"A Russian historian had visited the United States for something over a year studying the history of great Americans and American institutions. As he was about to board his ship to return to his native land, newspapermen interrogated him. One of them asked him this question: "In your study of great Americans during the past year, which of them do you consider to be the greatest?" His answer is most startling. He said, "You have only had one truly great American, one who gave the world ideas that could change the whole destiny of the human race — Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet."
William E. Berrett "The Life and Character of the Prophet Joseph Smith" BYU Speeches of the Year, 1964, p. 2
"My testimony is that no man has ever lived upon the face of the earth outside of the Redeemer of the world that has given as much revealed truth to the world as the Prophet Joseph Smith. How could anyone read the Doctrine and Covenants, and study it, and think that Joseph Smith wrote it?"
Elder LeGrand Richards
"Joseph Smith was also one of those noble spirits chosen before he was born. Had any number of boys fourteen years of age, other than Joseph Smith, gone into the woods to pray for light and spiritual guidance, not one of them would have had the vision given to the boy Joseph. He was chosen and ordained for the special work of restoration and this vision of the Father and the Son was the first step in his life's ministry. No doubt Satan knew of Joseph's calling, and that if he did not succeed in destroying him at this time, he would not be able to do so thereafter; hence the vigorous assault made upon the boy's life."
George F. Richards, "Conference Report," October 1948, p. 11