- By the universal power of the Holy Ghost, I felt in my heart and in my mind that it was true, that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and heard Their voices. The Spirit of God comforted my soul at this young age with an assurance of the reality of this sacred moment that resulted in the beginning of a worldwide movement destined to “roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth”. I believed Joseph Smith’s testimony of that glorious experience in the Sacred Grove then, and I know it now. God has spoken to mankind again!
He talks about how gaining a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith helped him gain an understanding of who God and Jesus Christ are. His testimony of Joseph Smith and the First Vision has helped him gain a testimony that God lives and loves His children.
- I count Joseph Smith among those whose testimony of Christ helped me to develop my own testimony of the Savior. Before I recognized the tutoring of the Spirit testifying to me that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, my youthful heart felt that he was a friend of God and would therefore, quite naturally, also be a friend of mine. I knew I could trust Joseph Smith.
We are able to gain a stronger testimony in our lives of these things as we have a desire to believe and exercise our faith in that desire.
- As we truly humble ourselves, we will be blessed with this gift to have faith and to hope for things which are not seen but are true (see Alma 32:21). As we experiment upon the words given to us by the scriptures and the living prophets—even if we only have a desire to believe—and do not resist the Spirit of the Lord, our souls will be enlarged and our understanding will be enlightened (see Alma 32:26–28).
The Heavens are open. God speaks to man now as he has in the past.
- Prophets and apostles throughout the history of mankind have had divine manifestations similar to Joseph’s. Moses saw God face-to-face and learned that he was a son of God “in the similitude of [His] Only Begotten” (see Moses 1:1–6). The Apostle Paul testified that the resurrected Jesus Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus and made Paul one of His great missionaries (see Acts 26:9–23). Hearing Paul’s witness of his heavenly vision during the trial at Caesarea, the powerful King Agrippa admitted, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). And there were many other ancient prophets who also bore powerful testimony of Christ. All of these manifestations, ancient and modern, lead those who believe to the divine source of all righteousness and hope—to God, our Heavenly Father, and to His Son, Jesus Christ.
President Uchtdorf's testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith helps to strengthen my testimony of the Prophet. As a result of gaining a testimony of Josep Smith's divine calling, I am given a better understanding of the Savior and His role to save all mankind. The Savior lives and we gain a better understanding of His role and His mission through the Prophet Joseph Smith. My life is better because of this knowledge. My discipleship of the Savior is increased as I learn more about the divine mission of Joseph Smith.