by Mike Hickenbotham
I developed a testimony that Jesus Christ was our Savior and Redeemer at a young age and have had a strong conviction of the reality of his atoning sacrifice every since. My studies in the scriptures have reinforced that testimony to the point today that I can state that I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior. He truly died for me and made possible my resurrection and exaltation. I have also gained a testimony of Joseph Smith’s calling as God’s prophet in these last days.
As a teenager, I remember the Joseph Smith story being recited by a returned missionary in Sunday School class exactly as it is contained in our scriptures. At that time, the Holy Ghost witnessed to me that the account I was hearing was true. Through the years my testimony of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and other LDS scriptures has grown, but I knew from the beginning they were true as a result of this initial witness I received. If Joseph Smith was a prophet — and I knew he was — then these other revelations must also be true. To this day I cannot read the Joseph Smith story without receiving a similar assurance that these events actually occurred as Joseph Smith had recorded.
Joseph Smith’s History is the key to the restoration. Either Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and the restored gospel is true, or Joseph Smith was a fraud and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in error. Either he saw God and his Son, Jesus Christ, or he didn’t. There is no gray area of truth. It is either all true or all a hoax. It is my testimony that it is true and that no man could have done what Joseph Smith did without the help and inspiration of God. [Read more…] about Come Follow Me Week 8 – Doctrine and Covenants 14–17 (additional post)