Making the Most of This Issue


Joseph Smith Remembered

This month is the 200th anniversary of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s birth. To commemorate this important milestone, the Ensign offers a glimpse of the Prophet’s family and early life.

  • “The story of Joseph’s life is the story of a miracle,” writes President Gordon B. Hinckley. “He was born in poverty. He was reared in adversity. He was driven from place to place, falsely accused, and illegally imprisoned. He was murdered at the age of 38. Yet in the brief space of 20 years preceding his death, he accomplished what none other has accomplished in an entire lifetime.” See “Joseph Smith: Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,” page 2.

  • Have you ever wondered what happened to the Prophet’s brothers and sisters? See “The First Family of the Restoration,” page 7.

  • Sharon, Vermont, could rightly be called the cradle of the Restoration because this is where Joseph Smith was born. To read more about this quiet New England town, see page 10.

  • What were the events and influences that prepared a seemingly ordinary farm boy to receive revelations from heaven after centuries of apostasy? See page 12.

Priesthood Quorum Series Concludes

President Gordon B. Hinckley has served in the First Presidency for more than 24 years. He is well qualified to teach us about this presiding quorum, page 46.

Get the Christmas Spirit

  • President Howard W. Hunter explores the real meaning of Christmas in this Gospel Classic. See page 22.

  • What do you do when you’re a teenager, both of your parents have died, and Christmas becomes the most painful time of year? Read how a seminary teacher and the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith came to the rescue of one young teenager, page 18.

  • What do an unexpected Christmas bonus, a loving missionary companion, a manger overflowing with straw, and a kettle of clam chowder have in common? The Christmas spirit, that’s what. See Latter-day Saint Voices beginning on page 55 to capture some of it for your holiday celebration.

Nurturing and Nourishing

“Mothers, who are ‘primarily responsible for the nurture of their children,’ can be a powerful force for strengthening families when they use mealtimes to gather loved ones.” See page 36.

A Mission in Your Golden Years?

The Cranes, the Iversons, and the Gehrmanns have a message for you who are now retired or soon will be. There are blessings to be harvested in the mission field—for you, your family, and the people you’ll serve. See page 30.

Magnify or Reduce and Simplify?

Is it possible to magnify a calling without also magnifying the time and work you spend on it? See what some of our readers say about reducing and simplifying work while still getting results, page 62.

Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers

Find the monthly messages on page 2 and page 51.