The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Topics and Questions (2023)

Church members greeting each other

Gospel Study Guide

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Jesus Christ’s restored Church on the earth today

Think about a particular blessing you have received or could receive as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What would your life be like without that blessing? Now think about other ways you and your loved ones have been or could be blessed by being members of the Church.

As members of Christ’s Church, we are blessed in many ways. But we can also bless others in many ways. We can strengthen and help each other. We teach each other the gospel and strive to be good examples to each other. We can mourn with each other. We can lighten each other’s burdens by lending a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.

But being part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints goes even beyond having these blessings. We believe this is God’s one true Church on the earth, restored to prepare the world for the Savior’s return. As members of the Church, we can take part in all the ordinances and covenants necessary to return and live again with God someday. We can all help each other on the journey back to our Heavenly Father.

What Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored by God in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ is “an organized body of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ by baptism and confirmation.” It has His authority, teachings, laws, ordinances, and name and is governed by Him through representatives whom He has appointed.

The name for Christ’s Church today, given by revelation from Him, is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (see Doctrine and Covenants 115:4).

Topic overview: Restoration of the Church

Related gospel study guides: Restoration of the Gospel, Gathering of Israel, Covenants and Ordinances

Section 1

Jesus Christ Restored His True Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith

organization of the Church in Whitmer home

After the death of Jesus Christ and the original Apostles, the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist on the earth (see Topics and Questions, “Apostasy,” in the Gospel Library for more information).

In April 1830, the Lord reestablished His true Church on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith (see Doctrine and Covenants 1:17–30; 20:1–2). He has called apostles and prophets to continue God’s work of salvation and exaltation (see Doctrine and Covenants 27:12–13). They hold priesthood keys of authority to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and administer God’s covenants and ordinances.

Things to think about

  • You could watch the video “Living Apostles Testify of Jesus Christ” to hear powerful testimonies of the Savior and His mission by members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. How do the testimonies of the apostles and prophets and other Church leaders help you know that this is God’s restored Church? Why is it significant that the Church of Jesus Christ is led by apostles and prophets today? What have you done or what can you do to know for yourself that our Church leaders are called by God and that this is His restored Church on the earth today?

Activity for learning with others

  • President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “What does it mean that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church? Three features—(1) fulness of doctrine, (2) power of the priesthood, and (3) testimony of Jesus Christ—explain why God has declared and why we as His servants maintain that this is the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth.” Discuss these three features and why they are an essential part of God’s true Church. Share experiences that have helped you come to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true and living Church. Talk about how that knowledge has blessed your life.

Learn more

Section 2

The Church Gives Us Opportunities to Assist in God’s Work

Church members socializing

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ strive to help in God’s work of salvation and exaltation by seeking to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, care for those in need, invite all to receive the gospel, and unite families for eternity.

The Church gives us a way to worship together and learn the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It also helps us minister to one another, share His word, and care for those in need.

Things to think about

  • Read and ponder John 15:16. What does it mean to you that God has chosen you to help accomplish His work in His Church? How have you felt impressed to help Him in His work of salvation and exaltation? How have you been blessed as you have heeded these impressions? Record your thoughts in your journal, and consider if there is something you have been meaning to do related to God’s work that you haven’t yet. Then make a goal to do it.

Activity for learning with others

  • Elder John C. Pingree Jr. reminded us that God’s work is “not reserved for a privileged few but [is] for all of us—regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, income level, social status, or Church calling. Every one of us has a meaningful role to play in furthering God’s work (see Moses 1:39).” He continued: “Some of us question whether Heavenly Father can use us to make important contributions. But remember, He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things (see 1 Corinthians 1:27–28; D&C 35:13; 124:1).” You could talk about some of the extraordinary things you have seen ordinary Church members do to help in God’s work of salvation and exaltation. Maybe you could make a goal to do something together this week to further God’s work. You could then talk about what you learned from the experience or how you felt as you served.

Learn more

Section 3

Jesus Christ Invites All to Come and Belong to His Church

young women socializing

In the Church of Jesus Christ there is room for all. The Church is blessed as we share our different perspectives and experiences and learn from one another. The prophet Nephi taught that Christ invites all “to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him” (2 Nephi 26:33). Jesus Christ wants every person to have the opportunity to come unto Him and be saved by joining His Church and making and keeping covenants that lead to eternal life.

We can help gather His people to Him. As we make simple and heartfelt invitations, we can help others turn their hearts to Christ and have the desire to join His fold.

Things to think about

  • Elder Gerrit W. Gong observed: “[The Lord] entreats us to make His [Church] a place of grace and space, where each can gather, with room for all. As disciples of Jesus Christ, all are equal, with no second-class groups. All are welcome to attend sacrament meetings, other Sunday meetings, and social events. We reverently worship our Savior, thoughtful and considerate of each other. We see and acknowledge each person. We smile, sit with those sitting alone, learn names, including of new converts, returning brothers and sisters, young women and young men, each dear Primary child. Imagining ourselves in their place, we welcome friends, visitors, new move-ins, busy individuals pulled in too many directions.” What are some ways you could reach out and help others know they are welcome at our meetings and belong in the Church of Jesus Christ? Who could you reach out to? Consider making a goal to do something to show others that you care about them and that they belong in your ward or branch.

Activities for learning with others

  • Jesus Christ wants all to come unto Him and His Church, and we can help by making simple, sincere invitations to those around us. Elder Gary E. Stevenson shared: “There are hundreds of invitations we can extend to others. We can invite others to ‘come and see’ a sacrament service, a ward activity, an online video that explains the gospel of Jesus Christ. ‘Come and see’ can be an invitation to read the Book of Mormon or visit a new temple during its open house prior to its dedication. Sometimes the invitation is something we extend inward—an invitation to ourselves, giving us awareness and vision of opportunities surrounding us to act upon. In our digital age, members often share messages through social media. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of uplifting things you might find worthy of sharing.” Discuss some invitations you could make this week, and then come together and report back on your experiences.

  • Ask someone in the group to draw a simple picture of a body, and talk about how all the different parts (such as the hands, feet, eyes, and ears) are important. Then read 1 Corinthians 12:12–18 together and discuss what you learned. How can we apply these verses to our membership in the Church? President Boyd K. Packer taught: “We need the recent convert and those among our numbers descended from the pioneers. We need to seek out those who have strayed and assist them to return to the fold. We need everyone’s wisdom and insight and spiritual strength. Each member of this Church as an individual is a critical element of the body of the Church.” You might each write down something you could do this week to help someone in your ward or branch know how important they are. You could then report back on what you did.

Learn more