“The Lord God of the Restoration,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 50
We are the servants of the Lord, and he has sent us to deliver a message to the world.
The Lord has a message for people today, and he has revealed it to us. We are commanded to go forth, in his name and by his power, and tell all men everywhere what lies ahead and what the Lord wants them to do about it.
Peace has been taken from the earth. This is a day of wars and rumors of wars (see D&C 45:26). Plagues and pestilence and desolation shall soon sweep the earth.
We live in a day of distress and perplexity; nations are ill at ease, and all things are in commotion. Men’s hearts are failing them for fear, and the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the door (see D&C 45:26; D&C 110:16).
We live in a day of evil and wickedness. The generality of men are carnal, sensual, and devilish. They have forgotten God and are reveling in the lusts of the flesh. Crime, immorality, abortions, and homosexual abominations are fast becoming the norm of life among the wicked and ungodly. The world will soon be as corrupt as it was in the days of Noah.
If any of us are to escape the perils that lie ahead, if any of us are to abide the day of the Lord’s return, if any of us are to gain peace in this life and be inheritors of eternal life in the world to come, we must receive the message sent from on high and conform to the counsel it contains.
That message—our message to the world—is the message of the Restoration. It is the announcement that the heavens have been opened, that the voice of God is heard again. It is the proclamation of peace through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the holy gospel. It is the glad tidings that once again there are legal administrators who hold the keys of the kingdom and have power to bind on earth and seal in heaven (see D&C 27:13).
The only way for men to escape the abomination of desolation to be poured out upon the wicked in the last days is for them to repent and live the gospel (see D&C 84:117). The gospel is the message of peace and salvation for all men. And we have been commanded to proclaim its saving truths to all men everywhere.
And we do now proclaim that the great God, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, has restored in this our day the fulness of his everlasting gospel. He has given anew to men on earth every doctrine, truth, and principle; every right, power, and key; all that is needed to save and exalt his children in the highest heaven.
Once again men have received the same glad tidings which enlightened the minds and enlivened the souls of faithful men of old. The Lord Jehovah—by his own voice, and by the ministering of angels sent from his presence, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost—has given anew that plan and system which saved Adam and Enoch and Abraham and Moses and all of the ancient Saints.
Our divine commission—the commandment we have received from him whose servants we are—directs us to teach the doctrines of salvation and to testify of their eternal verity. And so now in words of soberness we teach and testify of those wondrous truths that have come to us.
True religion is found only where men worship the true and living God. False religion always results from the worship of false gods. Eternal life itself, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God, is available to those and those only who know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent (see D&C 6:13; John 17:3).
It is all the rage in this modern world to worship false gods of every sort and kind. There are those who bow before idols of wood and stone, and others who lisp their petitions to icons and images. There are those who worship cows and crocodiles, and others who acclaim Adam or Allah or Buddha as their supreme being.
There are those who apply the names of Deity to some spirit essence that is immaterial, uncreated, and unknowable and that fills the immensity of space and is everywhere and nowhere in particular present.
And there are even those who champion the almost unbelievable theory that God is an eternal student enrolled in the University of the Universe, where he is busily engaged in learning new truths and amassing new and strange knowledge that he never knew before.
How belittling it is—it borders on blasphemy—to demean the Lord God Omnipotent by saying he is an idol, or an image, or an animal, or a spirit essence, or that he is ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of all truth (see 2 Tim. 3:7).
It is the first principle of revealed religion to know the nature and kind of being that God is. As for us, “we know [and testify] that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them” (D&C 20:17).
This great God, the Lord Almighty, is a personage of tabernacle. He “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22). He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He has all power, knows all things, and, by the power of his Spirit, is in and through all things.
We know and testify “that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them” (see D&C 20:18).
All men are the spirit children of the Eternal Father. We are the offspring of celestial parents. We lived and dwelt in the courts of glory before the foundations of this world were laid.
Our Eternal Father ordained and established those laws—called the gospel of God—which would enable us to advance and progress and become like him.
We know and testify that when he placed men on earth, he “gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship” (D&C 20:19).
We know and testify that mighty Michael foremost fell that mortal man might be, and that “the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son” (D&C 20:21) to ransom men from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world by this fall of Adam.
We know and testify that Christ “was crucified, died, and rose again the third day”; that he “ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father.
“That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved” (D&C 20:23–25).
We know and testify that salvation is in Christ; that it comes because of his goodness and grace; and that he is our advocate with the Father.
We bear record that he is the only mediator between man and God; that through his atoning sacrifice fallen man may be reconciled with God; and that he “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).
We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and we invite all men everywhere to come and join with us.
There is no salvation in worshiping false gods; there is no salvation in false religion; there is no salvation in error in any form.
Man alone cannot save himself. No man can call forth his own crumbling dust from the grave and cause it to live again in immortal glory. No man can create a celestial heaven whose inhabitants shall dwell in eternal splendor forever.
All the idols and icons and images combined, since the world began until the end of time, will never have power to cleanse and perfect a single human soul.
Neither Adam, nor Allah, nor Buddha, nor any person real or imaginary will ever bring salvation to fallen man.
An unknown, uncreated, immaterial spirit nothingness never has and never will endow men with the gifts of the Spirit or assure them of an eternal celestial home.
And certainly a student god, with finite powers, who is just experimenting in the eternal laboratories, is not a being in whom I, at least, would feel inclined to repose an infinite trust.
The truth about God, the truth about religion, the truth about salvation—these things can only be known by revelation.
Men in our time will never find peace, or safety, or salvation in the world. Wars and plagues and desolation shall continue to sweep the earth as with a flood.
Crime and evil will increase; iniquity will abound; the love of men toward each other shall wax cold (see Matt. 24:12). We need not look for a day when men of themselves shall usher in an age of righteousness.
But those who turn to Christ, who believe his gospel, and join his church, and live his laws, and who thereby worship the Father in his holy name—such shall find peace and safety and salvation. In the world men shall have tribulation; in Christ they shall find peace (see John 16:33).
And so we say: We are the servants of the Lord. He has revealed himself to us by the power of the Holy Ghost. We know whom we worship. It is our glorious privilege to speak of him and his ways, and we speak as those having authority and not as do the scribes.
We know by the revelations of the Holy Ghost to our souls that God is our Father, that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth and has been set as a light upon a hill to proclaim the truth about God to a fallen world.
When we speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, our words are scripture and come as the voice and mind and will of him who sent us.
Our testimony is that the Almighty God is our Eternal Father who lives in realms celestial; that the Lord Jesus Christ is his Son in the true and literal sense of the word; that the Holy Messiah came into the world to die upon the cross for the sins of the world; and that the Holy Ghost—a personage of spirit, a spirit man—is their minister and witness, whose revelations and gifts and endowments are available to the faithful in every nation and among all people.
And we now say, as we have been commanded to do, “Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come;
“And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (D&C 133:38–39).
We say: Come worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Come worship the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation. Come unto Christ and believe and obey his law, for no man cometh unto the Father but by him or by his word. Come and rejoice in the revelations of the Lord to Joseph Smith and the prophets of latter days, for they are the revealers of Christ and the witnesses of God in these last days.
Turn ye to the Lord our God. Repent of all your sins. Forsake false doctrines; flee from false gods; seek the truth.
Do not be deceived by the doctrines of men or of devils. Cleave unto the truth and be believing as was the case with those of old for whom the heavens were rent and who made their callings and election sure in the days of their mortal probation (see 2 Pet. 1:10).
Oh, God our Father, wilt thou look upon thy children everywhere in love and mercy, grant them repentance, and lead them in thy holy way so they may gain peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.