Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith's character

Drifting inexorably toward old age, I’m more and more impressed by what Joseph Smith accomplished in his less than 39 years.

Only a boy at his First Vision, he was still young when he was martyred. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve observed in a memorable speech during general conference in 1996, “The Prophet Joseph had no role models from whom he could learn how to be a prophet and leader of the Lord’s people. ... He had to rely on associates who had no role models either. They struggled and learned together” — and they, too, were remarkably young.

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