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The Restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith
The scriptures prophesy of a latter-day restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all its truths, powers, gifts and organization—a time when all that was lost will be restored, “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” 1
Beginnings: The gospel of Jesus Christ restored by a prophet of God
Now that the religious climate was ripe for change, Heavenly Father did what he has done so many times in the past: he reached out to his children in love by calling a prophet to restore the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That young man was Joseph Smith.
The year was 1820. The place was upper New York State. The United States was a new country and possibly the only place in the world that enjoyed religious freedom—exactly where God could restore the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was 14 years old then, and he was confused by the conflicts of religious ideas about basic Christian doctrines such as baptism. Because the ministers interpreted the scriptures in such diverse ways, he could not determine which church to join. His answer came from a passage in the Bible. “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.” 2
Ask of God! What a simple yet profound idea!
Armed with that hope, Joseph went to a nearby grove of trees where he could privately ask of God. His experience parallels that of Moses or Abraham and others of the great prophets:
“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!” 3
The gospel of Jesus Christ--a new gospel dispensation
Thus, in answer to a young boy’s prayer, a new gospel age—The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times—was ushered in with the calling of a prophet. The vision of the Father and the Son was “the most important event that had taken place in all world history from the day of Christ’s ministry to the glorious hour when it occurred.” 4
After the long night of apostate darkness, the heavens were opened again. Jesus’ true church and gospel that had been absent from the earth for almost eighteen centuries was about to be restored in all their glory. Priesthood power would once more be given to men to provide the essential ordinances of salvation and seal families together forever.
The gospel of Jesus Christ had been lost
Joseph was told by Jesus to join none of the churches, for “they were all wrong” and “all their creeds were an abomination.” 5 Although many good people believed in Christ and tried to understand his gospel, they did not have the fulness of truth or priesthood authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances. They had been born into an apostate world that previous generations had imposed upon them.
But now, after nearly two millennia, Jesus had called another prophet to restore—not reform—his original church, its teachings, its power, and its saving ordinances--the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to prepare for Christ's Second Coming
The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ was to prepare the way for the Second Coming of the Savior to the earth. Other heavenly messengers would bring to the Prophet their ancient powers, instructions, and additional scriptures to convince the world that “Jesus is the Christ.” 6 Among these angelic messengers were:
- John the Baptist, who restored the power and authority to baptize.
- Peter, James and John, who restored the power and authority of the Apostles.
With this power, Joseph Smith was directed to organize the Church of Jesus Christ again on the earth. That church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—latter-day is to differentiate today’s members (saints) from former-day members (saints). A living prophet and twelve Apostles direct The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each can trace his authority to Jesus Christ in an unbroken chain through Joseph Smith.
Questions about 'The Restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith'
- Did ancient prophets prophecy of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Who was the prophet that God called to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Confused by the many churches and their doctrines, Joseph Smith consulted the Bible for answers about the true gospel of Jesus Christ. What profound scripture did he read?
- What happened when young Joseph Smith prayed?
- Now that the heavens were open to man again, what blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ were about to be poured out upo the world?
- What was Joseph Smith told about the other churches?
- For what important event does the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ prepare the world?
- Who were some of the initial angelic messengers who came to Joseph Smith to restore their power and authority?
- Now empowered, what could Joseph Smith organize on the earth?
- As in ancient times, are there a living prophet and apostles upon the earth?
What should you do now?
If any part of this message rings true, we invite you to take the next steps:
- Request a free copy of the Book of Mormon
- Invite missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to visit you and teach you more.
In either case, you have no obligation. But if you have the courage to act, you will discover the greatest revelation and happiness of your life!
References for 'The Restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith'
- Acts 3:19-21 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which 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.
- James 1:5
- Joseph Smith History 1:17
- Mormon Doctrine, p. 285
- Joseph Smith History 1:18-20
- Book of Mormon title page – ...And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations
- The Message of the Restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- We Are God's Children: God is Our Loving Heavenly Father
- Marriages and Families Blessed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- God Reveals His Plan Through Prophets
- The Savior's Atonement and Ministry
- The Great Apostasy
- The Restoration of the Gospel
- The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ
- The Holy Ghost Confirms the Truth
- We Are God's Children: God is Our Loving Heavenly Father
- The Plan of Salvation
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- The Commandments
- More Information