In the Doctrine and Covenants, we are told that Joseph Smith, Jr., “Hath done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3). Can this statement mean exactly what it says? How can this be true? Are we to believe that Joseph Smith exceeded the works of Abraham or of Moses? Yes, and we so testify of the same! Who is this man, Joseph Smith Jr.? What can be said of him, based upon that which has been spoken and written concerning him, by friend and foe alike?
We are not going to spend a great deal of time in this pamphlet going over the accomplishments of Brother Joseph, only as it relates to the particular subject being addressed. We feel that those to whom we are desirous that this pamphlet reach, are already well acquainted with the restoration of the Church, gospel and priesthood, and with the ordinances thereof, but rather, we will show Joseph Smith, Jr. is much more than has ever been presented before in writing. In this pamphlet, we will discover by many testimonies who the man Joseph Smith is, what he has done, and will yet do for us. Please follow along, as we unfold the mission and the greatness of the man Joseph Smith, Jr.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6-7)
These passages were penned by John the Revelator in the first century after Christ describing the visions shown to him by God concerning the latter days. Does this description contained in this scripture apply to Joseph Smith? In his lifetime, did Joseph Smith have the everlasting gospel to preach? Did Joseph Smith, in fact, warn of God’s judgments and call men to worship Almighty God? The answers to these questions are unequivocally, yes!
While preaching from the temple stand in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith, Jr. was quoting the Savior concerning the Gospel of the Kingdom and the witness, or the angel that John saw. Joseph told the saints:
. . . the Savior said, when those tribulations should take place, it `should be committed to a man, who should be a witness over the whole world,the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world; . . . all the testimony is, that the Lordin the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood toa witness over all people–has the Gospel of the Kingdom commenced in the last days? and will God take it from the man , until he takes him, himself? I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ–John the Revelator saw an angel flying thro’the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, &c the scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, &c are ready to be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth–John saw the angel having the holy Priesthood who should preach the everlasting Gospel to all nations,–God had an angel, a special messenger, ordained, & prepared for that purpose in the last days–Woe! Woe! be to that man, or set of men, who lift up their hands against God and his Witness in these last days. . . . every man who has a calling to minister to the Inhabitants of the world, was ordained to that very purpose in that grand Council of Heaven before this world was–I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that grand Council–it is the testimony that I want, that I am God’s servant.(12 May 1844, “Thomas Bullock Report”, The Words of Joseph Smith, pg. 366-367)
To what office was Joseph referring in this discourse? Was it not to the office of “witness”? To whom was Joseph referring as he offered this discourse to the saints of Nauvoo? We testify that he was referring to himself; that Joseph Smith, Jr. was and is that very same angel spoken of in these scriptures; that Joseph Smith, like Jeremiah, was known of God before he was in the womb and sent here to this earth to do the things that he did and will yet do.
Joseph Smith is the head of this dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times, and was sent here to restore the fullness of the gospel, to build up the Kingdom of God and to establish Zion; as were other dispensation heads before him. Jesus Christ is also a dispensation head. He also restored the fullness of the gospel and made available to the Jews the opportunity to build up His Kingdom and to establish His Zion. Jesus Christ, prior to his resurrection, did not establish Zion. He did, however, lay the foundations thereof, but the Jews rejected Him and His gospel. After His resurrection, He appeared to the remnant of the descendants of the house of Joseph, who accepted the fulness of His gospel, and with these people He established His Kingdom and His Zion. These people knew peace on earth for nearly two hundred years. They prospered in God’s Zion.
Christ established the type for our dispensation, for Brother Joseph never successfully built the Kingdom or established Zion (nor anyone since Joseph). He only, as did Christ, laid the foundation thereof. Like Christ, Joseph Smith, Jr., will come to a remnant of the fallen church (which church has rejected Him and His true gospel), as a resurrected man to complete the work he was sent here to perform. How do we know this thing? Because prophets of God have so testified that this is, in fact, the case. Joseph Smith said:
You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky Mountains as a center for the gathering of the people, and you will be faithful because you have been true; and many of those who come under your ministry, because of their much learning, will seek for high positions, and they will be set up and raise themselves in eminence above you, but you will walk in low places unnoticed and you will know all that transpires in their midst, and those that are my friends will be your friends. This I will promise to you,that when I come again to lead you forth, for I will go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am you shall be with me.(“Diary of John E Forsgren”, Fate of the Persecutors of Joseph Smith, N.B. Lundwall, pg. 154)
On the 9th of October 1859, President Brigham Young told the saints in General Conference:
I will now tell you something that ought to comfort every man and woman on the face of the earth.Joseph Smith junior, will again be on this earth dictating plans and calling forth his brethren to be baptized for the very characters who wish this was not so, in order to bring them into a kingdom . . . (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7:289)
Just after the martyrdom, Elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was walking across the State of Illinois enroute to Nauvoo. As he was on his way down a road in broad daylight, he received the following from the Lord:
My servant Joseph Smith still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed.(Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pg. 368)
Apostles Franklin D. Richards and Orson Pratt also spoke upon this topic:
So it is with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He has gone before with the keys of this dispensation, after having lived and conferred them upon the authorities of the church,even all that was necessary until he shall come again to build up this kingdom preparatory to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.(Franklin D.Richards, 30 August 1885, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 26:302)
But we still were in hopes that he (Joseph Smith) would live and that he would be the man who, like Moses, would lead this people from bondage.I do not know but he will yet. God’s arm is not shortened that he cannot raise him up even from the tomb. (Orson Pratt, 9 March 1873, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 15:363)
From these quotes, we find that Joseph Smith will indeed return to this earth, that he will fulfill that which the Lord God has sent him to do as a resurrected God having power over the very elements, to set in order the house of God:
And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God… (Doctrine and Covenants 85:7)
From this last scripture we learn of a God, “one mighty and strong” (immortal, invulnerable), with the “scepter of power” (the keys, right of dominion and principalities), that he is “clothed with light for a covering” (resurrected), and his “mouth shall utter words, eternal words” (scripture, the word of God must be fulfilled), “while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth” (he, like God, cannot lie), and he will, “set in order the house of God” (set up the political and economic kingdom and correct error in the ecclesiastical church). Who is this “one mighty and strong”? Who holds the keys? Who was given scripture from the Father? Who has more right to correct error in the work that God restored through him? And as Christ before him, return to deliver a remnant of Ephraim and to establish Zion?
Joseph Smith still holds “the keys” to this dispensation on this side and the other side of the veil:
Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you (Joseph Smith, Jr.),while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; (Doctrine and Covenants 90:3)
Exalt not yourselves; rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward, shall not be taken from him till I come.(Doctrine and Covenants 112:15)
Joseph Smith, Jr. has received the word of God, from God, and placed these “eternal words” into canon for all the world to see. Brother Joseph received from God sacred records containing “eternal words” and translated the same. He will yet again do the same thing with the sealed portion of the Nephite record, as well as other yet unknown works. From Joseph Smith’s own patriarchal blessing we learn:
The records of past ages and generations, and the histories of ancient days shall he (Joseph Smith) bring forth, even the record of the Nephites shall he again obtain, with all those hid up by Mormon, and others who were righteous; and many others till he is overwhelmed with knowledge. (Oliver Cowdery blessing Joseph Smith, Sept. 22, 1835, Unpublished Revelations, Collier, Vol. 1, pg. 76-77. Made mention of in DHC, Vol. 2, pg 281)
Joseph Smith, Jr. restored the church, kingdom and the fulness of the gospel to the earth. He barely laid the foundations thereof before he was murdered at the hands of a mob. Joseph never saw God’s Zion established as a viable community or nation in Jackson County, Missouri–nor have we! However, in the 101st section of the Doctrine and Covenants, we find the parable of the vineyard and the twelve olive trees. The parable describes “the enemy” (Satan) coming by “night” (a time of darkness, loss of revelation or apostasy), breaking down the “hedge” (church), destroying their works and breaking down the “olive trees” (the twelve apostles who were suppose to bring forth fruit) . “The servants” (general authorities) were at variance one with another, and they (the general authorities) gave the Lord’s money to the “exchangers” (bankers, merchants, stock market, Babylon) instead of building up the kingdom and establishing Zion. The Lord then commands his “servant” (Joseph Smith) to take “the residue” (remnant, outcasts) of His house (Israel, LDS Church) and go “straightway” unto the land of his vineyard (North America) and “avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by, I may come with the residue (the remnant) of mine house and possess the land.” (D&C 101:41-62)
Has any of this, that is foretold in the parable happened yet? Yes! We testify that the LDS Church has indeed fallen into a state of total and complete apostasy. We testify that Satan has indeed destroyed the twelve apostles of the LDS Church, as they have strayed from all the laws that would establish a Zion society, changed ordinances (see the pamphlet, “They Have Changed the Ordinances”), and have set at naught the everlasting covenant!
The “servant” of the Lord in this parable is identified by the Lord in the 103rd section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., is the man to whom I likened the servantto whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you. (Doctrine and Covenants 103:21)
Has Joseph Smith, Jr. “avenged” for the Lord this land, and reclaimed his vineyard? Has Joseph Smith yet gathered the strength of the Lord’s house (“my warriors”, “my young men”, “middle aged also”, “all My servants”), even Israel, and gone forth into the vineyard (North America), to break down their (mine enemies) walls (hedge or church) and throw down their tower (Babylon) and scatter their watchman (priestcraft), successfully? The LDS Church would like you to believe that it has happened. If this has already occurred in the past, as some suggest, then where is Zion? Where is the Kingdom? Where is Joseph Smith in the flesh? Why isn’t the headquarters of the LDS Church at Independence, Missouri? In June of 1834, the Lord told Joseph Smith, as the head of “Zion’s Camp”:
And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it needs be, by the things which they suffer. I speak not concerning those who are appointed to lead my people, who are the first elders of my church, for they are not all under this condemnation; But I speak concerning my churches abroad–there are many who will say: Where is their God? Behold, he will deliver them in time of trouble, otherwise we will not go up to Zion, and will keep our moneys. Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion–That they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands. And this thing cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high. For behold, I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as they are faithful and continue in humility before me. Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion.(Doctrine and Covenants 105:5-13)
The redemption of Zion will yet occur, just as the Lord has commanded. For the Lord has said:
Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; Therefore, I will raise up (resurrect) unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.For ye are the children of Israel, and the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be. Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence. But I say unto you: Mineangels shall go up before you, and also my presence, andin time ye shall possess the goodly land. Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Baurak Ale (Joseph Smith, Jun.), is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.(Doctrine and Covenants 103:15-21)
Who is this man Joseph Smith, Jr., whom the Lord himself calls His “servant” and His “angel”, and to whom the Lord has committed “the keys” of this dispensation on both sides of the veil, of whom Brigham Young testified in general conference, October 9th, 1859?
From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are–I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent.He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation–the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and he was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit-world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim–‘Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!’ But it is true. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7:289)
Brother Brigham states that Joseph Smith “rules” in the spirit world “as supreme a being…as God does in heaven”. Where is the spirit world? Is it not here upon this earth? Is not this earth, in fact, a Telestial world? Does not God the Father rule in the Celestial Kingdom and His Christ in the Terrestial kingdom? We ask you—who rules in the Telestial world or kingdom? Is it not the Holy Ghost? We ask you—who is Joseph Smith Jr.? Brother Brigham states that, “every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are–“. Who brings us to the Father? Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer does! Who brings us to the Savior? The Holy Ghost does! The Holy Ghost is the one who witnesses and testifiesto us the truth of all things, that Jesus is the Christ! We ask you who is Joseph Smith Jr.?
But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does anyhow, and he is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him. (Joseph Smith, “King Follett Discourse”, Given 7 April 1844, TPJS, p. 350, Also reported in Times and Seasons, 15 August 1844)
Joseph also said that the Holy Ghost is now in a state of Probation which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same or a similar course of things that the Son has. (“Scriptural Items”, F.D. Richards, The Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat/Cook, pg. 245)
‘Many men,’ said he, ‘will say, I will never forsake you, but will stand by you at all times’, but the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens, and are prepared for them, they will be the first to stone you and put you to death. It was this same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and will cause the people to kill the prophets in this generation. Would to God, brethren, I could tell you who I am! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy, and there are men upon this stand who would want to take my life. (Joseph Smith, Jr., as quoted by Heber C. Kimball, Life of Heber C. Kimball, by Orson F. Whitney, pg. 322-323)
I never told you I was perfect–but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught–must I then be thrown away as a thing of naught?–I enjoin for your consideration, add to your faith, virtue, love &c I say in the name of the Lord, if these things are in you, you shall be fruitful. I testify that no man has the power to reveal it, but myself, things in heaven, things in earth and hell–and all shut your mouths for the future–. (Joseph Smith, Jr., “Thomas Bullock Report”, 12 May 1844, Temple Stand, The Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat/Cook, pg. 369)
And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed,both as well for time and all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there never is but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead. (Doctrine and Covenants 132:7)
Again we ask you—who is Joseph Smith? We do solemnly testify to you, that Joseph Smith, Jr. is the angel that John the Revelator saw flying through the midst of heaven; that Joseph Smith, Jr. is the “witness/testator”, even the Holy Ghost, who came to this mortal probation “in the flesh”; and that Joseph Smith, Jr. is exactly who he said he is! He is our priest and king, who rules and reigns in the world of spirits, as well as on this side of the veil. He is our dispensation head and our Father. He and those who labor with him, who are just men and women made perfect, bring us to Christ, and He to the Father.
Therefore, we as Apostles of the Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, testify to you, the Elect of Israel, that Joseph Smith, Jr. is all this and more. So we testify of the truthfulness of the 135th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
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; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated…The testators are now dead, and their testament is in force.(Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 & 5)
Finally, we leave you with the words penned by William W. Phelps, in his tribute to the man Joseph Smith, Jr.; the Prophet, Seer, Revelator, Translator, Witness, Testator, President, King and Priest, a God, even the Holy Ghost. To this we so solemnly testify and seal it upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, our Mediator with the Father, whose Apostles we are. Amen.
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Praise to his mem-‘ry, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
Plead unto heav’n (originally- “Stain Illinois”)
while the earth lauds his fame.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know ‘Brother Joseph’ again.
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and Tyrants now fight him in vain–
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.
(“Praise to the Man”, Hymn #27, LDS Hymns, William W. Phelps)