Joseph Smith Describes Heavenly Father

by | Feb 8, 2023

the word Heavenly Father

Authentic Joseph Smith (No. 8)

Part of the Joseph Smith, Jr. Series

All blue quotes by Joseph Smith (unless otherwise noted).

From Wilford Woodruff’s diary (April 1844)


Simple and Profound

What struck me about this quote is how uncomplicated and easy Joseph makes it to picture Heavenly Father. From his description, I could see Him in my mind. One senses that Joseph is sharing a memory from personal experience.

 I go back to the beginning to show what kind of a being God was, I will tell you & hear it O Earth! God who sits in yonder heavens is a man like yourselves

That right there was a bombshell for many Saints (and others). And its vibrations still resonate in our lives today. We understand Heavenly Father’s nature on a deeper level than most of the world. And of course, it helps us understand who we are ourselves.

However, try repeating that to your Christian friends of different faiths and notice their reaction. This one statement sets us far apart – doesn’t it? For an in-depth look at how to possibly discuss this topic with friends and acquaintances, please see “You Are not Christian If You Believe Psalms 82.”

Converse With Him

And yet the message is That God – if you were to see him today that holds the worlds you would see him like a man in form, like yourselves. Adam was made in his image and talked with him & walked with him.

In order to understand the dead for the consolation of those that mourn, I want you to understand God and how he comes to be God.

This next bit gives me pause:

We suppose that God was God from eternity. I will refute that Idea, or I will do away or take away the veil so you may see. It is the first principle to know that we may converse with him and that he once was a man like us, and the Father was once on an earth like us

As I write this, there’s a huge message in that last sentence.

I may hold a conversation with Heavenly Father. Not just recite some prayer lines, but “converse.” Joseph Smith opens the door of familiarity and invites you to walk through it.

  1. Heavenly Father was once in your shoes.
  2. He walked on an earth, living out a life as you do now.

How does this truth make you feel as you reflect on it? Would contemplating it affect how you pray to Him – to know how closely paralleled He is to you and your experiences?

“Heavenly Father – are you really there”?

“Yes. And I was where you’re at too. I deeply care about you”

Remarkable quote from our dear prophet Joseph Smith.

Lorenzo Snow

A quick backstory: Lorenzo Snow originated a popular phrase early in his membership. He received it by sacred and personal revelation and was so amazed by it, he didn’t dare talk about it and kept it to himself until after he heard Joseph Smith teaching the same principle:

“As man now is, God once was:
“As God now is, man may be.”

May we feel these words and may our prayers be emboldened and strengthened.

Author’s Notes

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.)

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