Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was an American religious leader who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He is considered by millions of Mormons to be a prophet of God, called to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth.
Early Life and Conversion
Joseph Smith was born in 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. His family moved to Palmyra, New York in 1816. As a young man, he encountered spiritual confusion as different Christian denominations vied for his attention. In 1820, Smith sought answers to his spiritual questions and went into a nearby grove of trees to pray. It was there that he reported having a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ, who told him that all of the churches were wrong and that he should join none of them.
Revelations and Divine Authority
In the years following this vision, Smith reported receiving additional revelations from God. In 1823, he was visited by an angel named Moroni, who revealed the location of a set of golden plates containing ancient records. Smith translated the plates and published the Book of Mormon in 1830.
In April of 1836, Smith and his scribe, Oliver Cowdery, reported having a vision in the Kirtland Temple in which they saw Jesus Christ and several of the ancient prophets. This vision was considered a confirmation of Smith's divine authority and the establishment of the LDS Church.
Restoration of Priesthood Authority
Smith also reported receiving a number of revelations concerning the restoration of the ancient priesthood authority. In May of 1829, Smith and Cowdery reported that they were visited by John the Baptist, who conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood. Later that year, they reported being visited by the apostles Peter, James and John, who conferred upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Joseph Smith is an important religious figure in the history of the LDS Church. He is considered by millions to be a divinely called prophet who was tasked with restoring the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. He reported having a number of remarkable visions and revelations, which culminated in the restoration of priesthood authority and the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.