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STIMULATOR message for the week of December 12, 1972

Message from President Merlin W. Sant, December 12, 1972

“For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.  And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father.  And he shall be like unto me, for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord, shall bring my people unto salvation.”  (2 Nephi 3:6, 15)

Dear fellow missionaries:

About 580 years before Christ, Father Lehi, while blessing his youngest son, Joseph, recalled this remarkable prophecy, which he declared was spoken by Joseph, the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt.  We find no record of this prophecy in the Old Testament but we have no reason to doubt it.  Evidently Lehi knew of it through reading the records they had brought from Jerusalem.

Thus it was known approximately 1700 years before Christ and over 3500 years before it actually took place that a descendant of Joseph would be raised up as a choice seer to “bring my people to salvation”.  It is not generally know that the subject of this most significant prophecy, the Prophet Joseph Smith, was born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont.  Because his birth occurred in the same month in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we tend to overlook it and do very little to commemorate it.

We have no intention of placing greater emphasis on the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith than on that of the Lord Jesus Christ.  To Latter-day Saints there is no event in history more significant or meaningful than the birth of our Savior.  This statement taken from Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 places each in the proper perspective: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, than any other man that ever lived in it.”

That we may better know this great Prophet and Seer of the last dispensation, let us recall some excerpts from the writing of Parley P. Pratt.  “President Joseph Smith was in person tall and well built, strong and active, of a light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression peculiar to himself, on which the eye naturally rested with interest, and was never weary of beholding.  His countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with intelligence and benevolence; mingled with a look of interest and an unconscious smile, a cheerfulness, and entirely free from all restraint or affectation of gravity; and there was something connected with the serene and penetrating glance of his eye, as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the heavens, and comprehend all worlds.  He possessed a noble boldness and independence of character; his manner was easy and familiar; his rebuke terrible as the lion; his benevolence unbounded as the ocean; his intelligence universal, and his language abounding in original eloquence.”

Here are some original instructions pertaining to missionary work as given by the Prophet Joseph Smith nearly 140 years ago.  “If they receive not your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering to cast no reflections, nor throw out any bitter sayings.  If you do your duty, it will be just as well with you, as though all men embraced the Gospel.”  (Documentary History of the Church 2:230)  “First it becomes the Elders when traveling through the world, warning the inhabitants of the earth, instead of commencing with children, they should commence their labors with parents or guardians, and no influence should be used with children, contrary to the consent of their parents or guardians.”  (Documentary History of the Church 2:262-263)

We are gratified with your response to our urging that we make December especially productive in honor of Jesus Christ’s birth.  Let us also honor the birth of our prophet by finding one more family to teach and baptize.


President and Sister Sant

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