The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ


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(Emphasis added)

"During the days of Joseph's youth, the region around Palmyra

became embroiled in religious fervor. Preachers and ministers of every sect

fervently cried, 'Lo, here!' and others, 'Lo, there!' Some

were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and

some for the Baptist. 'In the midst of this war of words and tumult of

opinions,' Joseph Smith wrote: 'I often said to myself: What is to

be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong

together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know

it?' (Joseph Smith--History 1:10; see also v.

5).

"This is a universal question that seekers of religious truth

ask. This is the question investigators will ask of themselves and of our

missionaries. In the heart of one who is sincerely seeking the truth, this

question is the beginning of spiritual knowledge.

"After Joseph

offered a humble prayer for guidance in the woods near his home, he said:

'I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of

the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

" '.

. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness

and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them

spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the

other--This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!' (Joseph

Smith--History 1:16-17).

"From that day forward,

Joseph Smith learned line upon line. He turned himself to diligent study of

God's word, but he did more than that; he sought knowledge and

inspiration from God Himself. Joseph communed with angels. He spoke with

the great and righteous personalities of ancient times. President John

Taylor (1808-87) said that Joseph Smith seemed to be as familiar with

these ancient prophets and patriarchs as we are with one another. Abraham,

John, Adam, Peter--Joseph knew them as you know your good

friends."

(Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Restoration and Faith," Ensign, Jan. 2006, 35)

* To restore: to bring back into existence, use, or the like; reestablish

The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored once again; His church has been restablished as it had been established by the Lord Himself, after the same pattern: Prophets, Apostles, revelation, etc,...

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* To restore: to bring back into existence, use, or the like; reestablish

"The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected" - President Boyd K. Packer - Gen. Conf. Oct. 2003 - "The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected"

(Emphasis added)

"The Church you belong to, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the restored Church.3 When you know what restored means, you will understand why standards of conduct are as they are.

Following the Crucifixion of Christ an apostasy occurred. Leaders began to "teach for doctrines the commandments of men."4 They lost the keys of authority and closed themselves off from the channels of revelation. That lost authority could not just be repossessed. It had to be restored by those who held the keys of authority anciently.5

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a remodeled version of another church. It is not an adjustment or a correction or a protest against any other church. They have their "form of godliness"6 and their goodness and value.

John the Baptist returned through the veil to confer the Aaronic Priesthood, "which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins."7 A companion ordinance, confirmation and the conferral of the gift of the Holy Ghost, required a greater authority.8

Soon thereafter, Peter, James, and John, Apostle companions of the Lord, restored the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood9—"the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God."10

The Restoration did not come all at once. In a series of visitations, other prophets came to restore the keys of the priesthood.11

With the authority restored, the organization was revealed. Apostles were ordained, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency were organized as they had been anciently.12 The ordinances were revealed and authority given to perform them.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ was translated and published. In it is "the fulness of [the] everlasting gospel."13

Other revelations were published—the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. From those books of scripture, we learned why the earth was created and who created it.14 There was opened to the early leaders of the Church the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the standards He requires of His disciples.

We learned about the plan of redemption—"the great plan of happiness."15 We came to earth to be tested and to gain experience, with a promise that "through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."16"

It's a delight to read and talk about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

LDS members, please join and leave your thoughts on it!

Questions welcomed!

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I often wonder why some, especially me, can see it and some, who seem to be honest in their intent, can't.

It's really hard to express the feelings I have about being allowed to see it. When you know it's true, you know it's true.

How can anyone watch one General Conference session and not know those men are of God? They are such a breath of fresh air over how the world teaches Christ.

A prophet!

May we all try to not take this for granted.

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I often wonder why some, especially me, can see it and some, who seem to be honest in their intent, can't.

It's really hard to express the feelings I have about being allowed to see it. When you know it's true, you know it's true.

How can anyone watch one General Conference session and not know those men are of God? They are such a breath of fresh air over how the world teaches Christ.

A prophet!

May we all try to not take this for granted.

I feel the same way about not being able to find accurate/adequate words to describe this great blessing!

In Mosiah 4, after the people heard the first part of King Benjamin's talk, the people experienced repentance, godly repentance, that enabled them to see their state before God.

(Emphasis added)

Mosiah 4

1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the aangel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had bfallen to the earth, for the cfear of the Lord had come upon them.

2 And they had aviewed themselves in their own bcarnal state, even cless than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the datoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be epurified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who fcreated heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.

What brought them to view themselves that way? What did King Benjamin teach them before that?

Mosiah 2

10 I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear ame, or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man.

11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and aconsecrated by bmy father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.

18 Behold, ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to aserve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?

19 And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to athank your heavenly bKing!

22 And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

24 And secondly, he doth arequire that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bbless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were acreated of the bdust of the earth; but behold, it cbelongeth to him who created you.

King Benjamin taught quite a few principles there: pride and humbleness, recognition of God, gratitude to name a few.

In a state of pride (Opposition, enmity) we cannot see, hear, or accept anything that is true. When in our pride, we question the Lord, we pit our ideas/thoughts/teachings against His.

President Benson wrote thoroghly about this subject and said the core of pride is enmity, opposition, hatred torwards God and others. He also said that pride is the parent sin; all other sins come from it. BEWARE OF PRIDE: http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/1989.htm/ensign%20may%201989.htm/beware%20of%20pride.htm

(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - EYE OPENER)

When the people addressed by the Prophet & king, became humble & meek, they were able to view they were completely dependent upon God for their existance, then they were able to come to see themselves in their real state, and their eyes were open!

We cannot afford to take this for granted!!!

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Restored Truth

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

M. Russell Ballard, “Restored Truth,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 65

Three weeks ago I was assigned to host an open house at the Orlando Florida Temple for leaders representing the clergy, press, government, education, and business. Before I escorted these prominent guests through the temple, I explained to them the position and basic doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wanted them to know why the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith, so they could understand the divine purpose and the eternal significance of the temple. My message this morning is to remind Church members what we have and to invite nonmembers to understand the need for the restoration of the gospel.

The mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was comparatively brief. He lived only thirty-three years, and His ministry was only three years. But in those three years He taught the human family everything that is necessary to receive all of the blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for His children. He concluded His mortal ministry with the single most compassionate and significant service in the history of the world: the Atonement.

One of the most important accomplishments of the Savior was the establishment of His church upon the earth. Paul taught that Christ “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11–12).

When Jesus called His twelve Apostles, He laid His hands upon them, ordained them, and conferred upon them the authority to act in His name and govern His church. Peter is commonly understood to have become the chief Apostle, or the President of the Church, after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Early Christians endured the challenges of persecution and hardship. Peter and his brethren had a difficult time holding the Church together and keeping the doctrine pure. They traveled extensively and wrote to one another about the problems they were facing, but information moved so slowly and the Church and its teachings were so new that heading off false teachings before they became firmly entrenched was difficult.

The New Testament indicates that the early Apostles worked hard to preserve the church that Jesus Christ left to their care and keeping, but they knew their efforts would ultimately be in vain. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Saints, who were anxiously anticipating the second coming of Christ, that “that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (2 Thes. 2:3). He also warned Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; … And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4).

And Peter presupposed the falling away, or the Apostasy, when he spoke of “the times of refreshing” that would come before God would again send Jesus Christ, who “before was preached unto you:

“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19–21).

Eventually, with the known exception of John the Beloved, Peter and his fellow Apostles were martyred. The Apostle John and members of the Church struggled for survival in the face of horrifying oppression. To their everlasting credit, Christianity did survive and was truly a prominent force by the end of the second century A.D. Many valiant Saints were instrumental in helping Christianity to endure.

Despite the significance of the ministries of these Saints, they did not hold the same apostolic authority Peter and the other Apostles had received through ordination under the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When that authority was lost, men began looking to other sources for doctrinal understanding. As a result, many plain and precious truths were lost.

History tells us, for example, of a great council held in A.D. 325 in Nicaea. By this time Christianity had emerged from the dank dungeons of Rome to become the state religion of the Roman Empire, but the church still had problemschiefly the inability of Christians to agree among themselves on basic points of doctrine. To resolve differences, Emperor Constantine called together a group of Christian bishops to establish once and for all the official doctrines of the church.

Consensus did not come easily. Opinions on such basic subjects as the nature of God were diverse and deeply felt, and debate was spirited. Decisions were not made by binspiration or revelation, but by majority vote, and some disagreeing factions split off and formed new churches. Similar doctrinal councils were held later in A.D. 451, 787, and 1545, with similarly divisive results.

The beautiful simplicity of Christ’s gospel was under attack from an enemy that was even more destructive than the scourges and the crosses of early Rome: the philosophical meanderings of uninspired men. The doctrine became based more on popular opinion than on revelation. This period of time was called the Dark Ages. They were dark largely because the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ had been lost.

Then in 1517, the Spirit moved Martin Luther, a German priest who was disturbed at how far the church had strayed from the gospel as taught by Christ. His work led to a reformation, a movement that was taken up by such other visionaries as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Wesley, and John Smith.

I believe these reformers were inspired to create a religious climate in which God could restore lost truths and priesthood authority. Similarly, God inspired the earlier explorers and colonizers of America and the framers of the Constitution of the United States to develop a land and governing principles to which the gospel could be restored.

By 1820 the world was ready for the “restitution of all things” spoken of by Peter and “all [God’s] holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).

At this time religious excitement was sweeping across the countryside in upstate New York. Ministers from different denominations vied zealously for the loyalty of the faithful in villages and towns, including Palmyra, the home of the family of Joseph Smith, Sr., and Lucy Mack Smith.

The Smith family followed this religious excitement, and members of the family were “proselyted” to various faiths. Mother Smith and three of the children—Hyrum, Samuel, and Sophronia—joined one church (see JS—H 1:7), while Father Smith and his eldest son, Alvin, affiliated with another.

When fourteen-year-old Joseph, Jr., considered which church to join, he investigated each denomination carefully, listening to the respective ministers and trying to sort out the truth. He knew there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5), but which was the one he did not know.

“In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions,” Joseph Smith, Jr., wrote later, “I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” (JS—H 1:10.)

Young Joseph looked for answers to his questions in the scriptures. While reading in the Bible, he came upon a simple, direct admonition in the epistle of James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

Joseph reflected: “Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know” (JS—H 1:12).

With the simple faith of youth and motivated by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Joseph decided to go into a grove of trees near his home and put the promise in James to the test.

On a beautiful, clear spring morning, Joseph retired to the woods. He paused when he arrived at a quiet, secluded spot. He looked around to make sure he was alone. Then he knelt and began to pray. No sooner had he done so than an overwhelming feeling of darkness swept over him, as if some evil power was trying to dissuade him. Rather than surrender, Joseph intensified his pleas to God—and God Himself responded.

Reading from Joseph’s account:

“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. …

“When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS—H 1:16–17).

I testify those Beings were God, our Heavenly Father, and His resurrected Son, Jesus Christ, in one of the most supernal spiritual manifestations of all time!

They told Joseph he should join none of the existing churches.

Their mission accomplished, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, departed, leaving young Joseph physically drained but spiritually enriched with exciting restored truth. He knew with certainty that God, our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, are real, for he had seen them. He knew they are two separate, distinct individuals. He knew that no church on the face of the earth had the authority of the priesthood to act in the name of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the most important lesson young Joseph learned in the Sacred Grove is this significant eternal truth: the heavens are not sealed. God does communicate with mortals. He loves us today just as much as He loved those who lived anciently. What comfort that sweet assurance provides in a world filled with confusion and discouragement! What peace and security come to the heart that understands that God in heaven knows us and cares about us, individually and collectively, and that He communicates with us, either directly or through His living prophets, according to our needs.

My dear friends, I testify to you that this is true and that the Father and the Son appeared in wondrous vision to young Joseph as a step in the restoring of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. Through subsequent, equally miraculous experiences, Joseph Smith was God’s instrument in—

• Translating from ancient records a book of scripture, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,

• Restoring priesthood authority,

• Restoring sealing keys to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers,

• Establishing the restored church of Jesus Christ in these latter days with the fulness of the gospel as taught in the meridian of time by the Savior and His Apostles,

• Fulfilling biblical prophecy,

• Preparing for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

During the Orlando temple tours, I explained to our guests who were not of our faith that I understood if they found this message a bit overwhelming. I taught my new friends in Orlando, as I teach here this morning, that either the gospel has been restored or it has not. Either the Savior’s original church and its doctrine were lost or they were not. Either Joseph Smith had that remarkable vision or he did not. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ or it is not. Either the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to earth through God’s chosen latter-day prophet or it was not.

The truth really is not any more complicated than that. Either these things happened just as I have testified or they did not. As a latter-day Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, my testimony, and the testimony of millions of faithful members of the Church the world over, is that what I have told you this morning is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been restored to the earth through Joseph Smith and is administered today by a living prophet. These things I know!

This information is valuable to each of us only if we know for ourselves that it is true. Thankfully we have a simple but certain way to know. It requires some effort and sincere prayer. But it is worth it!

In the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, an ancient prophet named Moroni gave a significant promise to those who would one day read this sacred book of scripture. His promise applies to every sincere seeker of truth. He wrote:

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moro. 10:4–5).

Moroni urges us to go directly to the Source of Truth for answers to our questions. If we seek Him humbly and sincerely, He will help us discern truth from error. As the Savior Himself assured His disciples: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

Brothers and sisters, we know the truth. Because we do, we are expected to share it with all of our Heavenly Father’s children. To our dear friends of the Church, please do not let pass this opportunity to receive personal revelation from God. Consider what I have said. Weigh it carefully. Measure it against the things you believe. Hold fast to all that is true, and add to that the fulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Take into account what you have felt as you have listened. You can know if these things are true by asking God. Listen for His answer; then respond to what you feel.

If you will do so, I believe you will come to know as I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s true church upon the earth. May God bless you, my dear friends, with the peace and joy the gospel gives, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Gospel topics: apostasy, Book of Mormon, restoration, Joseph Smith, truth

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Gospel Message Brings Light, Hope, and Joy---------------------------------------------------

"In the middle of [the] despair [of postwar Germany],

my family learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and

the healing message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This message

made all the difference; it lifted us above our daily misery. Life was

still thorny and the circumstances still horrible, but the gospel brought

light, hope, and joy into our lives. The plain and simple truths of the

gospel warmed our hearts and enlightened our minds. They helped us look at

ourselves and the world around us with different eyes and from an elevated

viewpoint."

Topics: gospel, Jesus Christ, adversity, joy, hope,

strength

(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?" Ensign, Nov. 2007, 19)

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In the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses

---------------------------------------------------

"In the Bible we read this important declaration: 'In the mouth of

two or three witnesses shall every word be established' (2 Corinthians

13:1). This assures God's children that divine doctrines are confirmed

by more than one scriptural witness.

"The Bible and the Book of

Mormon are both witnesses of Jesus Christ. They teach that He is the Son of

God, that He lived an exemplary life, that He atoned for all mankind, that

He died upon the cross and rose again as the resurrected Lord. They teach

that He is the Savior of the world."

Topics: Savior, Bible, Book of

Mormon

(Russell M. Nelson, "Scriptural Witnesses," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 43)

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Bible and Book of Mormon Authenticate Each Other

---------------------------------------------------

"Scriptural witnesses authenticate each other. This concept was

explained long ago when a prophet wrote that the Book of Mormon was

'written for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible]; and if

ye believe [the Bible] ye will believe [the Book of Mormon]

also' (Mormon 7:9). Each book refers to the other. Each book stands as

evidence that God lives and speaks to His children by revelation to His

prophets.

"Love for the Book of Mormon expands one's love for

the Bible and vice versa. Scriptures of the Restoration do not compete with

the Bible; they complement the Bible. We are indebted to martyrs who gave

their lives so that we could have the Bible. It establishes the everlasting

nature of the gospel and of the plan of happiness. The Book of Mormon

restores and underscores biblical doctrines such as tithing, the temple,

the Sabbath day, and the priesthood."

Topics: Bible, Book of

Mormon, witness, scriptures, Restoration

(Russell M. Nelson, "Scriptural Witnesses," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 43)

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