Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26. 2016

From Josh: 

Another week in Van Nuys

It has been a trip so far, Elder Orchard is awesome to be around and it is a great start to the transfer so far, I have had a lot of experiences in this area already, and I am sort of getting comfortable here.

The other day we went to go check on a less active who lives at a halfway house, we rolled up on our nice ten speed bikes to this greasy chain link fence all locked up, inside the fence a few people looked at us, out of everyone in there we were the nicest dressed everyone else had borrowed clothes that hadn't been washed in a week, this tall man walked over to the fence and in a gruff voice asked who we were looking for, we told him we were looking for a member of our church who was staying there for a bit, we gave him his name and he said he had never heard of the guy, by this time a couple more people were giving us sideways glances, this older man walked up and the tall guy walked away to give room for this man, he opened the gate slowly and walked out to talk with us, he had a greasy beard and dirty clothes but he stood with a bit more dignity that the others and I could tell he was one of the leader there, we asked for the less active and he told us he had never heard of the guy in his life... the interesting thing was that this was the guy that told us that this less active lived there a couple days ago, he probably thought we were out to get him, or this less active had been murdered and they were covering it all up... which was a real possibility in the area we were... in the dark... so we quickly excused ourselves and went on our merry way. 
Luckily the less active came to church the next week so our murder speculation was out the window. 

I was reading in the doctrine and covenants recently and was reading section 84, in verses 45-73, it describes first what the light of the truth is, then what we need to do with it, I would suggest you all read it. Our responsibility as members of this church is to proclaim the Gospel to the World, in verse 61 it says we must be faithful and steadfast in what we believe and make sure to bare testimony to all on what we receive, with General conference coming up we have the opportunity to hear from our Prophet and Apostles and leaders of the church, words of wisdom and guidance, now it is our privilege to hear and live the things we learn, but it is also our privilege to share it with those who did not have the chance to hear from living Apostles, serving in Van Nuys I have seen the spiritual hunger in people, a nation starving perishing for lack of truth and for want of the living bread of Jesus Christ and his gospel, we are commanded to feed the hungry, to cloth the naked, to befriend the friendless, to impart of our substances, that includes feeding the hungry in spirit, to cloth the ones exposed to the elements of Satan's shafts in the whirlwind, to befriend those who are not of our faith and love them into the Gospel. Sam you have opportunities at work and to go out with the missionaries, Ben you have opportunities at school to befriend and share the Gospel, Abby you have opportunities in your classes outside of the church, Mia you have opportunities everywhere, and we all have opportunities to at least strengthen our faith and foundations in the Gospel, we all have opportunities to grow. Abby and Mia don't be afraid to share what you believe even to adults and older people who don't come to church, because you have a power, when someone older tries to tell someone else who is their age what they believe, then they will debate and discuss and will probably not listen, but you have power because in our world today people think that it is impossible for people as young as you two to know anything about religion, but it is up to you to show the world that you have a testimony of the Gospel, and in order to do that for real you actually need a real testimony, so get to work right now and read the Book of Mormon, and every night ask for chances to grow your testimony, ask God your you to feel the spirit when you read the Book of Mormon, and don't only read the Book of Mormon as a family, even though that is important, take time on your own to discover the truths of the Gospel, you have both been baptized and have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and that means that as long as you are doing what you should you have full access to the spirit of God and it will let you know that this Gospel is True, People think we are brainwashed just blindly following our leaders, but that is not true, in this church we must find out for ourselves the truth, through prayer and study, ask questions, find answers, pray with all your heart to learn the truth. Take the Council of Moroni in Moroni 10:3-5 and follow the council in 2 Nephi 32:3,5, never lose faith, if you don't think you have a testimony determine first what you absolutely believe then build off that. 

I love you all so much and hope you are building your testimonies daily.



September 18, 2016

From Dad:

Hi Josh,

Wow, we’re excited for your transfer. New area means new opportunities both for you and those you will meet and server there.  Looks like it’s not far from downtown and quite densely packed. Be sure to let us know your mailing address.

This week has been exciting on the new house front. They poured the basement foundation this week so that is a key factor for our timeline. Next up is sewer this week and water hookups this week.


This week-end was our Stake Conference. We had the opportunity to have one of the Seventy, Juan A. Uceda, from Peru. He had a wonderful spirit with him and loved to share the original Hebrew and Greek translations of scriptures.

An example: Phillipians 4:13 – After translating directly from Greek with some different synonyms, this can become:

“I have power to overcome all things, everything, anything, all manner of things with Christ who makes me strong”.  It was a cool perspective

Another example: Ezekial 20:12

“Moreover also I gave (grant/deliver/appoint/consecrate/entrust) them my Sabbaths, to be a sign(distinguishing mark/signal) between me and them that they might know (by living it the Sabbath Law)that I am the Lord that sanctify them”.

Things are settling down into some routines for us as school is under way and acro/dance and gymnastics and basketball start rolling. Life keeps rolling on. Don’t want to miss a minute by regretting the past or dreaming too much of what might come, so I try to focus on enjoying the present and finding meaning in each moment and experience that gives me the experience I was meant to come here to earth to have.

I want you to know how valuable learning to get along with and work with your companion is. Mom and I have been shocked and saddened by how many friends that we have who have been married for years who decide to divorce. Learning to get along and stick with someone through good and bad is super important to long term happiness.

BTW, Isabeau Doig got a mission call to Australia and leaves in December. She bore her testimony in Stake Conference about it.

On Saturday, the boys and I got to go help sister Hartman paint the trim on her house. It was pretty tedious and demanding, but I loved seeing Ben and Sam just bend to the task and do it with minimal complaints

You are a great example to your family. Keep going strong. Excited to hear your experiences in the new area.

Love Dad.

From Joshua:

The house is coming along really well! and here I was hoping I would be able to help build it., oh well. 

I am in a new area and I have to say it has been an experience, Van Nuys is truly the slums of humanity, or as close as I have gotten to it, homeless people everywhere, poverty, broken homes, and generally a ton of worldly things, in fact (I have been telling everyone this) on the way to visit a less active member my companion Elder Orchard pulled me aside and showed me bullet holes in a school fence where people did a drive by shooting into a junior high school yard, on that same street we passed a pile of rubble that used to be a car, as it turns out someone had lit the car on fire and tried to shove another guy in it to burn him alive, and both got severe burns and had to go to the hospital. So there is some sketchy stuff in the area I am serving and not to worry anyone but I am on bike. ;) so I get to ride around in that area, I am currently using a mission bike right now until I can get my own but the cheapest one here is 450$ dollars and I am kind of stingy, so I either have to rely on junk bikes from the mission, or rip off the band-aid and get it over with. But for now I am content with a mission bike, we need specific locks as well that lock our seat our tires and our bikes to a solid structure because literally whatever can be take will be taken by people. I haven't been mugged yet but I am holding out, I am not worried though, my companion grew up his whole life learning Jiu Jitsu or however you spell it,  because his dad owns a dojo so when the day comes that we do get mugged all I have to do is step behind him and my worries are gone. 

BTW Elder Orchard and I are related through Thomas Edwin Ricks the guy Ricks College was named after, we found that out over dinner. So I am serving with my cousin right now, looks like serving missions are in the family! 

I have been thinking lately of the importance of keeping ourselves away from the world, it is so easy to get caught up in the worldly things, I have realized it more and more here in Van Nuys with crazy things everywhere, immodesty abounding, and I have seen where those things lead, I have done a lot of things I regret in my life and have given into the things of this world a lot, and I have to live with that for the rest of my life, so my advice to you is to focus on the things of God, this Church is true and I know it is, though the constant and steady reminder from God and just seeing the people it makes us, one of the less actives we stopped by bore a powerful witness of the church, and he said this to us "Look out into the congregation at almost every Mormon church, how many of them do you think are alcoholics, how many to you think are cheating on there wives? how many are going and stealing or lying? There could be one or two, but look at anywhere else, the numbers vary drastically" The church is true and all you have to look at is the people it makes us. 

I love you all so much, and will have more exciting stories next week!

Elder Joshua Smith.

Picture, me and Elder Orchard, when I took this picture we were waiting for a recent convert to come to an appointment, and through it there were two fire trucks behind us taking care of an emergency call several houses down. it was also the last day we had in a car.   

From Mom

Oh, Josh! This is an email to get a mother worried. Luckily, I work really hard not to worry about things I can do nothing about. So in the meantime, I will pray for your safety and ask Heavenly Father to look out for my boy. Plus, you know a little martial arts yourself, so I think you can handle it.

Just so you know, I'm posting a little bit here and there from your emails on your Facebook account. It keeps people aware of how you're doing and you have a lot of supportive comments from people especially uncles, grandparents and other family members. So, your example continues to ripple onwards.

Thanks for your birthday wishes for Mia and Ben.... they loved it that you remembered.

I love you forever. Keep your chin up. And you know what? I think you'll see a lot of miracles out in Van Nuys. 

Keep your eyes open to them.


PLUS ... 

You have money, Josh. $6000 will pay for the rest of your mission, which I just barely transferred from your mission account into your chequing account. This means you still have $4000 in your mission account. Say the word and I will get a money order in USD and mail it to you. I'm just saying...

PLUS!! ....

David Garibay contacted Dad. This is what he said...
"And your son is a missionary in my ward. I have witnessed your son be this reserved young man that would come to my house and teach me the gospel. To this young man that has enlightened me and my family so much over the short time that he's been here. It has been amazing to watch your son grow spiritually right in front of my eyes and help me grow as a spiritual leader of my family. Your son is very wise in the Gospel for his age. I want to thank you for giving your son the tools to help me and my family grow in this gospel. Me and my family have really come to love your son and it was a pleasure having him serve in our ward. Your son is destined for great things and will forever be in the hearts of me and my family. I was baptized on May 28, 2016. And I have three children  four-year-old two-year-old and a 10-month-old.  And I feel very blessed to have found a gospel that is complete for me and my family. I would like to friend you so that I can continue to watch her son grow on his mission."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 12, 2016

Miracles inside me

This week was a week of fun and adventures, I got transfer calls and I will be going to Van nuys, AKA the pit of the mission, it is often called Van nasty by others who have gone there before, but everyone who has come from it say it is the best place ever, so I guess that even though it is nasty there is a lot of great things going on, I am super excited for the next couple months.

The miracle of this week is that I felt true charity for someone, there was this lady who passed us Anti Mormon Pamphlets and I told her straight forward that they were only telling a half truth and not the full story and so they were false, and I felt super contentious and angry at her for some reason, and started telling her that we were right and all the reasons for it, and she got out a book all on anti Mormon stuff ready to go into a full on bash, and I opened the book of Mormon to tell what was what, but I ended up turning to 3 Nephi 11:7-9 where Jesus Christ comes to the nephites, and started reading, once I finished reading those verses, all of a sudden I looked up at this woman who was railing on us and shoving anti at us, and I loved her with all of my heart, and was amazed because a moment before I was filled with contention, and the rest of the conversation I was so calm and loving and we shared a few scriptures Moroni 7:12-15 where it talks about how all good things come from God, and even reading that she was trying to find the flaws in it to exploit, but she couldn't because she believed it as well bt she wouldn't admit that we believed the same and I kept reading how satan is in conflict with God and his purposes, she continued to bash on us throughout but I felt love and patience throughout her trying to disprove us and eventually we read that we shouldn't judge that which is good and of God to be that which is bad and of the devil. and we left it at that.

it was the most possative experience for me even thought she hardened her heart even more to our words it felt so good to talk to her, because I could see her as a child of God.

OH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEN AND MIA!!!! I miss you guys so much! I hope you are doing well and that you are getting what you want out of life, remember to stay strong in the Gospel because it is true don't be afraid to share it with others, and if you ever have doubts or questions remember that GOd is the Ultimate source of truth, and he will help you to know what is true in a way that you will understand.

I love you all! I hope all is going well with the House and life.



Me with The Dubon Family


Me and the Olsens

The Saugus 3rd elders, Me, Elder Chappell, Elder Postelnicu, Elder Davis.

Us with he Aubrie Family

September 6, 2016

Well, Another Week...

Another week has zoomed on by, I have been talking with a few missionaries who are about to go home and they can't believe it, they said it goes by way too fast, and looking back on the past 9 months I would have to agree, but even though I am amazed by how fast it has gone looking ahead I feel like I still have forever to go, I guess I will find out what happens.

since yesterday was a holiday it was a regular work day for us, and while we went to find people to teach we came across a guy named Justin, we knocked into him because his wife seemed to be interested in the Message of the Restoration, then he opened up a moment of panic filled my mind because most times the husbands are less then friendly and will often ruin the chances ofr teaching the spouse, the first words out of his mouth was, "we don't believe in the mormon Beliefs" and my quick responce was "then what do you believe?" he told us how he was christian so we shouldn't waist our time, and we told him we did indeed believe in Christ, (at this point I was still expecting to be bashed or turned away) he paused and then asked "you believe he lived and died and rose on lthe third day?" Yes we did, and he told us he didn't know that, that he thought we had a different bible, we said we had the Book of Mormon but it did not replace the bible, he asked about a couple other misconseptions like "did we worship Joseph smith?" no, we revere and respect him for restoring the Gospel "but poligamy, you believe in that right?" nope one wife one husband "so what about that guy in jail?" I think you are talking about the FLDS, "Oh, well its good to hear, that you believe similar to what I believe, that is why I am even giving you the time of day" We went on to teach him the first discussions and invited him to learn more, gave him a Book of Mormon to read over and scheduled another apointment with him.
I am always glad when we can clear things up for people who don't know better, and because of how I have seen what other people think of us, I try not to judge others in their beliefs and really the 11th article of faith has become so much more real to me, I am so grateful we have that, have been given anti mormon pamphlets and it always shocks me how others actually make those, because our church teaches us never to judge, "We claim the priveledge of worshiping almighty God according to the dictates of our own concience and allow all men the same priveledge, let them worship, how, where and what they may"
May we always remember that council, and seek to better ourselves by not judging others of other faiths. We must share the Gospel with love and understanding, the scriptures say through much "persuasion" not arguments or bashing on others beliefs, I know first had what it feels like to be bashed, I don't like it and neither does anyone who has ever lived, and endeavering through argument to sway anothers opinion will only make the other strive that much harder to prove they are right, even if they are completely wrong, so let us reason with our brethren and sisters of the world, we are siblings and children of the Almighty God.
King Benjamen spoke wisely in Mosiah 2:32-33 contention is not Gods way nor is there any part of him that would take part in squabling with someone other then himself, let us speak with humility and peace one to another, and seek to uplift rather then to degrade. Acting in full trust that God will be with he who loves.
I love you all and hope you have another great week, I will try to make my email a little better.
Until next time



I am definitely brushing up on my sewing skills,
Things that we should do to find the truth.
Me and the district I am over!
Me and a couple sisters at a Zone activity, sister christianson and sister hanson.
Same zone activity with Sister brumbles and Elder Kang, Elder kang is from Korea here for korean work in this area. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Aug 29, 2016

From Dad:

Hi Josh,

Hope you are having a great week! 

We had some really fun times this week with Stephanie and Tyler coming up to visit. Tyler brought James and another friend, Justin, so we had a good work crew to go at the tree house!

We are really excited that the house basement is getting started! Attaching some pics. We are a little late in the season so we are really hoping things go smoothly from one contractor to the next.

Last night I took the little girls into a Stake Choir practice. We are having a all childrens choir for Stake Conference this next month. At first they were reluctant and I had to resort to some bribery (Chili's Molten Lava cake for Abby and Tootie Fruitie for Mia). They had a good time though and the conductor was fantastic. I was able to browse some instagram while listening to them and this is what I posted on facebook after:

Sitting at the Millwoods Stake Center listening to my daughters sing in a child's choir. The conductor, Lindsey Olsen, had the parents close their eyes and try to tell the difference between singing the same section of music once with no expression on their faces and once with lots of joyful and expressive faces. The difference was obvious and much more beautiful with expression.
It made me wonder about whether our lives are similar.
I then saw this quote on Instagram that really struck me:

"All of us are prone to excuse our own mediocre performance. We blame our misfortunes, our disfigurements, or our so-called handicaps. Victims of our own rationalization, we say silently to ourselves: “I’m just too weak,” or “I’m not cut out for better things.” Others soar beyond our meager accomplishments. Envy and discouragement then take their toll.
Can we not appreciate that our very business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves? To break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our todays, to bear our trials more beautifully than we ever dreamed we could, to give as we have never given, to do our work with more force and a finer finish than ever—this is the true idea: to get ahead of ourselves.
To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility. You ask, “How might we achieve these goals?” I answer, “By getting a true perspective of who we really are!” We are sons and daughters of a living God, in whose image we have been created. Think of that truth: “Created in the image of God.” We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power, even the strength to live the commandments of God, the power to resist the temptations of Satan."

I've been reading that quote to Sam and Ben ever since especially as we start a new learning year. The big news is that Ben is going to High School and while nervous seems pretty excited for the new adventure. Sam is working for the rest of the landscaping season with Saturdays off for preparing for the GED.Mom is excited to work with the girls lots this year. 

Can you believe Abby will be 12 in January and going into Young Woman's!? She is SOOOOOO ready to be done with Primary sharing time she says.  Mia and Ben are getting excited for their Birthday in 3 weeks. 

I'm sure there's lots more to say, but I have to wrap up as I forgot to write again on Sunday and so I'm knocking this out on my lunch hour. 

As always, we are so proud of you and love the growth we are seeing in you (even the extra food growth, but mostly the spiritual growth! :)).



From Josh:

Wow looks like there is a lot going on back home, I love the Pictures, I really love seeing whats going on in your lives, its a little bit of home I get to enjoy while out here doing the Lords work, there have been a lot of things going on and a lot of things going to happen pretty soon!
First might I say that a mission is super hard and a lot of time it just sucks, well some of the time. The other day we were tracting a street previously chosen and every single door on that street in two hours of knocking was opened someone yelled at us or told us they weren't interested in what we were selling, then proceeded to slam the door before we had a chance to even say have a good day, and as we walked by a group of kids they talked loudly to eachother about us "who are those people?... oh they are just solicitors.."
I am always sad when people see us only as people seeling something, we are preaching the word of God, one of the houses we knocked into yelled at us and demanded to know if we could even read the soliciting sign, calling us stupid and a couple other choice words that I won't repeat in this email, and we simply told him he are not soliciting, and he yelled that we were soliciting God, and to get off his property, and a couple weeks ago this lady told us to get off her porch and that she didn't want to sick her dog on us, and when we left, she opened the door and the dog ran after us halfway down the block before she called it back. I tell these stories not to discourage anyone from a mission, but to tell you that it is hard, there will be days where things suck, and everything doesn't seem to be right, but those are the days where you learn who you are, and what you do in those situations, do you yell back at someone who is yelling at you? do you hate the people who hate you? do you bible bash whenever someone pulls out a scripture to prove their point? because ate the end of the day that is what it comes down to, what will you do when faced with adversity? I would hope, and I guess that is what Jesus Christ wanted of us, that we love one another, love those who despitefully use you, forgive those who do wrongs against you, have charity towards your fellow man, because we can't change others but we sure can change ourselves, and every moment we are trying we change for the better. a quote I heard, I can't remember who it is from, "God works in the moments that make up eternity"
 and it is said in the scriptures "by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass" and "line upon line, precept upon precept" So remember that when you are working on bettering yourself that every moment you try and work and give and sacrifice, you are changing for the better.
I have been told a couple times that we have false prophets, that they are deceaving us, and it really bothered me and I decided to pursue the subject, in fact I studied it this morning, in the bible (at least where I was reading) it states a false prophet as leading away the hearts of the children of men from God, speaking things contrary to the will of God in his name. So to investigate further, I got out some of the "teachings of the Prophets" books that we had in our apartment, everything that prophets speak are true to what God says, one of them said "we make bold professions, so we must be willing to live to a higher state of being to live up to the professions we make" I think that was Heber J Grant. I think that what people get stuck on and choose to focus on are the imperfections we all have, the statements of opinion given by prophets and apostles that aren't directly in line with the will of God, people choose to blow them out of preportion forgetting what great good they have done in the work of the Lord, it saddens me that people do not consider the fruits of the Gospel, as for me though I know this church is true, because of that it makes us, because of the possative influence that it has on the hearts of men, turning them to God, as Latter-Day saints we are called to live in a higher way, a higher way of thinking, a higher way of language, a higher way of service and action. I know that I could not be the man I am today without this church, and without my parents being faithful to what they knew to be true, and I thank you so much for that mom and dad! I am blessed to be in the work of the Lord, he has blessed me so much, the least I and we can do is give him what we can, and to think he only asks 10% back, of our income, our lives, our time.
We knocked into this black guy who was clearly on something, but he said these words that I will never forget, "when the Lord asks ten percent of our income it does not mean just our money, it means 10% of our time, tallents, children, of our lives, of our blessings and our income, he doesn't need our money, he needs us to come to him" and I think in the most part that is true, but we must be willing to give 100% of our everything if called upon, and to me I think that is the hardest. In his infinite mercy he knew we wouldn't be able to measure up all the time, and so he asks for ten percent, we can at least give him that.
One other thing I was told (again by a crazy guy) was not to be ashamed of who we are and to boldly proclaim it in our words and actions, He asked if we (me and my companion) were virgins, and I told him I indeed was, but my companion was perplexed, "why would you ask such a thing?" and the man turned to him and said "if you are a virgin then don't be ashamed to say so, its okay if your not but whatever you are you should boldly claim it!" and walked away, so whenever someone askes you a question about what you believe don't be afraid to claim it "are you mormon?", "I am indeed, dyed in the wool, true blue through and through" remember, "sometimes the only standard works someone with ever read is YOU" ~ Heber J Grant. So live ut to the covenants you have made at baptism to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ at all times and in all places, especialy in Highscholl Ben, and in working at Classic Landscapes Sam, with your friends Abby and Mia, no matter if they are Mormon or not, there will come a time and a day when you are backed up to the wall of your beliefs and you are either true blue through and through...or your not. Deside today, because "Your testimony today will not be strong enough for the trials of tomorrow."

I love you all and hope all is well.

Us on Bikes! We got rid of 15 cars in the mission these past two transfers opening up 15 more biking areas, so right now I am sitting on a borrowed bike from one of the members in our area.
I will have to get my own one of these days, but only when I have to. 

Elder Postelnicu after a day of biking, I love the guy.

Local wildlife.

Aug 22, 2016

Preparing for the future

There is so much that I wish I had done before my mission to prepare myself, things come up that I wish I had paid more attention to, like learning how to sew better and knowing more cooking skills, I mean right now I am learning a lot on my own but it would have been better I think if I had my priorities straight. so my advice to you all is learn while you can, take every opportunity to do those things that will help you now.

So recently we were knocking this one street and the first few houses they just looked at us and told us we should leave, one guy opened the door and said "who is knocking at my door! Mormon missionaries!? I don't want to listen to you at all what I have heard I don't like, and I have read your book, what I have read I don't want to do so you can just go away" and with that he closed the door. Another door we knocked on the man opened up and said he wasn't interested in our message, I say that the Olimpics were on and asked him how it was going, he told us he had just gotten home, he then said he had read the book of Mormon and didn't think there was enough evidence that it was true, because you could prove that Jesus lived because of historical evidence and you can't do that with the Book of Mormon, I asked him if he had prayed about it and he said he would never pray about it because it was wrong, and he would never believe William Smith and the Coins.... which was confusing because I had never heard of William smith and the coins only Joseph Smith and the Gold plates. Conclusion probably read some really bad anti. We then met a inactive member who told us that he was going to go on a mission but he had learned some things that made him not want to tell others about our life style, conclusion, probably got into bad anti, and his faith wasn't rooted in the Gospel,

I want to bear my testimony to you, I know this Church is true, because of the men and woman that it makes, I have never once heard people judge us by how we acted only what we believe, we actually had a conversation with a guy about it, he told us that he knew that not all Mormons are the best society has to offer, but he had yet to meet one of those kind, because everyone he had met that was Mormon were great people, he told us that he thought all religions were wrong but that the Mormons knew how to build its members up to be great people. We were talking to a member the other day, and he said, "I don't get why people don't want to believe in Joseph Smith saying that he wrote the Book of Mormon himself, I say that if a man could write a book with three different versions of the tree of life, King Benjaman's sermon, with so many miniscule and amazing details drawing conclusions that enlightened the mind and made clear the bible while being in perfect corilation with the bible and its precepts only in 76 days then I almost want to worship the man himself for such a work, now its almost easier to believe that he was inspired of God because that takes no thought on his own, he could be the most uneducated person and still do it with the power of God, Saying the Book of Mormon was written by a man would make Joseph Smith the most brillian man in his era, maybe even in all the history of the world."
Putting all that aside, if it truly came from God then wouldn't it be wise to ask him? even if it claims to come from God it is smarter to ask if it truly did come by the hand of God or not. Because God will tell you in his time, in a way that you will understand to be the truth, I can promise you that. so whenever you are struggling with belief and testimony, turn to God, and if you want a clearer answer fast and pray, God is not a god of confusion, he is on our side and wants us to know the truth, he will answer a fervent prayer of faith, no matter how big or small your trial.