Saturday, February 7, 2015

The mail box...

About a month or so ago I went with my companion, Sister Christensen, to a dinner appointment with one of my favorite families in our ward. The husband told us a story about how when he was a young boy he'd ask his dad, "Why is it raining outside?" to which the dad would respond, "It was something you did." He then went on to explain that whenever something in his life would go wrong that was far out of his control, he would make light of the situation by laughing it off and saying, "It must've been something I did." It's all about looking on the bright side of life.

After dinner, we got into our car and started to pull out. It was my turn to drive that day, and the weather conditions were not the best. It was pouring rain and hard to see because it so dark. I thought I was pulling out to the road when Sister Christensen called out, "MAIL BOX!" followed by a loud crunch. Oops... The family's mailbox had been in one of my blind spots and I totally knocked it over! It took me a while to process what had actually happened. I moved the car and got back out into the rain to go back to apologize and see if I could pay for the damage I'd caused.

 When the family opened the door the first thing I said was, "It was something I did!" followed by a sincere apology. They could only laugh and tell me how grateful they were that I was okay. 

Life is full of ups and downs. We all make mistakes. It happens! It doesn't mean that we are worth any less or that we aren't loved. Everything that comes our way is an opportunity to learn and grow. One of the simple lessons I learned from this experience was the reality of repentance. Repentance isn't meant to be a scary thing! It's how we change ourselves to bring us into closer harmony with God. It all depends on how you look at it. Are you willing to look at the bright side and admit that it was "something you did"? 

Joseph B. Wirthlin said, "The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life." He gave the greatest advice:

No matter what happens, it's our choice how we react.

Lucky for me, this family still likes me because we were invited over for dinner again! They had put their mailbox back together using clamps!

I learned another simple lesson from this experience! Just as the clamps were holding the broken mail box together, our savior Jesus Christ died for us to suffer not only for our sins, but to put us back together when we feel broken.

I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can repent and be healed of feelings of guilt or shame. He is always there for us to help us deal with the challenges that we all face in life. He knows who we are and how to help us with our mistakes- even mistakes as small as knocking over a mail box. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My companions!

For #thankfulthursday today, I wanted to give a shout out to all of my companions. It isn't easy living with someone 24/7, but I'm grateful for all these women who have helped me come closer to Christ through their love and service. I've learned something from each of them. God has blessed me with great friends. :)

Missionary Training Center
Sis Gordon
At the Provo temple!

Potomac Mid Singles Ward
My first trainer, Sis McKenna
First time at the DC temple!
Christmas caroling with my finish trainer :)
Sis "Hip Hop" Hansen

Centreville 2nd Ward
Sis McKee
We shoveled a lot of snow together...
Sis Udall
Yep, I'm a whole head taller!

Haymarket Ward
Sis Lamborn
Sis Riggs came out with us for a day!
My trainee, Sister Williams!
We went to Wegmans for the first time!

Ashburn Ward
Sis Christensen
Some people don't like to smile… 
Happy New Year!
Sis Savage

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Faith Factor!

Did you ever watch Fear Factor? I remember watching it with my dad when I was quite a bit younger. I remember being completely grossed out when contestants had to complete challenges such as eating worms or sitting in a barrel full of cockroaches for as long as they possibly could. Ick!

What is fear? Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Fear is an emotion that Satan wants us to have because he knows it will hold us back from reaching our full potential. About a month ago, we had a meeting with some of the other missionaries that serve in the area near where I'm currently serving. We talked about our fears and what keeps us back from sharing the gospel or from being the missionaries that God wants us to be. We each took a small pumpkin and wrote our fears on it.

Sister Williams and I holding our fears in our hands!

We talked about having the faith to SMASH our fears. Yes, we literally smashed our fears on our pumpkins with a baseball bat. It was awesome. Honestly, I felt like I put my baseball family to shame because of my inability to use a baseball bat...but that's beside the point. I hit my pumpkin on the first swing! Woo! haha.

By smashing my pumpkin, I committed to exercise faith in Christ to help me overcome my fears.

Some of my fears that keep me from sharing the gospel included:
  • being judged
  • my own pride
  • not knowing how to answer really hard questions
  • tick bites (yes, I actually put that on my pumpkin... I'm afraid I'll be walking up to someone's door and have to walk through tall grass where there are tons of ticks!)
Honestly, I don't have a ton of fears that are keeping me back from fulfilling my purpose as a missionary, but those are the biggies. When I smashed my pumpkin, I committed to living my own Faith Factor reality show! 

What is faith? 

And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. Alma 32:21

Faith is a principle of action and power! It's believing in something that you can't see, and then doing something about it and trusting that God will take over the part that we have no control over. That's when miracles happen! :) 

My little Faith Factor reality show is simply explained in what is called the Faith Cycle. 

27. But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

 28. Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief...

The left side of the cycle in green is what we can control. This is how we show our faith to God. Once we do what we can, we put it all into God's hands and trust that He will take care of the rest. Our mission was visited by one of our world wide leaders, Elder Kopischke. He taught us about this faith cycle and said, "Faith is really the attitude that I have about the things that I can control." I'd never thought about it in that way before! Just because I don't see the miracle that I want right away doesn't mean that I have a lack of faith! It's all about the commitment I have to walk my side of the cycle. The rest of the verse talks about how God will take over the rest of the faith cycle.

 ...that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

 29. Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea Alma 32:27-29

What fears do you have that are keeping you from fulfilling your purpose in life? How are you going to walk the faith cycle and play your own reality game show of Faith Factor? I challenge you to exercise your faith by walking the faith cycle. Pick a fear that you have, and then take it to God. Ask Him how you can improve and then do all you can. I promise that even if you don't see immediate results from the "power" side of the cycle, they WILL come in God's time.

I know faith works! I love the confidence it gives me knowing that so long as I'm doing what I can, I can give it all to God and trust in His outcome. Faith truly does precede the miracle! :) 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I just saw my friend's blog post about #thankfultuesday found here, and I wanted to participate! After all, gratitude is the catalyst for all Christlike attributes! :)

My missionary companion, Sister Williams, has a catch phrase that she made up:

No complaints, just thanks!

Whenever she is starting to complain about anything, she says something that she's grateful for. I need to follow her example by being more grateful for what I do have rather than focusing on the negatives. 

Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. Doctrine and Covenants 59:7

I am going to live in gratitude daily! Here I go:

1. I am grateful to be the Lord's missionary. There is nothing like helping others come closer to Christ and seeing the positive changes the gospel brings into their lives.

2. I am grateful for a car! Not every missionary has the privilege of driving around in a car. I'm sure you've seen some Elders riding around on their bikes... Not that I have anything against bikes, but I know for a fact that I would be way uncomfortable riding a bike in a skirt every day!

3. I am grateful for the scriptures- especially the Book of Mormon. It's so wonderful that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he's prepared a record of His dealings with the human race just for ME! (Okay, okay, the scriptures are for everyone, but when I study, what I'm reading applies to me and my life and what I'm dealing with in the moment!)

4. I am grateful for my wonderful companion, Sister Williams. She helps me to be patient with myself and to see myself the way that the Savior does. She's a great friend! :)

5. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit. God gives me promptings, usually through my own thoughts, that when I act on them, lead me to where I need to be in that moment. It's amazing to see the miracles that follow when I act on the promptings I'm given!

6. I'm grateful for the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It really all comes down to faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. And the way we come to know of God's truth is by sincerely studying with real intent, pondering about it and then asking God if it's true! That's really how simple it is! "And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things." -Moroni 10:5

7. I'm grateful for the technology we have so that I can share my testimony with a more broad audience of people! Until recently, missionaries weren't allowed to use facebook or blogs to share our wonderful message.

8. I'm grateful for food! Today I almost had to skip lunch because we had an appointment right after a meeting, and I knew it would throw my entire day off. But luckily, we had a member who felt like she needed to feed us! What a miracle!

9. I'm grateful for my family. I really appreciate them for all their love and support as I'm serving my mission. Even though I haven't seen them in a while, I still feel close to them. I know it is because the gospel connects families together for eternity. :)

10. Last but not least, I'm grateful for the sacrifice of the savior, Jesus Christ. I don't have enough to say about how grateful I am for what He did for me. He is the reason why I am where I'm at today. He suffered all things so that we could repent of our sins and return to live with our Heavenly Father again someday with our families. He is my best friend and I rely on Him every day!! He helps me change to be the person God intends me to be. He is the perfect example for all of us. His love and His sacrifice are eternal, and I am so grateful that He cares for me enough to die for me!

This #thankfultuesday is fun! You should try it! Gratitude will change your attitude if you need a little sunshine in your day. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The things I treasure

I've been a missionary for a year!!! This year has flown by like you wouldn't believe! I almost can't believe it! As of late, I've reflected on how much I've changed. Looking back on the person I was before my mission, the things that I treasured, or the things that I thought were most important in my life, were good things, but I didn't have my eyes set on what was best. After a year of being a representative of Jesus Christ, God has taught me to change my priorities a bit. 

In Christ's Sermon on the Mount, the savior says, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matt 6:21

I just want to share my heart with you by writing about what I've learned to treasure most!

1. God

I treasure my relationship with my Heavenly Father so much. I've learned that part of truly relying on Him comes through studying the scriptures, prayer and going to church, where I can feel His peace that I can't find anywhere else in this world. 

I LOVE this book. I feel closest to God when I read it.
I've learned that my relationship to God truly is a daughter/father relationship. Though I'm not the perfect daughter, He is the perfect Father who wants me to succeed and be happy. When I was younger I remember my dad teaching me about how there is a consequence for every choice I make-whether it's good or bad. With bad choices come bad consequences, and likewise with good choices come good consequences. Heavenly Father's the same way with the commandments that He's given us. With both the good and bad choices I've made in my life, He's taught me perfectly how to become the person He knows I can become with His help. 

I know that He loves me so much. He loves all of us so much.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so die for the sins of the world so that we can all have a chance to return to live with Him again some day. I definitely treasure and hold close to my heart the fact that God's love is infinite, but it's designed for each of us personally!

2. Family

The next thing I treasure the most is my family. In the April 2014 General Conference where we heard our prophet and apostles speak, Elder Neil L. Andersen said that families are the treasure of heaven. (To read his talk called Spiritual Whirlwinds click here)

Left to right- Belana, Dad, Brendan, Mom, Dayle and me!

I love my family so much. They have seen me at my best and my worst, and they still love me through it all! I know that they will always be there for me. It's so great to know that because the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today I can be with my family for all time and eternity.

One of the most fundamental doctrines of what I teach every single day is how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our families. Even though no family is perfect and family relationships can be challenging at times (understatement!), God designed families to help us learn and grow in a loving environment. 

3. Country

I am blessed to serve as a missionary in my country's capital! Woo! I grew up in Washington state away from all these historical sites that are significant to our growth as a nation. I remember learning about American History in high school, but it didn't become real to me until I came out to the east coast. 

Sister Hansen and me at Mt. Vernon

Arlington Cemetery

My brothers at scout camp during a flag ceremony

I am so grateful for the men and women who sacrificed so much so that I can have the freedoms that I enjoy today. I treasure them, their stories and what they stood for. I've realized that I owe so much to them for who I am able to be today. Especially since as a missionary, I spend so much time opening my mouth to share my own freedom of religion with everyone I come into contact with.

4. Church

I treasure the church that I am a part of. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!! A lot of people that I've met claim to have problems with organized religion and say that they are more "spiritual than religious". I so happen to be spiritual AND religious! I love my church! I love walking into an environment where the spirit of God is so strong, where I can feel peace, and where I can be surrounded and supported by others who are also trying to live their lives as followers of Jesus Christ. 

I'm not sure where this church building is located...but it's a picture of one of our meeting houses that I found here!

You'll see a similar sign on every church building! Visitors are more than welcome! :)

My heart is so full! There is a quote from Elder David A. Bednar about the definition of heart about how the heart is the sum total of our inner most desires, affections, motives, and attitudes. (I'll find the exact quote another day!) Everything that I am is because I treasure God, my family, my country and my church. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I AM beautiful!!

Since I've been on my mission, I've learned the power of "I AM" statements. Even in joking, it's amazing how two simple words followed by an explanation of how you see yourself truly defines who you are. They also define who you want to be. For example the words, "I am not pretty" or "I am dumb" tear you down compared to, "I am beautiful" or "I am smart!".

"I AM" is a name that Jesus Christ gave himself. Exodus 3:14 says, " I AM THAT I AM". In Doctrine and Covenants 29:1 it says, "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the great I AM, whose mercy hath atoned for your sins." Christ performed the atonement for us, which includes his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, his death on the cross and his resurrection! His atonement has the power to heal and also to change us. When we choose to use negative I AM statements, we are not letting the power of Christ change us.

Whether we realize it or not, we use one of Christ's many names every single day! We all use it! And sadly, I fall into the trap of using it negatively. Too often do I compare myself to others and tell myself that I AM not good enough, pretty enough, funny enough, ect. That's not fair to me and it's not fair to the Savior!

I've been thinking about this for the past couple of months. There are plenty of women around me, and even some men, who are floating along in the same boat. I've prayed a lot about what to do to help myself so that I can overcome this weakness and then turn around to help others.

And then it hit me! I need to do a natural beauty week!!!

I know that BYU does some sort of beauty week, but I never participated while I was there before I left on my mission. I fully intend to once I get back! But anyways. I don't know what sort of activities are involved in the BYU beauty week, so I made up my own.

There are only three rules.
  1. No make up. None. (Sorry to the guys out there! You can adapt as necessary by sacrificing something that will help you center your focus on others rather than yourself.)
  2. Take a picture a day, caption it with a positive I AM statement and write a brief explanation.
  3. Invite others to join!
Join the event on Facebook here. Let's make this event BIG starting on September 7th!

The reason I decided to not wear any make up is because it's easy to get caught up in appearances. Whenever I "actually" do my make up in the morning, meaning that I put effort into it, I have to continually look at myself throughout the day to make sure that it's not smeared and that I still look acceptable. And then I notice other women and their makeup more rather than focusing on them. And then I assume that they're doing the same and judging me. And then I get insecure and start talking myself down with negative I AM statements. And then!'s a downward spiral. No good. Welcome to the mind of Sister Anderson.

Here's how my week went! :)

Day 1- I AM a life long learner!
I went with Sister Smith to do service at a monastery! On our way out, they offered to give us a private tour. I met a real live nun! Her name is Sister Andrea. She's amazing. Since she has lived in the monastery since she was 15 and is now 85, she was able to tell us so much about the monastery's history. She gave us a tour of the little chapel that she worships in and it was beautiful. I'm grateful we had a few minutes to learn more about how these Catholic nuns worship Jesus Christ. :) I love learning about other religions!

Day 2- I AM charitable!
Sister Lamborn and I could have taken the few minutes we have before bed to write in our journals and unwind for the day, but instead we chose to heart attack our neighboring sister missionaries when they were stressed out! "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." Moroni 7:47 

Day 3- I AM a disciple of Christ!
I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints! "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13 I can't believe I've been doing this for about a year now! Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and all my brothers and sisters. :) This is who I am and I am proud of it!

Day 4- I AM not ashamed of eating!
It may not look very convincing because I'm only eating yogurt, but I love love love food! And I'm not ashamed of it! I'm not one of those girls who'd ever pick a salad over a piece of stake... I think it's especially easy for women to get down on themselves when it comes to eating because we all want to be thin. Yes, too much food isn't a good thing. All things in moderation with a bit of exercise thrown in there goes a long way. So long as I'm feeling healthy, I'm doing great! 

Day 5- I AM frugal!
We only get to go shopping once a week on Mondays. I am learning how to be frugal with my money by only spending it on things that I need during the week. Previously I wasn't very good at budgeting my money but I'm getting better at it! This I AM statement is something that I want to become. 

Day 6- I AM myself! :)
I love to have fun! I have a boisterous personality and it's easy for me to feel a bit obnoxious or overbearing at times. I love the quote, "The people who mind don't matter and the people who matter don't mind!" I don't know who said it, but it's something I try to live by. Don't get me wrong, I DO believe that everyone matters, but if they're just going to think I'm insane, they can go ahead and think that! I am insane! And I love it! :)

Day 7- I AM brave!
This may seem silly to all you dog lovers out there, but on my mission I have developed a slight fear of dogs. It seems like everyone has one, so it's not a rational fear in the slightest. However, since my hand was almost bitten off about six months ago, I've never been able to pet a dog that was taller than my knees. This dog was HUGE. And I pet it. Therefore, I am brave!

I AM beautiful!

This week I sacrificed a few things and stepped out of my comfort zone to help me look outward to serve, love and understand others better. I also learned how to appreciate ME for who I AM. :) I learned a lot about myself that will help me be a better servant, friend, sister, daughter, and neighbor in the future. God knows who we are. He also knows perfectly who we are going to become. I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I have that I am His daughter and He loves me more than I will ever understand. That love is there for all of us as His children. Because we are His children, it's important to realize that we have infinite worth!! If we trust in His plan for us, He will help us on our path to become.

Okay, now it's your turn! I invite all of you to join with me in doing your very own natural beauty week! Give up something that blocks you from focusing on what is really important or keeping you from seeing your individual worth. Take a picture every day and post it with an I AM statement of talents or qualities God has blessed you with. Hashtag it with #iambeautiful. As you do this for a week, don't forget to pray for God to help you feel of His love. The purpose of this is to let your inner beauty shine and to help you realize what God has given you so that you can love and serve others more effectively!

It worked for me! Now it's your turn! Give it a try! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pretender or Prophet?

A lot of people that I have met on my mission have asked me why Mormons worship Joseph Smith. Because I've grown up believing that he is a prophet called of God, it's almost a funny question to me. But then I remember that from the outside looking in, it might seem that way.

Let me just clear it all up right here and now. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we only worship Jesus Christ. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, our Savior and Redeemer and He was the only one who could have taken the pains and the sins of the world upon himself.

So why is Joseph Smith so important?

Well, this question takes us back to biblical times. Throughout the Bible we read of prophets who have been called of God to be His spokesman, to oversee the household of God here on the earth. Examples of prophets are Adam, Noah, Moses, and Abraham. All these men taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and foretold of the coming of a Messiah who would come to suffer for the sins of everyone who would live on earth. It's important to understand that these prophets each held the priesthood, or the power and authority of God given to man for the salvation of His children.

There's a children's song that I love called, "Follow the Prophet". The chorus goes:

Follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet,
Don't go astray!

But of course, even the people in the Bible didn't always listen to the prophets that were sent to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ. Periods of time when the gospel is changed, rejected, or ignored as taught by Heavenly Father's prophets is called apostasy. There can be personal apostasy, where individuals decide that they don't want to live the gospel the way Christ intended, or there can be general apostasy, where big groups of people reject the gospel. During the periods of general apostasy is when people kill the prophets or God takes them away, also taking away His priesthood authority from off the earth.

When the people are ready again to accept the gospel, God brings them out of apostasy and calls another prophet to lead the people and oversee Christ's church on the earth. It's a big pattern!!!

In the New Testament, we read of Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection. While he was on the earth, he established his church by calling 12 apostles, giving them priesthood authority to act in His name. Though He was the Son of God, people even rejected Jesus Christ and His teachings and fell into a state of apostasy. After His crucifixion and resurrection, the apostles kept the church up and running the best that they could by sending epistles to people like the Corinthians, telling them that they needed to stop making changes and stick to what Christ taught. Eventually, people rejected the apostles as well. (See Mark 12:1-9) After they were all killed, there was no one on the earth that held the priesthood authority to help lead Christ's original church. Without the direction of the apostles, unauthorized changes were made in Church organization and ordinances like baptism.

We call this period of time the Great Apostasy. It was a world wide apostasy that lasted for generations upon generations! There was corruption and confusion among people who did what they thought they needed to do to follow God without His direct guidance. They had to rely on human wisdom to figure out what scripture meant!

There were lots of churches that were established during this time. Later on, reformers like Martin Luther or John Calvin saw corruption in churches and changed things in search of greater spiritual light and truth. Fun fact: not a single reformer ever claimed that they were called of God to be a prophet.

Christ's church didn't need to be reformed, but restored to its original state. 

The Restoration of the gospel didn't happen until the 1820 when a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith asked a simple question. Like many around him, he was confused by so many different doctrines and practices in all the different religions. He lived in Palmyra, New York and grew up in a religious family that constantly sought after truth. Joseph went to lots of different churches but still was confused.

He later wrote about his experience, "So great were the confusions and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong... In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?" Joseph Smith --History 1:8,10

He found a verse of scripture in the Bible that hit his heart: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, which giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

He took James' advice and went to a grove of trees to ask God what to do. His experience is amazing.

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me... when the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other- This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! Joseph Smith- History 1:16-17

It is my testimony that God the Father and Jesus Christ came to Joseph Smith that day in that grove of trees. I know with all my heart that it really did happen! God is a personal god, who called Joseph by name and answered the question of his heart.

Joseph was instructed not to join any of the churches because they "were all wrong" and "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof" Joseph Smith History 1:19. There were lots of good people who believed in Christ and tried to understand and teach His gospel, but they didn't have the fullness of truth or the priesthood authority to baptize or perform other saving ordinances.

Joseph Smith was called to restore Christ's original church in its fullness!! And that he did! He was given the priesthood authority, the same power that was given to prophets of old, to reestablish the church again on the earth. It was officially reorganized on April 6, 1830 with only six members in attendance. Since then, the church has grown by the millions and continues to grow today!

He was lead to an ancient record of scripture known as the Book of Mormon. (Since this post is getting long I'll direct you to my very first blog post called, The Keystone)

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. We know that God has always worked through prophets. He continues to speak through his prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson.

All of this may be new to you, and I invite you to pray about it. Follow what it says in James and ask God for yourself if there is a possibility that this is true. That's what I did! And now I'm serving as a full time missionary to help others come to know of the truth too. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet to end the Great Apostasy and bring the fullness of the gospel to the earth in these last days! That's why Joseph Smith is talked about so much by members of this church! Because without Joseph Smith, Christ's church wouldn't have been restored to the earth in its fullness!

I love what Elder Lawrence E Corbridge said about Joseph Smith:

"There is no dispute about what Joseph Smith accomplished, only how he did what he did and why. And there are not many options. He was either pretender or prophet. Either he did what he did alone, or he had the help of heaven. Look at the evidence, but look at all of the evidence, the entire mosaic of his life, not any single piece. Most importantly, do as young Joseph and “ask … God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given [you].” This is not only how you may learn the truth about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith; it is also the pattern to know the truth of all things." The Prophet Joseph Smith

Now it's up to you. What do you think? Was Joseph Smith a pretender?
Or was he a prophet?