The point of this lesson is to teach about the physical restoration of the church organization, and to help the class members “appreciate the blessings of Church membership, and to encourage them to show the Lord their gratitude for membership in His Church.” The point, in my opinion, is that this church is not like other churches. Ours is a living church. Its birth took 10 years of incubation and instruction in the heart of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Revelation from the start
The birth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the result of 10 years of revelations, heavenly visitations, angelic tutoring, and personal and spiritual growth of Joseph Smith. We have probably all seen how the Lord is able to jockey circumstances and people through personal choices and actions into the position they need to be in at the right moment. We can’t explain how He does it, but the Lord is flawless in His ability to have everything prepared so that when the time comes all is in readiness for what needs to happen.
We saw it in the preparation of Joseph for the first vision. There was the deeply religious nature of Joseph’s family that prepared him to be inquisitive and of a believing heart. We saw it again in the religious fervor of the surrounding countryside, and the fevered pitch to which it worked up the ministers in their efforts to win converts. Almost 2000 years before it was actually needed He put into place the verse that would be used to sink so deeply into Joseph’s heart to encourage him to go and ask God and be prepared for an answer. It makes you wonder if James had any idea when that thought was put into his heart that his writing about asking God with real intent would be one of the catalysts to open the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Each step along the way, from the First Vision through the translation of the Book of Mormon, all the way up to the day of the organization of the Church was preparing Joseph to take the reigns of leadership. It wasn’t enough for Joseph to know of the truthfulness of this work of the latter days. It wasn’t enough for those who saw the plates with their own eyes to just see the plates. The organization called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the living, breathing, tool in the Lord’s hands to teach us, provide experiences for us, and to help guide us back to our heavenly home.
Why a church?
9 For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.