RS/MP Chapter 7: Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Witnesses for Jesus Christ (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)
Posted by Robert C. on April 10, 2014
(A link to the lesson can be found here. Apologies for not getting this post up sooner—I had it finished earlier, but then I lost the file. Curse Windows 8 instability, and my own foolishness for not being more careful with a backup file. This is a much shorter post than I originally wrote. If I have time in the next few days, and esp. if other express interest in particular questions, I’ll try to write or rewrite some of my own thoughts in answer to the questions I’ve posed below.)
From the life
The last sentence of this section emphasizes humility.
Question: Why is humility so important in obtaining a testimony of God and the Restoration?
1. Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith
The penultimate paragraph of this section talks about the importance of Joseph Smith “to the world for this day and generation.”
Question: What aspects of the Restoration are particularly relevant “the world for this day and generation”?
2. Joseph Smith as the head of this dispensation
Question: Why did God choose someone as unversed “in the learning and traditions of the world” to restore the Church through? How does the learning and traditions of the world hamper our relationship with God, and how do we overcome these impediments so that our learning “is good” (see 2 Nephi 9:28-29)?
See the last paragraph of this section for Pres. Smith’s answer to this question.
3. God’s word through Joseph Smith
In the penultimate paragraph of this section, Pres. Smith bears his testimony. Lack week in conference, Elder Holland bore his testimony in a surprisingly strong way, saying, “I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit before me in this conference.”
Question: How does our knowledge of spiritual things differ from our knowledge of worldly things?
4. Joseph and Hyrum
Question: What makes a good friend and/or brother (or sister)? What can we learn from Hyrum’s example?
I esp. like the description in the 3rd paragraph of this section that “Hyrum was a man of wonderful tenderness of heart. He possessed deep humility and loved his brother better than he loved his own life.” Having a cause or a love that one values more than one’s life is an increasingly rare and thus increasingly noble and valuable trait!
5. Sealing their testimony with their blood
Question: What can we learn from Joseph and Hyrum’s examplary lives, and willingness to die for the Restoration?
I like Pres. Smith’s response to this question provided in the penultimate paragraph of this section.
Also, I recently saw Fruitvale Station which is a fine film that pays tribute to a life lost in an unfortunate set of circumstances (Here is a review that nicely captures what I liked about the film). This has got me thinking about how we honor (or fail to honor) those who have passed on to the other side of the veil in the way we live our lives. Pres. Smith’s desire to “be an instrument in the Lord’s hands,” esp. in sharing the message and love of the Gospel, seems a particularly apt way to channel such desires.
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