Celebrating 200th birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith

It was 200 years ago today that the Prophet Joseph Smith, founder of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born. To celebrate, the Church held a televised event with president Gordon B. Hinckley speaking from Joseph Smith’s birthplace in Vermont. Our family watched the event on the Internet, and it was very good. Here are a few thoughts from various speakers:

Elder Ballard — We should be grateful for Joseph Smith’s family. Imagine if Joseph had come back to his parents to tell him about the visions he had seen, and hadn’t received any support. He came from good blood.

President Faust — Every person that calls him or herself a member of the Church should have a conviction of the Joseph Smith account. While Joseph Smith has friends and enemies, no one can dispute the success of what he started.

President Monson — By any account he was a remarkable individual.

President Hinckley — “He was the living prophet of the living God.” To celebrate Joseph’s 100th birthday, a granite tower was built at his birth place. The tower was 39 and 1/2 feet tall, one foot for every year of his life. It was made from one solid piece of granite and weighed 40 tons. Getting it from the quarry, to the shop, to the birthplace was a monumental task in 1905.

The building of that monument goes along well with a quote by Joseph about himself: “I am like a huge, rough stone… and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force…. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty.”

During this Christmas time we should remember that no man bore a stronger witness of Jesus Christ than the Prophet Joseph Smith.