My Beliefs

ARE WE RELATED?
Donny Osmond

“As I’ve traveled all over the world, the fact that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused a lot of interesting questions. I’ve received so many letters and e-mails asking things like, What are the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints?”

Debby & Donny Osmond

My Testimony

Listen

…Some want to know how Debbie and I have been able to maintain a strong marriage — over all these years — while living in the world of show business. Others want to know how we dealt with the challenges of raising a close and happy family in such difficult times.

How do we maintain a balance between work, and family life? Well, you know it’s not always easy, but the following pages are my attempt to explain a way of life that helps answer these kinds of questions. It gives me stability in a world, and in a business, that can be uncertain, compromising, and stressful. It’s the pattern that gives me direction in my life. And, I hope that this information will help answer some of your questions.

Questions & Answers

  • The Different Accounts of Joseph Smith’s Testimony

    Hi donny

    Forgive me if this question has been asked before.  Can you explain why there were 3 or more accounts of the first vision?   My sister in law has went less active because of this and after reading your responses I would love to have an explanation that would help her to get back her testimony.

    Many thanks
    Di

    Hi Diane,
     
    Sorry about your sister-in-law losing her testimony of our prophet of the restoration.  To me, there are so many evidences of his divine calling, not the least of which is the rather constant persecution he and his family and followers went through, driven and hated as they were.  I cannot imagine anyone being willing to go through what Joseph did, if he was not totally committed to such a divine calling as was he.  Then, his family, some of whom had their own revelatory experiences, suffered through all this with him, knowing him and all the details of his life intimately.  His older brother, Hyrum, was devoted to his death. 
     
    Think of the heavenly visitations by heavenly messengers, such as Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Elias, Elijah and even Moses.  Every one of heavenly manifestations involved at least one additional witness, and of course, Moroni was seen by three.  Even, the image of Jesus Christ and the Father, who appeared as distinctly separate personages in the first vision, were seen in another vision by Sidney Rigdon along with Joseph on another occasion as recorded in the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants.
     
     
    I personally believe that any honest person who prayerfully studies The Book of Mormon and is acquainted at all with the many evidences will be compelled to accept the truth that no mortal person in 1829 when the book was published, could have possibly composed this book without divine direction:
     
    1)  Scriptural Evidences:

         a)  22   Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well whose branches run over the wall: (ocean); 

              26  The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills…:   (Old Testament | Genesis 49:22 & 26)

         The western hemisphere is the only possible geographic explanation, as to where his “branch” would “run over the wall” to the “utmost bound” of the world from them in the Holy Land; the only continent with “everlasting hills” from Alaska to the tip of South America. That this prophecy by Jacob is especially convincing when we see The Book of Mormon itself and the prophet Lehi declaring: I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt.  (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 3:4) 
         This is confirmed by Jesus when he visited the people of The Book of Mormon, as he said to his chosen disciples from among them: “Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph.”  (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 15:12)
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    b)  The passage in Ezekiel 37:15-16 has only one logical explanation: 
         16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions:
    then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
          17  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.  (Old Testament | Ezekiel 37:16 – 17)
          Where else; what other “stick” or record of writing could fulfill that passage?
     
    c)   Given that the Lord had declared: 
          “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24); his declaration:  16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
          
    Then to the Nephites, he said: 
           “…ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”  (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 15:21)
     
    I do not know how the scriptures could be more clear about the record of Joseph’s descendants and there is no way that anyone could concoct such a consistently integrated volume fulfilling those Biblical prophecies.
     
    2)  Archeological, linguistic and historical evidences that have and continue to be discovered in southern Mexico and northern Central America.  Writing styles, names and words now being discovered to have roots in the areas around Jerusalem are common in The Book of Mormon, things not even beginning to be known in 1829 when the book was published.
     
    3)  Spiritual evidence:  This is the one that really counts and is the glaring lack among those who have pulled away from the Church pointing to one thing or another as their reason.  The different versions of the first vision is, in my opinion, a pretty flimsy reason to question the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph.  It stands to reason that an account given at different times to different audiences may place emphasis on different aspects of an experience and let’s face it, we do not review our own experiences to others exactly the same way, word for word, each time during our lifetime that we might be sharing with others.  Here is a link to the official Church response to that issue:
     
     
    Really, the only way one can be assured of the truth of these matters is through the Spirit:
     
    4  And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
    5  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.  (Book of Mormon | Moroni 10:4 – 5)
     
    ​I truly hope you can love your sister-in-law into seeking the witness of the Holy Ghost on the truthfulness of the restored gospel and that Joseph Smith was truly the prophet of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
     
    Thank you for your concern and efforts in her behalf.
     
    Donny Osmond​