Tonight two Mormon women came to my door. I set up a time to meet with them at 3:30 next Wednesday. They gave me a book to read called The Restoration Of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. After giving me a book of Mormon they asked if I would be willing to read the little booklet they gave me (picture on the right) before we meet next week to study. I said sure! So I plan on reading the book and interacting with it this week on Think Theology. I have no goals of conversion or winning arguments. I appreciate the dedication these women have to their faith.
My prayer is that I would be able to interact with the books questions in light of solid exegesis, personal experience, tradition and reason. My hope is to discuss the nature of The Gospel as the book suggests. I have not had the opportunity to talk with a Mormon in the post-fundamentalist stage of my Christian journey. What will I find? What will my experience be? I have no expectations. Just questions now. I also pray that God in Christ meets us and is glorified as Lord and King. Will you join me in prayer this week?
LIST OF TERMS IN THE BOOKLET
Aaronic Priesthood: The lesser priesthood. This priesthood includes
the authority to baptize and is named for Aaron in the Old Testament
of the Bible.
Apostasy: When individuals, the Church, or entire nations forsake
or abandon the gospel of Jesus Christ. Apostasy results in division,
confusion, and loss of priesthood authority, or the right to act in
the name of God.
Apostle: The title Jesus Christ gave to the twelve men He chose
as His closest associates during His ministry on earth and to whom
He gave authority to act in His name. In modern times, Jesus Christ
has called other men to serve as His Apostles. As in former times,
an Apostle is a special witness of Jesus Christ and has authority
Atonement: The event that enables us to be reconciled to God.
To atone is to suffer the penalty for sin, thereby removing the effects
of sin from repentant sinners. Jesus Christ was the only one capable
of making a perfect Atonement for all mankind. His Atonement
included His suffering for our sins, the shedding of His blood, and
His death and Resurrection. Because of the Atonement, everyone
who has lived will be resurrected. The Atonement also provides us
with a way to be forgiven of our sins and to live forever with God.
Baptism: An essential step in receiving forgiveness of sins.
Through baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority, we
become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. Baptism is by immersion, meaning that the person being
baptized is briefly submerged in water. Baptism shows our willingness
to follow Christ’s example and to make covenants with God.
Gospel: Our Heavenly Father’s plan to help us have peace in this
life and joy in eternity. The gospel is centered on the Atonement
of Jesus Christ and requires us to have faith in Him, repent, be
baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.
Holy Ghost: Also called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the
Comforter. He witnesses, or testifies, of Heavenly Father and Jesus
Christ and reveals and teaches the truth.
Melchizedek Priesthood: The higher or greater priesthood. It is
named for Melchizedek in the Old Testament of the Bible, who
was a righteous high priest and king.
Ordinance: A sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the
priesthood. An example is baptism.
Priesthood The authority and power of God. God gives this power
to man to act in His name. The Aaronic Priesthood was restored
to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus. The Melchizedek
Priesthood: was restored by Peter, James, and John, three
of Jesus’s Twelve Apostles.
Restoration Making something as it was; reestablishing it; bringing
it back anew. After truth and authority had been lost from the
earth, the gospel was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Restoration: differs from reformation in that to reform means to
modify an existing organization or practice in an effort to return it
to its original state, while to restore means to reestablish or renew
the original organization or practice in its entirety.
Resurrection: After physical death, the reuniting of the spirit with
the perfected physical body of flesh and bones. Jesus Christ was
the first to be resurrected.
Revelation: Communication between God and His children, usually
through the Holy Ghost. Individuals can receive revelation to
guide their own lives, but only God’s chosen prophet can receive
revelation for the whole world. Revelation comes in many forms,
but most often it comes as thoughts, feelings, and impressions.
ADDITIONAL STUDY IN THE BOOKLET
The following questions and scriptures will help you learn more
about the principles in this pamphlet and ponder on them. The
list is not comprehensive; footnotes and cross-references in the
scriptures will direct you to additional passages and resources.
What does it mean to you that God is your Heavenly Father?
Malachi 2:10 (Bible, Old Testament)
Hebrews 12:9–10 (Bible, New Testament)
What is the role of a prophet? Why is it important to know
that God speaks to prophets?
Amos 3:7 (Bible, Old Testament)
Jacob 4:4–6 (Book of Mormon, page 124)
What does it mean to have priesthood authority? How does
someone receive this authority?
Matthew 10:1 (Bible, New Testament)
John 15:16 (Bible, New Testament)
What happens when that authority is lost?
Amos 8:11–12 (Bible, Old Testament)
1 Nephi 13:24–29 (Book of Mormon, pages 25–26)
Here is a link to the booklet I will be reading this week. The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.