Power to Create Eternal Families
Throughout the ages, Satan and his followers have deceived and led astray God's children, through mingling the philosophies of men with the scriptures. After many translations and translators being influenced by Satan to change or leave out essential doctrines, the Bible no longer contains the fullness of God's word.
Being a merciful and a just God, He restored the fullness of the gospel to the earth, after preparing a nation where religious freedom was granted and protected. The gospel was restored early in the nineteenth century through the prophet, Joseph Smith, a fourteen year old farm boy from upper New York State. As He did in times of old with Samuel, David and Joseph of Egypt, God called a young man from an unlikely family and humble background to be a powerful instrument in His hand. In answer to young Joseph's prayer and petition to know what church was true, God appeared to him in a grove of trees in the spring of 1820 along with His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. They told Joseph that the true church could no longer be found upon the earth, but that it would be restored.
After Joseph's vision, he was eventually given a record that was engraved on plates of gold recorded by the ancient inhabitants of America. God provided the means to translate that record, known today as The Book of Mormon, named after the ancient prophet that abridged it. It is another testament of Jesus Christ and a perfect companion to the Bible, since it clarifies doctrine and witnesses of the divinity of Jesus Christ and His role as Savior of the world.
This ancient American record tells the story of a prophet from Israel who took his family and escaped the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem around 600 BC. They were led by God to America where they multiplied and filled the land. They were eventually visited by the resurrected Jesus Christ, after His crucifixion and death. Over time this civilization apostatized and became wicked. A large number of them were eventually destroyed, leaving the remainder of the inhabitants that are known today as the Native Americans. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It will bring us closer to God than any other book, because it was translated correctly and teaches clearly God's Plan for His children and is a powerful witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Along with restored truth, God restored His power and authority upon the earth. He sent the ancient prophets; John the Baptist, and Peter, James and John the Beloved to ordained Joseph Smith to the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. Christ's church was also restored, organized as it was originally, and given a name; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. God called Joseph Smith to be the prophet in this last dispensation to prepare the earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He also called apostles to help Joseph lead and guide the Latter Day Saints. Worthy men were also ordained to the priesthood, and given authority by God to baptize and confer the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the ordinances necessary for our salvation.
Joseph was instructed by God to build temples, where His saints could make covenants and receive knowledge and power to become like Him. It was a place where men and women, husbands and wives could be married and sealed together for their time on this earth and for all eternity, by those who were authorized to exercise the sealing power of the priesthood. It would also be a place where the essential ordinances of baptism and conferring the Gift of the Holy Ghost could be performed for those who lived on the earth, but died without the knowledge or opportunity to receive these saving ordinances.
The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. His plan is designed to enable family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Marriages and families are not meant to last for just this mortal probation; they are intended to go on throughout all eternity! The prophet Joseph Smith explained, "That same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."
Through the restoration of the gospel accompanied by the dispensation of God's power and the authority to use that power, sacred ordinances and covenants have been made available in holy temples, making it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united for eternity.