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Elder Clark Shares Lessons From Joseph Smith’s Life

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News Release from Mormon Newsroom

Young Latter-day Saint adults face many of the challenges the Prophet Joseph Smith experienced when he was a young man. That’s what Elder Kim B. Clark of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in the Worldwide Broadcast for Young Adults, Sunday, May 7, 2017. The broadcast originated in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

“I want to go back to those days because those days were for Joseph like your days are now for you,” said Elder Clark, who is the commissioner of the Church Educational System. “I believe there are important lessons for you to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ and His doctrine and about His prophet, Joseph Smith, from the days when Joseph was a young adult.”

“Though he struggled in his young adult years, he trusted in the Lord, and the Lord blessed him to become the great prophet of the Restoration,” he explained.

Joseph Smith was 21 years old when, as he describes, the angel Moroni delivered up the golden plates for translation in September 1827. The manuscript would later be published as the Book of Mormon. Joseph’s wife, Emma, who was pregnant with their first child, was his first scribe. They completed the first part of the record before Martin Harris arrived in Harmony, Pennsylvania, to write for Joseph.

Harris convinced Joseph Smith to let him take the manuscript to New York to show his family, where it was lost. Emma would also lose the baby boy.

“On one hand, Joseph had faith in Jesus Christ and was blessed with many remarkable spiritual experiences,” Elder Clark said. “On the other hand, Joseph Smith was 22 years old and worried.”

He explained, “[Joseph Smith] had no money, no education or means to provide for his family. He was surrounded by skeptics and persecutors and had few friends. There were no consultants to call upon, no board of directors, and no bankers to give him funds and counsel. He knew he was supposed to get the record published, but he had no idea how to pay for the printing if Martin Harris abandoned him. His life was full of uncertainty.”

“In many ways, your situation is like Joseph’s,” said Elder Clark, who invited the young adults to see their own experience in Joseph Smith’s story. “You are a young adult with worries and uncertainties about marriage and family, education and work, and about finding your place in the world and in the Lord’s kingdom. There may be other challenges and problems in your life.”

Elder Clark encouraged the young adults to focus on three important lessons in Joseph’s experience, including faith and trust in Jesus Christ, repentance and the spiritual power of the Book of Mormon.

“Read the Book of Mormon, study it, pray about it, treasure it up in your minds and in your hearts every single day. In every time in your life, our Lord and Savior will speak peace to your soul, lift you and strengthen you and draw you closer and closer to Him,” he counseled.

“The Lord worked in Joseph’s life, and He works in your life too,” Elder Clark said. “You have an eternal identity and purpose and a divine destiny. The Lord is working in your life right now. He is out in front of you, working to open doors, prepare other people to help you and open the way before you.”

Watch the broadcast in its entirety on

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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