It was the confusion
among the religions of his time that prompted Joseph Smith
to seek divine truth in the grove near his home. "Mankind
did not come unto the Lord," Joseph later wrote. "They had
from the true and living faith and there was no society or
that built upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in
the New Testament."1
Just as Abraham, Moses,
and other prophets served God as prophets in earlier times,
Joseph Smith was the first prophet for the last days. Through him, "true
doctrine—the fullness of the gospel" as taught by ancient
prophets was restored to the earth.2
He accomplished the
great work for the kingdom of
God without the advantages of education,
privilege, or widespread public acclaim. His message of his
ministry was simple: "I am a lover of the cause of
That cause began in the latter days with Joseph's First
Vision in the Sacred Grove while he was yet a boy.
1. History 1832, p. 2,
Letter Book 1, 1829–35, Joseph Smith, Collection, Church
Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; spelling and
capitalization modernized; reprinted in Dean C. Jessee,
comp. Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, , 11.
2. Orson Pratt,
An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable
Visions, and of The Late Discovery of Ancient American
Records (pamphlet, 1842), 5.
The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, p. 272.
Apostasy: A turning away from the truth by individuals, the Church, or entire nations. It includes rebellion against authority and rejection of prophets (Preach My Gospel, 44).
A religious body comprising a group of congregations with similar beliefs.
kingdom of God
The kingdom of God on earth is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (see D&C 65). The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to live forever in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of heaven (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven," 142).
The time in which we now live. The days (or dispensation of time) just before the second coming of the Lord (Guide to the Scriptures, Last Days/Latter Days).
The Restoration, as used by Latter-day Saints, means that the true Church of Jesus Christ, which was lost through apostasy, was brought back as it originally existed when organized by Jesus Christ (Preach My Gospel, 44).
Seeking God's Truth
Learn more about Joseph being "called of God."
Learn more about the Smith family log home.
Click here to visit mormon.org to learn more about the First Vision.