Tuesday, February 22, 2011

42i Joseph Smith, the First Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Was Called of God to Be His Instrument in Bringing About the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His True Church! Part Three

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Joseph in Liberty Jail -By Liz Lemon Swindle

D. and C. 122: 1 THE ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;
2 While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.
3 And thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of traitors.
4 And although their influence shall cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in honor; and but for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever.
5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can't you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
Jesus the Christ -by Del Parson
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. (emphasis added)
I hope that each of you who have read the above scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants did so very carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully. However, you may want to consider reading it once again. If you decide to do so please ask Heavenly Father to help you to more fully fathom the greatness and goodness of the man, and prophet of God, Joseph Smith, and of course and also, to worship and serve more fully the Lord Jesus Christ whom Joseph Smith and all faithful still living latter-day Saints devotedly serve/d!

As I wrote the above paragraph and the nine verses of scripture above it, I was close to tears. I love and value the Lord's words in that very sacred scripture! He was speaking to a still rather young man (who was not yet 34 years of age) who had placed himself in the Lord Jesus Christ's hands, determining to serve Him with all his heart, might, mind and strength. Despite Joseph's dedication and willingness to serve, he suffered much there in that Liberty Jail.

You will have to agree with me and many others that the name of that jail is quite ironic. It was actually named after the town in which it was located: Liberty, Missouri (U.S.A.)

By the way, I have visited the Joseph Smith Liberty Jail Memorial Building in Liberty, Missouri (U.S.A.) on many occasions during 1973 - 1978. I served as the Agency Director of the Independence Missouri Agency of LDS Family Services about four years of that time. I enjoyed taking visitors from Utah and other states who visited the agency or me personally, to view that very beautiful and sacred memorial building (in which the original small jail has been preserved)!

The Angel Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith -By Tom Lovell
In the previous post in this series on the Prophet Joseph Smith I quoted the following from the words of the Angel, Moroni to the fourteen year old Joseph when he first appeared to him in Joseph's second story bedroom in the Smith Family home near Palmyra, New York (U.S.A.)
Joseph Smith History 1:33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. (emphasis added)
Special note: In a good number of my posts I have referred to how skilled language analysis experts are able to identify whether or not the phrasing of a given document was by the person who recorded it.  I am positive that such experts would tell you that D. and C. 122 does not contain the phrasing and special style of speech used by Joseph Smith. Being a revelation from God it was written in God's phraseology which is found throughout the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and other revelations given through Joseph Smith.
I  want each of you readers to know that I, Neil Birch, have read much good along with much evil that has been written about Joseph Smith and I know by the witness of the Spirit of Discernment (The Gift of the Holy Ghost) that the evil written and spoken about Joseph Smith which is alleged to be the truth, is not that at all!
Now, in the rest of this post and in the following two posts I will present evidence to you that helps prove, along with the Lord's spirit which will whisper the sure truth to your hearts, if you ask humbly for that blessing, that Joseph Smith was the great prophet the leaders, missionaries and other faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints testify he is! (emphasis added)

Before getting into other related matters regarding the great and inspired accomplishments of the Lord's servant, the Prophet Joseph Smith, I give you the opportunity of reading a very pertinent statement from Wilford Woodruff, an apostle during Joseph Smith's time as church president. He later became the fourth prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Wilford Woodruff -From LDS Archives
"The Lord told Joseph that He would prove him, whether he would abide in his covenant or not, even unto death. He did prove him; and although (Joseph) had the whole world to contend against and the treachery of false friends to withstand, although his whole life was a scene of trouble and anxiety and care, yet, in all his afflictions, his imprisonments, the sufferings and ill treatment he passed through, he was ever true to his god." (clarification added)

Please open your Book of Mormon and read II Nephi 3:1-25 if you choose to do so. To assist you whether you read those verses or not, I will now summarize my view of what you would have read in them.
Here are, as I see them, the key points Lehi was inspired to make in his blessing of his youngest son, Joseph:

1. Lehi and his family are descendants of the Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

2. The Lord promised Joseph through his father Lehi's blessing that He, the Lord, would appear to his descendants in their promised land (Central America) after His atonement, crucifixion and resurrection.

3. The Lord also promised to raise up a choice seer to help Lehi's descendants in the latter-days. (in our day)

4. That seer would only do the work the Lord gave him to do.

5. That seer would, like Moses, deliver his people, Israel, from bondage.

6. That seer would bring forth the Lord's word, the Book of Mormon which was to confirm the truths contained in an earlier book of scriptures, the Bible.

7. In the blessing he was giving his youngest son Joseph, Lehi told him that religious confusion would be stopped among his descendants in the last days (our days) when those two books of scripture would be used together. In the following quote from the Book of Mormon Father Lehi refers to that Latter-day Seer, who is Joseph Smith:

II Nephi 3:13 And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.
14 And thus prophesied Joseph (who was sold into Egypt), saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;
15 And his name (Joseph) shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.
16 Yea, thus prophesied Joseph (who was sold into Egypt): I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.(clarification and emphasis added)
8. The Lord, through Father Lehi's prophetic blessing, told Joseph, the son of Lehi, that the efforts of others to destroy that seer (Joseph Smith) would be prevented until that seer had finished his work!

9. The work done by this promised seer would bring salvation to this Joseph's (Lehi's son, Joseph)  descendants (we call them Lamanites, American Indians and by other categories of modern-day people who are descendants of Father Lehi).
10. The work done by this promised seer will bring salvation to this ancient Joseph's (who was sold into Egypt) descendants, and eventually facilitate the gathering of all Israel.

11. The Lord, through Father Lehi's prophetic blessing, promised Lehi,'s son, Joseph, that his posterity would last forever (echoing the promise given to his namesake ancestor Joseph, who was sold into Egypt.)

12. The Latter-day descendants of this Joseph, the youngest son of Father Lehi, were to hear words of salvation which were to "cry from the dust" in the latter-days. The record contained on the golden plates (which were dug out of the dust of the earth, where they had been buried for many centuries) was named, The Book of Mormon which was translated through the power of God by Joseph Smith).

According to that which the Lord told Joseph who had been sold into Egypt, this mighty Latter-day seer who was also named, Joseph, was to become an instrument in the hands of God in bringing about much restoration of Gospel Truths to the House of Israel in our time, which along with the Book of Mormon, also includes the Books of Moses and Abraham in the first half of the Nineteenth Century).
I will continue this Joseph Smith Series of posts in a fourth and most likely, in a fifth post of this series. They will respectively be published on March 1, (Post 42j) and on March 8th, (Post 42k)

I end this post on a somewhat personal note: Through a painting of one of my wife, Melva's direct female ancestors, I provide you one example of the powerful influence the The Lord Jesus Christ's Latter-day Church can have on the family, which is surely the most important unit of consequence to each of us. I have also included a very touching video that tells of an important historical event concerning those other LDS Pioneers in the handcart company my wife's great, great grandmother was with when she died.

Mary Murray Murdoch (known by those who trekked with her towards Zion (Salt Lake City, Utah - U.S.A.) as "Wee Granny.") was a very dedicated Latter-day Saint. She was four feet seven inches tall and weighed about ninety pounds.

Mary and her husband James were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their native Scotland by missionaries who were sent by the Prophet Joseph Smith and/or by apostles who served with him.  They had not become Latter-day Saints until after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph.

James Murdoch died in Scotland as he heroically attempted to rescue a fellow miner who had become a victim of poisonous air in a mine shaft near where James had been working. Otherwise James and Mary would have surely immigrated to The United States of America together.

As you soon learn about "Wee Granny's" death, you along with the rest of us will have received very strong evidence  that she and her husband who died before her, were fully committed to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Lord's authorized church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which restoration was brought about in great measure through the instrumentality of the Lord's chosen prophet, Joseph Smith. Many, if not most, of James and Mary's descendants share in their commitment!

Wee Granny knew that even in death (at age seventy three) she and her already deceased husband James would be eternally sealed (united) as man and wife and as parents of all of their eight children and would continue to enjoy together this eternal bond even after death!

By the way, Mary was a member of the Willey and Martin Handcart companies which met with a very unexpected tragic disaster later on in Wyoming not long after Mary (known best as Wee Granny) had died. However, the Lord brought about the rescue of a good number of them through the inspired efforts of men who were sent by the inspired Brigham Young (who had been prepared by the Lord through the agency of Joseph Smith to replace him as prophet). 

Brigham Young -From Church Archives

These rescuers, in a number of cases, were guided by direct revelation given to them personally by the Holy Spirit, arriving in the "nick of time" to rescue those who could be rescued.

You will be touched by this fairly recent and very inspiring and touching video about this rescue by Emily Pugmire.

Both John and Mary Murdoch who are now together in the after-life which we will all experience when we die, are surely filled with eternal gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ and his servants which include Joseph Smith and the leaders of the church who served with him and those missionaries who taught James and Mary the Gospel of Jesus Christ, thus opening the doors to Eternal Salvation to them.

Quoting from the video you have just viewed: Above All the Rest This Tale We'll Tell! All is Well! All is Well!

Here is a photo of a parish where important family events took place. (This photo taken in 1975 by Jesse N. Smith

(A Footnote): Melva and I have this large (24 inch by 18 inch / 60.96 centimeters by 45.72 centimeters) painting shown next, hanging on a living room wall not very far from the front door of our home, where visitors can easily see it.  (it was one of about 300 produced by the artist, Clark Kelly Price)

"Tell John I Died With My Face Toward Zion" -By Clark Kelly Price
Wee Granny (Mary Murray Murdoch) died (October 18, 1856) on the Mormon Trail not far (Southeast) from where Bridgeport, Nebraska is now located. She died in full view of the Chimney Rock Natural Monument which has the appearance of a chimney sticking out of the large hill on which it stands as shown in the painting, and also in the left background of the photo below.

Wee Granny's grave was unmarked, but about fifteen years ago Melva and I along with her two sons and their families and with many extended family members, from many locations, attended a grave dedication for Mary Murray Murdoch at a small cemetery located within about a half a mile due west of a state of Nebraska Visitors' Center. Mary and those with her, had been approaching Chimney Rock as they trekked along the Mormon Trail on their way toward the Mormon settlement in what is now Salt Lake City, Utah (U.S.A.) when she died.
Descendant Janett mcBride sits at monument placed in honor of Mary Murdoch "Wee Granny" who died about ten miles east of Chimney Rock in 1856
Wee Granny's son, John was already in what is now the State of Utah, working as a sheep herder for Brigham Young, the LDS prophet who began leading the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints soon after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

My wife Melva, grew up in Heber City, Utah and there learned of her great great grandmother who had followed the example of the Prophet Joseph Smith in doing what she knew the Lord Jesus Christ expected of her.

This heritage of faith and courage was passed on down to all of Wee Granny's and her husband James' descendants including my wife Melva and hopefully to all of her descendants also. Thank you, Joseph Smith for doing all that you did to bless yet untold generations of Latter-day Saints to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ's Second Coming! This giving of thanks includes me, Neil Birch and many of the readers of this Blog post series.


This website is not owned by or affiliated with the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church.


TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX: To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or To Search The Index For Any Other Blog Post You Desire To Access), After You Have Read All of This Paragraph, Please Scroll Back Up And Click on the Following: Joseph Smith's Role in the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His True Church, Part III -Post 42i. When The Picture of Our Savior, Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy Comes Onto Your Screen, Please Scroll Down In The Index To Your Target Item Or Use the Alphabetical Scrolling Device (When It Has Been Installed).


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