Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Restoration of the Gospel
I've been trying to think about what to talk about today. There is so much that I could say, but the thing that kept coming back into my mind is the importance of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel is just another word for teachings. So why in the world would we need a restoration of Christ's teachings if we already have the Bible. During Christ's ministry we learn that we need to have a few things in order to have the fullness of Christ's gospel. The first thing we need is authority, or the priesthood. The ability and privilege to act in the name of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Another thing we learn is that we have to be called in order to do this. Just as Jesus Christ called together his disciples and from them chose 12. He then ordained them with power from on high and laid his hands upon their heads and gave them the authority to act in his name once he was gone. As we know, Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. We also know that after Jesus Christ was killed his apostles were later killed off as well, or otherwise taken care of, thus the authority was lost because they were not able to pass on the priesthood that they held. So because of this we have what is called a "great apostasy." This was prophesied of by the prophet Amos in Amos 8:11-12, "Behold, the days come saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." And so because of this there was a need for a restoration, not a reformation. This leads us to a time in the early days of the United States of America, where a young boy, named Joseph Smith was wondering and pondering on a question. That question was, "Which church do I join? or Which church is the Church of Jesus Christ?" He was going from church to church trying to figure out where he needed to go. One day during his study of the Bible he came across a scripture in James. In James 1:5 it says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upraideth not; and it shall be given him." This lead Joseph Smith to go into a grove of trees behind his home and kneel in prayer. The answer he recieved was the most important vision of this era. He was able to see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith described the vision this way in his own words, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which decended 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!" The things we learn from this vision are numerous, but we specifically learn that God has a physical and seperate body from Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ also told Joseph Smith that he should join none of the churches, and that he was going to restore his original church back to the earth, which he later did. H was visited by another heavenly messenger a few years later, who lead him to a place where an ancient record was buried that we now call the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was also visited by Peter, James and John and recieved the Priesthood which allowed him to then restore Christ's church back on the earth. The name of that church now being The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The only way we can come to know if this message is true is if we read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith called it the "keystone of our religion." Without the Book of Mormon we have nothing. Our claim to the priesthood is lost, our claim to the fullness of the gospel is lost, everything we have is gone. It is so important that we find out for ourselves if this book is true or not. Don't take my word for it or anyone else's word for it. Do it yourself. We have that promise. God will answer our prayers by "the power of the Holy Ghost." We can know. That is my prayer and challenge to you is to read from and pray about the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true, that it comes from God and that it is to help us continue to come closer unto him.