Sunday, July 6, 2014

Joseph Smith, my New Friend and Hero

Last night, I sat bored in my bed, postponing the idea of going to sleep. Then I got the idea of watching a movie on Netflix. Just a few days earlier, I discovered 17 Miracles, a very moving movie about the Mormon pioneers, was on Netflix and after it was done, a list of similar movies popped up. So many looked good and I was impressed to see so many uplifting movies featured on Netflix. So last night I decided to see if there were any that interested me while I lay there bored in bed. I suddenly came across the Emma Smith-My Story movie and thought it appropriate considering earlier this week I just watch the Joseph Smith-Prophet of the Restoration movie and like I said, the 17 Miracles movie. It's not like these are the only kind of movies I watch, but I guess ever since Youth Conference, I have just been on a "Restoration" kick. Anyways, back to the Emma Smith movie. I really loved it! It was such a personal depiction of the life of Joseph and Emma Smith and it really made them come to life for me. They were no longer just characters I have heard of many times in church stories, and they were no longer just figures in history that I often learn about. It hit me that they were real people with real lives. Not just stories. I started getting emotionally attached to the characters as the movie carried on and such a strange feeling of familiarity and friendship with Joseph Smith washed over me. I felt like I was watching a friend that I loved dearly. During the movie, I shed a few tears, but as soon as it ended, for some reason I just started crying. So much emotion just swept over me. After the movie ended, two things about their story touched my heart deeply. The first thing was their love. The love and affection and commitment they had to each other is heartwarming and quite honestly super cute to teenage-girl-hopeless-romantic me. I don’t think I can ever think of Joseph Smith ever again without thinking too of Emma. Together, they pushed through the fires and storms of hell and built each other up out of their weakness. Their strength and unity and complete love is a beautiful story in and of itself. But that is not all. The second thing that inspired me was their truly powerful, powerful impact that I can still feel, sitting here generations later. Their faith was astonishing. I just love how strong their faith and love for God was no matter how weak they were. Their whole lives revolved around their work as wholly devoted servants to their Heavenly Father. Their testimony of the gospel restored to them was so amazing. Everything they did was for the building of the kingdom and nothing could slow them down or distract them. That is a trait inspiring to me personally. I think the part that got me crying the most was the scene where Hyrum (Joseph's brother) and Joseph were watching Emma play with the children and Hyrum turns to Joseph and asks, "Are you scared to go to Carthage?" and he just looks at Emma, then nods his head. I really think he and Emma both had a pretty conscience idea of what was going to take place at Carthage jail. How heart wrenching?! To know that you were leaving your family behind! To see your husband and love of you life trotting off on a horse to his impending death. My chest literally aches thinking about the emotions they must have felt. But despite their fear and the reality of the situation, he still went through with it! He knew that it was in the best interest and safety of the people of Nauvoo and knew it was his duty to defend what he knew. Like I said, after the movie, I just starting crying thinking about my new friend Joseph Smith and the wonderful gospel I have and the convenience at which I have it. How blessed I am. My last thought as I pondered what I just watched was how hard it is to deny the truthfulness of this gospel once you understand Joseph's own witness and undying testimony. He knew what he saw and what he experienced and the things that God revealed to him were true. He knew the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints truly contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His life itself was a testament of these things and that testimony was sealed with his martyrdom at Carthage jail. I was thankful that just by watching these simple movies, my testimony and relationship with Joseph Smith was deeply enhanced and I can now say that Joseph Smith truly is my hero!

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