The Restoration of the Gospel

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth.  Just like someone doing a car restoration after the car has been ruined or left to decay, Christ restored His gospel and His church to the earth after centuries of confusion and spiritual decay.

God is our loving Heavenly Father.  He wants what is best for us.  In order for us to grow and progress we had to leave Him and come to earth where we go through trials and temptation.  We are able to communicate with Him through prayer, and He communicates with us through scriptures written by His prophets.

"Herein is love, 
not that we loved God, 
but that he loved us, 
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

The gospel taught by prophets is there to bless the family.  "THE FAMILY is ordained of God." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).  This means that we can have some of the most sacred experiences within our own families. 

Heavenly Father has revealed the gospel several times.  Each time He reveals it to a prophet is called a dispensation.  When people reject the prophets and their teachings, it is called an apostasy.  Adam was the first man, and the first prophet on the earth.  He taught his children to follow the Lord.  After some time Noah was called to preach this same gospel of repentance and only eight individuals were saved from the flood because of the apostasy of the inhabitants of the world.  Later Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were each called as prophets, to teach the people.  Moses was called as a prophet to deliver Israel from Egypt, and to lead the people back to the land of their inheritance.  As inspired by God, Moses brought forth the ten commandments.  Jonah was commanded to Preach the Gospel to the inhabitants of Nineveh.

"Arise, go unto Nineveh,
that great city,
and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee."

Jesus Christ came as the Son of God in the flesh, as the promised Messiah.  He taught a higher law than the Law of Moses.  He performed miracles, set up a church, and called twelve apostles, to whom he gave priesthood authority to run His church.  While on the earth He was the head of the church and they looked to Him for direction.  After He performed the Atonement, died, and was Resurrected on the Third day, He was still the head of His church.  He appeared to His apostles and taught them for forty days, teaching them what they had not previously learned about preaching the gospel to the rest of the world.  The apostles looked to Christ for what should be done within His church after His death, just as they had looked to Him while he was living on the earth.

Not long after the Saviors death however, the people rejected the Apostles just as they had rejected Christ.  Several were killed and all died without conferring the priesthood authority Christ had given them to anyone else.  This period where the priesthood, or the authority to act in the name of God, was gone is known as the Great Apostasy.  This is because of the widespread rejection of the servants of the Lord, as well as His teachings.

"For I think that God 
hath set forth us the apostles last, 
as it were appointed to death: 
for we are made a spectacle 
unto the world, 
and to angels, 
and to men."

This period of Apostasy was ended by God calling another Prophet to the earth.  In the year 1820 near Palmyra, New York, there was an unusual excitement on the subject of religion.  A young boy named Joseph Smith was searching with his family for which church was right.  Joseph read in the bible where it said clearly, "one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).  This cause him to wonder which of the many different churches was right.  One day he was reading James 1:5, which says, "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."  He then decided that if anyone lacked wisdom, he did.  After some time of reflecting upon this scripture he decided to do as James had directed, and ask God what to do.

He went early one morning to a grove of trees near his home.  He knelt down and began praying to our Father in Heaven.  As he prayed he saw a vision.

This is a description of his experience in his own 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!"

That morning God the Father and His son Jesus Christ appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith.  He was called to restore the church that had been lost back to the earth.  To do this he would be required to translate the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon stand side-by-side with the Bible.  They both teach and testify of Jesus Christ.  If anyone desires to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, all they need to do is read the Book of Mormon and pray, asking with a sincere heart and really intending to do something about the answer they receive.

"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.
But let him ask in faith, 
nothing wavering. 
For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea 
driven with the wind and tossed."
"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."

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed me in my life and with my family.  I can say with a surety that the Book of Mormon is true and really is inspired by God.  I love my Savior Jesus Christ for all He has done for me.