When Jesus was on the earth, He established His Church. That same Church exists today.
God sent Jesus, not only to save us from sin, but to establish a church. When Jesus died, He left behind more than powerful sermons and teachings. He left behind Apostles, commandments, and a basic church organization that would continue to bless others long after His death. He also gave righteous men God’s priesthood, or the power and authority to act in His name. It’s the same power Jesus Christ Himself used to heal the sick, raise the dead, bless the afflicted, and appoint people to lead His Church.
As the Church grew, the Apostles faced growing chaos and dissent among believers and harsh opposition from non-believers. Apostles were martyred, and people started to disagree on the basic points of Jesus’s teachings. People began forming various churches without God’s authority to do so. Those churches were all different from one another—and strayed from Jesus Christ’s original Church.
As a result, Christianity experienced a widespread apostasy, or departure from core religious beliefs. The true Church as Jesus had established it wasn’t found on the earth anymore. God’s priesthood authority to act in His name was lost, pure principles were corrupted, and the basic truths of the gospel were scattered among churches.
After centuries, God and Jesus called a new prophet, Joseph Smith, to restore the Church and all its true teachings.
Joseph grew up in humble circumstances in Palmyra, New York. Many churches and preachers were competing for converts in the area. Joseph was confused about which church he should join because they all taught different things. He came across a verse in the Bible that said to ask God if you had a question, and He would answer.
Joseph decided to pray. He went to a private place in the woods and knelt down. He humbly asked God in prayer which church he should join. God and Jesus came to him in a vision. Later, Joseph described this sacred experience:
“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).
God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ told Joseph not to join any of the existing churches. They told him that through him, Jesus would eventually restore His original Church. Joseph Smith would become a prophet, just like biblical prophets of old. He was given the priesthood authority that had been lost, and with it, the power to baptize, to heal the sick, and to call Apostles and other leaders. The restored Church was officially organized in 1830.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Jesus Christ’s restored Church. Jesus is truly at the head of His Church and guides us toward God through a modern-day prophet.
Come worship the Savior Jesus Christ with us! You will be blessed by studying His teachings in the holy scriptures and listening to what He has told prophets and Apostles in our day. You will feel God’s love as you participate in serving one another in the Lord’s Church.
People have a lot of questions about “Mormons,” or more respectfully, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here to see the full list.
More and more people are rejecting the idea of organized religion and prefer to just be spiritual and try to live good lives. But people need both. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides the structure and priesthood authority necessary to fulfill all of God’s commandments, including baptism and taking the sacrament (or Communion). You should go to church on Sundays, while also making an effort to be spiritual and serve others throughout the week.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially founded in Fayette, New York, in 1830. The first President of the Church was Joseph Smith. He had a vision of Jesus Christ and God the Father and was called as a prophet to restore the Church of Jesus Christ. He received the priesthood of God, translated the Book of Mormon, and sent missionaries to preach the gospel across North America and overseas.
The Church headquarters moved to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois to escape persecution and find a place for its members to gather. Due to suspicion and local political conflicts, the prophet Joseph Smith was unlawfully jailed in 1844 and killed by a mob.
Brigham Young became the next President of the Church. He led the Saints across the plains of the United States in covered wagons to the Rocky Mountains of Utah. Since that time, the Church has grown dramatically throughout the world. Today, there are over 15 million members in over 170 countries worldwide.
The first step is usually to meet with missionaries. They will teach you the basic beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They can also answer any of your questions about the Church and let you know what is expected from members.
You should also start attending worship services. You will find the joy of belonging to a community of people who care about each other and strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, once you are ready to join the Church, you can choose to be baptized and become an official member. You can be baptized either by missionaries or by someone you’ve come to know at church.
Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon has many authors. It is a collection of journals and histories passed down from one writer to another over a period of about 1,000 years. The first author is the prophet Nephi, who left Jerusalem with his family in 600 BC and sailed to the Americas. Nephi passed the record to his younger brother, who then gave it to his son. Each author gave the record to someone they trusted. Mormon was the name of the prophet who gathered all the writings into one book, so it is called the Book of Mormon.
In 1823, Joseph Smith was led to the ancient records and translated them by the power of God.
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