Testimonies of Joseph Smith From Latter-day Prophets

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 307–8


Brigham Young

“I can truly say, that I invariably found him to be all that any people could require a true prophet to be, and that a better man could not be, though he had his weaknesses; and what man has ever lived upon this earth who had none?” (Brigham Young to David B. Smith, June 1, 1853, in Susan Easton Black and Charles D. Tate Jr., ed., Joseph Smith: The Prophet, the Man [1993], 266; spelling standardized).

“I am bold to say that, Jesus Christ excepted, no better man ever lived or does live upon this earth” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 459).

“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” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 458).

John Taylor

“Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood” (D&C 135:3).

Wilford Woodruff

“Now, I want to say that I have traveled with Joseph Smith a good deal in my day. I was associated with him more or less from the spring of 1834 to the day of his death. I know, as do my brethren who were associated with him, that he was a Prophet of God—one of the greatest Prophets God ever raised up on the earth. As I said yesterday, he received revelations upon every subject necessary for the organization of the Church. … He laid the foundation of a great work in this the greatest dispensation God ever gave to man. [All this bears] testimony of Brother Joseph Smith” (Millennial Star, June 29, 1891, 403).

Lorenzo Snow

“Joseph Smith, the Prophet, with whom I was intimately acquainted for years, as well as I was with my brother, I know … to have been a man of integrity, a man devoted to the interests of humanity and to the requirements of God all the days in which he was permitted to live. There never was a man that possessed a higher degree of integrity and more devotedness to the interest of mankind than the Prophet Joseph Smith. I can say this from a personal acquaintance with him” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1898, 64).

“Perhaps there are very few men now living who were so well acquainted with Joseph Smith the Prophet as I was. I was with him oftentimes. I visited him in his family, sat at his table, associated with him under various circumstances, and had private interviews with him for counsel. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God; I know that he was an honorable man, a moral man, and that he had the respect of those who were acquainted with him. The Lord has shown me most clearly and completely that he was a Prophet of God, and that he held the Holy Priesthood” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1900, 61).

Joseph F. Smith

“I bear my testimony to you and to the world, that Joseph Smith was raised up by the power of God to lay the foundations of this great Latter-day work, to reveal the fulness of the gospel to the world in this dispensation, to restore the priesthood of God to the world, by which men may act in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and it will be accepted of God; it will be by His authority. I bear my testimony to it; I know that it is true” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1910, 4–5).

Heber J. Grant

“I rejoice in the witness of the Holy Spirit to me that I can stand up in all sobriety and testify to you that the angel of God … did appear to the boy Joseph Smith, and that the promises made to that boy have been fulfilled; that he did become a prophet of God; that he died a martyr to the truth; that his blood testified, as the blood of all martyrs has done in ages past, to the divinity of the work that he has established; and I bear to you my witness that God has given to me a knowledge that he lives; that Jesus is the Savior of the world, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God” (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [1965–75], 5:156–57).

George Albert Smith

“I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. While he gave his temporal life in order that his testimony might be binding upon the children of men, I am sure as I stand here that today he is exalted in the presence of the Redeemer, rejoicing in the development that has come to the work of the Lord since the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth through his humble instrumentality. I am grateful for the testimony that burns in my bosom that this is our Father’s work” (in Conference Report, June 1919, 42).

David O. McKay

“I bear you my testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and when I say this, it means that I know that Jesus lives, that he is our Redeemer, and that this is his Church. We are merely his representatives. When we accept that, then the reality of God the Father, the Father of our spirits, is easy to accept” (in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1966, 87–88).

Joseph Fielding Smith

“Joseph Smith, the humble farmer boy, was trained and instructed as, perhaps, no other prophet was ever taught and trained, by divine instructors sent from the throne and presence of our Eternal Father” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:201).

“I have a perfect knowledge of the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord raised him up and gave him revelation, commandment, opened the heavens to him, and called upon him to stand at the head of this glorious dispensation. I am just as satisfied in my mind that in his youth when he went out to pray he beheld the actual presence, stood in the actual presence, of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ; in my mind there is no doubt; I know this to be true. I know that he received later the visitations from Moroni, the Aaronic Priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist, the Melchizedek Priesthood under the hands of Peter, James, and John, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on the sixth day of April 1830 by divine command” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 58).

Harold B. Lee

“I bear you solemn witness as to the divine mission of the Savior and the certainty as to his guiding hand in the affairs of his church today, as in all dispensations of time.

“I know, with a testimony more powerful than sight, that as the Lord declared, ‘The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth [from the Prophet Joseph Smith through his successors down to the present], and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth …’ [D&C 65:2].

“I bear that testimony with all the conviction of my soul” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1972, 20; or Ensign, Jan. 1973, 25).

Spencer W. Kimball

“The God of all these worlds and the Son of God, the Redeemer, our Savior, in person attended [the Prophet Joseph Smith]. He saw the living God. He saw the living Christ. Few of all the man-creation had ever glimpsed such a vision. … Joseph now belonged to an elite group—the tried and trusted, and true. He was in a select society of persons whom Abraham describes as ‘noble and great ones’ that were ‘good’ and that were to become the Lord’s rulers. (Abraham 3:22–23.)” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 430).

Ezra Taft Benson

“I testify that through the Book of Mormon God has provided for our day tangible evidence that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is His prophet (see D&C 20:8–33). This other testament of Jesus Christ is a scriptural account of the early inhabitants of America. It was translated by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God (see D&C 135:3). Those who will read and ponder the Book of Mormon and ask our Eternal Father in the name of Christ if it is true may know for themselves of its truthfulness through the power of the Holy Ghost, provided they will ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ (see Moroni 10:3–5)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 102–3; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 86–87).

Howard W. Hunter

“Joseph Smith was not only a great man, but he was an inspired servant of the Lord, a prophet of God. His greatness consists in one thing: the truthfulness of his declaration that he saw the Father and the Son and that he responded to the reality of that divine revelation. Part of the divine revelation was instruction to reestablish the true and living church, restored in these modern times as it existed in the day of the Savior’s own mortal ministry. …

“I testify that the boy prophet, who in so many ways remains the central miracle in … this church’s experience, is living proof that, within God’s hands and under the direction of the Savior of the world, weak and simple things should come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1991, 84–85; or Ensign, May 1991, 64–65).

Gordon B. Hinckley

“I feel tremendous admiration, love for the prophet Joseph Smith. My heart goes out to him, the things he suffered for this cause. He gave his life in testimony of its truth. From the time of his boyhood until the time he died, he was driven, he was hounded, he was persecuted, he was pursued. But he went forth courageously, adding a convert here, a convert there, organizing the church, establishing its doctrine, building it so that it would stand through the years that would follow. I have nothing but love for him. I reverence him, I respect him, I admire him, I honor him” (in Heidi S. Swinton, American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith [1999], 147).