Joseph Smith “Was Called Up to Serious Reflection” on the Subject of Religion

Joseph Smith—History 1:8

8 During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

Elder Robert D. Hales said:

“. . . [R]eligious feeling guided founders of a new nation on the American continent. Under God’s hand, they secured religious freedom for every citizen with an inspired Bill of Rights. Fourteen years later, on December 23, 1805, the Prophet Joseph Smith was born. The preparation was nearing its completion for the Restoration.

“As a young man, Joseph ‘was called up to serious reflection’ [Joseph Smith—History 1:8] on the subject of religion. Because he was born in a land of religious freedom, he could question which of all the churches was right. And because the Bible had been translated into English, he could seek an answer from the word of God. He read in the book of James, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God’ [James 1:5], and he did as directed. In answer to Joseph’s prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him [see Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20]. This humble farm boy was the prophet chosen by God to restore the ancient Church of Jesus Christ and His priesthood in these latter days. This restoration was to be the last, the dispensation of the fulness of times, restoring all the priesthood blessings which man could possess on earth. With this divine commission, his work was not to reform nor was it to protest what was already on the earth. It was to restore what had been on earth and had been lost.”

(“Preparations for the Restoration and the Second Coming: ‘My Hand Shall Be over Thee,’” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 90–91.)