31 May 2020

"The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ"

A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World, cross-referenced with the scriptures.

I think of "The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a Bicentennial Proclamation to the World" as if it were a chapter in the scriptures. So, why not give it similar treatment, with footnotes referring to study helps and related passages in the scriptures? What follows is my own such rendering of this important document, which was authored by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  1 We solemnly proclaim that aGod loves His children in bevery nation of the cworld. God the Father has given us the divine birth, the incomparable life, and the infinite atoning sacrifice of His Beloved Son, dJesus Christ. By the power of the Father, Jesus rose again and gained the victory over death. He is our Savior, our Exemplar, and our Redeemer.

  2 Two hundred years ago, on a beautiful spring morning in 1820, ayoung Joseph Smith, bseeking to know which church to join, went into the cwoods to pray near his home in upstate New York, USA. He had dquestions regarding the salvation of his soul and etrusted that God would fdirect him.

  3 In humility, we declare that in aanswer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and inaugurated the b"restitution of all things" as foretold in the Bible. In this vision, he learned that following the death of the original Apostles, Christ’s New Testament Church was clost from the earth. dJoseph would be einstrumental in its return.

  4 We affirm that under the direction of the Father and the Son, aheavenly messengers came to instruct Joseph and bre-establish the cChurch of Jesus Christ. The resurrected dJohn the Baptist restored the authority to baptize by immersion for the remission of sins. Three of the original twelve Apostles— ePeter, James, and John —restored the apostleship and keys of priesthood authority. fOthers came as well, including gElijah, who restored the authority to join families together forever in heternal relationships that transcend death.

  5 We further witness that Joseph Smith was given the gift and power of God to translate an ancient record: the aBook of Mormon—Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Pages of this sacred text include an baccount of the personal ministry of Jesus Christ among people in the Western Hemisphere soon after His Resurrection. It teaches of clife's purpose and explains the ddoctrine of Christ, which is central to that purpose. As a ecompanion scripture to the Bible, the Book of Mormon testifies that fall human beings are sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven, that He has a divine gplan for our lives, and that His Son, Jesus Christ, speaks today has well as in days of old.

  6 We declare that aThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized bon April 6, 1830_, is Christ’s New Testament Church restored. This Church is anchored in the perfect life of its cchief cornerstone, Jesus Christ, and in His dinfinite Atonement and eliteral Resurrection. Jesus Christ has once again called Apostles and has fgiven them priesthood authority. He invites all of us to gcome unto Him and His Church, to hreceive the Holy Ghost, the iordinances of salvation, and to jgain enduring joy.

  7 Two hundred years have now elapsed since this Restoration was initiated by God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Millions throughout the world have embraced a knowledge of these prophesied events.

  8 We gladly declare that the promised Restoration goes forward through continuing revelation. The earth will never again be the same, as God will “gather together in one all things in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).

  9 With reverence and gratitude, we as His Apostles invite all to know—as we do—that the heavens are open. We affirm that God is making known His will for His beloved sons and daughters. We testify that those who prayerfully study the message of the Restoration and act in faith will be blessed to gain their own witness of its divinity and of its purpose to prepare the world for the promised Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This proclamation was read by President Russell M. Nelson as part of his message at the 190th Annual General Conference, April 5, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.