Heavenly Father Watches Over His Kingdom on Earth
How involved is God in the workings of our lives? How involved is He in the affairs of men, and in the spread of His gospel on the earth? Does He care enough to open the doors of heaven and send angels to make sure we have the truth? Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, declare that He is involved in our affairs, and He has and does open the heavens to enlighten and save His children. The heavens are open, and the revealed gospel in its fullness is available to us today.
For our Father in Heaven, it was not enough that wise, brave, and devoted men should risk their lives to try to recapture lost aspects of Christ’s original church. He had promised the original disciples of Christ that His kingdom would never fail, and though it splintered and drifted for hundreds of years after the original apostles were martyred, Heavenly Father was already sowing the seeds of a complete restoration of Christ’s church.
Some scholars have marveled that the ancient Church of Jesus Christ thought it could succeed. With the distances the apostles and seventies had to travel, the variety of pagan teachings and philosophies abounding in the Holy Roman Empire, and the inability to communicate except by epistle and personal visit, modern scholars see no way the gospel could remain pure, undefiled, and perfectly organized in the ancient world. God knew this, too. He was already preparing men with ideas of freedom of choice, respect for self-volition and personal reason, and toleration for new thoughts in order to create an environment wherein His Church could be restored. By the time America was founded, these movements and ideas converged to create a country with freedom of religion, and a Great Awakening of personal spiritual sense and expectation of personal inspiration from God. Not only that, but every person could have his- or her own scriptures, and through personal prayer, find the Savior.
The Church of Christ on Earth Joins the Church of Christ in Heaven
It is proof of God’s love for us and the absolute order of His kingdom, that he opened the doors of His Church in heaven to share authority and power with His Church on earth and restore completely the parts which had been lost.
Twice each year, The Church of Jesus Christ holds a “general conference” in which prophets, seers, and revelators deliver pertinent and poignant messages to Latter-day Saints and friends of other faiths. Through modern technology, the proceedings are carried across the world in a multitude of languages and media. Latter-day Saints, now numbering nearly 15 million, and others interested in truth, may all witness the proceedings of general conference. In the April 2013 general conference, Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, exclaimed how miraculous and stunning was (and is) the restoration of lost gospel truth and authority. The power to perform miracles and administer the affairs of the kingdom had been lost when the original apostles were martyred. God sent the angels Peter, James, and John to restore this authority. Thus, every man who holds the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ, can trace his priesthood authority back to Christ. Other heavenly messengers restored lost keys, powers, and authority. All things were done in perfect order.
The Stunning Restoration of Christ’s True Church
Said Elder Nelson:
This wave of truth and righteousness is wondrous! It is not man-made! It comes from the Lord, who said, “I will hasten my work in its time.” This wave is empowered by a divine announcement made 193 years ago. It consisted of only seven words: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”8 Uttered by Almighty God, that announcement introduced a young Joseph Smith to the Lord Jesus Christ. Those seven words launched the Restoration of His gospel. Why? Because our living God is a loving God! He wants His children to know Him and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent!9 And He wants His children to gain immortality and eternal life.
“…some 2,000 years ago, the Lord established His Church. After His Crucifixion and the death of His Apostles, men changed the Church and its doctrine. Then, after generations of spiritual darkness, and as predicted by previous prophets,11 Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ restored the Church, its doctrine, and its priesthood authority. Because of that Restoration, knowledge and essential ordinances for salvation and exaltation are again available to all people. Ultimately, that exaltation allows each of us to dwell with our families in the presence of God and Jesus Christ forever!
I cannot speak of the Restoration in tempered tones. This fact of history is absolutely stunning! It is incredible! It is breathtaking! How amazing is it that messengers from heaven came to give authority and power to this work?
Our Eternal Father and Jesus Christ made multiple appearances to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Under Their direction, other heavenly messengers came, each with a specific purpose. For example:
- The angel Moroni revealed the Book of Mormon.
- John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood.
- Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Moses bestowed keys for the gathering of Israel.
- Elias conferred keys of knowledge about Abraham.
- Elijah restored keys of the sealing authority.
In addition, the Restoration added knowledge that Saints had anciently. The Lord provided a new book of scripture. To the Holy Bible, He added the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is a record of prophecies and the ministry of the resurrected Lord to the people of ancient America. It explains God’s great plan of happiness—the plan of salvation. The Book of Mormon is in full harmony with the Bible. Both sacred records affirm the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of His Atonement….
Together, members and missionaries invite all to learn of God, of Jesus Christ, and of His gospel. Each inquiring individual should seek earnestly and pray fervently for the assurance that these things are true. The truth will be manifest by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I thank God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for the Restoration and its power to propel a magnificent wave of truth and righteousness across the earth. May we catch this wave and fulfill the Lord’s command to take the gospel “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.