Today is the birth day of Joseph Smith, prophet of the Restoration. He was born in humble circumstances 0n 23 December 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. At a young age he prayed and asked God for clarity and direction. His prayers were answered.
Here is a film that tells more about his experiences.
Theodore Turley, my 3rd Great Grandpa was Joseph’s back fence neighbor in Nauvoo in the 1840s. They were dear friends and close associates. Theodore’s daughter, Charlotte, my 2nd Great Grandma remembered Joseph holding her on his lap to keep her still when mobs threatened their families. Below is a state census from Hancock County, Illinois in 1840. Theodore Turley is listed next to his neighbors, Lucy Smith and her family members.
In 1855, LDS Church Historians were compiling the history of the Church. Theodore Turley was living in San Bernardino at the time. Hosea Stout wrote to him, asking him to recall his experiences with Joseph in the final days before Joseph was martyred. Below is the first page of the letter Theodore sent in response, expressing his love for Joseph, the Prophet.
Today on the anniversary of Joseph’s birth, I would like to express my love and appreciation for the Prophet Joseph, as Theodore did when he wrote, “The Wourld alone [h]as not lost a Friend But I myself have lost the Best friend I ever had upon the Earth in Joseph Smith. . . .”
Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!