An Authorized Message
"Faith comes by hearing the word of God, through the testimony of the servants of God." (Joseph Smith, HC 3:25)
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher (or one sent to tell them)? So, then, faith comes by hearing the word of God." (Joseph Smith's Rendering of Romans 10:14 in Lectures on Faith)
"The man that tells you words of life is the man who can save you." (Joseph Smith, King Follet Discourse, Thomas Bullock Report, quoted from The Words of Joseph Smith)
When a man claims to have spoken with our Lord; when he claims that the Lord commanded him to deliver a message; when that man's message is scripturally sound, when it is consistent, when it is apparent that he is not likely a pretender; when his message opens up the heavens to view and helps you understand things you never before considered, showing you the Gospel in it's beauty and completeness—you ought to at least consider reading and praying to know: Is this man an authorized messanger from the Lord and is his message authentic?
Joseph came as an authorized messenger. He came in the office and calling of an angel, sent to declare the conditions of repentance for us to be redeemed from the fall and brought back into the presence of the Lord. It is my witness that the Lord has offered us another. Three generations later, will the condemnation remain? Will the fate of the Gentiles be sealed? Will we take what the Lord is again offering seriously this time? Or will they, by conspiracy seek to eliminate this witness as well?
Today the Gentile church reveres Joseph, at least in name. Joseph was nobody. He was a boy from an indigent family. Abinadai was nobody. Our Lord was nobody, unassuming, without title, rank or office. It took an act of great faith to accept any of these men, and it was considered an act of apostasy to accept any of them. The same could be said of many more including the "wild man" Enoch, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, etc.
The message is this: The Lord intends to bring again Zion, a hope seen by all the prophets. The Lord intends that the day soon come where no man need say to another "know ye the Lord?" This day will not come, as we sit in another boring General Conference, read another Ensign, or hear the same lesson yet again, or be unable to express an opinion that is not approved. It will not come as we seek to be just another Christian denomination, seeking acceptance and praise by the world for the sake of converts. It will not come unless we, ourselves rise up and seek, like Abraham, a covenant with God.