Sunday, November 15, 2015

R's First Sacrament Meeting Talk

Parley P. Pratt described the beginnings of the restoration this way:
The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
Lo, Zion’s standard is unfurled!
The dawning of a brighter day, …
Majestic rises on the world. 15

We are living in the time of the restoration.
President Uchdorf said: Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”2Brethren [and sisters], the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

What is the restoration?
LDS.org defines it as:
God’s reestablishment of the truths and ordinances of his gospel among men on earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ was lost from the earth through the apostasy that took place following the earthly ministry of Christ’s Apostles. That apostasy made necessary the restoration of the gospel. Through visions, the ministering of angels, and revelations to men on the earth, God restored the gospel. The Restoration started with the Prophet Joseph Smith (JS—H 1:1–75; D&C 128:20–21) and has continued to the present through the work of the Lord’s living prophets. (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/restoration-of-the-gospel?lang=eng)

What happened to Joseph Smith?
one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
He went into a grove of trees to pray.pray. I've been there and I could see why he wanted to pray there.It was very peaceful. as he prayed,a strong force overtook him AKA Satan and Joseph prayed for help.Then a pillar of strong light shone above his head and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared.He then asked what church he should join and he received a shocking answer,he would join neither churches.Instead,Joseph would start the restoration of the church of Christ upon the Earth.  
Doctrine and Covenants 20:17 says: “Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old” (D&C 20:7–11).


The Book of Mormon
Elder Perry said:
The translation of the Book of Mormon is a miracle in itself and gives further proof of the book’s divine origin. When Oliver Cowdery arrived in Harmony, Pennsylvania, on April 5, 1829, to serve as the Prophet’s scribe, only a few pages of the final text had been translated. That evening Joseph and Oliver sat down together and discussed the Prophet’s experiences long into the night. Two days later, on April 7, they commenced the translation of the work. Over the next three months, Joseph translated at an amazing rate—approximately 500 printed pages in about 60 working days.
Oliver wrote of this remarkable experience: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated, with the Urim and Thummim … the history, or record, called ‘The book of Mormon’” (Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 14; see also Joseph Smith—History 1:71, note). (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/the-message-of-the-restoration?lang=eng).
The Book of Mormon is true! It talks of Christ; it speaks of those who rejoice in Christ; it is full of preachings of Christ; it prophesies of Christ and testifies to us and our children as to the source of our remission of sins.

The Priesthood
In May of 1829 Joseph and Oliver were pondering The Book of Mormon and what it says about baptism. They were inspired to pray.   

The angel introduced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. He laid his hands upon the heads of Joseph and Oliver and said:

"Priesthood Restoration Crocheron" by Copyright 1898 by George W. Crocheron, Salt Lake City, Utah - Modified from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Priesthood03080u.jpg (cropped). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Priesthood_Restoration_Crocheron.jpg#/media/File:Priesthood_Restoration_Crocheron.jpg

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
John the Baptist restored the power of the Aaronic Priesthood.  Later; Peter, James and John came and restored the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The Church of Jesus Christ
In April of 1830, Joseph was commanded to formally organize the church.  

Of this, Elder L. Tom Perry also said: “Thus the Church of Jesus Christ was again in existence on the earth to bless mankind with the doctrines and teachings of the Savior. This Church was organized according to the plan the Lord had established anciently.”


“Our message is unique. We declare to the world that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. We declare with boldness that the keys of the priesthood have been restored to man, with the power to seal on earth and in the heavens. The saving ordinances pronounced by the Lord as requirements for entering into eternal life with Him can now be performed with binding authority by those who worthily exercise the power of His holy priesthood. We declare to the world that this is the day referred to by biblical prophets as the latter days. It is the final time, before the coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign over the earth.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/the-message-of-the-restoration?lang=eng)

I invite us all to listen to the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We can compare it to what we hear from others and prayerfully we can determine what is from God and what is from man.

I love the Gospel.

(Bear Testimony)

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