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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jesus Christ established his Church

Prior to His death and Resurrection, the Savior established His Church again on the earth, built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.

Holy Bible, Ephesians 2:20

A few hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, people had fallen into apostasy. When the Savior began His mortal ministry, He restored His gospel and established His Church again on the earth. He built His Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, He himself being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

Jesus Christ called twelve men to be His Apostles—including Peter, James, and John—and laid His hands on their heads to give them priesthood authority ( Matthew 10:1; John 15:16; Matthew 28:19-20). Before the Savior’s death and Resurrection, He gave His Apostles priesthood authority to teach His gospel, perform the ordinances of salvation, and continue to establish His Church in the world.

The Savior's coming fulfilled prophecy. He set a godly example and showed men what Heavenly Father was like. Yet He was rejected of men and crucified. He made the Atonement by suffering for the sins of all men. After His Resurrection, Jesus Christ guided His Apostles through revelation, making the Church of Jesus Christ a church led by God and not by men ( Acts 10; Revelation 1:1).

In addition to the Twelve Apostles, Christ appointed other leaders to assist the Apostles in the work of His Church. These included:

Seventies (missionaries)
Evangelists (patriarchs)
Pastors (presiding leaders)

These officers were given the authority (or priesthood) necessary to do the work of Christ’s Church. They did missionary work, performed ordinances such as baptism, presided over congregations, and instructed and inspired Church members. As long as those who had the priesthood were alive, the Church grew and prospered.

When His followers asked Jesus Christ what kind of people He wanted them to be, His answer was simple: “Even as I am” ( 3 Nephi 27:27).

Jesus showed you by His example and His teachings how you should live to be able to return to your Father in Heaven. Although you make mistakes, as you sincerely repent of your mistakes and try to follow the example of Jesus Christ, your life will be filled with peace and inner joy, regardless of the circumstances around you.

From the beginning, God has called special witnesses, known as prophets, and commanded them to keep records of His dealings with His children. Both the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon are such records. The Holy Bible contains a record of Jesus Christ’s dealings with and ministry to the people in the Holy Land. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a record of Christ’s dealings with and His appearance to the people of ancient America. Both books teach about our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and of Their love for us.

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