PROVO, Utah Everyone who claims membership in the Church must have his own personal witness concerning the truthfulness of the story of Joseph Smith, said President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency.
After addressing the newly called mission presidents and their wives in the annual mission presidents seminar, President Faust walked several hundred yards around the corner of the complex to address the several thousand missionaries currently studying in the Provo Missionary Training Center. He recounted the life and contributions of the Prophet of the Restoration and said no one can understand this Church without a knowledge of Joseph Smith.
"Joseph Smith will be discussed, debated and challenged, but no one can argue about the success of the work which he introduced," he said. "Few men have had so many detractors and enemies as Joseph Smith, yet his personality was so warm, radiant, forceful and dominant that those who came to know him looked upon him as the dominant personality of their lives and the greatest person they had ever met."
There are many distinguishing aspects of this Church, said President Faust, such as the missionary effort, the great welfare program and the women's organization, "but that which makes it live is the individual testimonies of the members of the Church."