“If Joseph Smith were to walk into a conference of the (LDS) Church today he would find himself completely at home; and if he were to address the congregation they would never for a moment detect anything the least bit strange, unfamiliar, or old-fashioned.” — Hugh Nibley, writing in 1946 in the essay “No Ma’am, That’s Not History.”
if we are to imagine Joseph Smith talking at General Conference, what would he say? Would he feel comfortable with the words of modern-day prophets?
With the exception of mid-19th century figures of speech that we would not recognize, Joseph Smith’s doctrine would be exactly what modern-day prophets teach today. He would recognize that the tweaks in the doctrine — ending plural marriage, for example — would be necessary for our modern times. Re-read some of Joseph Smith’s talks to see what I mean.
This is unique. I can think of very few religious institutions that are two centuries old that have such historical consistency. This is worth pondering for faithful Latter-day Saints. When the Savior comes again, would he feel comfortable at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint General Conference? Based on what I know if Him and what I have read of His actions and words, I would have to say yes.