As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) we believe in many different things including the Apostasy, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. Our basic beliefs are also summarized in a set of 13 Articles of Faith
What is the Apostasy?:
When Jesus Christ
lived on the earth He organized His church and called apostles
to lead and teach the people. Christ gave His apostles the authority (priesthood) to act in His name, such as the ability to perform baptisms
After Christ's death, resurrection
, and ascension into heaven, His apostles continued to teach His doctrine and direct His Church through revelation from Christ. After the death and martyrdom of Christ's apostles no one with Christ's priesthood
remained on the earth. There was a general falling away from the truth and Christ's church and authority were taken away. This is called the great Apostasy.
Christ Restored His Church:
This apostasy lasted for hundreds of years until Christ called a new prophet, Joseph Smith
, to whom He revealed His doctrine and gave His authority, the priesthood, to act in His name. (Also see What is a Prophet? and What is Modern Revelation?
Christ directed Joseph to organize and restore His church in these latter days. This is called the restoration because Christ's church, authority, and gospel were restored (returned) to the earth.
Joseph Smith's account of being called of God, including his vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ, can be read in Joseph Smith's History
The Book of Mormon:
The LDS Church Today:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830 with six members in attendance and has grown exponentially, with millions of members worldwide
. Its teachings and basic organization are the same as the Church that Christ established while here on earth including the restoration of prophets and apostles
13 Articles of Faith: