Mormon beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths, the “Mormon Church”) include the belief that the original Church of Jesus Christ established by Christ himself during His mortal ministry, was restored to the earth. Jesus Christ organized His church, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Holy Bible: Ephesians 4:11-12). After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the apostles guided the Church by revelation and instruction, but eventually the apostles were killed and the Church fell into apostasy. The priesthood authority, the authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism and to act in the name of God for the salvation of His children, was lost with the death of the apostles.
In 1820, a boy of about 14 years of age named Joseph Smith, noticed the confusion that existed in many of the churches in the area where he lived in upstate New York. There were many differing opinions on gospel doctrine, and he just wanted to know what was true and which church to join. He attended many churches but came to no conclusion. One day while reading in the Holy Bible, Joseph came across a verse in the book of James that reads, “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”(Holy Bible: James 1:5). This verse moved him to act. On a spring day in 1820, Joseph went out to a grove of trees near his house and offered up a prayer asking God what he should do. What happened next was a glorious vision of divine manifestation. Joseph saw a light decend from heaven and God the Father and His son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph in glory. They told Him that he should join none of the churches. They said Joseph was to be called as an instrument in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. He was called as a prophet of God just like Moses was called to be a prophet, and many other prophets.
Through subsequent manifestations of angels and revelations, the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. The priesthood authority to act in God’s name for our salvation, was restored through heavenly messengers. Joseph Smith was able to translate, by the power of God, a book of holy scripture called The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon gives an account of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. Some important Mormon beliefs include a belief in temple building and salvation for those who are deceased. Today in the Church, there are twelve apostles, and a prophet that guide the Church of Jesus Christ by continuing revelation from God. They testify of Jesus Christ and speak His words.
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