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A Guided Journey to Coming to Know the Prophet
Do you know the Prophet Joseph Smith? It seems a bit absurd, doesn’t it, to say you know a man who lived 200 years ago. But maybe it’s not as impossible as it sounds. Joseph, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original podcast, illustrates how despite time, distance, and historical context, millions have come to know the Prophet.
But first we need to be clear: this isn’t a podcast featuring only historical commentaries and timelines. Instead, host Heidi Swinton and her friends discuss how they came to know Joseph as a friend.
So if you feel like you know Joseph already, this podcast is for you. If you feel hesitant to know Joseph, then this podcast is definitely for you. Because Joseph will show that while everyone comes to know Joseph Smith in different ways, the most important thing is how they’ve come closer to Christ through the Prophet of the Restoration.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith? Or maybe you thought about what you would say if you were to shake his hand? It might be easier to visualize such an encounter if you walked where Joseph walked. So, for the next step of our journey, we’re headed to Nauvoo, Kirtland, Carthage, and Harmony with Heidi and her friends to hear what insights they’ve gained as they’ve spent time in places Joseph physically was. They didn’t all have the same experiences, and one person’s underwhelming experience at the Sacred Groves shows us that getting to know Joseph Smith doesn’t necessarily need to include a Church history tour.
Topics surrounding Joseph Smith’s life can sometimes be controversial, and they’re not exactly things we can side-step on a journey to get to know him. So how do we tackle this complexity hundreds of years after his death? How do we make sense of the moments in Joseph’s life that were sometimes controversial? And how do we become stronger for it? We talked to Heidi’s friends, some of whom are renowned historians, who had these very same questions and learned from their experiences how we might find the answers for ourselves.
Oceans and time separate many Latter-day Saints from Joseph Smith. And yet, many Saints from around the world have testimonies of this 19th-century American prophet. How is this possible? How have so many Saints of so many different time periods, ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds, felt connected to Joseph Smith? In this episode, Heidi asks her friends from different continents and countries how they reached across oceans to gain their testimonies of the prophet of the Restoration.
Heidi Swinton, Virginia Pearce Cowley, and Sheri Dew have spent years studying the lives and words of ancient and Latter-day prophets, but they also have many firsthand experiences interacting with living prophets, seers, and revelators. In this episode, the three close friends sit down together to share their thoughts of what makes a prophet, and how Joseph is like—or not like—other prophets.
From the maple trees of the Sacred Grove to busy London streets, from the quiet Susquehanna Valley to bustling Taiwan, this journey to know Joseph Smith has brought us many places. But has it taken us to Christ? In this final episode of the Joseph podcast, we saved the best for last as guests share their stories of how, through heartbreak and rock bottom, they were able to find Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith.