Joseph Smith’s name had for good and evil
Elder John H. Groberg of the Seventy told of an experience in which he saw a fulfillment of Moroni’s prophecy in Joseph Smith—History 1:33. While serving as a missionary in the South Pacific, Elder Groberg visited a remote island named Tafahi, which had only 18 homes and no electricity or running water. He wrote:
“At the last home, a strange thought occurred to me, ‘Why don’t you test the prophecy that the name of Joseph Smith should be known for good and evil throughout the world?’ I don’t know why the thought came, but it did.”
He asked the family living in this home if they had ever heard of the president of the United States. They responded, “Who’s he?” and “Where’s the United States?” Elder Groberg reported:
“I tried to explain where it was, but they couldn’t understand. They asked how big an island it was. I replied that it was a very big island, thousands of miles away with millions of people living on it. I told them that many people there had never even seen the ocean and that many people didn’t know one another. They couldn’t comprehend that.”
He then asked them about the leaders of Russia and France, but they could not answer his questions.
“Next,” he said, “I asked about some sports figures, some movie stars, famous business people, about the Depression, the Korean War, and other things. …
“There was not a member of the Church living on this island, although there were two other churches there. I took a deep breath and said, ‘Have you ever heard of Joseph Smith?’
“Immediately their faces lit up. Everyone looked at me, and the father said, ‘Don’t talk to us about that false prophet! Not in our home! We know all about him. Our minister has told us!’ I could hardly believe what I was hearing. The scripture … sounded in my mind that Joseph’s name ‘should be had for good and evil among all nations’ (JS—H 1:33). To me this was a direct fulfillment of prophecy.
“I am convinced that you could hardly get a place more remote, more out of touch with modern civilization, than the little island of Tafahi. The people there knew nothing of the great leaders of the day—political, economic, or otherwise—but they knew the name Joseph Smith. In this case they knew it for ill, at least to begin with. I spent the next few days explaining more of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and before we left, a few of them knew his name for good” (In the Eye of the Storm , 104–6). See also: Daniel C. Peterson, Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith’s name ‘had for good and evil among all nations’ Deseret News, November 3, 2016).