Do you know the name of the person who organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; established a bank, a newspaper, and a printing office; supervised the building of the Church’s first temple; initiated extensive missionary work; made a translation of the Bible; received keys of authority from Moses, Elias, and Elijah; and translated the Book of Mormon?
If you answered Joseph Smith, you are correct.*
Joseph lived with his large family on a farm. He worked very hard helping his father and brothers clear trees from the land, care for their animals, and plant crops. Because his help was needed on the farm, he rarely was able to attend school.
When he was fourteen years old, there was great excitement in his community about religion. There were many churches, and each one thought it had the truth. Joseph did not know which church he should join.
He loved Heavenly Father and wanted to do what was right. He wanted to choose the right church to join. He said, “What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” (JS—H 1:10.)
One day while he was studying the Bible, he read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to ask Heavenly Father which church was right and which he should join.
On a beautiful spring morning, he went to a grove of trees and knelt to pray. As he began to pray, a frightening, evil power came over him. He felt that he was going to be destroyed. As he called out to Heavenly Father to save him, a pillar of light came from heaven and rested upon him. The evil feeling vanished, and he saw two bright and glorious Beings standing above him in the air. One of Them spoke to Joseph, calling him by name, and said, pointing to the other, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS—H 1:17).
Joseph saw Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ; he listened carefully as Jesus told him not to join any of the churches.
Joseph wanted to choose the right. Heavenly Father and the Savior were pleased with his desire and helped him understand what was right. Because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ knew that Joseph Smith would always strive to choose the right and be obedient to whatever They asked him to do, They chose him to restore the true church to the earth.