Monday, January 7, 2013

What is Mormonism: Articles of Faith - Article #6

A while back I began a series of posts called, "What is Mormonism?" in which I gave my thoughts on the Articles of Faith.  I will now do some more on that.  This post is on Article of Faith #6, which reads as follows:

We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

This article explains just what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints professes to be:  the same church that Christ formed during his ministry.  We believe that during Jesus Christ's mortal life he set up a church.  This can be seen in the words of Paul, when he said:
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
- Ephesians 4:11-12 -
We believe, as the Article of Faith says, in that same organization.  I now add an excerpt from the words of Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
"I realize that this is quite a claim, especially when we consider all of the other organizations that profess similar authority.  And many of those organizations have been around much longer than our Church.  How can we claim Heavenly Father's full authority when others can trace their ecclesiastical roots back through the middle ages to the time of Christ Himself?  Quite simply, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that God's full authority was lost from the earth for centuries following the mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles..." (M. Russell Ballard, Our Search For Happiness, pp. 26).
The apostle Paul spoke of the time this authority would be lost when he wrote "for that day [the Second Coming of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away first," (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  Peter, another ancient apostle during the time of Christ, wrote of a "restitution of all things" that must come before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:20-21).  How can there be a restitution without a falling away?

We believe that this restitution of all things began in the early nineteenth century when young Joseph Smith prayed in a grove of trees and the heavens were again opened with a new dispensation.  (Read more about the First Vision of Joseph Smith here.)

If you have any questions concerning Mormonism, Joseph Smith or the Articles of Faith, please ask the missionaries your questions by clicking the picture below.  They will do their best to answer any of your questions.

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