Joseph F. Smith
For The Cause of Zion
Personal Biography & Testimony
( Text colored red or blue is additional information - not Joseph's words.)
I was born on January 3, 1935 at Ava, Missouri to Arthur and Katherine Smith. I was the last of five children, one boy and four bossy girls. We lived on a dairy farm in the Ozark Mountains and milked 20-25 Jersey cows by hand twice each day. My father, the last of nine children, was born on February 8, 1880 to Alexander Hale and Elizabeth Smith. My grandfather, Alexander, was the third surviving son of Joseph and Emma Smith. I am the great-grandson of Joseph Smith, the Palmyra Seer and translator of the Book of Mormon.
I was raised in the Church of Christ, Temple Lot, being baptized by my father in 1953. The Church of Christ, Temple Lot is one of seven remaining parts of the original church that my great-grandfather restored. It is called the Temple Lot Church because it owns the property on which Joseph Smith and others laid the cornerstones in August 1831 for the Temple that the Lord commanded to be built in Zion.
[Joseph attended the Ava Branch of the Temple Lot Church of Christ. In 1952 he left to work in Independence and then, in 1953, joined the US Army. In 1953 Joseph was ordained to the office of elder by his father, Arthur. After his military discharge, Joseph Moved to Littleton Colorado where he worked for the Glen L Martin Co.
as machinist in the model division and they were tasked with building and testing of the Titan missile. He
spent twelve years in the timber industry, logging in the Northwest. The latter part of his work-life he worked
as a carpenter, building houses in Georgia and Southwestern Missouri. Joseph Married Mary Sue Roberts on March 1, 1957 at Independence, MO. They have three children, Timothy Granger, Candance Sue, and Kimberly Jo.]
My father and family had been members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint, another part of the original church. My father was first ordained in the RLDS and his second ordination was under the hands of Daniel Macgregor. They left that church and joined the Church of Christ, Temple Lot after 1925 when the Reorganized Church adopted a policy called Supreme Directional Control, a provision that placed the final decisions in all church matters within the presidency of that church. We believe that policy violated the scripturally mandated separation of powers that the Lord originally placed in His church.
Before 1925, membership in the Temple Lot Church had declined to about 200-300 members. This decline was due to opposition to the commandments and revelations given by Joseph Smith, Jr., opposition that had grown in that church since the late 1880s and 1890s. This spirit brought doubt and confusion about the purpose and work of the Restoration into the Temple Lot Church.
By the early 1930s the exodus from the RLDS Church, which Supreme Directional Control caused, increased the Church of Christ membership to around 3000 members. I believe that the Lord drew sufficient priesthood and members out of the Reorganized Church to stabilize and maintain the Temple Lot Church’s organization and allow them to protect the Temple Lot properties. Unfortunately, it did not eliminate the spirit of doubt and confusion. Since then, the doubt and confusion has gained strength and influence in the church. Some younger members are ignoring the Inspired Version and Joseph’s revelations.
[It was in the 1930’s that Joseph’s sister had a dream. She told it to Joseph in 2012. In Joseph’s words here is the testimony: “We lived on a farm in southern Missouri where we maintained a small herd of dairy cows. My father, Arthur Marion Smith, was an Apostle for the Church and was doing missionary work for the Church. It was when he was gone that we did the chores which included bringing the cows in from the pasture, and helping with the milking. In my sister Barbara’s dream (when she was in her early teen years) she had gone to the far back of the pasture to bring the cows home. It was there she saw three graves, each marked with a stone which had the name Joseph Smith, two of the graves were filled while one was empty. Upon describing the dream to our father, Arthur, he said that I, Joseph F Smith will have a work to do.]
A movement to cast aside the Doctrine and Covenants and Inspired Translation began in the 1970’s. Some still use these books, but they are fading away. For instance, in the 1980’s a resolution was proposed to accept only the 1611 version of the King James Bible. At the April 1995 General Conference a resolution was proposed to place a disclaimer in the Book of Commandments stating, “These revelations and commandments are not binding upon the Church, but are of a historical value only.”
I was aware of developments in the RLDS Church and knew about attempts there to put the Book of Mormon on the shelf. I considered this trend “their problem” and not mine. According to my training, their priesthood was not valid. I saw their troubles as the result. That was before I recognized that the spirit that troubled the RLDS Church was the same spirit causing doubt and confusion in the Church I attended, Church of Christ (TL). This realization plagued my mind at the April 1995 conference. I began to consider and pray about the matter. That was all I knew to do.
Throughout the spring of 1995 I was working away from home and staying in a room during the week. One June night as I was sleeping, I was awakened with a dream. I remember that as I awoke I still had this picture in my vision. I was preaching to Restoration people. My message was crystal clear: “Lay your differences on a shelf. Come together and build up the Kingdom of God.” I sat up in bed, very excited, and heard myself say, “That’s it. That is the answer.”
For several days afterwards the contents of that dream rested on my mind. I felt led to contact David Bowerman, a leader of a quasi-conference of many elders in the Restoration Movement. As I thought about it, the leading became stronger. I believed that the Spirit had given me the answer to how those who had withdrawn from the RLDS Church could unite into one body. But, I did not know David Bowerman.
I knew Richard Price, the operator of a publishing house for many people in the Restoration Movement. I made up my mind to share my dream with him. Richard Price was out of town on the weekend that I was able to go to Independence. I decided to do what I had been led to do in the first place. I called David and went to his home. We talked about my experience.
Brother Bowerman felt that this message should be delivered to the saints. In my normal flippant and careless manner, I replied, "Get me a pulpit and I'll present it." Little did I know what was to transpire. In a few days Brother Bowerman called and said I was scheduled to speak at the Waldo Church on Sunday afternoon, August 27, 1995.
My wife and I arrived just a little after 2:00 PM, about a half hour before I was to speak. The parking lot was full, and so were the side streets. We finally found a place, parked, and entered the building. As I was brought through the side door of the auditorium, I looked out on a sea of faces—1100 people. I had never addressed that many people before and knew this Ozark hillbilly was in over his head. From that door to where they sat me down I sought the divine aid of my heavenly Father. As I rose behind the pulpit, I had a little trouble with the first two words, but from then on, I was in the hands of the Spirit of the Lord. Amen.
My wife and I returned home after the service in the Waldo auditorium. I was filled with joy and highly elated over what had transpired, not for what I had done, but rather that the Lord had used me. I did not feel I was worthy. Later that week I had a vision. That vision is best understood by knowing about an earlier event in my life.
I married a strict Southern Baptist lady from Tennessee in 1957, a really good woman. Her name is Mary Sue. We agreed that she would not interfere with my work and worship in my church. We had been married a little over a month when we attended the General Conference of the Temple Lot Church. Having decided to take a quick trip to her parent's home in Tennessee, we came down from the upper room of the church into the dining area and told my parents that we would be gone for a few days. As we left the dining room, one of our Apostles, Brother T. J. Jordon, stopped me in the entrance hall. He placed his right hand on my left shoulder and said, "Brother Joe, the day will come when you will be instrumental in bringing together God's people." I responded, "OK" and went out. My wife was not familiar with the Restoration movement and its history. She turned and asked me what that exchange meant. I told her to forget it—that it was just an old man's pipe dream, adding that nothing would come of it. We both forgot it.
Now back to my vision. Following the Waldo service I went back to work at Joplin, Missouri. It happened on the afternoon of the following Thursday, August 31, 1995. As I was driving back to the room where I stayed, the vision opened. I saw before me in front of my windshield that old Apostle Jordon. I watched him place his hand on my shoulder and repeat the message he had given me many years before: "Brother Joe, the day will come when you will be instrumental in bringing together God's people." My eyes filled with tears as it was brought back to my memory, the events of that day in 1957, which I had so carelessly cast aside. The Spirit was so strong that I had to pull off the road and stop.
MY CONFIRMING TESTIMONY OF THE ABOVE VISION– Bob Moore
I was born and raised in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, but have worshiped in an independent branch of that church since 1989. At a Wednesday night prayer service on August 7, 1995, I had an unusual experience.
The father of one family in our branch is a sixth generation descendant of Joseph Smith, the Seer. He rarely came, but his wife and young children attended regularly. Their marriage was difficult.
On this Wednesday night, I was particularly aware of the burden that she carried. I did not think at the time why I was so attuned to her burden. Then, specific words were given me to say to her. I knew that I could not say them in public. I told her afterwards in the presence of a priesthood witness. A portion of that message said, “Soon I will call on the seed of Joseph [Smith]; and in that day the scales shall fall from the eyes of all the seed of Joseph [Smith] because of the covenant I made with Joseph; and the scales shall fall from the eyes of the seed of Jacob because of the covenant I made with Jacob in an earlier dispensation.”
I have often wondered since then when those scales would start to fall off. I did not hear about Joseph’s vision until August 2011, 15 years later. I had forgotten the experience, but it flashed back into my memory the instant Joseph told the date of his vision. Since I had written down and dated the message on the night that it was given, I knew that I could see what it said and determine if there was any correlation between my experience and his.
There was! Joseph’s vision happened on August 29, 1995, only 22 days after my experience, yet I did not know until 15 years later. Now, it provides a tremendous confirmation of Joseph’s vision.
[It was at this same time that the Prophet Wallace B. Smith was laying down his mantle of priesthood. On Sept 19, 1995, prophet Wallace B tendered his resignation and designated W. Grant McMurray as the next prophet. Wallace B refused to fulfill the call to unity. He laid down that responsibility, and the Lord turned to Joseph F. at that time. At the same period of time that the RLDS church was ordaining W. Grant McMurray as prophet, on April 15, 1996, Joseph F. brought forth a revelation from the Lord, while preaching another sermon in Waldo. That revelation required righteousness, obedience and unity from God's people. It is as follows:
“Oh’ Israel, Israel, thou hast ever been a stubborn and a stiff necked people. Come to me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, give ear to my words, hearken to my council, and I will reason with you as one reasons with another. I will show you the path that will lead you to my righteousness, but you must come to me united in prayer, you must desire my righteousness in unity, you must be willing to abide those former commandments which I have given, even at the beginning of this My work in these latter days. I have heard your prayers, and will answer them in My own due time. Run not before the Lord, have patience for blessed are those who wait upon the Lord. My Zion will yet be established and blessed are they who seek to push forward the cause of Zion, but it will be established according to the precepts and merits I have given. Behold if you would be a part of this work you must come together in unity, laying aside your differences, and seeking My righteousness. Again I say unto you, you must come with a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and be willing to abide My council. Even so, I am Jesus Christ, the beginning and the end, Amen and Amen. Thus sayeth the spirit, that still small voice that penetrates to the very core of my being. Amen.” Joseph F Smith 04.1996
The Lord had begun the work of His spokesman. The RLDS church was walking away from its call. The message of 1996 is still the message of the Lord for today. It is still His call. Joseph is still a messenger.]
[Joseph F. then preached in St. Joseph, MO on Dec 15, 1996, and five of those present formed a “Unity Committee” to try to help foster unity between the five groups present at the meeting. He preached at Center Branch (now Remnant) on March 16, 1997, continuing in that ministry. He has continued faithfully, as able, to help unite the people of God, never desiring position or power, always refusing requests to be the prophet of developing churches, that were coming out of the RLDS church.]
I began working with Restoration Branches that expressed a willingness to worship together. That effort became known as the Unity Movement, but it did not take root in the Independence area, the heart of the Restoration Branch Movement. We held reunions, retreats and other common worship events. My new job as an apartment manager gave me time to travel throughout the country.
Things changed in 2005. New owners bought the apartments that I manage. They did not give me the freedom to travel. Several branches that participated in the Unity Movement joined in the formation of the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches. With these branches occupied elsewhere, the Restoration Churches (organizations of independent RLDS branches) that were participating in the movement were unable to sustain its activities, and my own circumstances changed. The Unity Movement ended. I attended one JCRB conference, but felt some did not appreciate my presence. Although I withdrew, the gnawing feeling that I should be about my assignment continued to hound me. Time was growing short. I could only pray.
While living in Idaho about the year 1984, I had a dream that I did not fully understand then, but has stayed with me ever since. We were living high in the foothills of Idaho's central mountains, about 40 miles north of Boise and about 3 miles up from the main highway. A river ran beside the main highway and our road crossed the bridge over that river. We could not see the bridge from our house, but we could look from our living room window and see the range of mountains to our south.
In my dream, I awoke to the sound of gunfire and cannon. I could hear fighting and the screams of wounded and dying people. After getting out of bed, I crossed the hall into the living room and looked out on the mountains. Explosions and gunfire flashed before my eyes. I left the house and went down the road but a short distance before coming to the bridge. After crossing the bridge, I began encouraging people to cross over the bridge, for I assured them there was safety on the hill on my side of the river. Many began to cross, walk up the hill and sit down. Soon I became worried, afraid that too many were crossing and that some would not be able to find any space to rest on the small hill. Something moved my body away from the bridge. I looked back and saw that the hill was much larger than I thought. I also saw others encouraging people to cross the bridge.
A time of tribulation is near, very near. There is safety. It is at the appointed place. But sitting in my house in Springfield, MO, I wondered how I could warn the people. How could I help prepare the saints?
After several years praying to the Lord and asking Him to open the way, two elders came to my home. They offered to provide me the means to travel among the saints—all the saints, regardless of their church affiliation—and bear my message. I accepted. With these testimonies before me I cannot question the work to which I am called.
[Joseph continued to travel, visit, meet the scattered saints, expose the lies, bring the truth to light, preach repentance and call for unity. Then in March of 2017, he received an email from Brazil that read as follows:]
“Hi, Mr. Smith,
I have a lot to say, but as I do not know how to speak and write in English, I fear that the Google translator will transcribe a phrase otherwise, causing confusion that can be read by you. So I’ll briefly summarize the facts so that you can keep track of what happened to us and what we want with you.
I still do not understand all of your doctrine, but I will use the Bible and the texts of your scriptures, as it appears at the site of http://www.centerplace.org/hs/Dc/….
It all started April 6th, 2007, it was the eve of Easter, I had climbed a hill alone to pray to God in the desire to get some answers to my questions. During the trip, I was lost in the woods closed until sunset and night came, and the darkness of the trees were larger than in an enclosed room, and without a flashlight, I could not move from that place. Fear at that time took over my senses making me feel like a dark force was overwhelming me, when a light appeared through the trees, pushing away the fear that surrendered to me. Soon a character involved in the light, called me by name and said not to be afraid, identified himself as an angel of God with the name of Raphael [which years later I could see him in one of his writings that he had visited Joseph Smith Jr. in the past (Doctrine and Covenants 110:21b) and that’s probably the LDS Doctrine and Covenants because that’s all they have that is written in Portuguese] On this occasion, the Angel Rafael, made with his hands lights to illuminate the whole forest so that could reach the top of the Hill, where I received the visitation of another celestial being, which I will not report here at this email, leave for another occasion. [I will tell you who that being – later on I learned who that being was, it’s Moroni, because at this beginning of this time Moroni began to work with these people.]
The being who was waiting for me at the top of the mountain, then prescribed, more than once, the text of Isaiah 1: 2-9, so that it was etched in my memory. He told me that he appeared to me because of my great faith and restlessness, and that my prayer had touched the feelings of Him who rules the whole universe. But He required me to return to that same place, no longer alone, but accompanied by three other men who would approach me for Bible study and that we should go back there once every year until 10 years had passed, and so we did, until we came to understand what God expects us to do.
Your contact was revealed to us in this last time, which was January 21st of this year 2017. We were told on this occasion that we went up the hill, that God is moving His hand to restore Zion to his place, determined by Him, in a place chosen to be the New Jerusalem in Missouri.
He said that the churches that bear His name had strayed from their covenant, making the arm of the flesh their strength. He showed us that the remnant quoted by Him to me the first time, in the Words of Isaiah 1:9, refers to the” Branches of the Restoration”. However, He affirmed that even among the branches of the restoration there were certain divergences of opinion, [that’s quite a statement] and that they are not altogether one of heart and mind.
Therefore, the Lord looks with appreciation to you, Mr. Smith, and to your congregation, for have seen your labor and the intent of your heart.
[In Joseph's Words - Some of you who don’t know me too well - I’ve worked for 23 years to bring the Saints together, I started with the Waldo sermon 23 years ago, wherein the Lord told them that they had a window of opportunity to step through, to lay aside their differences, find common ground and begin to build up the Kingdom of God. And for the most part it went in one ear and out the other. And this is what He is referring to.]
But there is no way to get your people back together in one flock in your country, for there is much strife and repugnance among the Latter Day Saints in regard to the other churches which, in one, have been divided into many, But God will do it from Brazil, until it fills all Latin America, Central and finally to arrive again in the lands of the north, when the people of the Covenant is counted as being a great multitude (Revelation 7:9).
In relation to what the Lord requires of us with you, it is that a congregation directed by you here in Brazil be established, and be in communion with the other branches of the restoration, because the holy spirit will operate in our midst entering in and preaching in many Chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for there are many people in that denomination that the Lord intends to seek for Himself, as he did in the past when the Nephites preached to the Lamanites.
Our work, therefore is similar to that of Alma, who preached among the wicked people of King Noah, converting his members to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord allowed the powers of darkness to take over the regency of the greatest church of the Saints of today, but He intends to seek His own sheep from this flock, so that the prophecy of Isaiah 60:22 will come.
What we initially desire is the baptism of your hands, or an authority of someone sent to us from you for this purpose, and obtain the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill our ministry fully, as promised to us by the heavenly beings.
We are willing to separate our tithes from now on to achieve this goal, which is not ours only but of our Lord Jesus Christ we were told that you would be our leader as long as you live. Amen!”
His brother in the faith;
Mauricio Artur Berger 04.03.2017
(1st email sent to Joseph F Smith)