Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mormons: Who are these guys?

If there's one thing that missionaries generally dislike, it's tracting.  You go out, often in bad weather, to go knock on doors.  Sometimes, people open the door, and they let you talk to them for about half an hour.  That's the hope, anyway.  Sometimes, people are home; you can tell that they're there, but they just don't bother with you.  I've been shouted at a couple times because they don't like how I knock their door.  During winter times, I've used golf balls to knock doors because you don't get a good knock with gloves on, and your hands hurt in the cold.  Rocks work too.
Anyway, I'm sure that if you've ever received this before, you've wondered:  Who are these guys, and what are they doing on my porch?  Why don't they go out and look for the unchurched, the people with no religion, the people who could really benefit from their visits?  I go to church, I've been baptized, what do these people have that I don't?

Really, it all comes because of something we believe in very much, called the Restoration.

Now, when you restore something, what are you doing?  Let's say you've just found an old, classic car on the side of the road, with a sign that says "Free to whoever can make it run."  If you were to restore that car, you'd have quite a job.  First off, you'd have to repair the engine, get it running smoothly enough to take it home.  Now that you have it in your garage, you begin work in earnest, taking off body panels, replacing them, making that nice old car just like it was new again.

That's just what God had to do with the church of Jesus Christ.

When Christ came, he established a church.  Of course, there wasn't a building or anything like that, but he had an organization led by twelve apostles.  In order to help these apostles guide us, He gave them his priesthood, the power to act in the name of God, to baptize, bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, to receive revelation for the church as a whole.

However, as we know, the people rejected Jesus.  Certainly, there were the few in the little flock, but most rejected Him.  They also rejected His apostles.  James was killed, beheaded by Herod.  Peter was crucified, according the legend.  One by one, the apostles were killed.  When that happened, the authority that they possessed was lost.  Any power to baptize people or guide the church was lost.

For the longest time, the church was gone.  Doctrines, without the apostles to lead and interpret, were changed.  The true nature of God was lost.  Prayer was distorted.  The scriptures were not allowed to be read by the common people.

Reformers like Martin Luther tried to get back to what Christ had preached.  However, without the divine gift of the priesthood, they could not have the true church of Christ.  That's why there are so many religions nowadays; good men, trying to follow Christ, lead their followers according to their own interpretations of the Gospel.

Which one is right?

To be continued...

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