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Gramps,

I am always arguing with my mother on The Book of Mormon and other LDS issues. She is a nonmember who tries to prove that Joseph Smith is a fraud and that the whole church is a fraud. I love her arguing because it makes my testimony stronger every day. My question is that last night I had a dream that we were arguing about Joseph Smith and she told me he was in it for the money and that is the only reason he conned every one. I told her that he wasn’t in it for the money. I said “He was born a poor man and he died a poor man.” After waking up this morning I could not believe how real this was. But I keep questioning my dream. Did he die a poor man? I am not sure if he did. But if he did then I will be calling my mother to let her know.

Jesse

 

Answer

Dear Jesse,

The Prophet Joseph was in no way a wealthy man. He had only three years of formal schooling because of the necessity of working to help support his family. He was told by the Lord in a revelation that gaining wealth was not his strength. He was told that in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling (D&C 24:9). He was in debt at the time of his death. In fact, In January 1851 a judgement was entered against his heirs requiring foreclosure on the property that he had owned in order to pay off his debts. (Dallin H. Oaks and Joseph I. Bentley, BYU Studies, Vol. 19).

Gramps

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