Because Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return to live with Him, He had His Son Jesus Christ create the earth and establish His church on it. Then Heavenly Father called special men, known as prophets, to teach and guide His people according to His plan. And when people strayed from His counsel and destroyed His church, He called more prophets to help us because He loves us so much!
Three of these prophets are Adam, Lehi, and Joseph Smith.
Adam helped Jesus Christ create the earth. Later, Adam was the first mortal man on earth and thus the “father” of all of us. He was married to his wife, Eve, by the Lord; was taught the gospel of Jesus Christ; was baptized in water and received the Holy Ghost; and taught the gospel to his sons and daughters. He will come again at the end of the Millennium to conquer Satan and his forces forever.*
Lehi was a prophet during a time when the Jews were rebelling against the gospel. He warned them that they would be destroyed and scattered across the earth if they did not repent. They did not repent, so God told Lehi to take his family and flee into the wilderness. He took the brass plates with them so that they would have their family history and the scriptures to help them remember Heavenly Father and His teachings when they went to their new home in the promised land. Lehi died in the promised land but was promised that the story of his people and God’s love for them would someday be told to all the world.†
The Lord called Joseph Smith to be a prophet when he was just a young man. The true Church of Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth, and the Prophet Joseph was called to restore it. He received the priesthood—the power and authority of God—and all the priesthood keys needed to restore the Church. He translated the Book of Mormon, the story of Lehi’s people and another testament of Jesus Christ. He preached the gospel to all who would listen, and he built the first temple in modern times.‡
Another prophet, John Taylor, declared, “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. … He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and … has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood.”**