Lesson 1 – The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphletGenerally, the first lessons that Mormon missionaries will teach to people wishing to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can download a pamphlet about this lesson here.
 

Overview of This Lesson

God is Our Loving Heavenly Father

God is our Father in Heaven. We are His children and He loves us. We can communicate to Him through prayer. Having the knowledge that God is our Father and that He loves us is a tremendous help in life.

The Gospel Blesses Families

There is so much wrong in the world today. At times it’s difficult to know what we can do to help our families. Because God loves His children, He gave the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or His plan for His children to be happy and return to live with Him. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the source of happiness and truth that can help your family stay close together, regardless of what’s going on in the world.

Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel in Every Dispensation

Because God loves us, he has revealed the truth of the gospel of Christ through His prophets (like Moses or Noah). Prophets are important because they help God’s children know who to believe when there can be so many conflicting voices. Think about all the many churches on the earth today; a prophet helps us determine what is correct and what is not.

In every age of time God has had prophets on the earth. Sometimes, the people listened to the prophets and obeyed their words. Other times, the people rejected the prophets, or even killed them. This rejection of truth is called an apostasy, or a falling away. But after these periods of apostasy God would always call another prophet to restore the truth of the Gospel. Such periods where a prophet is on the earth is called a dispensation.

The Savior’s Earthly Ministry

Several hundred years before Jesus was born to the earth, the people again rejected the prophets and the gospel and fell into apostasy. When Jesus came to the earth, He taught the people His gospel. He organized His church and called and ordained 12 apostles to lead the church after His death and resurrection.
Jesus gives the apostles the priesthood
Most importantly, Jesus sacrificed His life for us so that we might be forgiven of our sins. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, each of us can be forgiven and one day live with God again.

The Great Apostasy

For a time, the 12 Apostles led Jesus’ church (much of the New Testament shares their stories). But after a while, the people again rejected the Apostles, just as they had the prophets in the past, and the full truth of the gospel was lost and distorted. The authority to act in God’s name, which the Apostles held, was taken from the earth. This period of time lasted for centuries and is known as the Great Apostasy. While millions of good people lived and walked the earth during this time, Christ’s true church did not exist. No one held the authority to act in God’s name.

The Restoration of the Gospel of Christ

Joseph Smith Restored the GospelGod has always called prophets to lead His children. Why would our day be any different? In 1820, God did what he as always done: He revealed the full truth of the Gospel through a prophet. This prophet’s name was Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith reestablished, or restored, the true church of Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about Joseph Smith and his experiences.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

The Book of MormonGod knew that centuries of apostasy would lead to confusion and many different beliefs. He provided a book of scripture, comparable to the Bible, to help confound false teachings, clarify true meanings of the Bible, and most importantly testify that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith translated this scripture, known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon provides convincing evidence that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet who restored the true church of Jesus Christ.

Pray to Know the Truth through the Holy Ghost

The wonderful thing about what Mormon Missionaries will teach you is that you can learn the truth of it for yourself, independent of anything else. You can pray and ask God if what the missionaries teach you is true. You can ask God if the Book of Mormon is scripture. If you ask with sincerity and with faith, God will answer your prayer.