(May 2005 TG Entry: Priesthood Restoration)
I Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith’s and Oliver Cowdery’s understanding of these principles became perfect one hundred and seventy six years ago this morning. As we read Joseph Smith history it becomes clear that their knowledge grew line upon line and precept upon precept.
- They knew that God desired to save them,
- But their sins and imperfections prevented them from ever returning to his presence.
- They had faith on Jesus Christ
- Jesus Christ, through Peter, James and John, holding the keys of the Melchizedek or Higher Priesthood, appointed John the Baptist to restore the keys of the priesthood to the earth.
John the Baptist appeared
4 “After writing the account given of the Savior’s ministry to the remnant of the seed of Jacob, upon this continent, it was easy to be seen, as the prophet said it would be, that darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people. On reflecting further it was as easy to be seen that amid the great strife and noise concerning religion, none had authority from God to administer the ordinances of the Gospel…. If these facts were buried, and carefully concealed by men…, they were no longer to us; and we only waited for the commandment to be given ‘Arise and be baptized.’
5 “This was not long desired before it was realized. The Lord, who is rich in mercy, and ever willing to answer the consistent prayer of the humble, after we had called upon Him in a fervent manner, aside from the abodes of men, condescended to manifest to us His will. On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the veil was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the Gospel of repentance. What joy! what wonder! what amazement! ….Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the center, and his words, ‘I am thy fellow-servant,’ dispelled every fear. We listened, we gazed, we admired! ‘Twas the voice of an angel from glory, ’twas a message from the Most High! And as we heard we rejoiced, while His love enkindled upon our souls, and we were wrapped in the vision of the Almighty! Where was room for doubt? Nowhere; uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever!
6 “But, dear brother, think, further think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the Holy Priesthood as he said, ‘Upon you my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this Priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the Sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!’