Here are a few post links, and a video, celebrating the birthday of Joseph Smith (a little late for his birthday at time of posting, but still worth sharing):
Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning:
“Happy birthday to one of my most revered heroes—Joseph Smith. Because of his influence in my life, I have a deeper understanding of my reason for being and a clearer, more compelling purpose for continuing on. Thanks to him I have a good grasp on my origin and my destination, and a comprehension that my journey is about joy. He has helped nurture my faith in God, in truth, and in myself.”
The Love of God — the Most Desirable of All Things: This post beautifully connects the Christmas season with Joseph Smith’s mission to share the message of the love of God as shown through His Son, Jesus Christ.
“At this season, we hurry and scurry, we work and prepare, and at times become frustrated, discouraged, even angry at the things that stand in our way. Unexpected trials and difficulties loom up to daunt us and remind us of our weaknesses and frailties — or of the cruel uncertainty of most things in our mortal lives. But one thing is certain, and the young prophet knew it and clung to it, during the long days and weeks of Liberty Jail — during the months and years of his tempestuous and challenging life. Speaking to Nephi, the angel declared: “Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father; Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? “… Yea, it is the love of God,which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; Wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. … Yea, and the most joyous to the soul” (1 Nephi 11:21-23).”
Joseph Smith: the Boy, the Man, the Prophet (Mormon Voice at Chron.com, by Heather Hemingway)
When I looked at my calendar for December, I realized that it was Joseph Smith’s birthday this month. To be clear, we do not worship Joseph Smith and the first article of our faith is “We believe in God the Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” However, Joseph Smith is still very important to me and to our Church since we believe that Joseph was chosen by God to be a modern-day prophet and to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mormons honor Joseph Smith as the Witness of Christ that he was. From this Church News article:
At this time when the world celebrates Christ’s birth, it can be said that no man has born a stronger witness to the reality of the Savior than did Joseph Smith, President Hinckley said. He added, “His written testimony is repeated, it is echoed and re-echoed in scores of languages throughout the world. In an age of skepticism and doubt, his witness is unequivocal and certain. …
“We speak our personal testimony that he who was born here on Dec. 23, 1805, was the instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to earth the ancient gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Church News, Dec. 31, 2005, p. 3).
Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration (feature-length film about the life and mission of Joseph Smith)