Sunday, March 21, 2010

Part 2: A 14 Year Old Boy

One might ask why God would choose to restore His church through a 14 year old boy. Why would He not choose someone older and wiser? Why would He not choose someone better educated? Joseph Smith only had a grade school education.

In partial answer to this question, we can look to the Bible. The Prophet Samuel was chosen in his youth, and had communion with God at a young age. (See 1 Samuel 3) God knew what kind of person Samuel was, and called him at a young age so that He could teach and train him.

The Prophet Jeremiah was told by the Lord, " Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5) God knew these men before they were born in to this world. He knew their character, and He had ordained them to come in to this world and become prophets. We believe that others were also "fore ordained" to become prophets. In Abraham 3:22,23 we read, "22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born." We only see people for who they appear to be, but God knows who they were before they were born, and who they will become in the future.

My mother and father married when they were very young. My mother was 18, and my Dad was only 17. My mother often jokingly said, "I married a younger man so I could train him up the way I wanted." While she was only joking, I do think that God has at times done this very thing with some of the prophets.

Why choose a 14 year old boy? A 14 year old boy has not been "indoctrinated" by any one field of religion. A 14 year old boy is humble and teachable. And who can doubt the faith of a child? I am thankful for Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration. I am thankful for his childlike faith, and his obedience to what God asked him to do. I am thankful that despite persecution, Joseph was faithful until the end. He truly was a great prophet of God.

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