On December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born in Sharon, Vermont.

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While still a youth, he was solemnly informed that the day would come when his name would be held, both in honor and in disrepute, by millions.  Nothing could have seemed more improbable during his lifetime.

Yet today, the Church he founded in a frontier New York log cabin counts 13 million members, more than half of them living outside of North America.   Intelligent and stable people in hundreds of nations revere him as a prophet of God.   In 2005, scholars assembled at the Library of Congress to hold a symposium examining his legacy.  And, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, the U.S. Postal Service employed a historic cancellation stamp to commemorate the event.

Joseph Smith looms larger with each passing year on the tableau of history.  A magnificent man and an outstanding person, he is someone to whom every man and woman can look up.

I know he is a prophet of God, a messenger prepared and sent to give mankind a further priceless portion of the Lord’s word.  I admire, honor, and thank God for Joseph Smith.

A rich trove of biographical and related information about the Prophet Joseph Smith is maintained by the Church at www.josephsmith.net.  This well-developed and inviting web site is worth a visit.

Several unofficial internet sites are also excellent sources of information, including www.pbs.org/americanprophet and www.josephsmith.com.