Joseph Smith's witness of Jesus Christ

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Joseph Smith's witness of Jesus Christ

Joseph Smith has been the greatest witness of Jesus Christ in these days. His greatest desire was to bring people to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. "As the Prophet of the Restoration, one of Joseph Smith’s most important roles was to testify of Jesus Christ."[1] President Joseph Fielding Smith explained:

We link the names of Jesus Christ and of Joseph Smith. Christ is the Lord; he worked out the atoning sacrifice; he is the resurrection and the life; through him all men are raised in immortality, while those who believe and obey his laws shall also gain eternal life. Joseph Smith was a prophet, called in these last days to receive by revelation the saving truths of the gospel and to stand as a legal administrator, having power from on high, to administer the ordinances of the gospel. . . .

Since the beginning of this dispensation, the testimony of Jesus, as revealed to Joseph Smith, has been preached . . . Joseph Smith is the revealer of the knowledge of Christ and of salvation to the world for this day and generation.[2]

Seeing Jesus Christ

Joseph Smith saw Christ on at least 10 occasions:[3]

  • Spring 1820: Joseph Smith's First Vision
  • 4 June 1831: During a meeting in a schoolhouse, Joseph "stepped out on the floor and said, 'I now see God, and Jesus Christ at his right hand.'"[4]
  • Sometime in 1831: During a meeting at the Isaac Morley farm, Joseph paused for several minutes while speaking then said, "the Savior has been here this night and I want to tell you to remember it. There is a vail over your eyes for you could not endure to look upon Him."[5]
  • 16 February 1832: Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon "beheld the glory of the son on the right of the Father . . . and now after the many testamonies which have been given of him this is the testamony last of all which we give of him that he lives for we saw him, even on the right hand of God."[6]
  • 18 March 1833: During a meeting of the School of the Prophets, "a personage walked through the room from East to west, and Joseph asked if we saw him. I saw him and suppose the others did, and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother. Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; He was surrounded as with a flame of fire," who Joseph identified as "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."[7]
  • 21 January 1836: During a meeting in the Kirtland Temple, Joseph "beheld the celestial kingdom of God . . . also the blasing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son." He also saw "the 12, apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle much fatiegued, with their clothes tattered and feet swolen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus <​standing​> in their midst[8]
  • Likely 18 December 1833: Joseph "saw Adam in the valley of Ah-dam ondi-ahman— he called together his children & blessed them with a Patriarchal blessing. The Lord appeared in their midst."[9]
  • 27 March 1836: Joseph saw Christ attend the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.[10]
  • 30 March 1836: "The Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Roger Orton enveloped in the light: Joseph exclaimed aloud, 'I behold the Savior, the Son of God.'[11]
  • 3 April 1836: During worship services in the Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery went to a private location to pray. "The vail was taken from their minds and the eyes of their understandings were opened. They saw the Lord standing upon the breast work of the pulpit before them . . . and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the Voice of Jehovah, saying, I am the first and the last. I am he who liveth. I am he who was slain. I am your Advocate with the Father."[12]

Testifying of Jesus Christ

Joseph Smith frequently testified of Jesus Christ and of His role as our Savior and Redeemer. Here are just a few of Joseph Smith's teachings on this subject:<ref>"Chapter 3: Jesus Christ, the Divine Redeemer of the World," Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2011).

  • "Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ."
  • "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven."
  • "Christ Himself has assuredly risen from the dead; and if He has risen from the dead, He will, by His power, bring all men to stand before Him."
  • "I believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and that He died for the sins of all men, who in Adam had fallen."


Notes

  1. Introduction to "Chapter 3: Jesus Christ, the Divine Redeemer of the World," Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2011).
  2. "Chapter 7: Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Witnesses for Christ," Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith (2013).
  3. See Alexander L. Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts of Joseph Smith’s Visionary Experiences," in Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820–1844 (Second Edition) (BYU Studies).
  4. Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts."
  5. Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts."
  6. "Vision, 16 February 1832 (D&C 76)," josephsmithpapers.org.
  7. Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts."
  8. Entry for 21 January 1836, in Journal, 1835–1836, josephsmithpapers.org.
  9. "Discourse, between circa 26 June and circa 4 August 1839–A, as Reported by Willard Richards," josephsmithpapers.org. This vision likely occurred on 18 December 1833 during a blessing meeting. See Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts."
  10. See Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts."
  11. See Baugh, "Seventy-six Accounts."
  12. "Visions, 3 April 1836 (D&C 110)," josephsmithpapers.org.