The Lord Promised to Restore His True Church
The Savior promised to restore his Church in the latter days. He said, “I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:14).
For many years people lived in spiritual darkness. Hundreds of years after Jesus Christ, people were becoming more and more interested in knowing the truth about God and religion. Some of them could see that the gospel Jesus taught was no longer on the earth. Some recognized that there was no revelation and no true authority and that the church that Christ organized did not exist on the earth. Some became reformers, and at great personal risk, established faiths that tried to restore what had been lost over time. However, without the authority to act in the name of God, they could not reclaim the true gospel of Christ. The time had arrived for the Church of Jesus Christ to be restored to the earth.
New Revelation from God
In the spring of 1820, one of the most important events in the history of the world occurred. The time had come for the marvelous work and wonder of which the Lord had spoken. As a young boy, Joseph Smith wanted to know which of all the churches was the true Church of Jesus Christ. He went into the woods near his home and prayed humbly and intently to his Heavenly Father, asking which church he should join. On that morning a miraculous thing happened. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. The Savior told him not to join any church because the true Church was not on the earth. He also said that the teachings of present churches were “an abomination in his sight” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19; see also Joseph Smith—History 1:7–20). Beginning with this event, there was again direct revelation from the heavens. The Lord had chosen a new prophet. Since that time the heavens have been open. Revelation continues to this day through each of Christ’s chosen prophets. Joseph was to be the one to help restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ.