(January 23, 2014)
Joseph in Egypt long ago prophesied that Joseph Smith, Jr. would be named after his father, Joseph Smith. This is just a minor thing, of course, but it leads me to a thought that is interesting to me. That would mean that, when Joseph Smith, Sr. was being named by his parents, they were led by inspiration to give him the name Joseph. The two conclusions to draw from this are obvious. First, even those who are not members of the Church can be guided and led by the Spirit to take the actions that they should to fulfill prophecy (which, I would hope, is self-evident to us all by this point). Secondly, we can be guided by the Spirit in even things that are minor or seem unimportant so long as the guidance is necessary for the Lord’s plan. If someone stood in Church and said they were inspired by the Spirit to name their child, I don’t know, Wilbur I would have thought in my heart that they were only allowing their emotions to run away from them and claiming that to be a spiritual prompting. But the Spirit leads us (and others) when we might not expect it and we are foolish to discount the small miracles and inspiration on what appear to us to be trivial matters.