A Marvelous Work

Isaiah 29:8, 11, 14, 18 —

It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite . . .

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book . . . And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder . . .

Jesus Christ organized a church when he lived on the earth, about 2,000 years ago, “built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets . . . for the perfecting of the saints” that all may come to “the unity of the faith.” Ephesians 2:20; 4:13. At that time there was one true church of Jesus Christ . . . “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:5. Jesus ordained apostles so that His gospel would be taught in its purity. He conferred upon them priesthood authority by the laying on of hands to teach the gospel and to baptize in His name. He taught that all men and women must follow Him through repentance and baptism to return to our Father in Heaven’s presence. Both the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament had priesthood authority to preach the gospel. Their words, received either through inspiration or directly from Jesus Christ, would ultimately be written as scripture and collectively considered to be the “word of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

After having fasted for 40 days, Jesus resisted Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread and responded that all mankind “shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4. Jesus also taught, “he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35. After the death of Jesus Christ, His apostles preached the gospel of Christ for many years and built up His church but were eventually all rejected and killed, which was the beginning of a great spiritual famine in the land.

Amos had taught that there would be a famine in the land, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Amos 8:11. The apostle Paul foresaw this famine and prophesied that it would be the result of a great apostasy from the church of Christ before His second coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:3. This great apostasy was a time in which no apostles or prophets of Jesus Christ were on the earth with the authority to preach His gospel. Paul not only foresaw this apostasy, but he also prophesied of a restoration of Christ’s church in the “dispensation of the fullness of times.” Ephesians 1:10.

After thousands of years, God inspired many others to lay the foundation for the restoration of Christ’s church on the earth. The writings of the ancient prophets were translated into English in the 1500s and compiled into what is now the Holy Bible, which was first printed in the 1600s. Following the noble work and great sacrifices of many early reformers, even unto giving their lives, the Holy Bible was published. Many churches were formed and spread across the earth, but none of them was organized by Jesus Christ with apostles and prophets who had authority to preach His gospel in its purity. Then in 1820, a 14-year-old boy in upstate New York, who was confused about the many different religions and their conflicting doctrines, read James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.”

What followed was a series of events that led to the coming forth of the book foretold by Isaiah and the restoration of Christ’s church in the last days, which restoration is the “marvelous work and wonder” of Isaiah’s prophecy. And all men and women throughout all the world may know it by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  When Peter testified that he knew Jesus Christ to be the Son of the living God, Jesus said unto him: “Blessed art thou . . . for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-17).  And Paul further taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3; 2:14). Before Christ ascended to heaven, he told his apostles that the Holy Ghost, or the “Spirit of truth,” would teach them all things, just as the “Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” John 14:26; 15:26; Romans 8:16.

Similarly, you may know by the power of the Holy Ghost, which may come as thoughts in your mind or feelings to your heart, whether Jesus Christ has brought forth this “marvelous work and wonder” by restoring His church, and whether it was fulfilled as follows:

The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April—

Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church . . . God ministered unto him by an holy angel . . . And gave unto him commandments which inspired him; And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them—

Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old . . .

Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets.

(Doctrine and Covenants 20:1-11; 1:17-18, emphasis added). You may know whether these prophesies have been fulfilled by planting a seed of faith within your heart to discover or rediscover the Book of Mormon, which established the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the Holy Bible.

Exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

(Alma 32:27-28). The famine spoken of by Amos is over! As Nephi wrote, “hearken unto these words . . . for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words . . . wherefore, press forward with a steadfastness in Christ . . . feasting upon the word of Christ.” 2 Nephi 31:20; 33:10-11. See http://www.mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon.


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