Who is the prophet of the restoration?
Just prior to his death,Lehi, gave counsel and blessings to each of his sons. In the blessing and counsel to his youngest son, Joseph, Lehi relates several prophecies of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and who Lehi was a descendant of. In 2 Nephi 3: we read: “5 Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom. 6 For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.” In a later verse Joseph tells us the name of this choice seer: 15 “And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.”
Joseph Smith Jr, who was named after his father, was the prophet and seer that Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, foretold would be the prophet of the Restoration and he who would bring forth the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was chosen and foreordained before this world was organized to be the prophet who would restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.
In his address in October 2003 conference, President Eyring said the following about the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“The Prophet Joseph Smith is an example and a teacher of enduring well in faith. I do not worship him, but I thank and love him as the Lord’s prophet of the Restoration. He has helped me pray with the intent to obey. I am better able to feast in the word and the love of God. Because of him I feel the Holy Ghost more often in the moments when I try to build the faith of a person in the Lord’s kingdom. And because of what I know of the Prophet Joseph and the scriptures which were revealed through him, I more often feel the love of God for His children and of His for me when I reach down to lift someone up” (“An Enduring Testimony of the Mission of the Prophet Joseph,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 92).