Jesus Christ’s Church Is Restored

Everyone can enjoy the blessings of Jesus Christ’s Church on the earth today.

The First Vision

The Ancient Church

When Jesus was on the earth, He organized His Church. He called twelve Apostles to lead and teach and organize congregations in various cities, and He gave the Apostles authority (known as the priesthood) to act in God’s name (see Matthew 10:1–10).

An illustration of Jesus Christ sitting on a rock under an olive tree. He is surrounded by his disciples who are listening attentively as he teaches them.

After Jesus was crucified, His Apostles faced dissent inside the Church and increased persecution outside it, in some cases leading to their death. Some people misused religion to try to increase their own power or splintered off into new sects that misinterpreted the Savior’s teachings. Over time, the priesthood was taken from the earth and many important truths were lost.

Good people such as Martin Luther and John Calvin recognized the incomplete state of Christianity and tried to reform these churches. During this time of reformation, many new religions were organized to sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His original teachings. Yet these religions still lacked the priesthood authority from God to perform ordinances such as baptism or the sacrament. A full restoration, directed by a prophet chosen by God, was needed.

Joseph Smith Was Called as a Prophet

The time for that restoration came in 1820. A 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith began to feel, in his words, “serious reflection and great uneasiness” about the welfare of his soul and which church he should join (Joseph Smith—History 1:8).

One day, as he studied the Bible, he read:

The scripture had a powerful effect on Joseph, prompting him to find a quiet grove of trees where he prayed with all his heart for God’s direction. Later, he wrote this account of what happened next:

“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. … When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17).

God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith that day, telling him that his sins had been forgiven and that he should join none of the churches he had learned about. Instead, Joseph had been chosen as God’s prophet who would restore Jesus Christ’s true Church to the earth.

The Restored Church

Through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ restored His Church with a prophet, apostles, and priesthood authority to baptize, heal the sick, and do other important work in God’s name. Other important blessings of restoration were also revealed:

  • A messenger from heaven revealed to Joseph the existence of the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. This book of scripture was written by prophets in the ancient Americas, and Joseph translated the book through divine inspiration.
  • Through the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelation from God, important truths about God’s plan for us and our purpose on earth were revealed, such as a deeper understanding of the role of Jesus Christ, the knowledge that we lived with God before we came to earth, and the knowledge that we are here to learn and grow to become more like our Heavenly Father and return to live with Him again.
  • Important religious ceremonies known as “priesthood ordinances” were restored to the earth, including the power to unite families together for time and all eternity. Many of these ordinances are performed in temples, just as in the days of Solomon and Jesus.
  • Jesus Christ’s Church was reestablished using the same pattern as in ancient times, including a prophet and twelve Apostles.
  • Disciples of Christ could be baptized into His Church with proper priesthood authority from God and given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Congregational Singing

Today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to be led by a living prophet and apostles as millions of people around the world experience the blessings of Jesus Christ’s restored Church and look forward to His Second Coming. Their teachings for these “latter days” include increasing our focus on the Savior, caring for the poor, ending personal conflict in our lives, and strengthening families.

Learn More about Jesus Christ’s Church
Church members who volunteer their time as missionaries can teach you more about the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church and what it offers all of us today.
Request a Visit