Friday, September 16, 2011

The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith

In the early 1800s God again showed His love for His children by calling a prophet.

As a young man, Joseph Smith honestly sought for truth.  His family was deeply religious and studied the Bible regularly.  Joseph investigated the many churches in his vicinity and studied the Bible to find which church to join.  The Bible taught that there would be "One Lord, one faith, one baptism..." so he sought that faith. (Ephesians 4:5)

While reading in the Bible, he came across James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God; who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him."  Trusting that the Lord would give freely to those who ask and not chastise them for asking, he determined to "ask of God."

On a clear spring morning in 1820 Joseph retired to a grove of trees near his home.  There he knelt and offered a spoken prayer.  He later described his experience in these words:
"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)
Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  They spoke to him and answered his questions concerning which church was right and which he should join.  Joseph was told that he "must join none of them" (JS-H 1:19).  None of the churches then standing had the priesthood authority of God.  This authority would be restored through Joseph Smith.

At later times Joseph Smith received the Priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John.  These men came as angels and conferred the necessary Priesthood to baptize, give the gift of the Holy Ghost, and run the Church.

Joseph Smith was also led to a sacred record kept by the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.  He translated this record by the gift and power of God and published it as The Book of Mormon.  This Book is a fruit of  Joseph's work as a prophet of God.

Most importantly this Book supports the Bible in testifying of Christ's reality and divinity!