“The Great Apostasy,” The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2005)
“The Great Apostasy,” The Restoration
Following the death of Jesus Christ, wicked people persecuted and killed many Church members. Other Church members drifted from the principles taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. The Apostles were killed, and priesthood authority—including the keys to direct and receive revelation for the Church—was taken from the earth. Because the Church was no longer led by priesthood authority, error crept into Church teachings. Good people and much truth remained, but the gospel as established by Jesus Christ was lost. This period is called the Great Apostasy.
This apostasy resulted in the formation of many churches with conflicting teachings. During this time, many men and women sought the truth, but they were unable to find it. Many good people believed in God and Jesus Christ and tried to understand and teach truth, but they did not have the full gospel or priesthood authority. As a result, each generation inherited a state of apostasy as people were influenced by what previous generations passed on, including changes to Christ’s gospel.
God knew there would be an apostasy. Through an Old Testament prophet, He said:
“Behold, the days come … that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
“And [people] shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.”
Some inspired people, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, recognized that practices and doctrines had been changed or lost. They tried to reform the churches to which they belonged. Without priesthood authority, however, Christ’s gospel could not be returned to its original form. A restoration was needed.