This week was terrific! I have gained a newfound admiration for the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph was called to be a prophet as a 14-year-old boy – a prophet that would RESTORE or, in other words, START a new church – Christ’s true church. He wasn’t called to go preach in an existing church and fix the problems that church had – a church that already had a following, foundation and structure. He was called upon to assist in restoring the true church… essentially, and for lack of better words, from scratch. He had to put new wine in a NEW vessel, because the apostasy had eroded the truths of the original gospel. Then he had to make sure this new church had a following, a sure foundation and a solid structure. He had a visitation from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, revelation, and a volume of Holy Scripture to work with, but I am sure to many it may have just seemed like a silly story and a phony book. How did he do it?
My companion and I were pondering this question as we were eating lunch this past week and thinking about the Pohnpeian group we are helping to grow. It has been a lot of work! It feels as if we are starting the church in Tarrant for the first time. We have a lot more support and resources than the church did when it first began in 1830, but it still is a lot of work! Naively, I may have thought once or twice that with how big the church is now, it would be easy to get a group running. Wrong! Nothing really great and lasting ever comes easily. But we sure do have it easier than Joseph Smith did. So once again – how did Joseph Smith do it?
Trick question! The answer is that Joseph Smith didn’t do it. Not by himself anyway. God did it! And he did it through Joseph Smith and many other early saints. I can testify that this is Christ’s true church – the very same church that he established when he was on the earth. Because of that, nothing can stop it from moving forward. That doesn’t mean we can just sit back and let God take care of it all. It means that we need to do all we can to assist in moving these efforts forward. When we exercise all the faith we can, we are at the point where God can work miracles through us. That also gives us the assurance in times of trial that we will be helped if we but keep the faith. I believe that if we keep working hard to help the Pohnpeian group grow, then Heavenly Father will help us. I love and miss everybody back home and hope you have a great week!