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Testimonies of Joseph F. Smith
Sixth President of the Church. Member of the Council of Twelve from October 8, 1867, to October 10, 1880. Second Counselor to Presidents John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow, respectively, from October 10, 1880, to October 10, 1901. President of the Church from October 17, 1901, to November 19, 1918.
I bear my testimony to you, that I have received an assurance which has taken possession of my whole being. It has sunk deep into my heart; it fills every fibre of my soul; so that I say before this people, and would be pleased to have the privilege of saying it before the whole world, that God has revealed unto me that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Redeemer of the world; that Joseph Smith is, was, and always will be a prophet of God, ordained and chosen to stand at the head of the dispensation of the fulness of times, the keys of which were given to him, and he will hold them until the winding-up scenekeys which will unlock the door into the kingdom of God to every man who is worthy to enter, and which will close that door against every soul that will not obey the law of God. I know, as I live, that this is true, and I bear my testimony to its truth. If it were the last words I should ever say on earth, I would glory before God my Father that I possess this knowledge in my soul, which I declare unto you as I would the simplest truths of heaven. I know that this is the kingdom of God, and that God is at the helm. He presides over His people. He presides over the President of this Church and has done from the Prophet Joseph down to the Prophet Lorenzo; and He will continue to preside over the leaders of this Church until the winding-up scene. He will not suffer it to be given to another people, nor to be left to men. He will hold the reins in his own hands: for He has stretched out His arm to do His work, and He will do it, and have the honor of it. At the same time God will honor and magnify His servants in the sight of the people. He will sustain them in righteousness; he will lift them on high, exalt them into His presence, and they will partake of His glory forever and ever. It is the Lord's work, and I plead with you not to forget it. I implore you not to disbelieve it, for it is true. All that the Lord has said concerning this latter-day work will come to pass. The world cannot prevent it. The blind that will not see, the deaf that will not hear, cannot prevent the work from going on. They may throw blocks before the wheels, they may ridicule, they may malign, they may stir up the spirit of persecution and bitterness against the Saints, they may do all in their power to deceive the people and lead them astray; but God is at the helm, and He will lead His people to victory. Men and women may be deceived by the craftiness of the adversary and by the spirit of darkness that is in the world, but the elect of God shall see and know the truth. They will not be blind, because they will see; they will not be deaf, because they will hear; and they will walk in the light, as God is in the light, that they may have fellowship with Jesus Christ, and that His blood may cleanse them from all their sins.
I bear testimony to you and to the world, that Joseph Smith was raised up by the power of God to lay the foundations of this great Latter-day work; to reveal the fulness of the Gospel to the world in this dispensation; to restore the Priesthood of God to the world, by which men may act in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and it will be accepted of God; it will be by His authority. I bear testimony to it; I know that it is true.
I bear my testimony to the divine authority of those who have succeeded the Prophet Joseph Smith in the presidency of this Church. They were men of God. I knew them; I was intimately associated with them; and as one man may know another, through the intimate knowledge that he possesses of him, so I can bear testimony to the integrity, to the honor, to the purity of life, to the intelligence, and to the divinity of the mission and calling of Brigham, of John, of Wilford, and of Lorenzo. They were inspired of God to fill the mission to which [p.60] they were called, and I know it. I thank God for that testimony and for the spirit that prompts me and impels me towards these men, toward their mission, toward this people, toward my God and my Redeemer. I thank the Lord for it, and I pray earnestly that it may never depart from me.
The following authoritative declaration was made by President Smith in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 6, 1918, on the 88th anniversary of the organization of the Church:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is no partisan Church. It is not a sect. It is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the only one today existing in the world that can and does legitimately bear the name of Jesus Christ and his divine authority. I make this declaration in all simplicity and honesty before you and before all the world, bitter as the truth may seem to those who are opposed and who have no reason for that opposition. It is nevertheless true and will remain true until He who has a right to rule among the nations of the earth and among the individual children of God throughout the world shall come and take the reins of government and receive the bride that shall be prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom.
Many of our great writers have recently been querying and wondering where the divine authority exists today to command in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, so that it will be in effect and acceptable at the throne of the Eternal Father. I will announce here and now, presumptuous as it may seem to be to those who know not the truth, that the divine authority of Almighty God, to speak in the name of the Father and the Son, is here in the midst of these everlasting hills, in the midst of this intermountain region, and it will abide and will continue, for God is its source, and God is the power by which it has been maintained against all opposition in the world up to the present, and by which it will continue to progress and grow and increase on the earth until it shall cover the earth from sea to sea. This is my testimony to you, my brethren and sisters, and I have a fulness of joy and satisfaction in being able to declare this without regard to, or fear of, all the adversaries of the truth.
(See Biography of Joseph F. Smith; Testimonies home page)
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