GPC17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today, Gospel Principles Comments and Resources

Gospel Principles
Unit 5: The Church of Jesus Christ
Chapter 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today
Comments and Resources

"Elder Hugh B. Brown stated:  "The announcement of the reestablishment of the Church of Jesus Christ by his own personal appearance was followed by visits from other heavenly beings who restored the priesthood and authorized and supervised the reorganization of the Church....  The mission of the Church thus restored is to preach the gospel and administer in its ordinances among all nations preparatory to the second advent of our Savior.  ("This Church is Christianity Restored," Improvement Era, June 1964, p, 490; also in Conference Report, Apr.  1965, pp.40-41.)

"The greatest event that has ever occurred in the world since the resurrection of the Son of God from the tomb and his ascension on high, was the coming of the Father and of the Son to that boy Joesph Smith, to prepare the way for the laying of the foundation of His kingdom, not the kingdom of man - never more to cease nor to be overturned" (Joseph F. Smith, as quoted in Preston Nibley, Joseph Smith the Prophet, p. 28)

"What then is our message for all men?  It is the message of the Restoration...

"The message of the Restoration includes three great truths, truths which must be accepted by all mankind if they are to save themselves.  These are, first, the divine Sonship of Christ; second, the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith; and third, the truth and divinity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (Bruce R. McConkie, "Who Hath Believed Our Report," Ensign, Nov 1981, p. 46)

During the study of this topic, we will learn how the church was restored, the mission of the Church, and some of its history and progress since the restoration. 

Resources:
Gospel Principles: chapter 17
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, chapters 2, 5. 27.
Jesus the Christ, chapter 41
Truth Restored, chapters 3, 4, 14.

Scriptures:

1 Nephi 13:32-42; 15:1-16
  "32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.
  33 Wherefore saith the Lamb of God: I will be merciful unto the Gentiles, unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of Israel in great judgment.
  34 And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.
  35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.
  36 And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.
  37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. 
  38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.
  39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.
  40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.
  41 And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth. 
  42 And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last."

1 Nephi 15:1-16
  "1 And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been carried away in the spirit, and seen all these things, I returned to the tent of my father.
  2 And it came to pass that I beheld my brethren, and they were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them.
  3 For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.
  4 And now I, Nephi, was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, and also, because of the things which I had seen, and knew they must unavoidably come to pass because of the great wickedness of the children of men.
  5 And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all, because of the destruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall.
  6 And it came to pass that after I had received strength I spake unto my brethren, desiring to know of them the cause of their disputations.
  7 And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the olive-tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.
  8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?
  9 And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
  10 Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord?  How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?
  11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?  If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.
  12 Behold, I say unto you, that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive-tree, by the Spirit of the Lord which was in our father; and behold are we not broken off from the house of Israel, and are we not a branch of the house of Israel?
  13 And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed
  14 And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.
  15 And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation?  Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine?  Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?
  16 Behold, I say unto you, Yea; they shall be remembered again among the house of Israel; they shall be grafted in, being a natural branch of the olive-tree, into the true olive-tree."


2 Nephi 25:6-20
  "6 But behold, I, Nephi, have not taught my children after the manner of the Jews; but behold, I, of myself, have dwelt at Jerusalem, wherefore I know concerning the regions round about; and I have made mention unto my children concerning the judgments of God, which hath come to pass among the Jews, unto my children, according to all that which Isaiah hath spoken, and I do not write them.
  7 But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.
  8 Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them.
  9 And as one generation hath been destroyed among the Jews because of iniquity, even so have they been destroyed from generation to generation according to their iniquities; and never hath any of them been destroyed save it were foretold them by the prophets of the Lord.
  10 Wherefore, it hath been told them concerning the destruction which should come upon them, immediately after my father left Jerusalem; nevertheless, they hardened their hearts; and according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are carried away captive into Babylon.
  11 And now this I speak because of the spirit which is in me.  And notwithstanding they have been carried away they shall return again, and possess the land of Jerusalem; wherefore, they shall be restored again to the land of their inheritance. 
  12 But, behold, they shall have wars, and rumors of wars; and when the day cometh that the Only Begotten of the Father, yea, even the Father of heaven and of earth, shall manifest himself unto them in the flesh, behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks.
  13 Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God.  Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name. 
  14 And behold it shall come to pass that after the Messiah hath risen from the dead, and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name, behold, Jerusalem shall be destroyed again; for wo unto them that fight against God and the people of his church.
  15 Wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered among all nations; yea, and also Babylon shall be destroyed; wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered by other nations.
  16 And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things.
  17 And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state.  Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.
  18 Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them, which words shall judge them at the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing them of the true Messiah, who was rejected by them; and unto the convincing of them that they need not look forward any more for a Messiah to come, for there should not any come, save it should be a false Messiah which should deceive the people; for there is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and that Messiah is he who should be rejected of the Jews.
  19 For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err.  And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved."

Isaiah 29
"Nephites shall speak as a voice from the dust The apostasy, restoration of the gospel, and coming forth of Book of Mormon are foretold Compare  2 Nephi 27."

Daniel 2
"Nebuchadnezzar s dream is revealed to Daniel The king saw a great image; a stone cut from the mountain without hands destroyed the image; and the stone grew and filled the whole earth The stone is the latter-day kingdom of God."

Acts 3:19-26
  "19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
  20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
  21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
  22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
  23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 
  24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
  25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
  26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."


Revelation 14:6-11
  "6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
  7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
  8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
  9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
  10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
  11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."


D&C 1:17-23; 27:5-13; 110
D&C 1: 17-23
  "17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
  18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets
  19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh
  20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
  21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
  22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
  23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers."

D&C 27:5-13
  "5 Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim;
  6 And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days;
  7 And also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias;
  8 Which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto the first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron;
  9 And also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse;
  10 And also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain;
  11 And also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days;
  12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;
  13 Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;"

D&C 110
"Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435 436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting.  The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord's Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day.  After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer.  After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.
1-10, The Lord Jehovah appears in glory and accepts the Kirtland Temple as his house; 11-12, Moses and Elias each appear and commit their keys and dispensations; 13-16, Elijah returns and commits the keys of his dispensation as promised by Malachi.
  1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
  2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
  3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
  4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
  5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
  6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name. 
  7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house. 
  8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house. 
  9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house. 
  10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people.  Even so.  Amen.
  11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
  12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
  13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
  14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come
  15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
  16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors."


JS-H 1
"Joseph Smith tells of his ancestry, family members, and their early abodes An unusual excitement about religion prevails in western New York He determines to seek wisdom as directed by James The Father and the Son appear and Joseph is called to his prophetic ministry.  (Verses 1-20.)
Some preachers and other professors of religion reject account of First Vision Persecution heaped upon Joseph Smith He testifies of the reality of the vision.  (Verses 21-26.)
Moroni appears to Joseph Smith Joseph s name is to be known for good and evil among all nations Moroni tells him of the Book of Mormon and of the coming judgments of the Lord, and quotes many scriptures The hiding place of the gold plates is revealed Moroni continues to instruct the Prophet.  (Verses 27-54.)
Joseph Smith marries Emma Hale He receives the gold plates from Moroni and translates some of the characters Martin Harris shows characters and translation to Professor Anthon, who says: I cannot read a sealed book.  (Verses 55-65.")
Oliver Cowdery serves as scribe in translating the Book of Mormon Joseph and Oliver receive the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist They are baptized, ordained, and receive the spirit of prophecy.  (Verses 66-75.)"

Articles of Faith 1:6   "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."


Topical Guide:
                            Dispensations
                            Ensign
                            Israel, Mission of
                            Israel, Restoration of
                            Millennium, Preparing a People for Restoration
                            Restoration of the Gospel

Bible Dictionary:
                                Restitution; Restoration

Guide to the Scriptures:
                                             Church of Jesus Christ
                                             Church, Name of
                                             Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The
                                             Church, Signs of the True
                                             Dispensation
                                             Doctrine of Christ
                                             Gospel
                                             Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven
                                             Plan of Redemption
                                             Restoration of the Gospel
                                             Saint

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Moroni 10:4-5
  "4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

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