LDS Question 1: How did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints [or the Mormons] come to be?
If you are sincerely interested in the truth, then have a prayer before you read any of my writings in answers to these questions . . . ask your Heavenly Father to let you know if what you are reading is true; because only God knows all truth. And, should you feel that it is . . . then, welcome to the family. =0)
The short answer is this . . .
In the year 1820 on the East Coast of the United States in the town of Manchester in the state of New York, there was a great religious excitement about the area from a number of religions. Ministers from the Baptist, Methodist and other religions where holding revivals and preaching the Gospel to try and convert as many members to their faith as possible.
But one of these people who was attending these many revivals was a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith, Jr.. Joseph was from a family of 11 children and two parents. His father, also named Joseph, and his mother Lucy and his brothers and sisters attended various revivals . . . some fancying one religion while others of the family tending toward another. They discussed the matter often in their home . . . where they were also students of the Bible.
Little Joseph wondered, which of all these faiths are true, or were they all wrong together? He pondered in his mind and question which of all of them to believe? Then, one day he was reading in the New Testament in the Book of James, Chapter 1, verse 5, and it read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
So, Joseph, after much thought, decided to follow the scriptural counsel and went to pray and ask God, like the scripture said. He went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn what to do . . . which church to join? To his astonishment, a light appeared above him in the air, and two personages descended until they stood above him in the air, as their feet did not touch the ground. One pointed to the other and said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.”
After the shock of the whole amazing experience settled into young Joseph’s mind, he looked and beheld the two personages . . . the Father and the Son; two separate and distinct beings of flesh and bone. When he gathered his wits about him . . . he did truly ask them, which of the churches he should join? He was told to join none of the churches; for they were all wrong, they said that they “taught for commandments the precepts of men, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” He was told that he would be an instrument in bringing to pass the restored Gospel with twelve Apostles, and the priesthood, and all the authority necessary to again establish the true church of Jesus Christ upon the earth again in these last days.
To be succinct; After a time and many more events---including Joseph’s being instructed as to where were buried, on a hill close to him, ancient plates . . . a record of the ancient inhabitants of these the Americas; and about Jesus Christ’s visit to this continent (these plates’ contents were interpreted [from the language of ancient Egyptian] to become the Book of Mormon)—Joseph legally organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on April 6th, 1830.
THAT’S how the church came to be.