Category:Prophets/Joseph Smith/Pace of Joseph's religious innovation

The Pace of Joseph Smith's Religious Innovation

Parent page: Prophets/Joseph Smith

Pace of Joseph Smith's religious innovation

In any case, as soon as the translation process was completed, it was necessary for the Prophet Joseph to move on quickly in what would be a very busy and highly compressed ministry. This ministry included retranslating hundreds of verses in the Bible; fully establishing the Church; receiving various priesthood keys, with each of which came new duties and new concerns, from heavenly messengers; leading the winnowing Zion's Camp march; and calling and training many of the Church leaders, including the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and others, as in the School of the Prophets. (Notably, the Prophet sent nine of the Twelve to England when he could least afford to send them.) He also continued receiving revelations; he oversaw large gatherings of Church members in Kirtland, Jackson County, and Nauvoo. He experienced awful and severe apostasy among members, especially in the Kirtland period and in Nauvoo. On one illustrative occasion, when Wilford Woodruff met Joseph in Kirtland, the Prophet scrutinized him for a moment, then said: "Brother Woodruff, I am glad to see you. I hardly know when I meet those who have been my brethren in the Lord, who of them are my friends. They have become so scarce." As his ministry progressed, he focused on temple building and temple ordinances—in many ways, the crowning achievement of his life.

The Prophet Joseph did all of these and so much more while serving simultaneously as father and husband. He and Emma lost six of their children to early death.

Finally, of course, came the engulfing events leading up to the Martyrdom.

So many large undertakings were compressed into such a small period of time! The Prophet's ministry almost defies description. No wonder Joseph once said that if he hadn't experienced his own life, he would not have believed it himself.[1]


  1. Neal A. Maxwell, "By The Gift and Power of God," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 1, references silently removed—consult original for citations.

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