Friday, April 25, 2008

Joseph Smith and the Story of the Restoration

I found this video on and it was too good not to share. Here is what the artist had to say:

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"
-Joseph Smith Jr.

This film is likely the last film that I will make for the next few months. I am currently studying/volunteering in Moscow, Russia and will be here until the end of June 2008.

I wanted to make this film one of my best films yet so I put a lot of work into it. I also put many personal things in this film: one of my favorite religious songs (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing), favorite and new paintings, and my favorite set of scriptures from Section 128 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

The highlight of this video---for me---is a painting that I obtained at great lengths specifically for this film. I've wanted to use it before now, but it took me a while to get a good copy of it. It is a painting of the pioneers leaving Nauvoo for the Salt Lake Valley. It depicts them pushing a wagon up a muddy slope with a phrase written on the canvas of their wagon: "The Kingdom of God or NOTHING!"

My friends, may that be our goal. May we all strive to do what we can, how we can, where we can----to reach that eternal city of Zion.

Thank you so much for your help and support thus far. I can promise more inspirational videos after I return from Russia. Until then, I encourage you to share these films but above all, I ask that you learn for yourself the truthfulness of the gospel and after that: Endure to the End.

Seth Adam Smith

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stepping Up

"For you members of the Church who hold back because of feelings of inadequacy, I plead with you to step forward, put your shoulder to the wheel, and push. Even when you feel that your strength can add little, the Church needs you. The Lord needs you. Remember that the Lord often chooses 'the weak things of the world' to accomplish His purposes."

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Here's to recognizing that I am weak, but knowing I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Joining the Conversation

So why am I doing this blog and what is it all about? I am attempting to follow the council of Elder M. Russell Ballard (a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) when he admonished members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to put our beliefs 'out there.' Start a blog about it. Let people know where we stand and be open to answering questions. We are not a 'secret society' and by no means are we a 'cult.' I want people to truly know what I know and understand the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the son of the living God.

Here are several snippets from Elder Ballard's talk (given at BYU-Hawaii commencement):

"While you studied here at BYU-Hawaii, you no doubt came to understand the power of words. Words create conversations, and conversations create understanding. There is truth in the old adage that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” In many cases, it is with words that you will accomplish the great things that you will now set out to do. And it’s principally about ways to share those words that I want to talk to you today. Regardless of your vocation, you will need to know how to express yourself to demonstrate that your services are very important to your clients and to your customers.

The challenge is that there are too many people participating in conversation about the Church for our Church personnel to converse with and respond to individually. We cannot answer every question, satisfy every inquiry, and respond to every inaccuracy that exists. As I said at General Conference in October, we need to remember that there is a difference between interest and curiosity. Sometimes people just want to know what the Church is. And some who seek answers want them to come directly from a member of the Church, like each one of you. They appreciate one-on-one conversations.

Now, to you who are graduating today and all other faithful members of the Church, as you graduate from this wonderful university, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple, clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true. You can download videos from Church and other appropriate sites, including Newsroom at, and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the Internet that report on the Church, and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you, all members of the Church, understand the basic, fundamental principles of the gospel.

Every disciple of Christ will be most effective, and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior of the world. Discussions focused on questioning, debating and doubting gospel principles do little to build the kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be "ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation" (Romans 1:16). Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world. Many of you are returned missionaries and can carry on meaningful conversation in the language you learned on your mission. Your outreach can be international.

As you participate in this conversation and utilize the tools of New Media, remember who you are—you are Latter-day Saints. Remember as the Proverb states that “a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). And remember that “contention is of the devil.” There is no need to argue or contend with others regarding our beliefs. There is no need to become defensive or belligerent. Our position is solid; the Church is true. We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the promptings of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven."

~M. Russell Ballard

I greatly look forward to the conversations I will get to have through this blog!