Chapter 18: The Church Jesus Organized

"Chapter 18: The Church Jesus Organized," Part Six: The Church of Jesus Christ, ()


Jesus organized a church when He was on the earth. What was it called? Who led His Church?

Jesus Was the Head of the Church He Organized

When Jesus was on the earth He organized a church. This church was called the Church of Jesus Christ. The members of Jesus’ Church were called Saints. Jesus Himself was the head of the Church. He led it. He chose twelve men to help Him lead the Church. They were called Apostles. These Apostles were also prophets. Jesus put His hands on their heads and gave each of them the priesthood. He assigned them to do His work. These Apostles and prophets were the leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ.

In the Church of Jesus Christ, men who had received the priesthood put their hands on the heads of other good men and gave them the priesthood. This is the only way the priesthood can be passed on from one man to another. The priesthood cannot be bought.

Discussion

  • Who was the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ?

  • What were the men called who helped Jesus?

The Church of Jesus Christ Continued on the Earth After He Returned to Heaven

After Jesus returned to heaven, His Church continued on earth. It was led by the Twelve Apostles. When an Apostle died, Jesus chose another man to replace him. Through the Holy Ghost, Jesus made known to the other Apostles who the new Apostle should be. The Twelve Apostles selected other good men and gave them the priesthood to help do the work of Jesus’ Church. These men were called Seventies, high priests, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons. Their duties are explained in chapter 20.

Jesus Led the Church through Revelation

Messages Jesus gives through the Holy Ghost to people on earth are called revelations. Jesus guides His Church by revealing to the prophet and other leaders the things they should do.

Before Jesus returned to heaven, He told His Apostles He would be with them always. Jesus meant He would continue to guide them through the Holy Ghost.

Discussion

  • How did Jesus lead His Church after He returned to heaven?

The Church of Jesus Christ Contained His True Teachings

The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ received revelation from Jesus through the Holy Ghost. For example, Jesus told the Apostle Peter the gospel should be taught to all people and not only to the people of Israel. Jesus told the Apostle Paul many things he should teach the people. Jesus told many things about the future to the Apostle John.

While He was living on the earth, Jesus taught people to believe in Him, repent, and be baptized. He taught them to love our Father in Heaven and obey Him. He taught them to love other people and help them.

After Jesus returned to heaven, the Apostles taught the same things Jesus had taught. All who wanted to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ had to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and be baptized. They received the gift of the Holy Ghost, as Jesus had promised. They learned to love our Father in Heaven and obey Him. They learned to love and serve other people.

Discussion

  • What did the people have to do to join the Church of Jesus Christ?

Those Who Belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ Received the Spiritual Gifts

Those who belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ received spiritual gifts. Some of the gifts were faith to make sick people become well, the ability to tell about future events, and the power to see visions.

Discussion

  • What are some of the spiritual gifts?

Jesus’ Church Was No Longer on the Earth

After Jesus returned to heaven, His Apostles led the Church. More people became members of the Church. But some of the members started to teach and believe false things, instead of the things Jesus and the Apostles taught. For example, some people taught that our Father in Heaven does not have a body of flesh and bones.

Wicked people started to persecute the leaders and other members of the Church. The wicked people killed the Apostles and other leaders who had the priesthood. They also killed many other members of the Church of Jesus Christ.

People taught more and more false teachings until no one believed the true teachings of Jesus. No one had the priesthood, so no one could do Jesus’ work on the earth or receive instructions from Jesus for all our Father in Heaven’s children. The time when no one believed the true teachings of Jesus and no one had His authority is called the Apostasy.

During the Apostasy, people organized churches that were different from the Church Jesus had organized. They taught things that Jesus did not teach. They did not have the priesthood. They performed ceremonies that were different from the ceremonies performed in Jesus’ Church. They had no revelation from Jesus. They did not teach all the commandments of the gospel as Jesus and His Apostles had taught them. The prophets had said that all this would happen.

Discussion

  • How did the Apostasy happen?

Jesus Promised He Would Restore His Church to the Earth

Jesus knew the people would lose His power and true teachings. So He prepared a way for the true Church to be organized again on the earth.

The Apostle John saw in a vision the time when the gospel would be brought back to the earth. He saw that Jesus would send angels to teach men the truth about our Father in Heaven. Jesus would make sure all our Father in Heaven’s children could receive the gospel, the priesthood, the blessings, and all other things necessary for them to be able to return to our Father in Heaven.

Discussion

  • Why did Jesus prepare a way to reorganize His Church again on the earth?

References

Jesus Was the Head of the Church He Organized

  • Luke 9:1 (Jesus gave power to His Apostles.)

  • 3 Nephi 27:8 (The Church of Jesus Christ is called by His name.)

The Church of Jesus Christ Continued on the Earth After He Returned to Heaven

  • Matthew 16:16–18 (Peter is selected to lead the Church after the death of Jesus.)

  • Matthew 28:20 (Jesus promises to be with the Apostles always.)

  • Mark 3:14 (Jesus chose twelve men to be Apostles.)

  • Mark 16:17–18; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 (The followers of Jesus will have spiritual gifts.)

  • Luke 10:1 (Jesus chose seventy men to preach the gospel.)

  • John 14:26 (Jesus will always be with the Apostles through the influence of the Holy Ghost.)

  • Acts 1:23–26 (A new Apostle is selected to take the place of another who had died.)

  • Acts 8:18–20 (Peter tells a man that the priesthood cannot be bought.)

  • Acts 10 (Through revelation, Peter learns that the gospel is for everyone.)

  • Acts 14:23 (Elders are ordained* in the congregations.)

  • Ephesians 2:19–20 (Jesus is the chief cornerstone of His Church, helped by Apostles and prophets.)

  • Ephesians 4:11–13 (Titles of officers appointed by Jesus are given.)

  • James 5:14–15 (The sick may be blessed by a person who has the authority of the priesthood.)

Jesus’ Church Was No Longer on the Earth

Jesus Promised He Would Restore His Church to the Earth

  • Daniel 2:44–45 (The kingdom of our Father in Heaven will be set up in the last days.)

  • Acts 3:20–21 (Jesus will return to the earth to restore His gospel.)

  • Revelation 14:6 (An angel will assist in restoring the gospel.)