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ZANA - Do you have to believe that Joseph Smith really was a
prophet to be a member of the church? I just can't buy into his vision.
JOEL - Then don't join the church.
What it all comes down to is that he either did see God and Jesus or he did not. If he did, he is a
prophet and the church is true and his vision is one of the most important things that has happened
to mankind in the history of the earth. If he did not see God, then the whole thing is built on a fraud.
Therefore, a belief in Joseph Smith being a prophet is vital to becoming a member of the Church.
The key to finding out for yourself involves looking at the fruits that have come from this prophet and those who followed him.
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather
grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but
a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can
a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt 7:15-20)
Look at the fruits of the Church that faithful followers enjoy that have come from what Joseph Smith did:
1. Happy, healthy, stable families.
2. Expressions of service and love to fellow man.
3. New scripture (Book of Mormon) prophesies and revelations from God.
4. Church organization the same as Jesus established in the primative church.
5. Faith, repentence, baptism, and Holy Ghost.
6. Miracles and gifts of the spirit manifested.
7. Rejection and persecution by the wicked.
8. One of the fastest growing religions in the world. Missionary activity.
9. Millions of members dedicated to living and serving in the Gospel.
10. Millions of dollors worth of humanitarian aid distributed throughout the world.
11. Healing the sick through priesthood administrations.
12. Answers to life's questions. Why are we here? Where are we going? How do we get there? The plan of salvation.
13. Members with a sense of love, devotion, and service to God and community.
As one considers all these fruits (and many more), he must also read the Book of Mormon, live the principles
of the restored gospel, and sincerely ask of God if it is all true.
"And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5)
I can't give you any other kind of evidence of the truthfulness of Joseph Smith's claim. If I could
there wouldn't be any need for faith. If there was no need for faith it wouldn't be a religion.