I went to church today. 🙂
It may not seem like such a big thing, nor an important one.
However, millions of people in the world today do not have the option to perform that one, single, little act.
And many others can go, but they have no choice which church to go to. 😦
I know that I am one of a great minority who may not only choose to go to church, in fact the church I choose to go to, but have also found the church that I believe is the true church of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as the Mormons, is different from all other churches and religions in the world.
How are we different?
We have the priesthood authority of God, our Heavenly Father, to seal families together not just until death, but for time and all eternity. We have all the principles and ordinances of the gospel that can enable everyone everywhere to to learn of God’s plan of happiness, follow the example Jesus Christ set for us, repent of our sins, and lead our families back to live together with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in eternal joy and happiness.
When Jesus was alive on the earth, He organized his church so he could spread his gospel throughout the world. Unfortunately, after His death and the death of the apostles, people began turning away from what they had been taught. Apostasy reigned and the authority of God was taken from the earth. Jesus had foretold that this would happen. He taught his disciples that one day He would restore, or reinstate, His true church with all of the same power and authority that He brought to His original organization.
We believe that sequence of events began when a young, 14-year-old boy, was looking for truth. “There was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion….Indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, a“Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!”…
for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.
I was at this time in my fifteenth year….it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was b and who was wrong.” This young man was Joseph Smith. One day as he read the Bible, he read James 1:5, “If any of you lack b, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” He continues, ”
Never did any passage of a come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed bfrom God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects c the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.
13 At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain ina and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would b liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
14 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the a to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a b, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to c d.
15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God.”
What followed is one of the most beautiful stories in the history of the world: “I saw a pillar of c exactly over my head, above the brightness of the d, which descended gradually until it fell upon me….When the light rested upon me Ib two c, whose brightness and d defy all description, e above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is Myf g. Hear Him!
18 My object in going to a of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were alla; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those bwere all c; that: “they d near to me with their lips, but their e are far from me, they teach for doctrines thef of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the g thereof.”
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me…” Joseph Smith History 1:5-20.
This glorious story continues a few years later when Joseph Smith became the first prophet of this dispensation and Jesus Christ restored His original church to the earth, through Joseph. The glad tidings that angels joyously delivered to Mary, to Joseph, and later to the shepherds on that quiet hillside at the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, would again be brought to mankind, that the earth would again rejoice as the true gospel was again brought to the world!
This is the good news of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. And you can know if for yourself, you do not have to take my word for it.
You can follow the same process Joseph Smith followed, and ask God, your Heavenly Father, for yourself if these things are true. He will make it known to you, in your mind and in your heart, the truth of anything you ask Him about.
Therefore, ask – and find out for yourself. 🙂
Smith’s later theology described Jesus and God the Father as two distinct physical beings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)