Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader who restored the Latter Day Saint movement, a restorationist ideology that gave rise to Mormonism.
Painting by an unknown painter, circa 1842.
Smith's followers revere him as the first latter-day prophet, the "Prophet of the Restoration", called by God to restore the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This restoration included announcement that God had directly communicated with man; the introduction of another testament of Jesus Christ (the Book of Mormon); the return of priesthood authority to act in the name of God; the building of temples; and the restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth (Zion). Smith was (and remains) a very controversial figure; his teachings were known to inspire deep devotion in his followers, yet deep, personal hostility and even hatred from his detractors. Smith was also a political and military leader of the American West.
Smith taught a form of Christian restorationist doctrines, such as the idea that Christianity had been in a state of apostasy, which could be restored by modern prophecy and revelation from God. In other cases, the doctrines were unique to Mormonism.
THE BOOK OF NEPHI
THE SON OF NEPHI, WHO WAS THE SON OF HELAMAN
Jesus Christ did show himself unto the people of Nephi, as the multitude were gathered together in the land Bountiful, and did minister unto them; and on this wise did he show himself unto them. Comprising chapters 11 to 26 inclusive.
CHAPTER 11 The Father testifies of his Beloved Son—Christ appears and proclaims his atonement—The people feel the wound marks in his hands and feet and side—They cry Hosanna—He sets forth the mode and manner of baptism—The spirit of contention is of the devil—Christ’s doctrine is that men should believe and be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. [A.D. 34]
1 And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.
2 And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.