The Homosexual, the Jew, and the Indian

The Democratic Party has entered upon a brave new world as Iowan Democrats threw their support this past week behind three of the most radical candidates ever to run for high office in America: Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. This article will show how Buttigieg, Sanders, and Warren – a homosexual revolutionary, a Jewish-Marxist, and a fake Indian – represent the public face of the radicalized Democratic Party and what it says about America’s future.

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The Democratic Party has perhaps never fielded such radical candidates as those currently vying for the presidential nomination. Yes, they’ve had closet communists like FDR and Obama, but they concealed their true principles in order to deceive the electorate. Today’s Democrat frontrunners, however, have gone full throttle into socialism and cultural depravity, openly courting the extreme “left.”

The apparent winner of Iowa’s Democratic primary race was Pete Buttigieg, a homosexual married to another man. When, despite some major discrepancies in the numbers, Buttigieg declared victory in Iowa, he recognized “the future first gentleman of the United States,” his husband Chasten Buttigieg. His shout out was met with raucous cheers from his mostly female crowd who began a cult-like chant of the name “Chasten.”

Perhaps Buttigieg’s descent into radicalism was inevitable. His father, the Maltese immigrant Joseph Buttigieg, was a Jesuit-Marxist university professor. The Washington Examiner reported:

The father of Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg was a Marxist professor who spoke fondly of the Communist Manifesto and dedicated a significant portion of his academic career to the work of Italian Communist Party founder Antonio Gramsci, an associate of Vladimir Lenin. . . .

He was an adviser to Rethinking Marxism, an academic journal that published articles “that seek to discuss, elaborate, and/or extend Marxian theory”. . . .

““They’re part of a wider international community of Marxist theorists and academicians with a particular devotion to the writings of the late Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, who died over 80 years ago. Gramsci was all about applying Marxist theory to culture and cultural institutions — what is often referred to as a ‘long march through the institutions,’ such as film, media, and especially education,” [Paul] Kengor told the Washington Examiner.

Pete Buttigieg, an only child, shared a close relationship with his father. In his memoir Shortest Way Home, Pete called his dad a “man of the left”. . . .

Pete wrote that his dad was supportive when he came out as gay. . . .

A self-described progressive, [Pete] Buttigieg has called to abolish the Electoral College system, supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and thinks that climate change is a national security threat.”

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It is fitting that a devoted Gramscian Marxist would produce a gay, Marxist son who would seek to foist his perversions on the American public. For those who may not be aware, the homosexual movement in the United States was founded by the homosexual Harry Hay, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA. He founded the Mattachine Society, the first homosexual society in America. He later founded the international group Radical Faeries and the pedophile network the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).

Communists have always been at the forefront of degrading American institutions and pressuring us to accept the abnormal, sinful, and destructive LGBT movement which is part and parcel of The Communist Manifesto’s threat to “abolish the family.” The wave of cultural Marxism sweeping over our society is the greatest threat we face. The communist-led feminist and LGBT movements are at the forefront of converting America from a Christian Republic into a godless Marxian state.

Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has proved that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Just like his father, Mayor Pete is a rabid Marxist. In his Latino outreach program, Buttigieg invoked a communist rallying cry. The Blaze reports:

Buttigieg announced the initiative on his social media accounts by invoking a Spanish-language slogan that is raising eyebrows among Latino leaders. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, tweeted “El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido” (“the people united, will never be defeated”), a protest chant that was famously popularized by Latin American communists. The saying was also featured in several campaign communications, including as a call-to-action on a Latino website. . . .

It is unclear which Americans Buttigieg is referring to, but Latin American Marxists have rallied around the phrase for years.”

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Buttigieg is an Episcopalian raised in Catholicism. However, as a homosexual, he’s obviously not a very good Catholic or Episcopalian. His brand of so-called Christianity” is of the Marxist variety. He believes strongly in Liberation Theology or “progressive Christianity.” R. Albert Mohler, Jr. has written:

Despite the media buzz, when you look closely at Mayor Buttigieg, you find a very progressive candidate. Though he asserts himself as a sane alternative to the far left fringes of the Democratic Party, his moral issues are in lock step with the most progressive wings of the leftist agenda.

Buttigieg, as homosexual married to a man, zealously advocates for pro-LGBTQ issues. When it comes to issues of abortion, Buttigieg supports an abortion-on-demand system fully funded by the taxpayers of the United States. According to Buttigieg, women ought to have the right to secure an abortion for virtually any circumstance at any point during a pregnancy. . . .

While Buttigieg acknowledges the existence of a creator, he avows that his sexual identity exists as an extension of the creator’s will—God made him that way. This is a common argument from LGBTQ activists that now rings louder with the candidacy of Buttigieg.

The argument, however, in no way squares with biblical orthodoxy or the teaching of Scripture.

Yet, Buttigieg demands that evangelical Christians ‘evolve’ their understanding of holy Scripture. . . .

Buttigieg subscribes to Liberation theology—specifically, he espouses LGBTQ Liberation Theology . . . This theology replaces the authority of Scripture with the authority of human experience. Moreover, it understands sin not as a transgression against the law and character of God, but as the oppression of a minority by a majority class. . . .

. . . He does not merely espouse a liberal political ideology—instead, he contends that his Christian faith leads him to no other conclusion other than a progressive agenda. He has made a theological argument for a political reality. He has reinserted liberal theology as the only viable way of reading the Scriptures. He posits a place for religion in the public square, but only a religion in line with liberal theology.”

The Marxist Pope Francis is also a proponent of Liberation Theology, as are most of his fellow Jesuits. “Christians” around the world are embracing this new social gospel and introducing radical concepts that are nowhere to be found in scripture or that blatantly contradict the Bible. For instance, against all logic and scriptural evidence, Buttigieg claims that God made him gay and that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. In an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper, a fellow homosexual, Buttigieg responded to whether homosexuality is a sin by saying “I don’t believe it is.” He opined:

Well, the decision was definitely made way above my pay grade. And if you belong to the Christian tradition that I belong to, then you believe that God loves you and you look around and you notice that you’re gay and those two things exist at the same time.

. . . I really feel that [my] marriage moved me closer to God.”

Buttigieg subscribes to the false ideology that homosexuals are born rather than made. Of course, everyone with common sense knows that a God who has forbidden homosexuality and declared it a sin would not create His precious children gay. The fiery Christian leader, Boyd K. Packer, once said:

We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. . . .

Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father” (President Boyd K. Packer, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” General Conference, October, 2010).

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A loving Father in Heaven would not give His sons and daughters unnatural same-sex tendencies. And neither does God tempt anyone to sin (James 1:13). To Buttigieg, however, his gayness makes him feel closer to God, showing just how out-of-touch he really is. If he bothered to actually read the Bible, he would know that homosexuality is bluntly condemned by the holy prophets. From God commanding us to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), which those afflicted by homosexuality literally cannot do, to commanding a man to “cleave unto his wife” (Genesis 2:24), to issuing the death penalty for homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13), to stating that homosexuality is “against nature” (Romans 1:26), the Bible clearly refutes Buttigieg and his phony social gospel.

As a homosexual progressive of Marxist lineage, Buttigieg is an almost ideal candidate for the radical socialists who masquerade as Democrats. He has said:

Here’s my message to progressives in the party: I would be the most progressive presidential nominee we’ve put forward in a generation.”

There have of course been other homosexuals in government and positions of public trust, such Eleanor Roosevelt, and many suspected homosexuals like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but Buttigieg is different in that he has made his homosexuality the focal point of his campaign. Everything else he promotes is only a means of fundamentally transforming America from a Christian nation to a Marxist utopia where anything goes and morality is relative.

The fact that a proud homosexual, and one that harbors communist views at that, is the Democratic Party’s frontrunner tells you everything you need to know about Democrats’ moral compass – or lack thereof.

The Jew Bernie Sanders, who finished in a near statistical tie with Buttigieg in Iowa, is yet another example of the Democratic Party’s march toward communism. Though most Jews don’t like to acknowledge it, and, indeed, call it “anti-Semiticto say, the truth is that communism was created and forced upon the world primarily by Jews. Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Order of Illuminati, was a Jew. It was an Illuminati splinter group known as the League of the Just that hired the Jew Karl Marx to polish off a manifesto containing the group’s beliefs. This was published in 1848 as The Communist Manifesto and the League renamed themselves the Communist League.

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Eventually, the part-Jew Vladimir Lenin, who was married to a Jewess and spoke Yiddish, came to head the Communist League, by then called the Social Democratic Workers’ Party. He led this group of predominantly European Jews, funded largely by Jewish bankers, in a vicious coup against Russia. The result was the creation of the Soviet Union, whose first government was about 85% Jewish. By the 1930s, under the reign of Stalin who was married to a Jewess, 1/3 of all Jews in Russia were employed by the Soviet state as commissars, KGB thugs, and GULAG commandants.

It is fitting, then, that the most successful socialist political figure in recent American history is also a Jew. As a Jewish-Marxist, Bernie Sanders doesn’t care about preserving America’s Christian heritage. In 2017, when President Donald Trump appointed an outspoken Christian, Russell Vought, to a position in the White House, Bernie Sanders challenged his worthiness to hold the office on religious grounds. Sanders suggested that Vought was “Islamophobic” simply because he was a Christian and had said he didn’t believe in the same God as Muslims do. Therefore, Sanders voted against Mr. Vought’s appointment, showing his resentment of Christians in general.

In a Times of Israel article from earlier this month, we learn that Bolshevik Bernie considers his Jewishness a key factor in determining his politics. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Sanders was asked by a Jewish woman what role his ethnicity plays in his life. He responded:

It impacts me very profoundly. When I try to think about the views that I came to hold there are two factors. One I grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money . . . and the second one is being Jewish.”

The article then continued with the obligatory “Holocaust” propaganda:

Sanders recalled as a child reading “big picture books of World War II” and “tears were rolling down my cheeks” as he learned the fate of Jews. He also remembered seeing Holocaust survivors in his Brooklyn neighborhood with numbers tattooed on their arms, and a recent visit to his father’s hometown in Poland, where locals took him and his brother to a site where Nazis committed a mass murder of Jews.

Much of Sanders’ extended family perished in the Holocaust.”

The “Holocaust” has become part and parcel of the Jewish worldview. It’s rare to find a Jew that doesn’t cling religiously to the old atrocity propaganda and that doesn’t seek to punish white people and Europeans for perceived injustices and alleged “anti-Semitism.” It should be noted, however, that what they call “anti-Semitism” is actually anti-communism. And what they claim happened in the “Holocaust” has been refuted time and time again by the evidence and by historians all across the world – including some Jewish and Israeli historians.

Even the former head archivist at Auschwitz, Franciszek Piper, rejects large parts of the “Holocaust” narrative. In a video interview with the Jewish investigator David Cole, Piper stated that the infamous gas chambers” were reconstructed by the Soviets after World War II. Of course, he spun the yarn that it was a “gas chamber” before being turned into an air raid shelter . . . before again being reconverted into a “gas chamber” by the Soviets to show the world what had happened. And yet the Auschwitz tour guides tell tourists that the “gas chambers” are the originals used by those mean ol’ “Nazis.” Sounds legit. And yet people have the audacity to call me anti-Semitic for questioning what the “official” historians themselves dispute and for citing books such as Carlos Porter’s Made in Russia: The Holocaust!

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Being Jewish almost compels Sanders into radicalism of thought and action. Communism is the most vicious version of this radicalism. Three-fourths of U.S. Jews also vote Democrat. And Jews worldwide are firmly on the socialist side of the political spectrum. Jews have been at the forefront of every socialist movement of the past two hundred years, both in our country and abroad. As Winston Churchill accurately stated:

There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others . . . Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.”

Astonishing, indeed. The horrid screed You Gentiles, written by the Jewish Romanian author Maurice Samuel in 1924, acknowledges the Jewish hand in promoting social revolution. Samuel was proud that Jews are more disposed toward revolution than Gentiles. In fact, he said that this urge toward communistic revolution “is dominant in us.” He likewise wrote:

Jewish socialism and Jewish socialists are the banner bearers of the world’s “armies of liberation” (Maurice Samuel, You Gentiles, 142).

And again, Samuel boasted:

We Jews, we, the destroyers, will remain the destroyers forever. Nothing that you will do will meet our needs and demands. We will for ever destroy because we need a world of our own, a God-world, which is not in your nature to build” (Samuel, You Gentiles, 155).

As long as they support socialism-communism, they will indeed be “the destroyers.” As noted, international Jewry’s connection to communism is historical fact. Communism, which is a Satanic movement aimed at the “liberation” (i.e. subjugation) of mankind, is disproportionately in the hands of Jews. Bernie Sanders is yet the latest evidence of this long-established trend.

It is not only relevant, but imperative, to note that Bernie Sanders is a Jew. I personally could never bring myself to knowingly vote for a non-Christian – whether Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist – regardless of his politics. America was founded as a Christian nation and our laws were originally grounded in Biblical Christianity. When we put non-Christians into office – radicals like Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Jerrold Nadler, Adam Schiff, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and others – we erode that sure foundation. It is imperative that we, as a People, turn back to Jesus Christ or we will be swept off this covenant land.

Even as I emphasize Sanders’ Jewishness, I hasten to clarify that his true religion and loyalty is to global communism. He is part of the murder cult of communism and was an open advocate of Soviet Russia at the height of the Cold War. Bernie wants to bring the United States into the Bolshevik brotherhood of slavery and misery. That a Jewish-socialist is on the verge of commandeering the Democratic Party should tell us all how far we’ve sunk as a nation.

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One of the finest minds of the founding era, John Jay, encouraged Americans to vote for Christians. He said it is not only our privilege, but our duty. I end my remarks about Bolshevik Bernie Sanders with John Jay’s relevant quotation:

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” (John Jay to John Murray, Jr., October 12, 1816, in Henry P. Johnston, ed., The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Vol. 4).

We now come to Elizabeth Warren, the Marxist dolt who thinks she’s an Indian. Warren is, without a doubt, one of the looniest candidates to run in a long time. Business Insider reported the following about Warren’s Indian controversy:

Records indicate that various points in her career, Warren went between identifying as white and Native American. The year before she was hired at the University of Pennsylvania, 1986, she listed herself as a ‘Minority Law Teacher’ on the American Association of Law Schools directory, a tip sheet for school administrators. She continued to list herself as such until 1995 and was repeatedly referenced as a minority in Penn’s yearly equity report. . . .

Warren’s campaign never offered conclusive evidence, but she told reporters that “being Native American is part of who our family is and I’m glad to tell anyone about that. I am just very proud of it.” . . . .

The New England genealogical society at first backed Warren’s claim, but upon further investigation, retracted their support, re-igniting the debate.”

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After President Trump challenged Pocahontas, as he likes to call her, to take a DNA test to substantiate her claims, she did. It was discovered that she is indeed an Indian . . . that is, if you consider 1/1024 Cherokee blood enough to qualify you as an Indian!

Warren at first boasted that the DNA test proved her claims – she was a real Indian. Then she later apologized for claiming she is Cherokee when the Cherokee Nation rebuffed her. I quote now from ZeroHedge article:

The unexpected apology breaks from Warren’s previous public stance, in which she refused to admit fault. . . .

The apology follows the publication of an opinion column by Chuck Hoskin Jr, the secretary of state of the Cherokee Nation, in the Tulsa World on Wednesday titled, “Elizabeth Warren can be a friend, but she isn’t a Cherokee citizen.”

In the column, Hoskin said Warren’s test, which her office said showed strong evidence that Ms. Warren has Native American pedigree “6-10 generations ago,” did not take into account that, for most Native Americans, culture and kinship is what creates tribal membership — not blood, and certainly not 1/1024th thereof.

““This concept of family is key to understanding why citizenship matters,” Mr. Hoskin wrote. “That is why it offends us when some of our national leaders seek to ascribe inappropriately membership or citizenship to themselves. They would be welcome to our table as friends, but claiming to be family to gain a spot at the table is unwelcome.””

Warren should be unwelcome at ever table in America, not just at the Indians’ table. But lying about being an Indian isn’t the only thing she’s fabricated. She once alleged that she was fired as an elementary school teacher because she was pregnant. The facts, however, contradict her feminist propaganda. The Washington Freebeacon reported:

The Riverdale Board of Education approved a second-year teaching contract for a young Elizabeth Warren, documents show, contradicting the Democratic presidential candidate’s repeated claims that she was asked not to return to teaching after a single year because she was “visibly pregnant.” . . . .

The Board of Education minutes show a part-time contract for her first year of teaching received unanimous approval during an August 1970 board meeting. Meeting minutes from November 1970 confirm Warren’s account that she was working on an “emergency” teaching certificate, showing unanimous approval “that a provisional certificate be requested for Mrs. Elizabeth Warren in speech therapy.”

Toward the end of Warren’s first year on the job, in April 1971, the board approved her contract for the following school year, the meeting minutes show. Two months later, the meeting minutes indicate that Warren had tendered her resignation.

““The resignation of Mrs. Elizabeth Warren, speech correctionist effective June 30, 1971 was accepted with regret,” the June 16, 1971, minutes say.”

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Clearly, Warren’s fabricated tale of being fired is about as true as her stories of Indian heritage. Perhaps her 1/1024th Indian blood is causing her, like other Indians, to see injustices where they don’t exist; and to invent “atrocities” that never happened.

When she’s not trying to bury the hatchet with her fellow Indian squaws and braves or speaking with a forked tongue about being fired from a job she actually resigned from, she’s out on the war path proposing spending plans that would bankrupt the nation. To wit, Warren recently concocted a socialist medicare plan “that would cost $52 trillion over the next decade, including $20 trillion in new spending, which would be covered largely by an array of taxes on corporations, the wealthy and employers in general.” Who doesn’t love new taxes? Especially in a time of economic boom!

Elizabeth Warren is perhaps the ultimate hack in the Democratic Party. But she isn’t just daft. She is also malicious. Fearing what the truth would do to expose her as the enemy to the Republic she is, Pocahontas has introduced a scheme to criminalize what she calls “disinformation.” In an article “Criminalizing free speech online? Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that,” Brad Polumbo wrote:

On Wednesday, the 2020 candidate released a plan that would impose criminal and civil penalties on those who are deemed guilty of spreading “disinformation.” In a tweet unveiling the plan, she said, “Disinformation and online foreign interference erode our democracy, and Donald Trump has invited both.” The Massachusetts Democrat continued, “Anyone who seeks to challenge and defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election must be fully prepared to take this on—and I’ve got a plan to do it.” . . .

There is a real issue with people believing fake or misleading information they see online. . . .

But criminalizing “misinformation”? That’s the stance of a dictator seeking to squash dissent, not a candidate trying to win over voters earnestly.”

Specifically, Warren proposed:

Push to create civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating false information about when and how to vote in U.S. elections . . . I will push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information, which has the explicit purpose of undermining the basic right to vote.”

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This prompts several questions, especially for a person like myself who is constantly writing about political candidates and current events. For one, would I be penalized for writing that Warren is a fake Indian? Though she is technically 1/1024 Indian, that hardly seems enough to qualify. If she qualifies as Indian, then I certainly do through a not-too-distant ancestor on my Dad’s side. Also, would I be penalized for calling Bernie Sanders “Bolshevik Bernie” since he’s not technically a Bolshevik (though his principles are Bolshevist)? Or would I be penalized for saying that Pete Buttigieg is not a real Christian because of his belief in “progressive Christianity”? In all honesty, who gets to decide what is and is not “disinformation”? Snopes? The Democratic Party?

Joseph Sacco, writing for The Resurgent, summed up what Warren’s scheme is really all about:

Between all the talk of free college, student loan debt forgiveness, and impeachment, Elizabeth Warren is out to destroy whatever freedoms she doesn’t like.

Warren plans on destroying the First Amendment and the rights of corporations by holding corporations accountable if misinformation is spread on their platforms and it affects voter turnout.

How Warren’s plan would actually determine how or when said misinformation is not clear but she is very sure that they should be punished. . . .

I find it especially rich that a candidate who lied about her Native American “heritage” is now lecturing American’s and corporations about spreading disinformation, and then threatening them with criminal charges.

But again, progressives are about power and control and they will destroy the rights of those who don’t agree with them.”

And that is the heart of why Pocahontas is so wrong – because she is a “progressive” (i.e. Marxist). Like all socialists, she seeks power. And she seeks power by centralizing all things in the hands of the state. From destroying our right to speak out and spread information online, to proposing plans to bankrupt the country, Elizabeth Warren has shown her true colors. She may not be a red-skinned Indian, but she is Red through and through.

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When you consider their radical principles, outlandish policy proposals, and routine lies, what do Buttigieg, Sanders, and Warren mean for America? I submit that the campaigns of these three Marxists constitute a manifestation of the dramatic cultural shift taking place in our country. While there may be political wins now and then, we have lost nearly every battle on the cultural front.

The LGBT, feminist, transgender, and MGTOW movements are tearing apart our families and marriages and producing a generation of confused young people. Christianity is decreasing at the same time Wicca is the fastest-growing religion in America. The Satanic Temple and other perverse groups are busy erecting Satanic statues throughout the nation and infiltrating local city councils with pagans who are replacing Christian prayers with pagan ones. The infanticide of American infants rolls on. Pornography is on the rise and the Lord’s law of chastity has become virtually meaningless. Profanity is becoming normal and accepted. In almost every discernible way, the American People are losing touch with their Christian roots.

The advent of the Homosexual, the Jew, and the Indian in American politics foretells of darker days yet to come. It portends future flirtation with the forces of cultural Marxism. It suggests that we are becoming desensitized and are beginning to accept what our forefathers understood was harmful. We know from Alexander Pope’s famous saying, that people eventually embrace what they tolerate. He wrote:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

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God help us to wake up before we become so accustomed to seeing sexual degenerates, communists, and liars parade before our eyes that we eventually embrace them. May we realize that putting homosexuals like Pete Buttigieg, Marxist Jews like Bernie Sanders, and liars like the fake Indian Elizabeth Warren, into public office can only be dangerous for our Republic. We need men of integrity, virtue, and Christian piety to represent us – not anti-Christians, Marxists, and phonies. Let us finally realize, dear reader, that the Democrats’ brave new world, were we to embrace it, would be a hellish dystopia straight out of Marx’s wildest fantasies.

Zack Strong,

February 11, 2020

Joseph Smith – Praise to the Man

One of the most influential figures in world history began his early life as an unassuming, unlearned farm boy from upper state New York. Born on December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, Jr. was the fourth of eleven children born to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. America at the time was abuzz with religious revival. The Smith family was a mixture of Methodists and Presbyterians. They attended revival meetings and church services when they could, but their primary devotions were in their home as a family. This blend of influences filled the young Joseph with a desire to find the Lord’s one true Church – a quest that would lead him to transform the world.

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As a fourteen year old boy, Joseph Smith found himself seeking advice from pastors, pondering the Gospel, and reading from the Holy Bible. He was particularly confused at the stark differences in doctrine held by all the various sects claiming to be Christian. He recalled the scenes of confusion which resulted from these irreconcilable differences:

[A]scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions” (Joseph Smith History 1:6).

Joseph wondered how he could ever learn the truth by consulting the Bible since every religious group had a different interpretation of that holy book. He observed that “the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible” (Joseph Smith History 1:12).

It was during this time of confusion in 1820 that Joseph Smith came across a passage of scripture that left a profound impression on his mind and led him on a course that not only changed his life, but which continues to shape our world today. Joseph Smith was reading in the book of James when this passage lept off the page:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

The young Joseph recounted how deeply this inspired counsel affected him:

Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know. . . .

At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.

So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt” (Joseph Smith History 1:12-14).

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Can you see the simple faith of a humble boy reflected in these words? Joseph was a sincere person. He merely wanted to know what God wished him to do. It was his faith that if he obeyed the words of scripture and prayed in sincerity of soul, God would lead him as the Apostle James had testified He would. Joseph was therefore determined to pray and then follow any answer received because he knew that God would not lie.

Perhaps the most extraordinary event of Joseph Smith’s life occurred when he “retired to the woods” to pray to his Maker. Joseph recounted his sacred experience thus:

It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for midst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith History 1:14-17)

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What the young Joseph Smith experienced that spring day in a grove of trees is referred to as a theophany, or an appearance of God to man. The Bible records numerous theophanies, from Moses’ experiences seeing and speaking with Jehovah (Exodus 3:4-6; Exodus 19:19-20) to Abraham’s first vision of God (Genesis 18:1-3) to Jacob’s famous wrestle (Genesis 32:27-30) to Isaiah’s vision of the Lord on His throne (Isaiah 6:1) and so forth. At times, these sacred experiences were given to older men and at times they were granted to humble youths like Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4, 10, 21). The Lord even appeared to the wicked Saul who, because of this divine experience, converted to the truth and became one of the greatest Christian missionaries in history (Acts 9:3-7). Throughout time, theophanies routinely preceded and heralded the opening of a new prophetic era and the calling of an individual as a holy prophet of the Lord. And so it was in 1820 with the young Joseph Smith.

After God the Father addressed Joseph and announced His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Joseph asked the question that had burdened his soul. He wrote:

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time” (Joseph Smith History 1:18-20).

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On another occasion, Joseph Smith recorded the instructions he had been given by the Lord in this way:

I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon day. They told me that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as His Church and kingdom: and was expressly commanded “to go not after them,” at the same time receiving a promise that the fullness of the Gospel should at some future time be made known unto me” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, 536, March 1, 1842).

After the glorious appearance of the Father and the Son, Joseph waited eagerly for the further light and knowledge he had been promised. He waited for three years. While engaged in prayer one night in 1823, he was finally granted additional light. Joseph wrote of this experience and of others that followed:

On the evening on the 21st of September, A.D. 1823, while I was praying unto God, and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious promises of Scripture, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room, indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire; the appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body; in a moment a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the Gospel in all its fullness to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.

I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me; I was also told where were deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient Prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things. After having received many visits from the angels of God unfolding the majesty and glory of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the morning of the 22nd of September, A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into my hands. . . .

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In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian Era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This book also tells us that our Savior made His appearance upon this continent after His resurrection; that He planted the Gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings, as were enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, &c, and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, 536-537, March 1, 1842).

The angel that appeared in 1823 was named Moroni and was the last prophet of the Nephites, the ancient American inhabitants described above. In approximately 420 A.D., Moroni buried a sacred record of God’s dealings with the Nephites and other ancient American peoples in a small hill in present day New York. Joseph Smith was entrusted with this record for the purpose of translating it into English so that its doctrines could be “united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days.” The translated record came to be known as The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, named after the Nephite warrior-prophet Mormon who served as the chief compiler and editor of the ancient record.

The Book of Mormon is an authentic book of holy Christian scripture similar to the Bible. It is a second witness to the world that the Bible’s testimony of the divinity and mission of Jesus Christ is accurate and truthful. The Book of Mormon is the “stick of Joseph” that Ezekiel foresaw would be joined with the “stick of Judah” to form “one stick” in the hand of God (Ezekiel 37:15-19). It is the “book” seen by Isaiah that the learned cannot read, but which one “that is not learned” should read and cause to spring forth “a marvellous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:10-14). This divine record supports, and at times clarifies, Biblical doctrines regarding the House of Israel, the covenants of God, the ordinances of baptism and of receiving the Holy Spirit, prayer, and, of course, the all-important Atonement of the Savior. The Book of Mormon is, at its core, a beautiful and uncompromising witness of Jesus Christ.

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In one place, the prophet Nephi bore fervent witness, almost six hundred years before His birth, of Jesus Christ. He witnessed:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. . . .

And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out” (2 Nephi 25:26, 29).

Jacob, Nephi’s brother and fellow servant of God, also witnessed of the Messiah and His Gospel:

[B]ehold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God. . . .

O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell. . . .

And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.

And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.

And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 9:18-19, 21-23).

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Another prophet named Alma also testified of the Son of God’s then forthcoming Atonement and the marvelous blessing it would be for mankind:

[B]ehold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all – for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. . . .

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me” (Alma 7:7, 11-13).

The inspired Amaleki gave us these encouraging words:

I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved” (Omni 1:26).

Finally, in the closing pages of the record, the prophet Moroni, the same who appeared to Joseph Smith, issued a challenge and a promise to anyone who would read the record:

I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye should ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:3-5).

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“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

These are the sort of passionate testimonies, doctrines, and promises that fill The Book of Mormon record. On nearly ever page of this sacred text there are references to Jesus Christ. The ancient Nephite prophets pleaded with their people, and with those of us they knew would one day read their record, to have faith on the name of Jesus, rely on His redeeming power, and join themselves to His Church. We could know with certainty the identity of that Church if we would simply pray, as James also instructed, and as the young Joseph Smith did in 1820.

Dear reader, please understand that Joseph Smith did not invent or write this volume of scripture; he translated The Book of Mormon through the power of God for the sole purpose of building up the Lord’s Church in the last days and bringing people to Jesus Christ. Please also know that I have a burning testimony of the truthfulness of that holy book. It leads me to believe in Christ, to follow Him, and to do good. It gives me knowledge that is sweet to my soul and which enlightens my understanding of life. And, most importantly, I have tested Moroni’s challenge by reading, pondering, and sincerely praying about The Book of Mormon. In response to my prayers, the Holy Spirit has touched my heart and affirmed in an unmistakable manner the divinity of that book. I love The Book of Mormon!

I also love the man who was the instrument in the Lord’s hands in bringing The Book of Mormon to light, Joseph Smith. His story no doubt sounds extraordinary – perhaps unbelievable – to someone hearing it for the first time. Joseph Smith acknowledged this when he said:

I don’t blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 6, 317, April 7, 1844).

Even though it is sounds unbelievable, it is true! And Joseph Smith suffered a life of defamation, brutalization, and persecution culminating in the murder of himself and his brother Hyrum because he stood firm in his testimony of what he had experienced and of what God had revealed to him. I have often pondered the mobbing and persecutions he and his family went through and have asked myself this question: “Would a man really suffer all of this for a lie?” The answer is a resounding “No!”Such a legacy of staunch belief in the face of bitter persecution is surely striking to even the most hardened skeptic.

One particular moment that touches my heart and demonstrates the greatness of Joseph Smith occurred when Joseph Smith and several of his fellow Latter-day Saints were betrayed by one of their own and illegally arrested by a militia and thrown into the ironically named Liberty Jail. For six months, they endured hunger and exposure and were subjected to ridicule while being denied due process under the law. Parley P. Pratt, one of those unjustly imprisoned alongside Joseph Smith, recorded that “in one of those tedious nights” in the jail, “we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the horrid oaths, the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of our guards . . . as they recounted to each other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had committed among the “Mormons” while at Far West and vicinity. They even boasted of defiling by force wives, daughters and virgins, and of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and children.” Pratt then described what happened next:

I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!

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He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.

I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the Courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri.”

What a powerful testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith! And lest skeptics think this is an isolated incident, it wasn’t. Frequently, assassins who came with the Devilish intent of murdering the Prophet were so captivated and swayed by his “unruffled” presence in the face of danger – his profound “dignity and majesty” – that they ended up having dinner with him instead. The descriptions of those who met with Joseph Smith, friend and foe alike, are quite remarkable and I recommend the reader search them out in books such as They Knew the Prophet: Personal Accounts From Over 100 People Who Knew Joseph Smith by Hyrum Andrus.

Joseph Smith’s character was such that he could not be swayed from his beliefs by unjust imprisonment, mobbing, or the assassin’s gun. He made this remark about those who persecuted him and tried to coerce him to deny what he had really seen, heard, and experienced:

It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy? . . . .

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Joseph Smith being tarred and feathered March 24, 1832

I soon found . . . that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me. . . .

I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.

So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation” (Joseph Smith History 1:20, 22, 24-25).

Again I ask: What would a man suffer for a lie? If Joseph Smith was lying about his experiences, as detractors then and now claim, would he have maintained his lie in the face of mobbing, being tarred and feathered, being beaten, being poisoned, being arrested and tried forty-eight times (and acquitted all forty-eight), being threatened with death, being kidnapped and unjustly imprisoned for six months in the ironically named Liberty Jail, being betrayed and hunted by former friends, watching his followers murdered and driven from state to state, and, finally, in the face of certain slaughter by a vicious mob alongside his beloved brother Hyrum? I submit that a liar, a self-aggrandizer, a fraud, a charlatan, and a false prophet would not suffer so excruciatingly for a lie. Rather, logic dictates that, as a minimum, Joseph Smith truly believed what he said; namely, that God had appeared to him and called him as a prophet to restore the Lord’s Church.

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Millions of people from all across the globe have stepped forward to testify that they know, through the power of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith was no liar. From Fiji to Brazil to Russia to Japan, millions have witnessed that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of Almighty God, that he in fact saw God and His Son, that They commanded him to restore the Savior’s Church in its fullness, that he was empowered to translate a sacred record of a Christian people living in ancient America, that the Lord’s Priesthood authority was given anew to him through heavenly messengers, and that from his day to the present there has been an unbroken line of prophets and apostles testifying to the world of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I include myself among those who so testify of Joseph Smith and the Savior Jesus Christ whom he loved, served, and gave his life for.

Because of Joseph Smith’s testimony, thousands of people left their homes and homelands, forsook their belongings, and faced persecution to gather with the Saints of God. They contributed their meager earthly means to help build up The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Joseph was murdered, his influence continued to rally the Saints who proceeded to march across the plains to an uninhabited land and build up a Christian society.

Joseph Smith’s life and prophetic witness have changed and directed my own life to an enormous degree. Without exaggeration, I am who I am because of Jesus and Joseph. Because Brother Joseph restored Christ’s Church, and because the Holy Spirit has confirmed to my soul the divinity of that Church, I went to Russia for two years, struggling to learn the language and enduring arrest by the FSB and hatred by the people, to preach “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Because Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon, and because I have zealously studied that book and taken its warnings to heart, I have chosen my career field and daily raise my voice against the forces of evil and conspiracy facing us. Because Joseph Smith received revelations relative to politics and government, I revere the U.S. Constitution as inspired and ran for Congress in 2014.

The revelations and teachings delivered by and through Joseph Smith have informed my principles in everything from voting and politics to health habits to my views on marriage and family to my entertainment habits and beyond. It is impossible for me to worship Jesus Christ without acknowledging Joseph Smith as His Prophet in these final days before His return in glory. My sentiments echo those of Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle of the Savior, who explained:

We bear testimony of Christ, and we do it with all the fervor and conviction and power of our whole soul, striving and laboring to do it by the power of the Holy Ghost; and as our voices echo and reecho the eternal verity that Christ is the Lord, we say also that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, a legal administrator who had power from God—keys and authority—so that he could bind on earth and have it sealed eternally in the heavens. Here, we say, is Joseph Smith, a revealer of the knowledge of Christ and of salvation for our day. We link the words together in one great testimony of eternal truth; and the reason we have power to bear witness of Christ, through whom salvation comes, is that Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer of the Lord for our day and in our day, has received eternal truth, has borne witness, has given revelation, has laid the foundation.

Brigham Young once said, “I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 458); and that is as it ought to be, because salvation is in Christ and salvation is available because Joseph Smith revealed Christ to the world. The world either accepts that witness and believes in the Lord’s prophets or goes its way and at its peril loses the hope of eternal salvation. One must believe in Adam and Christ, if living in that day; or in Abraham and Christ, if living in that day; or in Moses and Christ if living then; or, in our day, in Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ, crying “Hosanna” and “Hallelujah” and “Praise the Lord” whenever their names are mentioned by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Joseph Smith: A Revealer of Christ,” BYU Devotional, September 3, 1978).

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Another time, Elder McConkie gave additional reasons why Latter-day Saints feel to cry hallelujah every time we think of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In his powerful sermon “Joseph Smith – The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration,” Elder McConkie stated:

His numerous revelations, given in the name of the Lord, set forth the wonders of eternity and the glories of the gospel as plainly and persuasively as do those of the apostles and prophets of old.

Here is a man who has given to our present world more holy scripture than any single prophet who ever lived; indeed, he has preserved for us more of the mind and will and voice of the Lord than the total of the dozen most prolific prophetic penmen of the past. . . .

Here is a man who, like the Master, whose servant he was, cast out devils and healed the sick. . . .

Here is a man whose greatness lies in the fact that he was a witness of that same Lord for whom his fellow prophets in days long past had laid down their lives. . . .

Here is a man who was a prophet in the full and complete and literal sense of the word, as all who hearken to the voice of the Spirit shall know. . . .

Here are the words of Deity, spoken to Joseph Smith, by which all men can judge the state of their own spiritual development:

““The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;

““While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.” (D&C 122:1–2.)

All men may well ask themselves where they stand with reference to Joseph Smith and his divine mission. Do they inquire after his name and seek that salvation found only in the gospel of Christ as revealed to his latter-day prophet, or do they deride and despise the Lord’s living oracles and say that God no longer speaks to men in the way he did anciently? The great question which all men in our day must answerand that at the peril of their own salvationis: Was Joseph Smith called of God? . . . .

We link the names of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith in our testimonies. And we now testify, as God is our witness, that Joseph Smith is his prophet, and we do it in the blessed name of Him who is Lord of all and of whom we and all the prophets testify, who is Jesus Christ” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Joseph Smith – The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration,” General Conference, April, 1976).

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Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s martyrdom at Carthage Jail

Surely Joseph Smith was no common man and no common prophet. He was one of the greatest men to ever live and one the greatest prophets to ever wear the inspired mantle of “prophet, seer, and revelator.” His testimony, works, and life are of such magnitude and stature that they cannot be ignored or trivialized, but must be reckoned with and accounted for by all intelligent people. Ultimately, there are only two alternatives – either Satan inspired Joseph Smith or God called and empowered him. There is no middle ground. And I testify that our Lord and Savior chose Joseph Smith to push forward His eternal work in these last days and that it was Satan who inspired a fiendish mob to murder the Prophet in cold blood just as he inspired the mobs of the past to do to ancient prophets of Christ.

When the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred moments after his brother Hyrum was gunned down in front of him, John Taylor, who was with Joseph at the time and was himself severely injured in the hail of bullets, wrote this stirring commemoration:

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the fit and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and a name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).

It is no small thing to claim a man stands next to the Savior only in greatness, yet John Taylor, a spiritual giant in his own right who was to later become the third prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, did just that. He bore his witness. And I confirm his witness with my own. Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, is the restorer of the Savior’s Church, Priesthood, and laws – a Church, Priesthood, and laws that had been corrupted or lost in the Great Apostasy, or, rather, in the “falling away” prophesied by New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets alike (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Galatians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; 2 Peter 2:1; Isaiah 29:10, 13; Isaiah 60:2; Amos 8:11-12). Through repenting and entering into the ordinances officiated by the Priesthood, and living with faith in the Redeemer, we access the Atonement of Jesus Christ and are saved. The modern world, though most don’t realize it, owes much to Joseph Smith and his faithfulness in the face of adversity.

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Joseph Smith’s death mask

In 1883, the distinguished statesman Josiah Quincy, who met the Prophet Joseph Smith forty-three days before his martyrdom, gave an intriguing memorial to this great man. He was not a follower of the Prophet and had nothing to gain from making this statement, yet he wrote:

It is by no means improbable that some future text-book, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a questions something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. And the reply, absurd as it doubtless seems to most men now living, may be an obvious commonplace to their descendants. History deals in surprises and paradoxes quite as startling as this. The man who established a religion in this age of free debate, who was and is today accepted by hundreds of thousands as a direct emissary from the Most High,—such a rare human being is not to be disposed of by pelting his memory with unsavory epithets . . . Fanatics and impostors are living and dying every day, and their memory is buried with them; but the wonderful influence which this founder of a religion exerted and still exerts throws him into relief before us, not as a rogue to be criminated, but as a phenomenon to be explained. The most vital questions Americans are asking each other to-day have to do with this man and what he has left us(Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past, 376-377).

In partial fulfillment of Mr. Quincy’s prediction, in 2015 the Smithsonian Magazine ranked Joseph Smith the #1 most influential American in itsReligious Figures” category and Brigham Young, Brother Smith’s immediate successor, was ranked #3. In addition, The Book of Mormon, perhaps the crowning work put forward by Joseph Smith who translated it with God’s power, was recently ranked through a Library of Congress poll as the fourth most influential piece of American literature. Whether people like it or not, Joseph Smith is one of the most influential figures in recent world history and is widely regarding as a pivotal figure. Indeed, few people in any age of history have accomplished what he did during his short thirty-eight years of life, nor have they exerted such a powerful influence over millions across the world nearly two centuries after their death as Joseph Smith does at present.

Though it is inexplicable to some, I can explain the “phenomenon” of Joseph Smith and the millions who follow him quite easily. Simply, his testimony is true! He was and is a real prophet of God. He really did see with his own eyes the Father and the Savior. They did in reality command him to restore the Lord’s Church with its Priesthood and saving ordinances. He really did translate an ancient record, delivered to him by an angel, that bears witness of Jesus Christ’s dealings with the inhabitants of ancient America. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in actuality the Kingdom of God on the earth. And the Holy Spirit, the Testator of all truth, has borne witness to millions that these things are true. I know this is true and I would give my life before recanting.

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Dear reader, after the story of the humble Man from Nazareth who walked on water, raised the dead, suffered and died for the sins of the world, and rose from the grave thus abolishing death and conquering the Devil, the story of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Lord’s Church is the greatest story in the world. And it is so very great because it is so very true!

Joseph’s story is the ultimate confirmation of Jesus’ story. Joseph is His prophet. Joseph’s testimony is the supreme reaffirmation of the ancient apostles’ testimonies of their Lord and should be welcomed and received by all who willingly take upon them the name of Christ. Jesus taught that to know God and His Son is eternal life (John 17:3), and Joseph taught the world the true nature of the Godhead and helped us truly know who They are and what They stand for. Joseph clarified the true points of the Redeemer’s doctrine, thus settling centuries of schismatic Bible-bashing with “thus saith the Lord” revelations that are sweet to the soul and enlightening to the mind.

I thank my Eternal Father for sending Joseph to testify of Jesus. I thank the Lord for not forsaking this generation, but for calling a prophet in our day to bear witness of His holy name. My soul is filled with gratitude to know that I live in a day when literal prophets walk the earth and in an age that has the witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love to hear and sing the words of a powerful hymn extolling his name:

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!

Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.

Blessed to open the last dispensation,

Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.

Praise to his mem’ry, he died as a martyr;

Honored and blest be his ever great name!

Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,

Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!

Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.

Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;

Death cannot conquer the hero again” (“Praise to the Man,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hymn No. 27).

It is fitting that we end with a few words from the Prophet’s own mouth about our Savior, for he lived to bring people to Christ. I extract the quotes from the third chapter of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith. The Prophet testified:

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

I believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and that He died for the sins of all men, who in Adam had fallen.”

Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.”

God . . . prepared a sacrifice in the gift of His own Son, who should be sent in due time to prepare a way, or open a door through which man might enter into the Lord’s presence, whence he had been cast out for disobedience. From time to time these glad tidings were sounded in the ears of men in different ages of the world down to the time of Messiah’s coming.”

Who, among all the Saints in these last days, can consider himself as good as our Lord? Who is as perfect? Who is as pure? Who is as holy as He was? Are they to be found? He never transgressed or broke a commandment or law of heaven—no deceit was in His mouth, neither was guile found in His heart. . . . Where is one like Christ? He cannot be found on earth.”

[T]hose who keep the sayings of Jesus and obey His teachings have not only a promise of a resurrection from the dead, but an assurance of being admitted into His glorious kingdom; for, He Himself says, ‘Where I am there also shall my servant be’ [John 12:26].”

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”

It fills me with a uniquely peculiar sense of euphoria to read, speak, and think about the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Spirit testifies to me of his prophetic call as a servant of the Lord. I know he was a good man because his fruit is sweet to my soul and his teachings illuminate my mind. I know he stands as the preeminent prophet of our time because the Holy Ghost has so whispered to me. I know that when the Lord returns surrounded by His Saints, Joseph Smith, the American Prophet, the Prophet of the Restoration, will be on His right hand.

Joseph Smith62

In sincerity I say that I can approach the “throne of grace” more boldly because I know the name Joseph Smith (Hebrews 4:15-16). I am a better man for having learned of the Prophet and his humble life and immense sacrifices. I wish all could likewise know the name Joseph Smith, read his story, imbibe his testimony, and join in the same great cause of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I testify of these things and invite all to “come and see” and learn the truth for themselves (John 1:39).

When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then” (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, April 7, 1844).

Zack Strong,

December 23, 2019

I invite you to also watch the film Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVw6PsSinI&t=2453s