In 1820, God and Jesus called a new prophet to restore the true Church. His name was Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith grew up a humble farm boy 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, humbly asking 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 said that through him, Jesus would eventually restore His original Church. Joseph Smith would become a prophet, just like biblical prophets of old. Over time, he was given the important 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 on April 6, 1830.
As Jesus reestablished His Church, He brought forth an ancient record that was translated by Joseph Smith. It is known as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It both supports and clarifies the Bible, ensuring that the teachings of Jesus Christ remain pure and correct. You can come to know that the Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is the word of God by reading it and praying to know if it’s true. If God answers that it is true, you will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that you have found Jesus’s true Church.