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TitleCo-Authors of the Articles of Faith
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1969
AuthorsWelch, John W.
MagazineThe Instructor
Issue Number11
Date PublishedNovember 1969
KeywordsArticles of Faith; Paul the Apostle; Smith, Joseph, Jr.

Contrary to general opinion, many of the Articles of Faith were written long before the Wentworth Letter was signed and sent by Joseph Smith in 1842. In fact, they were written before Joseph Smith was even born. Although they were not arranged succinctly in 13 ordered points, the Articles of Faith were already contained either directly or indirectly in the letters of the Apostle Paul. Joseph Smith's genius shines in his ability to isolate and condense the vital elements of the gospel from Paul's writings, which have been called "hard to be understood" since the days of Peter. (2 Peter 3:16.)

The remarkable correlation between the Articles of Faith and the writings of Paul is consistent with the type of divine commission each had received. Joseph Smith was called to restore the gospel. His task was to teach and emphasize each eternal principle of the gospel as it had been taught and emphasized in the early Apostolic Church. The Apostle Paul had also been called to teach the gospel, particularly to the gentiles. His knowledge of celestial beings and his conversion to the truth came through an appearance of Jesus Christ to him, in much the same way as Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820. In the light of the similar experiences and responsibilities of these two inspired men, it is not surprising that their fundamental beliefs and values should be almost identical.

Scripture Reference

Articles of Faith 1:1