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bear testimony that Joseph was a prophet (Cowley)

A humorous but instructive account of an experience of Elder Matthew Cowley illustrates the spiritual power that accompanies an earnest expression of belief in and loyalty toward the Restoration, which of course began with the First Vision.

"I was called on a mission.  And I will never forget the prayers of my father the day that I left...his last words to me at the railroad station [were], 'My boy, you will go out on that mission; you will study; you will try to prepare your sermons; and sometimes when you are called upon, you will think that you are wonderfully prepared, but when you stand up, your mind will go completely blank.' I have had that experience more than once.'

Elder Cowley then asked his father what he should do in such instances.  His father replied, 'you stand up there and with all the fever of your soul, you bear witness that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, and thoughts will flood into your mind and words to your mouth, to round out those thoughts in a facility of expression that will carry convictions to the hear of everyone who listens.' And so my mind, being mostly blank during my five years in the mission field, gave me the opportunity to bear testimony to the [First Vision].  Try it sometime...If you don't have anything else to say, testify that Joseph Smith was the prophet of God, and the while history of the Church will flood into your mind...if you will but bear testimony that the prophet was indeed a servant of God and an instrument in His hands."


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