In celebration of the Light of the World, even Jesus Christ, the Joseph Smith Memorial grounds and buildings are alight. We share some of the pictures of the lights as well as some historical pictures of 41 years ago when President Wilkey served there as a young missionary. We offer our testimonies as well just as Joseph Smith himself offered continuously his testimony of the reality of our Savior Jesus Christ.
"As we approach the birth of the prophet Joseph Smith, I share one small experience of great worth to my soul, and hopefully, to you.
A light broke forth which continues to illuminate, instruct and inspire.
The place, the birthplace of the prophet in Sharon, Vermont, would never again be just the "Visitor's Center," but hallowed ground, for me a spiritual birthplace.
Having concluded the day's visitor tours, my companion was securing building one and I was doing the same for building two. I entered the room with the actual hearthstone of the Smith home and read the informational sign, the words which I had committed to memory:
"Around this hearthstone ad its glowing fireplace two days before Christmas, 1805, the Smith family washed, dressed and cuddled the future organizer of God's kingdom restored."
Never had that passage entered my heart as it did that night. I felt a 'surge' within that surprised me considering that I repeated those words daily. Though it was mere seconds, it has remained a lifelong impression.
The urge to kneel and pray upon the hearthstone was overpowering. I knelt and in the silence of that starlit December night, offered the desires of my heart. I opened with thanks for the man, his mission, the miracle of the First Vision and light restored. Then I simply asked, “Was Joseph Smith the Prophet?" I opened my eyes, only to see the moonlit silhouette of the life sized statue of the prophet a few feet to my left. I experienced an absolute, warm sensation from head to toe with a radiant understanding that indeed, Joseph Smith was what he said he was that he saw what he said he saw, that he was God's instrument to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ on earth. I felt awe, gratitude, excitement, joy and peace and wonder, all wrapped in one harmonious moment.
I testify that Joseph Smith is God’s chosen servant. Just as on that day, 41 years ago, I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. I know that God knows that I know and I cannot deny it, nor would I dare to. Gratefully and humbly I bear testimony of this truth in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen"
"I have not had and did not have a singular moment of "knowing" that Joseph Smith is indeed the prophet of the restoration. I was certainly more like the Lamanites who were converted but knew it not (3 Nephi 9:20) Frankly, I knew so little of prophets or of scriptural history that the need of a prophet was not one of my "inspired questions." I was more fixed on the knowing the purpose of life and of knowing the reality of diety and specifically, Jesus Christ. As I discovered prayer and the certainty that we converse with a loving Heavenly Father, I began to accept and receive truths line upon line, commitment to commitment, one small change to another. Now, in retrospect, I say unequivocally, I know that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and Jesus Christ. I feel especially the power of his shared testimony of Jesus Christ: "And now, after the testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"" Sister Wilkey
|approaching the Joseph Smith Memorial|
|live nativity for two days and donkey and lamb who spend the month|