When Joseph Smith was 14 years old, he wanted to know which church contained the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He searched for an answer by studying the Bible and talking with many different church leaders of his day.
This made him more confused and uncertain which church was Christ's church on earth.
The churches all contradicted each other
and seemed to pick and choose which scripture verses
to follow, ignoring others.
Joseph read in the New Testament, James1:5-6:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him... But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering...
Joseph turned to prayer for an answer. He found a quiet place in a grove of trees and asked God which church he should join. There, Joseph's prayer was answered. He saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. He saw that they were two separate and distinct persons --not 'one intangible being' like most churches of his day taught. They spoke to him and told him that the churches on the earth, through passage of time and error, lost the proper authority to be 'the true church'. Joseph Smith was just a young man at the time, yet in response to his humble search for the gospel of Jesus Christ on earth, God chose him to restore Christ's Church and the priesthood here upon the earth.
I know that Joseph Smith was a man of God. He really did see God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. How do I know this? I know because God answers my prayers also. And He will answer anyone who prays with faith. When I wanted to know if Joseph saw what he said
he saw, I studied his writings, and then prayed about whether or not what he said was true. And then I prayed--with faith--that God would answer my prayers. I felt the sweet peace
of the Holy Spirit and overwhelming love of God--a calmness, with clear thoughts entering
my mind--telling me that Joseph Smith was indeed a man of God and he did see God,
the Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a human man, with virtues and faults like
the rest of us, but he had unwavering faith, great courage to stand by his commitments
and beliefs—even in the face of persecution and trials, and tremendous love of God and his fellow man. Because of this, God gave him an amazing task to do while here on the earth. Like Joseph Smith, God always answers my prayers—maybe not in the way I expect or even how I want Him to answer them, yet He has never turned me away empty. I may not have seen God the Father or Jesus Christ face to face, yet I know, beyond any doubt,
that They are real and that They love me, and every other person on this earth. --Wendy