Well, another Mothers' Day comes and goes and now I am left to myself it seems for another seven months until Christmas rolls around. It was wonderful to hear your voices and listen to all the exciting things that have transpired. I felt at times though, I was just rambling, I suppose that is what happens when one has so much to say in so little time. I thought this time I wouldn't cry but when a son hears his mom's voice it doesn't matter how tough he is, that sweet nurturing voice he has known since birth brings down that "tough/grown up" wall and the tears start flowing. Mom you are an elect lady and I consider you a modern day Emma Smith...you live your heritage well and are an example of your ancestors, I know they are proud.
I have labeled this "Part 1" because I have decided to use this time to discourse on doctrine that way not only do I learn from the experience but others who read hopefully are edified as well.
The Gift of Tongues
As we tracted this week we came across a pentecostal preacher. He was kind and took the time to discuss some subjects with us. I came away with the spirit of study and knew I had my next problem to solve. He told me how they believe in the same church set up and revealed in the book of Acts. Their goal is to have a church as close as possible to that church and try to meet all the criteria. (they are Pentecostal due to their almost obsession with the Day of Pentecost). As I studied the book of Acts I realized they miss a few verses that explain the purpose for the "Gift of Tongues" v. 6-8 shows how it was so that every man could hear the gospel preached in their OWN tongue.
Since they believe in the same church organization held in the New Testament, I then asked this man, "Sir-if you have the same organization as the church in the New Testament, then you would have a prophet and twelve apostles who receive revelation just like how Peter received revelation that the Gentiles could have the Gospel, is this so?"
He then proceeded to explain that they didn't. I thought to myself, How can this be so? How can people actually join themselves to something with so many errors? Revelation can be given to anyone but only for themselves and for those they have stewardship over. Revelation in regard to the Prophet and Apostles is for the world and for the people of the church. Christ's true church MUST work on revelation because that is what Prophets do - receive revelation to know 1. How to progress the work in the Kingdom 2. when a prophecy is fulfilled 3. Reveal new doctrines that the Church is ready to receive. <---all of this being God's will. We learn all things "line upon line, precept upon precept." Some things have changed in both doctrine and practice in the church and that is a GOOD thing because we cannot remain the same...the leaders learn "line upon line" as well.
Because of the Great Apostasy many people were left with no direction. No Prophet = No direction, no direction = no progression, no progression = no enlightenment and no revelation. The Catholic church had become intertwined with political issues and all other christian churches broke off from them. Through the years God had prepared America for the "Restitution of all things" and that began at the time of Joseph Smith. When Joseph Smith read Eph. 4:5 he knew that, that was not so because of all the confusing sects of religion. As he continued reading he came across the classic scripture of James 1:5 which said that if someone lacked wisdom they could ask God and he would respond back freely. He was impressed to do so and one day the spirit impressed upon him that he needed to go and ask of God. As he did so the heavens that were thought to be sealed were opened and Not only did just Jesus Christ appear but God, the Eternal Father appear. He called Joseph by name <---that is so awe-inspiring because that means he knows YOU TOO. He told Joseph that he had a great work to do and that he would be prepared to be the Prophet to restore all the keys, doctrine, principles, authority, ordinances, etc. that were since lost. And he did just that however we know we still don't have all things revealed to us and just like the Article of Faith 9 states he has many things yet to reveal to us. God knew that without a great miracle it would be very difficult to have people believe on this new Prophet and that there needed to be evidence for us, his children, to know this great work has begun. So he all along had the Ancient Americans prepare their life story which included the Gospel, dealings with God, doctrines of salvation, and testament of Jesus Christ's Atonement, etc. We can know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and really did do these great things and restore Christ's church to the Earth by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. We don't have to believe what other people say, we can find out for ourselves by exercising our faith --by reading and then receive an answer from God --- by praying then we will know it is true --- by the spirit which will manifest itself by a warm, comforting feeling, of peace or love or joy. It is absolutely necessary we gain a testimony of Joseph Smith because he opened the way for us to Christ. We cannot have a true testimony of Christ without a testimony of his servant Joseph Smith, it just isn't possible. Because without Joseph Smith we would never be able to work out our salvation and use Christ's atonement to return to our Heavenly Father.