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|Title||Lesson 49 - Why the Boy Joseph Was Chosen|
|Publication Type||Manual Lesson|
|Year of Publication||1898|
|Corporate Authors||Deseret Sunday School Union|
|Manual Title||Deseret Sunday School Union Leaflets|
|Publisher||George Q. Cannon & Sons Company|
|Place Published||Salt Lake City|
|Keywords||Prophecy; Prophet; Scripture Study; Smith, Joseph, Jr.|
In attempting to prove that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet, his enemies point to the fact that he was a young, ignorant boy at the time he claimed to have received his first vision. They ask how it is that God would choose an unlearned boy for His work, when there was so many thousands of men who had spent their entire time from early youth in teaching the people, who were well versed in the Scriptures, having given up the best part of their lives to their study. "Would it not have been better," say these persons, "for God to choose one already educated to the ministry, rather than one whom He would have to instruct in the principles of the Gospel?”
In answer to this question and these objections, we can say that God showed His infinite wisdom in making choice of so humble an instrument as Joseph Smith to perform the great labor of restoring the Gospel. In the first place, it was necessary that a person should be chosen who had not been taught in the sectarian doctrines of the day, which God Himself has declared to be false. What advantage would it have been, to select a man who had been engaged all his life in teaching false doctrine, to introduce the true Gospel? You can see at once that the idea is absurd?
Joseph had not been taught in the religious notions of his time. His mind was a blank, so far as doctrine was concerned, prepared to receive such impressions as God should see fit to make upon it. He was humble, and would willingly receive and treasure up God’s word to him. Besides all this he was comparatively innocent of the sins so prevalent in the world, and God delights in innocence and purity. What wonder is it, then, that He should have chosen the humble boy, Joseph, for the great latter-day work? Again, prophets in ancient times have foretold the work which Joseph has performed, and the instrument chosen to carry it out. One of these was Joseph, who was sold into Egypt. Lehi tells us (II Nephi 3: 14, 15) that Joseph, in speaking of the latter times, said, "Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy . him, shall be confounded * * * * *. And his name shall be called AFTER ME: AND IT SHALL BE AFTER THE name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my I people to salvation. ”
Here Joseph not only points out the fact that a prophet should be raised up, but he even declares that the name of that prophet should be the same as his, and that he should be named after his father. All these predictions were fulfilled in Joseph Smith, the prophet.
Nor is it a new thing for God to select a boy for an important labor. The boy David, the youngest son of Jesse, was chosen to be king of Israel. The boy Samuel was called to succeed Eli in his important position, and in his more advanced age, he became one of the greatest prophets Israel had ever known.
All evidences point to the fact that God showed His supreme wisdom in the selection of the boy Joseph to be His latter-day prophet.
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