Faith and Reason 5: Joseph Smith’s Name Known Worldwide

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From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith

by Michael R. Ash

On the twenty-first of September, 1823, after retiring to bed, Joseph Smith prayed that he might know his standing before God. While praying, a light appeared in his room, followed by a personage clothed in white. The messenger identified himself as Moroni and said that God had a work for Joseph, that his name would be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, and that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people (Joseph Smith History 1:32-33).

This prophecy was delivered seven years before the Book of Mormon was published and the Church was organized. Since that time, church membership has doubled every fifteen years and now has over fifteen million members. It is the fourth largest Christian religion in the United States, with over 80,000 missionaries. This is quite an achievement for a religion which the critics of Joseph Smith’s day predicted would fizzle out after the Prophet’s death.

Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.

Julianne Dehlin Hatton  is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.

Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.