The Source of Divine Truth
The truths of our Heavenly Father's plan are eternal and unchanging. They are the basis for all his commandments. We can find lasting happiness and prepare for eternal life only as we learn the truth about the plan of God, accept it, and live according to it.
Knowledge from human sources is always limited and changing, so human wisdom and knowledge can never lead to a full understanding of eternal truth.
God is the only source from which eternal truth can come. To help us understand the truth, he speaks through his prophets. The revelations to prophets are recorded in the scriptures.
The truth of God is eternal and unchanging: Psalm 117:2; Mosiah 2:22 (p.149);* Mormon 9:9 (p.485)
We cannot look to human wisdom for knowledge of God: Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 55:8-9; ! Corinthians 2:14; 2 Nephi 28:31 (p.109)
God has revealed the truth through prophets: Amos 3:7;2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Nephi 22:2 (p.50)
During his earthly ministry Jesus established his Church. He called apostles and prophets who would lead the Church through revelation after he was gone. He gave them the priesthood authority to speak and act in his name. These inspired leaders made sure the people could learn the truth and not be misled by false teachins.
When the people rejected the truth and killed the apostles, God took the priesthood authority and the Church from the earth. The loss of revelation through the Church led to great confusion, contention, and incorrect teachings. This falling away from the truth is called the Apostasy.
The apostles and prophets lead the Church of Christ and taught the truth through divine revelation: Ephesians 4:11-15; 3 Nephi 11:18-41 (p.429)
Many gospel truths were lost and were replaced by the teachings of men: Isaiah 29:13-14; Amos 8:11; 2 Thesalonians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 1:5-7; 2 Nephi 28:9-14 (p.107)
"For that day shall not come,
The Restoration of the Truth
To overcome the effects of this apostasy, God has proclaimed his truth through prophets in our day, just as he did in Bible times. In 1820 God the Father and Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith in answer to his prayer about which church he should join. Joseph was told to join none of the churches because all were teaching incorrect doctrines.
Through Joseph Smith the Lord brought forth the Book of Mormon. Joseph received other revelations from God. These are recorded in two volumes of modern-day scripture--the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
Why do we need prophets and additional scriptures in our day? Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Nephi 28:26-27 (p.109); 2 Nephi 29:1-3, 6-10 (p.109); The Prophet Joseph Smith's Testimony
The Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ
God directed Joseph Smith to reestablish the true Church of Jesus Christ. To do this, Joseph needed the priesthood. The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God. John the Baptist, who had the authority to baptize the Savior, restored the authority he held to Joseph. This authority is called the Aaronic Priesthood. In addition, Peter, James and John, the apostles to whom Jesus had given the authority they held to Joseph Smith. This authority is called the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Joseph Smith organized the Church of Jesus Christ on April 6, 1830. The Lord has proclaimed that it is "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30).
It was necessary for Joseph Smith to receive the priesthood before he could reestablish the Church: John 15:16; Hebrews 5:1, 4; Mosiah 21:33-34 (p.189); The Prophet Joseph Smith's Testimony
The True Church of Jesus Christ
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led today by a prophet and twelve apostles. They receive revelation from God just as the apostles and prophets did in earlier times. Through priesthood authority, they teach the truths of God, perform his work, and direct his Church.
We must come unto Christ by being baptized into his Church. Only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can we find all the truths that will help us return to our Father in Heaven. Only in the true Church of Christ can we find the authority to perform the necessary gospel ordinances.
Through baptism into the Church of Christ, we accept Christ and enjoy the blessings of his atonement: Acts 2:37-38, 46-47; Mosiah 18:16-22 (p.182); 4 Nephi 1:1 (p.465); Moroni 6:1-4 (p.520)
Taking Part in the Church
The Lord has commanded his people to meet together often. In worship services, the members of the Church teach each other in following the example of the Savior. They enjoy a sense of unity, mutual strength, and fellowship.
An important part of worship services in the Church is the sacrament. Christ introduced this sacred ordinance during his last supper with the apostles. The bread and wine represent his body and blood. We partake of these emblems in remembrance of his sacrifice for us and his resurrection. As with other ordinances, we are making a covenant, we will always have his Spirit with us.
The Lord's people meet together often: Matthew 18:20; Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:24-25; Mosiah 18:25 (p.182); Moroni 6:5 (p.520)
What does the sacrament represent? Luke 22:19-20; 3 Nephi 18:6-11 (p.442); Moroni chapters 4 and 5 (p.519)
What Can You Do to Prepare for Baptism?
1. Continue reading in the Book of Mormon.
Discuss what you have read with a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2. Attend worship services of the Church with a Church member.
3. Read the pamphlet The Prophet Joseph Smith's Testimony. Pray to know whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet.
4. Take part in the fourth discussion with the missionaries.
|Back to Missionary Preview|