Sunday, December 18, 2011

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Joseph has said a few times already in just a few pages of this book that it's important a person commune personally with God, and get for themselves a knowledge of Him, and a knowledge of the truth.  He teaches this in the context of knowing for yourself, so you are not dependent on anyone else for your knowledge and relationship to God.  Such a teaching does not come from someone who wants to promote himself, or gather a following for his own selfish purposes.

If I were to contrast what Joseph himself taught, and what I'm commonly taught, the difference would be that the predominant teaching is about the Prophet Joseph, we want people to have a testimony of him and his calling.  Which is fine, it's good.  I desire to know about such a seer.  I personally believe he was in fact a Prophet of God.   However Joseph from what I read of his actual teachings and writings was interested in something higher.  He wanted us to seek, ask, and knock and come into contact with God ourselves. 

What I'm taught leads to dependence, what Joseph Taught promotes freedom.  Joseph's objective would put people in contact with God, who would approve of the inspired words Joseph brought forth.  However, a testimony of a man and his calling, even if he is called of God, is not necessarily the same as you yourself being in contact with God.  Big difference.  Important distinction.  Dependent on man, or dependent on God.  On the outside both may pay proper heed to prophetic words.  But for different reasons, and with a different outcome.

1 comment:

  1. Good point about the difference. You know, if you look at Nephi's life and teachings, he was all about this empowering of people to connect to God and live. And he lamented that his people (and we?) just would not ask.

    Thanks, Steve