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Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

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This is the 12th in a series of books of the teachings of presidents of the Church. It is used for personal study and for Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society instruction.


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This is the 12th in a series of books of the teachings of presidents of the Church. It is used for personal study and for Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society instruction.

30 review for Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

  1. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I have heard several current General Authorities, including President Monson and Elder Packer, say that they were very good friends with Joseph Fielding Smith and that he was a loving, kind man. After reading Doctrines of Salvation last year, I had a hard time imagining JFS as a friendly, loving, kind person. The things his son-in-law (Bruce R. McConkie) included in that book were so strident and unapologetic, the image I had in my head of JFS was a harsh, demanding authoritarian. This more rece I have heard several current General Authorities, including President Monson and Elder Packer, say that they were very good friends with Joseph Fielding Smith and that he was a loving, kind man. After reading Doctrines of Salvation last year, I had a hard time imagining JFS as a friendly, loving, kind person. The things his son-in-law (Bruce R. McConkie) included in that book were so strident and unapologetic, the image I had in my head of JFS was a harsh, demanding authoritarian. This more recent book totally changed my view. I read stories and statements that revealed JFS to have a tender heart who took very seriously God's command to love one another. My favorite story was the one about his horse who kept getting out of her stall, despite his (and his father's) best efforts. JFS looked past the horse's mischievousness to love the horse for her dependability and her tenderness. I think that is an important lesson that we all need to learn as we interact with our fellow human beings. I am very glad that I read this book. It gave me plenty of material to ponder and apply in my life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    I love reading the words of latter-day prophets! What a wonderful series this is!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dad

    Of the twelve volumes of this particular manual, I believe this was the easiest to read. President Smith lived a long time. Funny all I could picture of him was the pose on the cover: an elderly gentleman with white hair and glasses. This book has pictures of his younger days when he had dark hair and was robust. I was amazed he had three wives, one at a time. He always had a strong testimony of his namesake prophet Joseph Smith. A thing I learned from him was he looked forward to the end of the Of the twelve volumes of this particular manual, I believe this was the easiest to read. President Smith lived a long time. Funny all I could picture of him was the pose on the cover: an elderly gentleman with white hair and glasses. This book has pictures of his younger days when he had dark hair and was robust. I was amazed he had three wives, one at a time. He always had a strong testimony of his namesake prophet Joseph Smith. A thing I learned from him was he looked forward to the end of the earth when the Savior will come and hate and envy will cease and all war will end. I have decided I will look forward to that as well although it is unsettling to think am I worthy to endure that change. There were some excerpts in the book referring to Joseph's dedication of the Ogden Temple in January of 1972. I was a senior in high school at that time and my mom and I went to the temple for the dedication. We saw Joseph Fielding Smith "walk" in. He had one arm over the shoulder of Bruce R. McConkie, his son in law, and one arm over someone else's shoulder and they ushered him to where the podium was. Each room had its own closed-circuit television. He did a nice job on the dedicatory prayer. Pres. Smith became president after a long-lived David O. McKay. All in all, I got a lot out of this manual. I served as 1st Assistant in the High Priests Group the year it was taught.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David

    The amount of work that goes into these books (the Teaching of Presidents of the Church) is astounding. This one has 26 chapters with roughly 10-35 references per chapters, plus a nice historical summary at the beginning to give you an idea of his life. I especially liked his reference to there being too many meetings in the church and too many of them are too long. Looking forward to Ezra Taft Benson for 2015.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    It's hard to rate books like this. There were some slow-moving sections for me but still plenty of gems of wisdom. I'm grateful for resources like this so that we can enjoy the words of all the prophets, even those that we weren't alive to hear. And I actually read and finished one in the same year we studied it - woot! :) It's hard to rate books like this. There were some slow-moving sections for me but still plenty of gems of wisdom. I'm grateful for resources like this so that we can enjoy the words of all the prophets, even those that we weren't alive to hear. And I actually read and finished one in the same year we studied it - woot! :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Stockett

    I enjoyed learned about President Smith's life and teachings this year. It was powerful to learn of his faithfulness and testimony throughout a life that had no shortage of trials. Between having to leave his family to serve missions, and losing 3 different wives as they all passed away before him, he certainly didn't have it easy. But his faithfulness throughout all of it was a strong testimony to me. I've compiled a few of my favorite quotes on different subjects. As always, these quotes are no I enjoyed learned about President Smith's life and teachings this year. It was powerful to learn of his faithfulness and testimony throughout a life that had no shortage of trials. Between having to leave his family to serve missions, and losing 3 different wives as they all passed away before him, he certainly didn't have it easy. But his faithfulness throughout all of it was a strong testimony to me. I've compiled a few of my favorite quotes on different subjects. As always, these quotes are not comprehensive, but they are the ones that stood out most strongly to me. On the family "The Church organization really exists to assist the family and its members in reaching exaltation." p. 29 "The family is the most important organization in time or in eternity... It is the will of the Lord to strengthen and preserve the family unit." p. 29 "There is no substitute for a righteous home." p. 76 On Joseph Smith's first vision "The coming of the Father and the Son placed on the earth a diving witness who was able by knowledge to restore to the world the true nature of God." p. 37 On the plan of salvation "We have the plan of salvation; we administer the gospel; and the gospel is the sole hope of the world, the one way that will bring peace on earth and right the wrongs that exist in all nations." p. 59 "Spirits cannot be made perfect without the body of flesh and bones." p. 68 "The Lord intends that men shall be happy - that is his purpose - but men refuse to be happy and make themselves miserable, because they think their ways are better than God's ways." p. 90 "There is no cure for the ills of the world except the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ." p. 273 On Christ's Atonement "His great suffering occurred before he ever went to the cross. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane, so the scriptures tell us, that blood oozed from every pore of his body; and the in the extreme agony of his soul, he cried to his Father. It was not the nails driver into his hands and feet." p. 63 "The gratitude of our hearts should be filled to overflowing in love and obedience for the Savior's great and tender mercy." p. 64 On Faith and Repentance "What we need in the Church, as well as out of it, is repentance. We need more faith and more determination to serve the Lord." p. 83 "If we have faith in God the Father and the Son and are guided, as we ought to be, by the Holy Ghost, we will have faith in the servants of the Lord through whom He has spoken." p. 85 "Faith is a gift of God." p. 86 "The mere desire to obtain faith will not bring faith any more than the desire to be skilled in music or painting will bring proficiency in these things without intelligent action." p. 86 "We cannot turn away from the path of truth and righteousness and retain the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord." p. 87 "There is no place in Zion for the willful sinner. There is a place for the repentant sinner." p. 87 "Repentance is a gift of God... It is not so easy for some people to repent, but the gift of repentance and faith will be given to every man who will seek for it." p. 89 "Procrastination, as it may be applied to gospel principles, is the thief of eternal life." p. 90 On Church organization and leadership "But men are only instruments in the Lord's hands, and the honor and glory for all that his servants accomplish is and should be ascribed unto him forever." p. 120 "There never was a time since the organization of the Church when a man led the Church." p. 120 "So far as I am concerned, when the President of the Church says the Lord has manifested to him or inspired him to do anything, I would support him fully in that action." p. 153 On The Book of Mormon "No member of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon." p. 136 On Education "Everyone should learn something new every day." p.142 "Truth and only truth, will remain when all else has perished." p. 143 "Very few among us read too much; most of us read too little." p. 145 On the priesthood "I think we all know that the blessings of the priesthood are not confined to men alone. These blessings are also poured out upon our wives and daughters and upon all the faithful women of the Church." p. 163 "The Lord offers to his daughters every spiritual gift and blessing that can be obtained by his sons, for neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord." p. 163 "One office is not greater than another, although for administrative reasons one priesthood holder may be called to preside over and direct the labors of another." p. 166 On obedience "Can I help loving him? No, I cannot. Do you love him? Then keep the commandments." p. 232 "No commandment, at any time, has He given us, that was not for our comfort and blessing." p. 235 On service "Everything we do in the Church centers around the divine law that we are to love and worship God and serve our fellowmen." p. 255 On prayer "Prayer is something that we need, not that the Lord needs. He knows just how to conduct his affairs and how to take care of them without any help from us." p. 278 "The season for prayer is always." p. 279 "Are we in possession of the spirit of prayer? Have we made it a part of our very being? Are we in touch with our Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit, or are we not?" p. 282

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    A really good book that is a compilation of doctrines and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by President Joseph Fielding Smith. Each chapter is organized topically. I loved how clearly President Smith was in emphasizing teaching doctrine and in living the fundamental commandments of the gospel. I love how well he understands and teaches the scriptures. I know Joseph Fielding Smith was a prophet of God.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Layne

    Another excellent study guide. On to the next one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Arriola

    Love

  10. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clark

    I love this series of books on the modern prophets. Joseph Fielding Smith was the prophet in the early 70's, and was known for his deep understanding of doctrine. This book of anecdotes and teachings from his life is great and also paints him as an old softie. Here's a short excerpt: “The day he was sustained in conference as president of the Church a little girl worked her way through the throng after the meeting and reached for his hand. So touched was he by the gesture that he stooped down an I love this series of books on the modern prophets. Joseph Fielding Smith was the prophet in the early 70's, and was known for his deep understanding of doctrine. This book of anecdotes and teachings from his life is great and also paints him as an old softie. Here's a short excerpt: “The day he was sustained in conference as president of the Church a little girl worked her way through the throng after the meeting and reached for his hand. So touched was he by the gesture that he stooped down and took the child into his arms. He learned that her name was Venus Hobbs, … soon to be four years old. On her birthday Venus received a surprise telephone call: Joseph Fielding Smith and his wife calling long distance to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her.”

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tannie

    So, here's the thing. I didn't read hardly ANY of this one. Last January in our ward, they asked us not to take a book this year if we could access it on a smart device. So... I didn't take a copy. What was the result? I didn't read it. I mean, I read a few chapters, but hardly any of it. SO - when my RS presidency said to not take one unless you NEEDED it (and couldn't access it on a smart device), I took one anyway. I am already reading Ezra Taft Benson's book and enjoying the ability to mark So, here's the thing. I didn't read hardly ANY of this one. Last January in our ward, they asked us not to take a book this year if we could access it on a smart device. So... I didn't take a copy. What was the result? I didn't read it. I mean, I read a few chapters, but hardly any of it. SO - when my RS presidency said to not take one unless you NEEDED it (and couldn't access it on a smart device), I took one anyway. I am already reading Ezra Taft Benson's book and enjoying the ability to mark it. I guess I'm old fashioned and I like to have a BOOK to connect to when I study. So, here's to hope for 2015 and enjoying the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janell

    This was truly an inspiration for me. Studying this small part of President Joseph Fielding Smith was a revelation on many levels. I'd always viewed him as being quite stern but discovered he was really a bit of a "marshmallow" but knew when it was necessary to practice tough love. And he made no apologies for stating the truth. My favorite chapter was #19 - "In the World But Not of the World". I've read that one multiple times! This was truly an inspiration for me. Studying this small part of President Joseph Fielding Smith was a revelation on many levels. I'd always viewed him as being quite stern but discovered he was really a bit of a "marshmallow" but knew when it was necessary to practice tough love. And he made no apologies for stating the truth. My favorite chapter was #19 - "In the World But Not of the World". I've read that one multiple times!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I'm teaching primary, so I'm not going to Relief Society. I used to read the lessons every other week. I have been reading a couple of chapters a day, and I'm getting more out of the lessons. They make me think about how the lessons relates to my life, and my family. I also enjoyed reading more about Joseph fielding Smith's life. It is interesting to me also, because my dad told me he played handball with President Joseph Fielding Smith. I'm teaching primary, so I'm not going to Relief Society. I used to read the lessons every other week. I have been reading a couple of chapters a day, and I'm getting more out of the lessons. They make me think about how the lessons relates to my life, and my family. I also enjoyed reading more about Joseph fielding Smith's life. It is interesting to me also, because my dad told me he played handball with President Joseph Fielding Smith.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I admit that before I started studying the life and teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith, I did not know very much about him. I have really enjoyed getting to know more about him, and learning the things he wanted the people to know about God and His love and plan for us during his (President Smith's) ministry. I admit that before I started studying the life and teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith, I did not know very much about him. I have really enjoyed getting to know more about him, and learning the things he wanted the people to know about God and His love and plan for us during his (President Smith's) ministry.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I was impressed by President Joseph Fielding Smith's dedication to personal scripture study. From a young age, he devoted time to the scriptures even though it took from his other childhood pursuits. It made me really want to read and study the scriptures and other good books to a greater depth and breadth. I was impressed by President Joseph Fielding Smith's dedication to personal scripture study. From a young age, he devoted time to the scriptures even though it took from his other childhood pursuits. It made me really want to read and study the scriptures and other good books to a greater depth and breadth.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Verona

    This has been a most enjoyable read for me and my husband. Every week we read a lesson from this manual. We learned so much about the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith and his wonderful teachings to us.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    As always another great edition to the church curriculum. The personal stories are always very interesting and the principles taught by the deceased prophet are inspiring and motivating. Plainly put it makes you want to be a little better disciple of Christ every day.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Listened to this book on my phone. Loved getting to know more about the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith and appreciated his insights into all manner of things. We studied this manual when I was serving in the primary, so I'm glad I took the time to read it now. Listened to this book on my phone. Loved getting to know more about the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith and appreciated his insights into all manner of things. We studied this manual when I was serving in the primary, so I'm glad I took the time to read it now.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    This is a manual for study, and thus it contains a distillation of his teachings over his lifetime. Being a study manual, I read it over a number of months, and now no particular chapter stands out in my mind. The more I study, the more I enjoy learning.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Plenty to ponder and improve on

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I loved learning about the life of Joseph Fielding Smith! I was lucky to be able to teach Relief Society from many of these chapters, and I learned so much. What a great man!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    I really loved Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith. He was a kind gentle man. The teachings in the manual are basic gospel principles. Easy to read and understand.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I can't help but love reading about the prophets life. I especially love the kindness he showed to his family and wife. What a wonderful example to us all. I can't help but love reading about the prophets life. I especially love the kindness he showed to his family and wife. What a wonderful example to us all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Loved learning more about this president of the church that I did not know much previously. Many beautiful truths of the gospel better understood.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Out of all the "Teachings of Presidents of The Church" this one is my favorite. I came to love Joseph Fielding Smith as a prophet and as a person. He was just so real and practical to me. Out of all the "Teachings of Presidents of The Church" this one is my favorite. I came to love Joseph Fielding Smith as a prophet and as a person. He was just so real and practical to me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    still reading this book inspiring

  27. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Like any Church manual it is a little dry. The stories certainly livened it up a bit.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    I've got one more chapter to go. The thing is by the time you finish one of these you can't help falling in love with the man. Such a good heart and so honorable. I've got one more chapter to go. The thing is by the time you finish one of these you can't help falling in love with the man. Such a good heart and so honorable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Art

    I have greatly enjoyed this series of books! Just finished the one containing teachings from Joseph Fielding Smith.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I enjoyed many of the chapters and the stories in this book.

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