One event of the day the church was organized was the receiving of a revelation by the Prophet Joseph Smith, which has become the twenty-first section of the Doctrine and Covenants. In this revelation the Lord manifested his acceptance of the Church and his recognition of those who were called to be its presiding officers.
The revelation reads: “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou [Joseph Smith] shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ,
“Being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith.
“Which church was organized and established in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April.
“Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.
“For thus saith the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard.
“Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer; for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works.
“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.
“Wherefore it behooveth me that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery mine apostle;
“This being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name—
“And the first preacher of this church unto the church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews also. Amen.” (D&C 21.)
The Prophet further records: “We now proceeded to call out and ordain some others of the brethren to different offices of the Priesthood according as the Spirit manifested unto us: and after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ,’ organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament.” (DHC 1:79.)
From that day, the church has grown to over 15 million members, millions of copies of the Book of Mormon printed in over 100 languages, and the Gospel, that stone cut without hands, rolling forth to cover the earth. It will never again be taken from the earth, and it has Christ at its head. It will continue on into the millenium, and the saving ordinaces of the dead will continue then until the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.
May we ever be grateful for that.
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