I haven't posted in a while because school has been keeping me extra busy, but I felt like I needed to set time aside and post today. I had no idea what I was going to post about until after I did my evening scripture study. Then a clear impression came to my mind....

It is something I have been nervous to write about because of the opposition that it brings. I'm not really one for confrontation... But I can't deny what the Holy Ghost has prompted me to write about and I don't want to withhold an opportunity of learning about someone so important (but not as important as Jesus, let me just say that right now). Prophesies have absolutely come true about this individual and that further confirms his sacred calling to be a Prophet of the Lord, Jesus Christ. His "name [has been had] for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues." And his name is Joseph Smith.

His story begins in a grove of trees when he was 14 years old. During that time, religion was a very important topic. It was the 2nd Great Awakening and everyone was worried about their salvation. Many were trying to figure out what church they wanted to join and which to avoid. Joseph was trying to figure out the same thing. So, he went to the Bible and read James 1:5,

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

Joseph followed this Biblical counsel and went to a grove of trees so he could be alone, in peace to pray aloud to Heavenly Father. He had faith that God would answer him by impressing him with what church to join. Then something miraculous happened. God, the Father, and Jesus Christ appeared to him, forgave his sins calling him by name, and then spoke to him. They told Joseph to not join any church at that time, so he obeyed.

It took three years for another heavenly messenger to visit Joseph. This messenger named Moroni told him of gold plates he was to translate at a certain time. Moroni returned multiple times with the same message for Joseph. Those gold plates are now the Book of Mormon. From the Book of Mormon the ordinance of baptism has been correctly restored, the Holy Priesthood of the Lord has been restored, and so much more.

For many the history of Joseph Smith and the LDS Church is too spectacular to believe. I can understand that because I am a convert. But I know with a surety that it is true. Like Joseph, I desired to know which church I was to join. I looked up a lot of stuff about other religions and I did a lot of eavesdropping at work with my Mormon coworkers and managers. I knew nothing about Mormons aside from their polygamous past and the show "Sister Wives" (not LDS by the way). But I learned a lot by being a creeper at work and on lds.org. It still took me a year to finally accept an invitation to go to a real LDS church service. Once I walked into that chapel in California I knew it was a special place and I wanted to be there more. Never had I felt that way in a Catholic Church, or a non-demontional Church (loved the music though), or any other Church I had been to. Soon, I was introduced to these two guys called "Elders" who were "missionaries" of Jesus Christ. They gave me this little blue book called the "Book of Mormon" and said I should read it. I said okay and I went home excited about this new and wonderful place I found.

That night I watched a bunch of missionary videos called "The District." I learned all the missionary lessons before they were given to me. I knew what to expect. So, I took it upon myself to do everything they would ask me before they actually asked me. One thing in particular was to pray about a man named Joseph Smith. I figured if I did it before I saw the missionaries again and God told me that Joseph wasn't a prophet I could cancel with the missionaries and get on with my life and not waste anyone's time. So, nervously shaking I got on my knees and prayed about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and if the Church was true. After I utterly those words, a wave of calm came over me. I stopped shaking. I was at total peace. It was the craziest thing! Just to be sure I prayed again! Asking the same questions but a in different way. I received another impression that the Church was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon was another Testament of Jesus Christ and the word of God. Heavenly Father had answered my sincere questions clearly.

As I continue to learn and grow in the Gospel, my testimony of Joseph Smith grows stronger and stronger. Every time I pray and I receive an answer from the Holy Ghost I know that Jesus Christ lives, Heavenly Father knows me, and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Every time I look at my husband I know that the Priesthood is real, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ wants us to be in families, and that Joseph Smith restored temple ordinances that allows my husband and I to be together for time and eternity.

I've been blessed with many spiritual experiences that have reinforced my testimony of Joseph Smith. I am grateful for the Spirit to prompt me and give me the strength to post such a bold statement for the world to see. I realize that I must share with others exactly what I know. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, I know that Heavenly Father knows each of us by name and loves us more than we can comprehend. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints is the true and full gospel. I know these things are true because I have gone through what Joseph Smith has gone through on a smaller scale. I have prayed to my Father in Heaven and received many answers through quiet promptings by the Holy Ghost, visions, and revelations. I am more sure of these things than anything I have learned in school or anywhere else. And I leave you these things to ponder and pray about in the name of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, amen.

Published by Courtney Watson