Why was the Mormon Church organized when there were already so many churches on the earth? At the time Joseph Smith was seeking to know which church he should join all of the churches upon the earth lacked at least one of these four essential elements:"
- The truth concerning the personality of God and man’s relationship to Him,
- A knowledge of saving principles and ordinances
- The priesthood of God
- Continuing revelation.
So when Joseph Smith went into the woods and prayed, he received a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith writes, "I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right… and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong." 2 Through this vision and subsequent visitations Joseph Smith came to understand the relationship of man to God, which is fundamental to Mormon beliefs. He learned that God and Jesus Christ are separate individuals with perfect bodies of flesh and blood. He learned that God is concerned with and loves mankind. For as the Lord told Moses, "For behold this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." 3 After The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized saving principles and ordinances were revealed to Joseph Smith among those were baptism by immersion and temple ordinances. Mormon temples were built where these ordinances could be performed. It is within temples that members of the Mormon Church can be sealed together as families for this life and all eternity. The priesthood or power of God was taken from the earth after the death of Christ’s apostles but was restored to Joseph Smith. The Aaronic Priesthood was given to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist and the Melchizedek Priesthood by Peter, James, and John. Because male members of the Mormon Church hold the priesthood they have the authority to act in the name of God so "whatsoever [they] bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." 4 The belief in continuing revelation is an important part of Mormonism. Since the time of Joseph Smith prophets and apostles have received revelations from the Lord. The heavens are not closed, for as the Lord said in the Old Testament "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." 5 The Mormon Church contains all of the same important points that the church Christ organized during His ministry had. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also bears the name of Christ. For as Christ told the ancient inhabitants of the Book of Mormon, “… how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.” 6(1) Marion G. Romney, “Why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 30 (2) Joseph Smith History 1:18-19 (3) Moses 1:39 (4) Doctrine & Covenants 128:8 (5) Amos 3:7 (6) 3 Nephi 27:8