Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Because of the persecution and problems the Church had in the United States, Joseph Smith counseled the apostles not to talk to the converts about coming to America. John wrote, “I find it difficult to keep anything from the Saints, for the Spirit of God reveals it to them.” Sister Mitchell dreamed that she and her husband were on a boat with a group of Saints. Others also wanted to leave their homes and families to join the Saints in the new world. Before John left to return to Nauvoo in May of 1841, he organized eight hundred converts into companies so that they could come to America.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

When John arrived in Liverpool, the city of his childhood, he and his companion, Joseph Fielding, spoke in many of the churches. Great opposition arose from some of the ministers. But John told them that the scripture in Revelation had been fulfilled. “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.” Several people believed his message and were baptized, and soon more and more joined the Church.

John also preached in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man (where Leonora grew up). The small towns in the countryside welcomed him, and those in the city listened to his message. He taught the poor and the rich – everyone who was interested in hearing the truth of the gospel.

John willingly met with ministers of all faiths to discuss the truths of the Bible. John loved to debate. He had a quick mind and was good at organizing a discussion. He knew the Bible so well that he understood any scripture someone had questions about.

Almost two years later when John and the other apostles returned to Liverpool to book passage home, eight thousand people had joined the Church. With the donations from the wealthy converts, the apostles had published the Book of Mormon so many could read its truths. They had also collected music for a hymn book, and John had written articles for the Millennial Star, a Church published newspaper.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

While in New York, Elder Pratt wanted to publish his Voice of Warning, and asked the others if they had any money. John said he had plenty of money. “If you could furnish me with two or three hundred dollars, I should be very much obliged,” Brother Pratt said. “You’re welcome to all I have.” John pulled a single penny from his pocket. “But – I thought you said you had plenty of money?” “Yes, and so I have. I am well clothed, you furnish me plenty to eat and good lodging. With all this and a penny over – is that not plenty?” John and Elder Pratt laughed together. Even though John knew he had to have money for the ship leaving for England in six days, he was not worried. He prayed that the Lord would provide. “How will you get the money,” Elder Woodruff asked. “Oh, there will be no difficulty about that. Go and take a passage for me . . . and I will furnish you the means.” John received the money just in time to sail to England, fifteen dollars for steerage passage which was the way poor immigrants travelled – in an open section of the hull below the lower deck with no privacy, no bedding, the stench of being with many people in close quarters, and only the clothes he brought with him.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

John couldn’t keep anything in his stomach. Day after day his flu-like symptoms became worse. He lost weight until he looked like a skeleton. Discouraged, John felt death approaching. But he knew Heavenly Father wanted him to serve a mission to his homeland. With faith John prayed that he might get well. Trusting in the Lord, he was determined to recover. His prayers were answered little by little. He never complained, and each day he felt a bit stronger. After about five weeks, John was able to travel to New York.9 Gratitude filled his heart. Only a few days before the apostles were to sail for England, John made his way through the city and knocked on the missionaries’ door. They received him with great joy. Through faith and prayers he was healed and ready to serve the Lord.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Missionary Trials

Back in Quincy, Illinois, John prepared to leave for the east. The only place he could find for Leonora and the children to live was an old army barracks on the banks of the Mississippi River. It was run down, cold and dreary. Wishing he could leave them with a nice home and better surroundings, but knowing there was no time to do that, he blessed his wife and children and left. John and Wilford Woodruff began their missionary journey on August 8. On the way out of town they met Parley P. Pratt and Heber C. Kimball who were building a log house. Brother Pratt gave John an empty purse to take on his mission because it was all he had. Brother Kimball only had a dollar to put in it. John and Elder Woodruff got as far as Germantown, Pennsylvania, and became very ill. John was so sick he couldn’t get out of bed. Elder Woodruff was in poor health, but he would be able to travel, so John told him to go on ahead. Better to leave one sick man behind than two, John reasoned. Elder Woodruff gave John a blessing--left him to the Lord, and headed for New York.