After Jesus Christ was crucified, many people started to reject God’s word and the words of His prophets. Many of the Apostles and leaders Jesus had called were martyred, others eventually died, God's priesthood authority disappeared from the earth. Many other churches were formed, but none of them perfectly resembled the true Church that Jesus Christ had established.
This period is known as the Great Apostasy. Ancient prophets like Amos prophesied of it: “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” (Amos 8:11—12).
Book of Mormon prophets also spoke of apostasy. The prophet Samuel cautioned the Nephite people, “Yea, heavy destruction awaiteth this people . . . and nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Helaman 13:6).
The prophet Isaiah knew that God would one day restore the essential truths that had been lost. He prophesied that God would “proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:13—14).
These prophetic words are repeated in the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 27:25—26).
The marvelous work God spoke of was the Restoration of His gospel. The true gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church have been restored.
In 1820 a young man named Joseph Smith knelt to pray and ask God which of all the Christian churches he should join. In answer to this prayer, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared in a vision and directed Joseph Smith not to join any of them. Joseph Smith was chosen to organize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A simple prayer led to the restoration of lost truths, including the Book of Mormon.
By the power of God, Joseph Smith was led to and translated the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is convincing evidence of the reality of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon contains the word of God and His gospel. It clarifies truths that the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ and His gospel. It is truly another testament of Jesus Christ.
By reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know that it is true, every person can come to know that the same church Christ established while He was on the earth has been restored today. The truths lost during the Great Apostasy are now available to all who earnestly seek them.