All quotes are from the talk Joseph Smith by Elder Neil A. Anderson.
October 2014 General Conference
HERE is a website that can generate false newspaper clipping images.
Make some semi-true stories about members of your family. Share them. What was right, what was wrong about the stories?
"We might remind the sincere inquirer that Internet information does not have a “truth” filter. Some information, no matter how convincing, is simply not true."
If we want to know the truth, where is the best place to seek answers?
What did the Savior say? Read 3 Nephi 14:16-20
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. How can we know the truth of this?
Elder Anderson says, "Each believer needs a spiritual confirmation of the divine mission and character of the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is true for every generation. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God."
Have the following quotes from Elder Anderson in places that you might go to find out answers- scriptures, computer, books, TV, the bed where you pray, the front porch where a newspaper is.... As a family go to each place and read the quotes.
1. " Many of those who dismiss the work of the Restoration simply do not believe that heavenly beings speak to men on earth. Impossible, they say, that golden plates were delivered by an angel and translated by the power of God. From that disbelief, they quickly reject Joseph’s testimony, and a few unfortunately sink to discrediting the Prophet’s life and slandering his character.
We are especially saddened when someone who once revered Joseph retreats from his or her conviction and then maligns the Prophet.10
“Studying the Church … through the eyes of its defectors,” Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, is “like interviewing Judas to understand Jesus. Defectors always tell us more about themselves than about that from which they have departed."
2. " To questions about Joseph’s character, we might share the words of thousands who knew him personally and who gave their lives for the work he helped establish. John Taylor, who was shot four times by the mob that killed Joseph, would later declare: “I testify before God, angels, and men, that [Joseph] was a good, honorable, [and] virtuous man— … [and] that his private and public character was unimpeachable—and that he lived and died as a man of God."
3. "Years ago I read a Time magazine article that reported the discovery of a letter, supposedly written by Martin Harris, that conflicted with Joseph Smith’s account of finding the Book of Mormon plates.
A few members left the Church because of the document.
Sadly, they left too quickly. Months later experts discovered (and the forger confessed) that the letter was a complete deception.
You may understandably question what you hear on the news, but you need never doubt the testimony of God’s prophets."
4. "... Some information about Joseph, while true, may be presented completely out of context to his own day and situation.
Elder Russell M. Nelson illustrated this point. He said: “I was serving as a consultant to the United States government at its National Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Once while awaiting a taxi to take me to the airport after our meetings were over, I stretched out on the lawn to soak in a few welcome rays of sunshine before returning to the winter weather of Utah. … Later I received a photograph in the mail taken by a photographer with a telephoto lens, capturing my moment of relaxation on the lawn. Under it was a caption, ‘Governmental consultant at the National Center.’ The picture was true, the caption was true, but the truth was used to promote a false impression.”
We do not discard something we know to be true because of something we do not yet understand."
5. " Brothers and sisters, let me give you a caution: you won’t be of much help to others if your own faith is not securely in place.
A few weeks ago I boarded a plane for South America. The flight attendant directed our attention to a safety video. “It is unlikely,” we were warned, “but if cabin pressure changes, the panels above your seat will open, revealing oxygen masks. If this happens, reach up and pull a mask toward you. Place the mask over your nose and mouth. Slip the elastic strap over your head and adjust the mask if necessary.” Then this caution: “Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others...Now is the time to adjust your own spiritual oxygen mask so that you are prepared to help others who are seeking the truth.”
6. "To the youth listening today or reading these words in the days ahead, I give a specific challenge: Gain a personal witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith."
Challenges for the upcoming week:
"First, find scriptures in the Book of Mormon that you feel and know are absolutely true. Then share them."
Next, read the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith.... Read it often. Consider recording the testimony of Joseph Smith in your own voice, listening to it regularly, and sharing it with friends. Listening to the Prophet’s testimony in your own voice will help bring the witness you seek."
Bear Testimony of Joseph Smith. Follow up with family members for the challenges that Elder Anderson instructed us to do during the upcoming week. At the next family home evening, or on Sunday, gather together and share!
Possible songs to sing:
Praise to the Man Hymns #27
Praise to the Man Hymns #27
Joseph Smith's First Prayer Hymns #26
We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet Hymns #19
An Angel Came to Joseph Smith CS #86
The Golden Plates CS #86
The Sacred Grove CS #87