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The Promised Kingdom of God

is a narration of the restoration of the Lord's Church to the earth in the latter-days. Read it here at no cost to you.

"Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price." 2 Nephi 9:50
Read here online the entire book without cost


  Chapter 1: Foretelling the Kingdom
Chapter 2: The First Vision
Chapter 3: The Book of Mormon
Chapter 4: Restoration of the Priesthood
Chapter 5: Building Temples
Chapter 6: The Godhead
Chapter 7: The Word of Wisdom
Chapter 8: The Pre-Existence
Chapter 9: Eternal Marriage



The Priesthood Restored


The Jews of Jesus’ day knew the necessity of priesthood authority to act in the name of God, and so they questioned Him: “By what authority doest thou these things?  and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell Me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it?  From heaven, or of men?  And they reasoned with themselves, saying, if we shall say, from heaven; He will say unto us, why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, we cannot tell.  And He said unto them, neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:23 - 27)

            Notice that Jesus points out that there are only one of two places that authority can come from, ether “heaven, or of men.” Either authority is given by divine messengers to those who are appointed, or it is made up on earth by man. Jesus was pointing out that His authority was from the same source as John’s, for we learn that John “…was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power…”  (D&C 84:28) and so we know his authority was from heaven.

            It might be asked did Jesus receive His authority from heaven? Of all men ever on earth He would be the only one who could perform ordinances without receiving the authority from divine messengers. Yet Paul wrote: “no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:4 - 6)

We see that Jesus “glorified not Himself to be made an high priest” but received His authority from heaven the same as John. We do not have record of this ordination, but He must have received it sometime early in His life, as we read the words of the Father as He pronounced the authority upon His Son, “thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

We see further evidence of the need for this authority as Jesus conferred this authority upon His disciples, for it is recorded, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you…” (John 15:16.)

            Jesus taught further about the necessity of this authority in performing ordinances: “…He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” (John 10:1-3)

            What is the door or gate that we enter? Nephi wrote:

 “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter.  For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which He hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.” (2 Ne. 31:17, 18)

Was Jesus telling us that if He had not been baptized by John, that He would have been considered a thief and robber?

            Joseph had seen and conversed with the Father and the Son, he had been visited by the angel Moroni, he had translated a large portion of the Book of Mormon plates-he must have been anxious to begin the work of declaring to the world this marvelous work of the Lord, in which he was engaged. He must of even inquired of the Lord pertaining to embarking on these labors for a few months before the priesthood would be restored, yet Joseph was instructed: “…you must wait yet a little while, for ye are not yet ordained” (D&C 5:17)

            This authority would be crucial in the restored gospel and so it is recorded of restoration of this priesthood:

 “We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.’

“He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he should baptize me.

“Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me—after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthood—for so we were commanded.

“The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.

“Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation. (Joseph Smith-History:68-73.)


This coming of John would fulfill the words spoken by the Lord to His apostles when they questioned: “…Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.  Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” (Matt. 17:10-13)

            Up to the time that John appeared to bestow the Priesthood, no ordinance could be performed. There had been a great deal of light and knowledge restored to the earth, yet until John visited and restored the Authority of God, the power to act in the name of God was not on the earth, “Elias truly shall first come” or John would first come and “restore all things.”

            To visualize the need for authority, I have used this analogy: If I wanted to be a policeman, and obtained a police uniform and badge would that make me a policeman? What if I studied the laws and knew them by heart? Or perhaps obtained a police car? Could having all of these in my possession make me a policeman? What if I then started to write tickets and arrest people who were disobeying the law?

Just as it would require being sworn in by someone who has the authority to make me a police officer, it also requires proper authority in the Kingdom of God, Joseph wrote: “We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.” (Articles of Faith 1:5)

            The Savior stated that John would “first come” indicating that there would be others to follow the ordination of Joseph and Oliver.               

            A short time after this visitation, Peter James and John came to Joseph and Oliver and bestowed the Melchezedec Priesthood, along with those keys they held, to this restored Kingdom.  Peter may have been alluding to this higher Priesthood coming to the earth when he foretold that before Christ would come again to the earth or that the “heaven must receive (Jesus) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:20, 21)

I am not aware of any other Christian organization that declares that they have divine authority bestowed by angelic messengers upon the heads of men.

Oliver Cowdery was present at the reception of this authority but through pride had left for a time the organization of the Church. In October 1848, shortly before his death, Oliver Cowdery returned and petitioned for baptism into the Church, and testified these words:

“In the early history of this Church I stood identified with her, and one in her councils. True it is that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance; not because I was better than the rest of mankind was I called; but, to fulfill the purposes of God. He called me to a high and holy calling. I wrote, with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreters.' I beheld with my eyes, and handled with my hands, the gold plates from which it was transcribed. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy interpreters.' That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it; Mr. Spaulding did not write it; I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the Prophet. It contains the everlasting gospel, and came forth to the children of men in fulfillment of the revelations of John, where he says he saw an angel come with the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It contains principles of salvation; and if you, my hearers, will walk by its light and obey its precepts, you will be saved with an everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God on high, Brother Hyde has just said that it is very important that we keep and walk in the true channel, in order to avoid the sand-bars. This is true. The channel is here. The holy Priesthood is here. I was present with Joseph when an holy angel from God came down from heaven and conferred on us, or restored, the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, and said to us, at the same time, that it should remain upon the earth while the earth stands. I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred by holy angels from on high. This Priesthood we then conferred on each other, by the will and commandment of God. This Priesthood, as was then declared, is also to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time. This holy Priesthood, or authority, we then conferred upon many, and is just as good and valid as though God had done it in person.” (Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 vols.  1:249,250.)