As recorded in the fifth Acts of the apostles, after the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, the apostles Peter and John went about preaching, testifying and healing the sick in the name of Jesus. Their influence and power was so electric that the multitudes brought forth the sick in hopes “that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” (vs. 15.)
The Sadducees were filled with indignation and had them brought before the council. There they were subjected to questioning and accusations. Then, one of the Pharisees named Gamaliel, a doctor of law, said this:
“Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought… And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (vs. 35-39)
What Gamaliel was saying was, “If their message is not of God, it will come to naught. But if it is of God, you don’t want to fight against it, because you won’t win. As history has proven, Peter and John’s message of Christ and His mission has engulfed the world. I found the line of reasoning used by the lawyer Gamaliel regarding the message of the apostles to be insightful when it comes to the message of the restoration of the gospel by living prophets.
“He called me by name, and said, unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni: that God had a work for me to do: and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. (JS History 1:33)
The above statement was spoken by the angel Moroni to an unknown farm boy in upper state New York in the year 1823. Today, less than two hundred years later that prophesy has come true. Like Peter and John of old, the message that Joseph Smith brought forth is resounding across every continent of our world.
If Joseph was a true messenger from God the message of the restoration of Christ’s church will not die. And so those that mock and make fun of the Joseph Smith story should learn something from the message of Gamaliel. If it is not of God, it will eventually die, but “if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”