses. People like almost everything about my faith with the exceptions being the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It is a wonder to me, as well, that our faith can be so praised and yet our very foundation decried.It is a constantly recurring mystery to me how some people speak with admiration for the Church and its work while at the same time disdaining him through whom, as a servant of the Lord, came the framework of all that the Church is, of all that it teaches, and of all that it stands for. They would pluck the fruit from the tree while cutting off the root from which it grows." President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, December 2005
As President Hinkley says,
"We do not worship the Prophet [Joseph]. We worship God our Eternal Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood."President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, December 2005Twice In the past year I have stood in the room where Joseph and his brother Hyrum were killed. Each time I have felt that I stood on sacred ground.
I add my voice to those who honor the man, Joseph.
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.
Praise to his mem’ry, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know “Brother Joseph” again.
Text: William W. Phelps, 1792–1872