Happy Birthday Joseph Smith Jr. ; Thoughts From a Convert

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I wanted to wish Joseph Smith Jr. a Happy Birthday today. It was only time before the itch of having to write another post came to me. A good friend of mine Moroni (coincidence) posted on his wall a reminder that it was his birthday! I get very sensitive and tender when I write about this man. What can I write about him? I have contemplated many times in creating a book that contains my personal commentary on every single sentence of the Joseph Smith History. Ever since I heard the story of Joseph Smith Jr. from an Elder, my life has never been the same. I had a small prayer in my heart where I ask Abba if he could please give me a sign. I asked him to show me that the testimony of a man I never knew could only ring true if he NEVER LOSES eye contact with me while he shares it. The Elder began sharing and he never looked away. It wasn’t only the stare of Elder Vega, it was his beaming blue eyes of a dark skinned hispanic. It wasn’t only his eyes, but it was the Spirit that came over as if time stopped. Riding in a carousel of confusion, the missionaries moved the lever and pulled me out to see why I was riding on the carousel called “Life” in the first place. The beginning of looking into Mormonism also began a stirring of my heart to exhort and preach about religious tolerance.

CATHOLIC DILEMMA & THE HUMILITY FACTOR

The most hatred I have ever read about Joseph Smith Jr. has come from the church that I came from. I still look back with compassionate eyes of their ignorance. As my friend Chris Hughes would say ” Ignorant people tend to come with arrogance”. I have found that to be true. However, If I could relate one message to everyone in the world. I would echo the words of a Lutheran Bishop.

The late Krister Stendahl, emeritus Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and professor emeritus 
of Harvard Divinity School, established three rules for religious understanding:
(1) When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of
that religion and not its enemies; (2) don’t compare your best to their worst; and
(3) leave room for “holy envy” by finding elements in other faiths to emulate. These
principals foster relationships between religions that build trust and lay the groundwork
for charitable efforts.

My message from the beginning has been a message of tolerance. So much ill has been spoken on a prophet that I truly admire. Have I ever spoken badly about your church leaders. Can we admire the words spoken by Krister Stendahl? As far as the Catholic Dilemma, many people are quick to say that we worship statues. However, we are not supposed to! I read in the Catholic Church doctrine that worship of Idols are prohibited and the worship of Saints is prohibited. We need to look at this from all angles. I personally felt like there was a story not being told about the saints. These were people aspiring to come to Christ. Most of them had histories that we were very available and journals that were accessible to us in the modern age. For example, do we know much of Christ and his childhood? Can we relate to him with just one sentence of Luke?

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. – Luke 2:40 KJV

I feel like the Catholics ,we looking for someone to relate to on a human level. Christ of course does this, but it’s nice to see it from an imperfect person. This is now what Joseph Smith Jr means to me. He is an imperfect person still loved by a Perfect Person.

We all want to bridge with those who live a holy (loyal) life to the Almighty Father in Heaven. We want to see struggles like we see struggles. We want to see someone who gives up and then finally comes back to the fold of God. We want to see someone persecuted in their faith with fine and minuet details to give us comfort at night. One of the saints I truly admire is that one I was named after. Emanuel FRANCIS Zevallos. Francis of Assisi has the most noblest live I have ever seen second to Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith Jr.  I leaned on him when Christ felt untouchable to me. Mormonism has a way to bridge the gap to prevent an impersonal relationship with Deity. Joseph Smith exhorted that we should truly find the nature of God. As we know his TRUE nature, we will truly know how we should love Him, serve Him, and one day commune with Him.

As Joseph Fielding Mcconkie  once said ” We cannot learn of Christ without knowing Joseph, nor we can learn everything about Joseph without revealing more things about our Savior.”

Happy Birthday Joseph Smith Jr.  Thanks for going to the woods all by yourself and caring about the sins of the world at such a young age.

 If you could say anything to Joseph Smith Jr., what would you say? What does he mean to your life? I would love to hear your thoughts and your words will be cherished here.

 

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