When Jesus Christ was on the earth He established His Church with apostles, prophets, seventies, teachers, etc. (see Eph. 4:11). He also organized his disciples to preach the gospel to all the world (see Matt. 28:19-20).
Elder Russell M. Nelson observed that “After a time the Church as established by the Lord fell into spiritual decay. His teachings were altered; His ordinances were changed. The Great Apostasy came as had been foretold by Paul, who knew that the Lord would not come again ‘except there come a falling away first’ (2 Thes. 2:3).
“This Great Apostasy followed the pattern that had ended each previous dispensation. The very first was in the time of Adam. Then came dispensations of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others. Each prophet had a divine commission to teach of the divinity and the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. In each age these teachings were meant to help the people. But their disobedience resulted in apostasy. Thus, all previous dispensations were limited in time and location. They were limited in time because each ended in apostasy. They were limited in location to a relatively small segment of planet earth.
“Thus a complete restoration was required. God the Father and Jesus Christ called upon the Prophet Joseph Smith to be the prophet of this dispensation. All divine powers of previous dispensations were to be restored through him (see Doctrine & Covenants 132:45). This dispensation of the fulness of times would not be limited in time or in location. It would not end in apostasy, and it would fill the world (see Isa. 27:6)….It is a necessary prelude to the Second Coming of the Lord (see 2 Thes. 2:8).”
To me the Restoration of these truths means that God lives and loves each one of us and has something better in mind for us to do and to become. It means that God knows the desires of our hearts and hears our prayers. Most importantly, it means that He will answer our prayers and give us guidance through the Holy Ghost so that we may follow the way established by His Son, Jesus Christ, to return and live with Them forever in the joy of eternal families.
What does the Restoration mean to you?
To find out more about the Apostasy and Restoration let’s consider the following.
1. Why was a restoration necessary?
a. Preparations for the Restoration and the Second Coming
b. Video: A Search for Truth
2. What was Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration?
a. Joseph Smith–Prophet of the Restoration
b. Joseph Smith History 1:1-25
c. Video: Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration
3. Why do we need the Book of Mormon?
a. The Book of Mormon–a Book from God
b. Safety for the Soul
c. To request a free copy of the Book of Mormon click here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. How can I recognize the difference between truth and error?
a. Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths
b. Learning with Our Hearts
5. How can I explain the Apostasy and the Restoration to others?
a. Catch the Wave
b. The Only True and Living Church