In His Debt
The most amazing part of my trip to visit Church history sites was when my family and I went to the Smith family homestead. As I sat on the bed in a replica of the room where the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, I felt the pure love of God. I knew at that moment that what is written in the scriptures is true.
That afternoon we were led through the Sacred Grove. Everything in the Sacred Grove seems spiritual, even the birds and animals. I think they must know why we come, so they sing for us as we sit and pray.
I am in awe every time I think about the amazing sacrifices of our first latter-day prophet. All of the pain and suffering must have been overwhelming, physically and spiritually: getting tarred and feathered while at the John Johnson home, losing his son Joseph because of the mobs, and being mocked and scorned almost daily. His strength seems beyond anything except for the suffering and agony endured by Jesus Christ.
I am so incredibly grateful for all Joseph Smith did. I am forever in his debt. I know he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ and translated the Book of Mormon.
An Example to the World
I’ve always tried to be a good example to others, but it wasn’t until I read D&C 115:5 that I realized I am an example not only to my friends but to the world. People are always watching to see what I do as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
By living the teachings of the gospel and striving to maintain high values, I can “be a standard for the nations” so that people who know me will want to know why I care about my religion. I want to live my life in such a way that I can “shine forth” and share the gospel with others. This verse has become my motto scripture, and each day I try to be an example of the Savior’s love.
In Carthage Jail
One of my greatest experiences with Church history was at Carthage Jail. We had a tour of the jail and learned what happened there. As I saw the bullet hole in the door of the room where Hyrum Smith was killed and the window that Joseph Smith fell from, tears came to my eyes. Just thinking that Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, two great men of God, had stood in that room overwhelmed me.
Now I have a better appreciation and understanding about what Joseph and others went through so we can have the true gospel and, if we are righteous, live with God again.