Authentic Joseph Smith (No. 13)
Part of the Joseph Smith, Jr. Series
All blue quotes by Joseph Smith (unless otherwise noted).
From Wilford Woodruff’s diary (May 1844)
I am blessed to associate regularly with those who dig deep into their gospel studies and find deep. They search often and find often. Our gospel conversations are laced with profound insight, discoveries, understanding, and wisdom. Associating and having them in my life amazes me. It is a gift straight from Heaven.
Recently, because of friends, I got hooked on reading Isaiah, and now I deeply understand it and hunger after it for the first time. I finally get why Christ said, “great are the words of Isaiah,” and then admonished everyone to study and know his prophecies. Isaiah wrote for our time…he wrote for 2023 and beyond. But that’s another topic…
I Advise All
Joseph was big on studying and increasing knowledge. He had a lot to say about the upward path our education affords us. Not in terms of worldly wealth and success, but in terms of our spiritual strength and well-being. Knowledge grows our souls and enables a higher quality, eternal life.
“I advise all to go on to perfection and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness.”
Once, a friend admonished my friends and me for discussing mysteries and going beyond Sunday school answers. She was well-versed in seminary and Sunday school answers. At the time, I had lots of respect for her and her beautiful contributions to life.
But going beyond the basic topics felt wrong to her. I’m guessing there might be fear that she might not be as knowledgeable as others in the room and have all the answers, or perhaps she might not know much about those particular topics and didn’t want to face that reality. Whatever it was, she sought to guilt and reprimand…fortunately she got a gracious response, and it didn’t influence anyone.
The opposite is true – never stop looking and adding to your understanding – there is more out there than we can learn in this lifetime. Joseph said:
“And you have got to learn how to make yourselves God, king, and priest, by going from a small capacity to a great capacity.”
Capacities, meaning mind, body, and soul. We can increase capacity by educating ourselves and acquiring new skill sets.
capacity: the amount that something/someone can produce. the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something.”I was impressed by her capacity for hard work.”
Intelligence Cleaveth to Intelligence
Here’s a powerful verse:
For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light...” (D&C 88:40)
That is so true! – When you seek intelligence and knowledge, it comes and finds you and adds more to you in the process.
Let me share a quick conversation about that between me and a friend:
Me: If I understand what I am reading…intelligence cleves unto intelligence. That by seeking knowledge out, light and intelligence, wisdom, and understanding are added or flow to you more abundantly, and you end up with more capacity than before. Have you ever felt that, like felt your mind expanded?
Tom: Yeah, it’s inspiration when the light turns on and “your eyes are opened.” Where something I’d been struggling with all of a sudden makes sense. It’s a neat experience. It’s those ah-ha moments that can only be attributed to the grace of God.
Learning and seeking are a part of our divine design. Whether it is books, videos, podcasts, friends, journaling, or websites…may you enjoy your various studies and knowledge-seeking!
The Joseph Smith Series comes from, in part, a book called “The Words of Joseph Smith.”
Note: usually, the book costs a small fortune ($150-$250) because it is out of print. But I found it for free at the BYU Religious Studies Center. (Thank you, BYU)
(P.S. I receive no compensation for any recommendations – I like sharing.)