Joseph Smith, a youth of
14, saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ in a
personal visitation in the spring of 1820. Through him,
until his Martyrdom at Carthage Jail in 1844, came the
unfolding of the "greatest gospel dispensation of all time."1 The Lord described
the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church
as "a marvelous
work among the children of men."2
Joseph Smith—as prophet,
teacher, and beloved leader of the Saints—was the prophet of
the Restoration. His ministry was filled with events that
molded him into a prophet. Through his ministry, what was
then a small band of believers in 1830, has become a
worldwide Church today. He accomplished his work without the
advantages of schooling, property, or family prominence. The
cause of Christ he championed has never taken a step backward.
With each year, the
stature of the Prophet Joseph Smith grows. Said his
Young, "I feel like shouting, hallelujah, all the
time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the
Prophet whom the Lord raised up and ordained, and to whom he
gave keys and power to build up the kingdom of God on earth
and sustain it."3
1. First Presidency
message, Apr. 6, 1930: quoted in James R. Clark, comp.,
Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols.
2. D&C 18:44.
Discourses of Brigham Young, 458.
A gospel dispensation is a period of time in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earth who bears the keys of the holy priesthood. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and others have each started a new gospel dispensation. When the Lord organizes a dispensation, the gospel is revealed anew so that the people of that dispensation do not have to depend on past dispensations for knowledge of the plan of salvation. The dispensation begun by Joseph Smith is known as the "dispensation of the fulness of times" (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Dispensation," 67).
The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi prophesied of our dispensation and the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, saying: "The Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men" (2 Nephi 25:17).
Brigham Young was born June 1, 1801, in Whitingham, Vermont. In 1835 he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As successor to Joseph Smith, he led the migration west in 1846–47 to the Rocky Mountains and founded Salt Lake City. He was sustained as President of the Church on December 27, 1847. As Church President and Territorial Governor of Utah, he established Latter-day Saint settlements in Utah and throughout the American West. He died August 29, 1877, in Salt Lake City after nearly 30 years as Church President...
Learn more about the Sacred Grove near Palmyra, New York.
Learn more about Joseph Smith as a leader.
Read an article about Joseph Smith as a disciple of Christ.