Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Saturday, March 31, 2012

John Taylor, An Apostle of the Lord

The next day John and the people he came with left Kirtland to return to Canada. On the way, they stopped at Niagara Falls. Amidst the grandeur of the beautiful falls, John was filled with the Spirit, and knew he would be called as one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church. It would be over a year before the calling came, and at times John wondered if this revelation was really from the Lord. However, he kept the knowledge close to his heart. The Lord had given him revelation before, and it had come to pass. He would faithfully follow the path that Heavenly Father had set for him.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Faithful follower of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith was out of town, and the meeting began with some of the brethren saying negative things about the Prophet Joseph. Soon a fight started. John quickly helped Emma Smith, Joseph’s wife, and their children gather their things and leave. John returned to the scuffle, which was quickly over. John rose from the ruckus, straightened his jacket, held his head high, and with majesty walked to the pulpit. Everyone watched him. He defended the Prophet, bearing testimony of the truth that had been revealed through Joseph Smith. The faithful members in the audience listened and agreed.

John was glad that the majority of the Saints in the meeting were still loyal to the Prophet. “I rejoiced to see the firmness, faith, integrity and joy of the faithful.” From then on, John became known as the ‘defender of the faith.’

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Loyalty to Joseph Smith

Shortly after arriving in Kirtland, John found a lot of quarreling among the members of the Church. He was stunned to find people saying bad things about the Prophet Joseph.

When he heard Brother Parley Pratt was among the dissenters, he was upset. John rebuked him, “Now Brother Parley, it is not man that I am following, but the Lord. The principles that you taught me led me to Him and now I have the same testimony that you then rejoiced in. If the work was true six months ago, it is true today. If Joseph Smith was then a prophet, he is now a prophet.”4 Brother Pratt repented and sought forgiveness of the Prophet Joseph, feeling sorry for the things he said. Joseph forgave him, and he again returned to the Lord’s service.

John attended a church gathering in the Kirtland Temple. He was excited to be in the building because he had heard many wonderful stories of angels and heavenly messengers being present at the dedication of the temple. Would there be angelic visitors today, he wondered?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

An Apostle of the Lord, Defender of the Faith

Go, ye messengers of glory;

Run, ye legates of the skies;

Go, and tell the pleasing story,

That a glorious angel flies,

Great and mighty.

With a message from the skies.

In 1836 after his baptism and ordination to the priesthood, John was called to preside over the churches in Canada. John wanted to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith, so the next year in March of 1837 he visited Kirtland. Joseph welcomed John into his home. When he first took Joseph’s hand in greeting, John said “a charge like an electrical shock” went through him.

John treasured the time he spent with the Prophet Joseph. Both men had prayerfully sought religious truth in their lives; both loved learning and discussing spiritual truths. As their friendship deepened, their respect and admiration for each other grew.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

John Taylor, Converter of Souls

Soon he was ordained an Elder, and he began preaching the gospel just as he knew he would. This was the message God wanted him to share with others. John helped convert Mary Fielding to the Mormon Church. She was to become the wife of Hyrum Smith, and mother of Joseph F. Smith, apostle of the Lord and sixth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph F. Smith would also be John’s counselor when John was President of the Church.

From his childhood, John knew God had a purpose for him. Because of this knowledge, John lived close to Heavenly Father so he would be able to find the truth. As he listened to the Holy Ghost, studied carefully and prayed, John learned that the message of the gospel was true. Even though he would have many trials and hardships in his life, he never doubted.