Joseph Smith, Jr. quotes

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Joseph Smith, Jr.

Birthdate: 23. December 1805
Date of death: 27. June 1844

Joseph Smith Jr. was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present.

Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont. By 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York; an area of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. Smith said he experienced a series of visions, including one in 1820 during which he saw "two personages" , and another in 1823 in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates called the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints" or "Mormons", and Smith announced a revelation in 1838 which renamed the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

In 1831, Smith and his followers moved west, planning to build a communalistic American Zion. They first gathered in Kirtland, Ohio and established an outpost in Independence, Missouri which was intended to be Zion's "center place". During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, and supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple. The collapse of the church-sponsored Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company and violent skirmishes with non-Mormon Missourians caused Smith and his followers to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became a spiritual and political leader. In 1844, Smith and the Nauvoo city council angered non-Mormons by destroying a newspaper that had criticized Smith's power and practice of polygamy. Smith was imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois, where he was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse.

Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture. His teachings discuss the nature of God, cosmology, family structures, political organization, and religious collectivism. His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah, and several religious denominations consider themselves the continuation of the church that he organized, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ.

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„You have to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you“

—  Joseph Smith, Jr., book History of the Church

History of the Church, 6:306 (7 April 1844)
1840s, King Follett discourse (1844)
Context: You have to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one: from grace to grace FROM EXALTATION TO EXALTATION until you ATTAIN THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.

„You don't know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history.“

—  Joseph Smith, Jr.

History of the Church 6:317 (7 April 1844)
1840s, King Follett discourse (1844)
Context: You don't know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself.... When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then.

„Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet.“

—  Joseph Smith, Jr., book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 160 (2 July 1839)
1830s
Context: Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet. No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy.

„That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.“

—  Joseph Smith, Jr., book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 256 (11 April 1842)
1840s
Context: That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, 'Thou shalt not kill'; at another time He said, 'Thou shalt utterly destroy.' This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted— by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.

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„Deep water is what I am wont to swim in.“

—  Joseph Smith, Jr., book Doctrine and Covenants

Doctrine and Covenants, 127:2 (1 September 1842)
1840s

„Element had an existence from the time he [God] had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end.... [T]he mind of man — the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so... We say that God himself is a self-existent being. Who told you so? It is correct enough; but how did it get into your heads? Who told you that man did not exist in like manner upon the same principles? Man does exist upon the same principles. God made a tabernacle and put a spirit into it, and it became a living soul.... The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is [co-eternal] with God himself. I know that my testimony is true... Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it had a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven.... I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man—the immortal part, because it has no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man. As the Lord liveth, if it had a beginning, it will have an end. All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself.“

—  Joseph Smith, Jr., book History of the Church

History of the Church, 6:308-309 (7 April 1844)
1840s, King Follett discourse (1844)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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