It’s our last day of Christmas Past today and also the 210th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birthday. Our final Christmas Past story is in honor of him. We will be having our Grand Prize Drawing on Christmas Eve morning!!
On the 12th Day Christmas Past, Dec 23 – Joseph Smith Birthday…
Question: What new insights can we learn from President Kimball honoring Joseph Smith?
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They Named Him Joseph
President Kimball felt it very important and often remembered the Prophet Joseph Smith’s birthday. In Dec. 1966, Elder Kimball (before he became the prophet) very literally honored Joseph’s given name in an article entitled “They Named Him Joseph:”
“When theologians are reeling and stumbling, when lips are pretending and hearts are wandering, and people are ‘running to and fro seeking the word of the lord and cannot find it’ – when clouds of error need dissipating and spiritual darkness needs penetrating and heavens need opening, a little infant is born. Just a few scattered neighbors in a hilly region in the backwoods even know that Lucy Smith is expecting. There is no prenatal care, nor nurses, no hospital, no ambulance, no delivery room. Babies live and die in in this rough environment and few know about it.
Another child for Lucy! No trumpets are sounded; no hourly bulletins posted; no pictures taken; no notice is given; just a few friendly community folk pass a word along. It’s a boy! Little do the brothers and sisters dream that a prophet is born to their family; even his proud parents can little suspect his spectacular destiny. No countryside farmers or loungers at the country store, no village gossips even surmise how much they could discuss, did they but have the power of prophetic vision.
‘They are naming him Joseph,’ it is reported. But no one knows, not even his proud parents at this time, that this infant and his father have been named in the scriptures for 3,500 years, named for and known to their ancestor, Joseph, the savior of Egypt and Israel. Not even his adoring mother realized, even in her most ambitious dreaming and her silent musings, that this one of her children, like his ancestor, will be the chief sheaf of grain to which all others will lean and the one star to which the son and moon and other stars will make obeisance.
He will inspire hatred and ambition; he will build an empire and restore a church – the Church of Jesus Christ. Millions will follow him; monuments will be a built to him; poets will sing of him; authors will write libraries of books about him.
No living soul can guess that this little pinkish infant will become the peer of Moses in spiritual power and greater than many prophets before him. He will talk with God, the Eternal Father, and Jesus Christ, His Son; and angels will be his great instructors…
‘We fancy,’ said Bareham, ‘God can manage His world only with great battalions, when all the time He is doing it with beautiful babies.
O foolish men who think to protect the world with armaments, battleships, and space equipment, when only righteousness is needed!’
Having read the pages of history, six thousand years of it, can we not see that God sent His babies to become the teachers and prophets to warn us of our threatening fate? Cannot we read the handwriting on the wall? History repeats itself? The answers to all of our problems personal, national, and international has been given to us many times by many prophets ancient to modern. Why must we grovel in the earth when we could be climbing toward heaven? The path is not obscure; perhaps it is too simple for us to see.
How long will we waver between two opinions? If the Lord be God follow him! My testimony to you is the Lord is God. He has charted the way but we often do not follow. He personally visited Joseph Smith in our world, in our century! He outlined the way of peace in this world and eternal worlds. That path is righteousness. The Book of Mormon which Joseph translated relates the story of 200 years of peace in the old days which was the greatest era of happiness of which we have any complete record. God lives as does His Son, Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of the living God and his successors likewise. The mantle of authority, and prophecy, and revelation, and power lies in his choice servant who now leads us.”
It is interesting to note that Spencer W. Kimball was ordained and set apart as President of the Church on December 30, 1973. What a blessing it must have been for him to become the Prophet during this time of year (near Joseph Smith’s birthday), when his testimony of prophets burned its strongest.
Larry C. Porter, “Remembering Christmas Past, Presidents of the Church Celebrate the Birth of the Son of Man and Remember His Servant Joseph Smith”,p. 101-103.