Around this time of year, many people turn their thoughts to the birth of Christ, but this time is also the anniversary of the birth of Joseph Smith. Over 200 years ago, December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith was born.
In Joseph's youth, he searched for the true church to join, as said in Joseph Smith—History. When he was at loss for an answer, the bible gave him guidance that would eventually lead to his answer. Smith trusted in God and put this scripture to the test.
The scripture, James chapter 1 verse 5 says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally." Joseph Smith followed this verse of scripture when he kneeled down and asked God which church to join. After Smith was visited by Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, they told him to not join any of the churches.
Following his faith in Christ, Smith spent the rest of his life restoring the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the earth.
Smith was physically close to Christ when he received the First Vision, but more so spiritually close to Christ, then and throughout the rest of his life.
We can use Smith's example of coming close to Christ in our own lives, according to Sister Merkel, a missionary from Germany in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. Merkel said that Joseph Smith learned about Christ through reading the scriptures, praying, and from actually meeting Jesus Christ.
"We all can do what he did,” Merkel continued, “When we have questions, we can pray in the name of Jesus Christ and ask God for answers. We can make sure we know how we can follow Jesus Christ and His example, even if we have to sacrifice something like popularity, we know what is important in life and that we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Sister Qiu from China, also serving in the Honolulu Hawaii mission, has applied Joseph Smith's example in her own life. "I read the scriptures, ponder the messages and pray about them. I can receive answers through Heavenly Father because, just like Joseph Smith, if I have faith and pray about them, then I can receive answers."
According to Lds.org, through Joseph Smith "the Lord accomplished a great and marvelous work that included bringing forth the Book of Mormon, restoring the priesthood, revealing precious gospel truths, organizing the true Church of Jesus Christ, and establishing temple work."
This Christmas season we can grow closer to Christ by following Joseph Smith's example of faith and trusting in God.