Friday, February 27, 2009
The Restitution of All Things
In Acts, Peter speaks about a "falling away", and also speaks of a time of restitution.
"19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21
As we look at the world today, we certainly do see a "falling away" from the truths taught in the Bible. We see religions that have begun to deny the truthfulness of the Bible, referring to it as simply "symbolic". All around us we see confusion and disagreement between people about the nature of God. We see many who disagree about the principle of repentance. Some Christians believe repentance is crucial to our salvation, and others believe that belief in Jesus Christ is enough. All profess to be Christian, but all differ in their understanding of the Gospel. Why is it that so many churches disagree, if they all use the same Holy Bible? Is it enough to believe in Jesus Christ, without having a complete understanding of His gospel? Can both sides of the repentance issue be right? This is a very crucial question. Either we need repentance, or we don't. There is no room for gray area in this question. And who determines which way is right? Some churches believe that the Godhead are three separate beings, while some believe they are one being. Can they both be right? In my mind, this is another point that has no gray area. Either the godhead are three separate beings, united one in purpose, or they are one being made up of three entities. There is no gray area in this issue. But once again, who is to decide which belief is right? Is it enough to believe whatever we want about God, but just have faith in Jesus Christ? Wouldn't God want us to know the truth about His Gospel?
While the original apostles were alive on the earth, some of them began to notice that some of the members of the church were straying from the doctrine of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 11:18;
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
1 Timothy 1:5-7;
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
1 Timothy 4:1-3;
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
In the 16th century, the Reformers recognized that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ had been changed. They tried to correct the damage that was done. We know this movement as the "Reformation". But what we really needed wasn't a reformation, but a restoration. Not only was the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ not on the earth, but the Priesthood authority was missing as well.
I testify that God the Father did in fact send His son "Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you" (Acts 3: 20) to fullfill the "restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). This restitution was brought about through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Priesthood authority was given to Joseph Smith from the now resurrected Peter, James and John. The original organization of the church was restored with prophets and apostles. The orginial gospel was restored with the correct, fullness of the Gospel. I testify that the restoration spoken of has already occurred. "2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth." Doctrine and Covenants 65:2 We are now in the winding up scenes preparatory for the second coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The gospel has been restored in preparation for that great day. The restitution spoken of by Peter has occurred, and has made the fullness of the gospel available to us in our day.