Joseph Smith oversætter de gamle optegnelser

The Gospel Restored

The calling of Joseph Smith as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator in these latter days and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is fulfillment of prophecy, and ushers in the Second Coming of the Lord. As early as in April 1829 the Savior proclaimed the following in a revelation to Joseph Smith:

"This generation shall have my word through you." ( D&C 5:10 )

The significance of Joseph Smiths contribution to the world can't be measured. He was inspired as no other man in his generation, or for centuries before, had been inspired. He had been chosen of God to lay the foundations of God's Kingdom as well as of God's Church and by the power of God he was enabled to bring forth the record of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, to revive and to reveal to the world the doctrine of Jesus Christ. We thank and praise our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ for the marvellous work and the wonder, which they have blessed us with in these latter days.

Why was a restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ necessary?
It is a common perception that the Bible is complete, and for that reason no more holy scripture is necessary. That's however not true! The LDS Church teaches that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been given to men on earth several times since the creation of Adam. The Gospel was first given to Adam and Eve. They taught the Gospel to their children, but most of them apostatised and lost their faith. ( Moses 5:12-13 ) At last the Gospel was no longer on earth and so a restoration was necessary. Then God called Enoch and gave him the Gospel. The Gospel was also given to Noah, Abraham, Moses and the other ancient prophets. Then when the Savior came in the meridian of time the Gospel was restored to earth again. However, as mentioned in The Church Restored the Church that Jesus Christ established only existed in its original form for a few years during the first century. The same pattern was followed as before, however this time the apostasy was a universal apostasy and God would not raise a prophet for a period of many hundred years, until the time had come for the restoration of all things ( Acts. 3:20-21 ) in the "fullness of time" where the Lord would "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." ( Ephesians 1:9-10 ).

The Bible thus talks about a restoration of all things. To restore something means to bring back that which was once present, but which has been lost. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches that "the fullness of time" that Pauls spoke about is the latter days in which time the Lord would once again stretch out his hand, call a prophet, and again restore to earth the fullness of the Gospel as well as the Church of Jesus Christ. John, the Apostle, saw this future event happen in a vision:

"I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." ( Rev. 14:6 )

It should be noted that John wrote The Book of Revelation in the latter part of the first century between 81 A.D. and 96 A.D. He wrote about a future event. At that time the Lord and the Apostles had long been dead.

The restoration of the Gospel in the latter day is part of the restoration of 'all things' which the Apostle Peter foresaw. The angel that John saw in his vision has already been here. Former President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley testified:

"That angel has come. His name is Moroni. His is a voice speaking from the dust, bringing another witness of the living reality of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have not as yet carried the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. But we have made great strides. We have gone wherever we are permitted to go. God is at the helm and doors will be opened by His power according to His divine will. Of that I am confident. Of that I am certain .. As certainly as there is an Almighty Father in Heaven, as surely as there is His Son, our Divine Redeemer, so certainly is this work destined to reach out to people everywhere." ( Stay the Course�Keep the Faith, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 70�71 )

The Book of Mormon about the loss of Plain and Precious things from the Bible
One of the consequences of the apostasy wsd that important parts of the Bible had either been lost or corrupted. Furthermore the Bible was chained to the pulpit in the church and was kept away from common men who had to rely on the priests preaching and interpretation of it. In addition the Bible was only written in Latin, a language that only the nobles and priests understood. It was not until the Renaissance, after Johannes Gutenberg had invented the Mechanical Printing Press, and after the Bible had been translated into English, that it became available to common men. In this long and dark period many precious things were lost from it. The Lord, in a vision, showed The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi that these omissions and changes would be a concequence of the apostasy:

"And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first (the Bible), which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them (the Bible); and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved." ( 1 Nephi 13:40 )

"Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God. And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles .. thou seest�because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God�because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them." ( 1 Nephi 13:28-29 )

"For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and .. these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb. And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation." ( 1 Nephi 13:35-36 )

How was the Bible before these plain and precious things were removed from it?
The Old Testament was originally written as a testimony of Jesus Christ and it contained considerably more in its original form. One thing the Prophet Joseph Smith learned was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been given to men from the very beginning when the first man, Adam, were created and placed on earth. It has been said that if we had the Old Testament in its original form we would have found in it a strong and infallible testimony of Jesus Christ. That Christ was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Old Testaments Jehovah, and that his coming to the earth in the meridian of time was prophesied by all the prophets of the Old Testament.

Important parts of the New Testament are missing or have been changed as well, but Nephi primarily referred to the testimony of Jesus Christ which could no longer be found in the The Old Testament scriptures. This is the reason why so many Christians today believe that the Gospel was first given to earth when Christ came in the meridian of time. This is not the case.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

"I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors." (DHC, vol. 6, p. 57)

Without divine guidance through the Apostles, to maintain the sound doctrine of Christ, men soon began to corrupt the scriptures. The Prophet Nephi predicted that this would be a natural consequence of the apostasy, and he also saw the motives behind it:

"And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men." ( 1 Nephi 13:27 )

Other Holy Scriptures restore lost parts of the Gospel of Christ
Besides the Bible The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the following canonical scriptures:

The Book of Mormon. This contains the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to inhabitants in ancient America. Mormon was a prophet of God who was commanded to abridge the sacred writings of his ancestors who were inhabitants of the ancient american continent. This abridgement includes 15 books written by prophets from this land. It contains the fullness of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its purpose is to confirm the truthfulness of the Bible and to testify to the world that Jesus Christ is the God of Israel and the Savior and Redeemer of this world. It was written on Gods command and hidden and preserved with our time in mind. The Prophet Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon into English by the gift and power of God. The Prophet taught that "The Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." ( History of the Church 4:461). The Book of Mormon can be read online.

Doctrine and Covenants. Doctrine and Covenants contains prophecies and revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in connection with the restoration of the Church. By 'Doctrine' is meant the doctrine of Christ. 'Covenants' refers to restored covenants (or to-way promises) between God and man on earth. Among other things the promises that were given to Abraham.

The Church organisation, as well as the offices and functions of the Priesthood are defined in Doctrine and Covenants. It also contains wonderful truths that were lost to the world hundreds of years ago. Some chapters spread further light on the doctrines of the Bible and it also contains prophecies about future events (for example, The Second Coming of the Lord)

Doctrine and Covenants can be read online. It is for all men, not only for members of the Church. In a revelation to Joseph Smith the Lord said:

"For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated .. And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days." ( D&C 1:2,4 )

Why a voice of warning? Because the restoration of the Gospel ushers in the Second Coming of the savior, which is near at hand. The Lord gives all men an opportunity to escape the serious events which are to happen before and at his second coming. Therefore his voice is unto all men.

The Revelation about the Redemption of the Dead. The revelation about the redemption of the dead is contained in Doctrine and Covenants chapter 135. It was given to Joseph F. Smith, a prophet and earlier President of the Church. In this revelation God gave him important knowledge about the visit of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Spirit World, and about the redemption of the dead. President Joseph F. Smith received this revelation while he was pondering upon the writings of Peter and our Lord's visit to the spirit world. (see 1.Peter 3:18-20 and 1.Peter 4:6 )

The Pearl of Great Price contains The Book of Abraham, selections from The Book of Moses and writings of Joseph Smith.

The Book of Abraham was written by Abraham, the father of faith. It was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith from a papyrus which was found in a catacomb in Egypt. Joseph received it in 1830, the same year the Church was organized on earth again. It contains, among other things, important information about the creation of the World, about God's covenant with Abraham, the Gospel, and about God's nature and His Priesthood. ( The Book of Abraham )

The Book of Moses contains selections from The Book of Moses. Among other things an account of the visions and revelations of Moses, given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in June and December 1830. The account about the creation in The Book of Moses is more detailed than the one found in the Bible, and it makes clear important doctrines and teachings which were lost from the Bible. ( Book of Moses )

The Writings of Joseph Smith contains parts of the Prophet's inspired translation of the Bible which the Lord commanded him to do. It also contains his own testimony about the events which took place when God the Father and the Son visited him. Furthermore it contains information about the visit of the angel Moroni who showed him where the ancient record which became The Book of Mormon was hidden. It also includes the Articles of Faith and a revelation that he received about the kingdom of God. ( Pearl of Great Price )

Mission of the Prophet

"And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel."
( D&C 45:28 )