Monday, February 7, 2011

My Testimony Given Sunday February 6th 2011

As the presiding officer I always ensure I am given a few minutes at the end of fast and testimony meetings to ensure the meeting ends on a spiritually high note.  Yesterday I bore my testimony on the prophet Joseph.  After correcting some false perceptions that were given in an earlier testimony this is what I said:

Brothers and Sisters, I know without a shadow of doubt that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God.  And how do I know this?  Well I do not have time to go into a full explanation, but some of the best evidence of his authenticity can be found in the fact that the Book of Mormon itself prophesies of him. 

In 2 Nephi Chapter 3 Lehi is speaking to his son Joseph about the Joseph who was sold into Egypt. We know through this chapter that Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision and prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer.   In verse 15 speaking of Joseph Smith it reads  ‘And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. ‘ 

Can you imagine how Joseph Smith must have felt as he was translating the golden plates and read about himself – and not just himself but his father too?  I wonder how many times he went back over that particular section in the gold plates to verify that they really did tell of him and it wasn’t just his imagination.  It must have been very humbling for the boy Joseph.  I can imagine him excitedly running to tell his father too.  What a joyous time this must have been for the family.

And so it is that here we have Joseph of old prophesying that there would be a prophet named Joseph whose father would also be called Joseph.  I know of no other church that claims to have fulfilled this prophecy.    This brothers and sisters is one of the many evidences we have that Joseph Smith was a man ordained of God to bring about the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days, and I leave this testimony with you, humbly, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Stake President,

How blessed we are to have you here on the internet! After the hasty (and suspicious!) departure of Bishop Higgins, I was afraid we would experience an absence of inspiring posts, but am grateful for this opportunity to glean from your wise counsel.

What do you think happened to the good Bishop? I think he was disciplined by his higher-up leaders. Hope you don't make the same mistake and lose track of your humility.

Please keep us posted regarding any stake high council disciplinary actions you may be a part of. That should be fun to hear all the juicy details!

Warm Regards,

Brother Rock

Stake Pres. said...
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Alan Rock Waterman said...

Pres, you have brought me around to your way of thinking concerning the sin of mockery displayed by the former Bishop Higgins. But I would not go so far as to say he will ever be forgiven for taking the members down the path of light-heartedness. The guy was clearly a rat-bastard son of perdition.

Brian J said...

Thanks for pointing that out Pres. Paternoster! WOW! Can I just say WOW!

I always miss all this great doctrinal proof. We have a big family with lots of little kids, and I grew up in a big family with lots of little kids. I always seem to miss all the information about why Church is so true. It doesn't really matter though because I already know it. I just don't know why.

Actually, just last week I had to leave class because my youngest son was fussy. He's only 8 months old, but I made sure to go out to the lobby and make him sit in my lap so he doesn't think it's a treat to be fussy in class.

Anyway ... the teacher in Sunday School was talking about sticks or something. A stick of Ephrium and a Stick of Jewduh (not sure how to spell those, sorry). I missed the rest, but as I was sitting in the foyer I had a good feeling. I thought, sticks are strong. That makes sense. So the Book of Mormon must be true. It was really a great moment.

Do you know anything about the sticks Pres Paternoster?

Anonymous said...

I can think of a few places President Paternoster can stick his "sticks".
You have no idea the kind of pain your so-called "wise words" have inflicted on innocent people today. Enjoy your reward in eternity.

Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you so much President. I had never realized the amazingness of this story. I can only imagine how JS felt as he had the words revealed to him regarding his name and his father's. I know now more than ever of the truth of the BOM!

Lisa said...

I think you inspired the senior missionaries who taught me. They had similar testimonies to bear to me.

An example: Consider this truth as well, that a prophecy in 1st Nephi was fulfilled in 3rd Nephi.

I mean, you can't argue with that.

Stake Pres. said...
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Anonymous said...

Is it everyone's goal on this blog to teach by ignorance so that others may think. Or are you all really that deep into mormon zombie mind control? This site is pissing me off. Sometimes i think your posts are great, others i swear your an ignorant fool, genius, cant make up my mind.

Suspicious Minds said...

Let me see if I have this right. Joseph Smith dictated the Book of Mormon himself and everything the Prophet says is right. So that makes the book true then too? By your reasoning then, Joseph Smith is a prophet of God because the Book of Mormon says so, and Joseph Smith was right because he was a prophet called of God, and the Book of Mormon is true because Joseph Smith dictated it. And you know that the Book of Mormon was dictated because Joseph Smith said so himself. Sounds to me like an open and shut case of circular logic President.

Unknown said...

Now you've got it, SM! It is good to see others coming to an understanding of the Lord's way of reasoning. All is as one great eternal round.

r.everett said...

Well Im not sure about not questioning your leaders. Joeseph Smith told us to never trust in the flesh including in himself and to go and ask God about it. This change to never question your leaders is wrong, even the ORIGINAL Prophet Joseph admonished us to never trust in man. So are you saying the leaders are like God and not to be questioned?

Shane said...

Stake president, You are truly inspired. I was about to leave the church on the grounds of polygamy, polyandry, Masonic temple rituals, the evolving temple ceremony, the Book of Abraham translation issues, and all the effort of the church to keep those truths hidden from common RM, members like me, but I have decided to stay because of your amazing and simple to understand circular logic! Why cant there be more simple and pure circular logic in the church today? Thank you Stake President, may you have spiritual wifes without number!

R. Nephi Samuelson said...

Dear R.Everett,
As members of the Lord’s true Church, it can be confusing at times to recognize that at times prophets and their messengers appear to contradict each other. This is just not so, for as we learn in the temple, the truth shall be one day circumscribed into one great whole. Which means that something which may appear wrong or contradictory to us just is not so because we as the recipients of these great truths don’t have a fullness of understanding, preventing us from truly obtaining further light and knowledge in these matters. Heeding the words of our leaders will bring us peace and happiness, as we realize that they do indeed speak for the Almighty in our day. Brigham Young taught from the Salt Lake Tabernacle pulpit the following, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.”

This has been the guiding force in my own priesthood duties, for I know that the prophets utter the truth, and only the truth to us as members of the true Church. The sure word of prophecy IS our guide today! The wise counsel of Harold B. Lee also further illustrates this point, “. . we have a mouthpiece to whom God is revealing his mind and will. God will never permit him to lead us astray. As has been said, God would remove us out of our place if we should attempt to do it.” To put it in priesthood terms, to follow one’s inspired leaders is to find safety and peace through obedience to sacred principles.

The words of the beloved Marion G. Romney bring this point of leadership obedience home for all of us, “I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home….Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.”

Do what your leaders counsel you to do, even if it is wrong, for you will be blessed as you follow the first law of heaven, even the Law of Obedience. Giving our minds and wills to God through our devotion and obedience to our leaders is the only way to return safely into the arms of our loving and ever watchful Heavenly Father.

Your brother in Christ,

-R. Nephi Samuelson

Hyrum Packer said...

President, thank you for warming my bosom with these inspired words. A close second would be 2 Nephi 29 where Nephi sees in a vision that in the day the Book of Mormon would come forth, that people would already have another book of scripture called "the Bible," and that people would reject the Book of Mormon because they already had a Bible.

For all those skeptics out there, which is the more plausible explanation: (1) that an unschooled farm boy foresaw that his fictional book of history/scripture would be rejected by Bible thumpers, and wrote in a rebuttal of their modern arguments; or (2) that an ancient Jew living around 600 B.C. foresaw the day when his seed would cover the entire American continent, keep a record of its history, have its history discovered, translated, and published by an unschooled farm boy two thousand years later, which most people would reject based on their already-existing belief in a book of scripture that had yet to be compiled (i.e., the Bible)?

I rest my case.

Hyrum Packer said...

President, similarly, have you ever mused upon the singularity of the scene when Joseph Smith, Jr. translated Lehi's vision and discovered that Lehi had a dream almost identical to a dream that Joseph Smith, Sr. had? The tree of life dream, as explained in Lucy Mack Smith's biography of her son, the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.? I mean, honestly, the coincidences are too great to attribute these to chance. There must have been divine direction in all of this.

r.everett said...

Do not get me wrong, I am not botherd that you replaced the other bishop, any grop of people can decide their agent is not doing well and replace them for no reason IMO. IT is with the concept of following leadership regardless and the stance that you may not question. Agin I say the first law is not to OBEY. The first law of heaven is to love God with all your might. How many times have i heard that if the prophet asks you to do some thing you feel is wrong you should do it anyway and you will be blessed for it.... (for the people leaving the sarcastic comments plz stop, I am not trying to prove or disprove anyting.)That is wrong. You are responsable for your actions at all times and to say well i was told to do this will not exempt you from the accountabilty for any action. If you feel something is wrong you should NEVER do it unless you feel the spirt prompt you. By saying the follow the leadership no matter what is how Christ was draged before the judges, our prophet was murdered, and countless evil acts. im sure there leadership said it would be ok even if one felt it was wrong to do that. That places the leadership between me and the Redemption. How can one decide the 'right choice' of action if the leadership can, as i quote, ". I always encourage questions on any matter as long as people are not questioning the actions of their leaders." Where in cannonized scripture does it say that? (agin dont want to hear so and so said he heard it or told me would be ok )
What law in heaven exempts me from being responsable for my actions? When did GOD state you will not be responsable for your actions? Scripture is very clear on this. YOU are forever acountable for your THOUGHTS, ACTIONS, and Desires. No place does it say if leadership told you it was ok so you get a pass. or you were lead astray no worries your leader said it was ok. That is a FLASE tradition much like the taditions during Christs time were more importaint then the simple truth of the gospel. All the time I also hear the promise to remove leadership before it leads many astray. Even if i give you that, I would like to point out at no point does God say how quickly he would do it, nor if he would let one stay for a time to test the true faith of its members (humm to see if they would do great evil because they were told too)and to shake out the chaff. in FACT God says that even the most wise and rightoues will be deceved at the end. Thx for your time.

Anonymous said...

Is this site a joke? I can't help but laugh at how absolutely ludicrous this all sounds.