“God Had a Work for Me to Do”
Joseph Smith—History 1:33
33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
“I take you back . . . to the year 1823. The month was September—the night of September 21–22, to be exact.
“The boy Joseph Smith had prayed that night before going to sleep. He asked the Lord for forgiveness of his light-mindedness. A miraculous thing then happened. He says:
“‘While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside. . . .
“‘He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God . . . and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people’ [Joseph Smith—History 1:30, 33].
“The boy must have been stunned by what he heard. In the eyes of those who knew him, he was simply a poor, unlearned farm boy. He had no wealth. His neighbors were in the same condition. His parents were struggling farmers. The area where they lived was rural and largely unknown. They were simply ordinary people trying to survive through hard work.
“And yet an angel of God said that Joseph’s ‘name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues’ [Joseph Smith—History 1:33]. How could it be? That description fits the entire world.
“Now, as we look back . . . to the organization of the Church, we marvel at what has already happened. When the Church was organized in 1830 there were but six members, only a handful of believers, all residing in a largely unknown village. Today, we have become the fourth or fifth largest church in North America, with congregations in every city of any consequence. Stakes of Zion today flourish in every state of the United States, in every province of Canada, in every state of Mexico, in every nation of Central America and throughout South America.
“Congregations are found throughout the British Isles and Europe, where thousands have joined the Church through the years. This work has reached out to the Baltic nations and on down through Bulgaria and Albania and other areas of that part of the world. It reaches across the vast area of Russia. It reaches up into Mongolia and all down through the nations of Asia into the islands of the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and into India and Indonesia. It is flourishing in many of the nations of Africa.
“Our general conferences are carried by satellite and other means in 92 different languages.
“And this is only the beginning. This work will continue to grow and prosper and move across the earth. It must do so if Moroni’s promise to Joseph is to be fulfilled.”
(“The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 83–84.)