‘Eloquent testimony’

Those who murdered the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, boasted that the Church would, thus, die.

Speaking during the October 1981 general conference, then-Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve said: "What has transpired in a century and a half bears eloquent testimony to the eternal nature of the work of this singularly remarkable man, Joseph Smith. The Church which he restored has had dramatic growth in many parts of the earth. It has produced an unequaled missionary system and an unmatched welfare program. Its governing system gives priesthood power and authority from God to all worthy male members, at the same time recognizing the exalted status of women as being equal to men. The Church has an inspired law of health and temporal well-being far ahead of its time. By revelation from God, the Church also possesses those keys, saving principles and ordinances which will bring eternal exaltation to mankind, living and dead.

"Because of these and other reasons, millions of people have become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But to each true believer there must ultimately and finally come a conviction that Joseph Smith was a revealer of truth, a prophet of God. Each must be convinced that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ did appear to Joseph Smith and did commission him to re-establish the Church of Christ upon the face of the earth."

After speaking of the Book of Mormon, "one of the most significant contributions" of the Prophet Joseph, Elder Faust, now second counselor in the First Presidency, said: "As I submit to you my testimony of Joseph Smith, I acknowledge his humanness along with his great spiritual powers. He did not claim to be divine, nor a perfect man. He claimed only to be a mortal man with human feelings and imperfections, trying honestly to fulfill the divine mission given to him. He so describes himself in recorded counsel given to some of the members of the Church who had just arrived in Nauvoo on October 29, 1842. Said the Prophet, 'I told them I was but a man, and they must not expect me to be perfect; if they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them; but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities.' (History of the Church 5:181.)

"There should be no exaggerated emphasis on the fallibility or mortal failings of Joseph Smith. They were only things that are a part of any human being. He and his work enjoyed the benediction of Deity. On a special occasion, the Lord said to him, 'Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.' (Doctrine and Covenants 124:1.)

"The results of a century and a half of this Church offer great authentication to the truthfulness of Joseph Smith's story. The work of this Church moves forward in an astonishing way. The great body of the Latter-day Saints remain faithful to their testimonies of Joseph Smith and his work. Since Joseph's day, millions have accepted by faith and have had confirmed by the Holy Spirit that Joseph's account of seeing the Father and the Son is true and that He restored to earth the pure gospel of Jesus Christ."