If Joseph Smith didn't translate ancient plates and if he made up the Book of Mormon out of whole cloth, O'Donnell has something of a point. Joseph would have to be a fraud.
But, of course, honest seekers must consider the opposite: What if Joseph told the truth? What if he really did get those plates from an angel?
If so, Joseph Smith would qualify as an epoch-maker — and all of his actions could then only be judged through the prism of prophetic calling. Joseph would deserve to be known around the world.
The most important, concrete evidence of Joseph Smith's call, the tremendous Book of Mormon, which he translated in about 60 days, stands ready to be prayerfully examined — and faithful prayer is the only full way to examine it. The book is easy to get. Indeed, it's available for free online.
Let me be one to speak of Brother Joseph, too. He is a prophet for the ages. Let me raise my voice and my heartfelt witness for this great man. Joseph Smith provided the world the remarkable Book of Mormon and guided the restoration of priesthood authority and the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
With the help of God and Jesus Christ, he provided a true miracle, for a world in desperate need of one.
Hail to the Prophet. May Joseph Smith's name and fame continue to grow.
Lane Williams teaches journalism and communication at BYU-Idaho. He is a former journalist whose scholarly interests include Mormon portrayals in the media, media and religion, and religion and politics.
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