The Truth About Joseph’s Smith First Vision

I’ve experienced some defining moments in my life—discovering my testimony of the Book of Mormon, meeting my husband for the first time, experiencing the deaths of my beloved mother and grandmother—the list goes on. Joseph Smith also had many defining moments, but it all began with what has come to be known as his “first…

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‘His Joy Was Full’: 192 Years of the Restored Church

192 years ago the Church was organized with six members. Now, Church membership soars above 16 million across the globe.1 I love the description of this momentous day found in “Saints.” The day began with the meeting formally organizing the Church, which included the administration of the sacrament and the Prophet Joseph Smith receiving a…

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Beacon of Hope

Today marks the 217th birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith. My family and I visited the historic Carthage Jail and took our kids on the tour for the first time. I enjoyed watching their inquisitive faces as they explored the rooms and listened to the captivating stories. This year has been a whirlwind of change:…

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Grateful Remembrance

Even though it’s been 177 years since the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, the place where it happened still stands. You would think Carthage Jail would be depressing to visit, but the place is eerily triumphant. I write “eerily” because there is a palpable spirit there. It’s almost unlike anywhere…

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Hearts Entwined

Joseph wrote to Emma: “My heart is entwined around yours forever and ever.” I can imagine what he meant when he wrote that. We give our heart away when we love someone. It’s terrifying. We give our heart away and hope the person we love will give us their heart in return. Thus, two hearts…

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Reaching Out

We have arrived! After seven years of living in Germany, I am finally back in America. It’s a strange feeling. It’s kind of like half of me is still in Germany and half of me is here. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to be back. Now we are living in the small town of Nauvoo. We…

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Hitting Rock Bottom

I had hit rock bottom. The month had begun with a birth, but had ended with a death. My second son was born, but my grandma was gone. I gathered my newborn in my arms and traveled halfway across the world and back so that I could attend the funeral. Upon my return to Germany,…

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My Life in Ruins

For the past two years we have lived in a village in Germany called Isenburg—tucked in the middle of a forest and nestled under a castle ruin. Every day driving home we passed under an ancient stone archway that served as the entrance to the castle grounds. On the hill directly above our house is…

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Choosing Forgiveness

I have been thinking a lot about siblings. I knew in the month of March four of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s brothers had birthdays and coincidentally three of them even share the same birthday (see below). I myself have two sisters and one brother. We were also born one year after another, so we are…

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Cheerfully Guided

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the…

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