For the past couple of weeks, I have contemplated the idea of restoring the church. As a member of the Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints, I believe a restoration of the church was needed. here are the three questions that led me to that conclusion
- If there was no succession of authority from Christ through the apostles to the Catholic church then where did the authority come from to the rest of the Christian sects? Could they take it on themselves?
- This seems to be a contradiction of Hebrews 5:4. So where do these churches claim their authority came from?
- How could people build churches and beliefs based on their interpretation of the Bible and say others were wrong for their interpretations?
- Some believe in the Trinity while others believe in three separate beings.
- Some say dancing is against the Bible while other see no problem with it.
- Some believe the original sin was anecessaryy step in the progression of man while others believe that God’s plan was foiled and we should be in the garden of Eden right now basking in the glory.
- What is salvation? How do we achieve it?
- Some Christian sects believe that Salvation is a gift and no action is needed on the part of the sinner. Once Salvation is granted it cannot be revoked.
- Others believe that salvation can be lost.
- Others believe that once salvation is achieved that a person is incapable of sinning.
These questions were fundamental for me to understand in order to proceed in religion. Certainly God could not be the author of all this confusion right?
As I started asking these questions to people of faith I found out very quickly they had not contemplated those questions. They couldn’t give me an answer that satisfied me. I was already a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints(LDS) when I started asking these questions but I wanted to understand other points of views and see if the LDS was in fact correct.
I asked these questions to many churches and could never get a straight answer about them. Some would give me pamphlets about how wrong my church was and never answer my questions. Others would skirt around the questions. In the end, no one ever answered these fundamental questions.
As I have come to realize, a restoration of the truth was needed. The Bible alone was insufficient to lead a person to salvation because too many interpretations exist based on the reasoning of man. Interpretation was an insufficient mechanism to understand the Bible.
This was the case with Joseph Smith. He wanted to understand this very question. So he went and prayed one day and was visited by God the Father AND Jesus Christ. Christ spoke to him and told him to join none of the churched at the time. Christ told him that “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
In due time Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, a record of a splinter group of the house of Israel that moved to the American continent. They left a record of Christ’s dealings with them. It clarifies the doctrine of the Bible and removes the doubt created by man.
After translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith received the priesthood. Joseph Smith wrote of the situation
We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:
“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. …
“He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us … that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he should baptize me.
Lastly, the understanding of salvation was restored in the Book of Mormon.
Individuals cannot be saved in their sins; they cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring a belief in Christ with the understanding that they will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of their lives (see Alma 11:36–37). However, through the grace of God, all can be saved from their sins (see 2 Nephi 25:23; Helaman 5:10–11) as they repent and follow Jesus Christ.
In the end, I concluded that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ’s church on earth and that no other church had the ability to answer the above questions. I have since then dedicated my life to both the study and progression of that His church. I invite any and all that have questions to seek out the answers through missionaries that dedicate two years of their lives to teaching such profound truths.
You can contact them here