Restoration, a word used quite a bit among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that has the potential to confuse a lot of people. Some hear the word and may think of old antique furniture, or an old colonial home, or if you're a gear head like me, you may think about a car. All of these are good comparisons to the idea of The Restoration. Since I have no idea how to restore furniture, and even less of an idea about colonial houses, we'll roll with the idea of the car, how about a 1953 Diamond T?
In order for a Restoration to happen, you first have to have an original object. This is an example of what my truck would have looked like back in the day of 1953. We will compare this to the original church that Jesus Christ set up when he was on the Earth. "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" (Ephesians 4:11) He set up an organization that would help bring everyone in unity, an organization "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets:" (Ephesians 2:20)
But as we all know, over time things tend to get roughed up a lot. Dents and dings form in the body, and if they are not taken care of then rust can come along and start to make a big mess of things. Equipment breaks, and pieces go missing. Sadly, the same happened to the Church of Jesus Christ. "I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world. And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb." (1 Nephi 11:32-34) The church was in disarray. The apostles were killed off, and soon there was no priesthood authority on the earth to guide and lead the church by revelation. Soon, when once there was one church, there were many churches teaching different doctrines.
The time and setting eventually came along and our loving Heavenly Father was able to reach out in love to his children. In the early 1800's God the Father and his son Jesus Christ came to a boy named Joseph Smith in answer to his earnest prayer. They called Joseph to be a prophet, and through him they would restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Soon you see that old clunker out in the driveway as more than a paperweight, but you see a potential for something amazing!
Of course you can't just wake up one morning and know exactly how to restore a vehicle, let alone the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Three years after the visitation of God the Father and Jesus Christ, Joseph was visited by a heavenly being by the name of Moroni. He was directed by Moroni to a hill where a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas was deposited. Joseph received instruction from Moroni for four years before he could take the record and translate it into The Book of Mormon. Other key events that made it possible for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be restored were; restoration of the priesthood (both Aaronic and Melchizedek), the coming forth of The Book of Mormon, and the final organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830.
Piece by piece the restoration happens. The final product is the same
as the original, but now it is alive and working! The Gospel works. I
know the the original church that Christ established when he was here in
the flesh is back on the earth. If you have any questions or for more
information visit http://www.mormon.org/.