This semester, I am taking a class entitled Foundations of the Restoration

^Audio Recording^

This course, Foundations of the Restoration (Religion 225), gives students the opportunity to study the foundational revelations, doctrine, historical events, and people relevant to the unfolding of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ as found in the standard works, the teachings of latter-day prophets, and Church history. The course will provide students with the doctrinal foundation and historical context necessary for an accurate understanding of Church doctrine and history. Students will increase their abilities to seek truth, evaluate the validity and reliability of source material, and discern truth from error. Students will study the scriptures, Church doctrine, and Church history in ways that relate to their lives and circumstances.


Elder Ballard- CES 2016

Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, “Don’t worry about it!” Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church. Fortunately, the Lord provided this timely and timeless counsel to you teachers: “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”2

This is especially applicable today because not all of your students have the faith necessary to face the challenges ahead and because many of them are already exposed through the Internet to corrosive forces of an increasingly secular world that is hostile to faith, family, and gospel standards. The Internet is expanding its reach across the world into almost every home and into the very hands and minds of your students.

You can help students by teaching them what it means to combine study and faith as they learn. Teach them by modeling this skill and approach in class.

President Harold B. Lee observed:

“We would remind you that the acquiring of knowledge by faith is no easy road to learning. It demands strenuous effort and a continual striving by faith. …

“In short, learning by faith is no task for a lazy man [or woman]. Someone has said, in effect, that such a process requires the bending of the whole soul, the calling up of the depths of the human mind and linking it with God—the right connection must be formed. Then only comes ‘knowledge by faith.’”3

Knowledge by faith will produce a pure testimony, and a pure testimony has the power to change lives, as illustrated in these three brief stories.

First, Phoebe Carter left her home in Maine to gather with the Saints in Ohio in the 1830s. She recalled, “My friends marveled at my course, as did I, but something within impelled me on. My mother’s grief at my leaving home was almost more than I could bear; and had it not been for the spirit within I should have faltered at the last.”4

Phoebe followed the prophet and gathered with the Saints in Ohio and eventually to Utah, where she died a faithful Latter-day Saint and equally yoked as the wife of Church President Wilford Woodruff.

This next story comes from Marion G. Romney’s biography.

As a college student, Marion had decided that he could not serve a mission because of his family’s financial situation. On one occasion, he heard Elder Melvin J. Ballard speak. The biography notes, “Little did [Marion] know that the course of his life, in one very short moment, was about to be completely changed.”

The story continues: “[Marion’s father] had told his children … that there was as much difference between a man who lived under the inspiration of the Spirit and one who didn’t, as there was between a growing tree and a dead stump. For the first time Marion … fully understood what it was [like] to be under the influence of inspiration. A piercing, tingling sensation filled his soul. He … never had been so touched as he was now, listening to the words of this newest of the Apostles. …

“Young Marion … was electrified. The glow of the Apostle’s countenance and the sincerity of his testimony filled him with an irresistible desire to go on a mission. … He knew that his plans for further education must be postponed.”5

Soon, Marion was on his way to Australia, where he served faithfully. Later, he became a mighty Apostle and a member of the First Presidency.

The final story was told by President Boyd K. Packer about the impact of an aged teacher on William E. Berrett. The teacher, a convert from Norway, had imperfect English-language skills. Despite the teacher’s limitations, President Packer recalled that “Brother Berrett testif[ied] on more than one occasion, ‘We could warm our hands by the fire of his faith.’”6

Later, William became the head of seminaries, institutes, and Church schools.

For Phoebe, Marion, and William, hearing a pure testimony became the catalyst that changed their lives forever. The same can be true for your students. However, given the realities of today’s world, pure testimony may not always be enough. Phoebe, Marion, and William were clean and pure and were free from pornography and worldliness as they sat at the feet of inspired missionaries, teachers, and leaders. The Spirit easily penetrated their soft and pure hearts.

Today, the story is much different, as some of your students have already been infected by pornography and worldliness before they ever reach your classes.

It was only a generation ago that our young people’s access to information about our history, doctrine, and practices was basically limited to materials printed by the Church. Few students came in contact with alternative interpretations. Mostly, our young people lived a sheltered life.

Our curriculum at that time, though well-meaning, did not prepare students for today—a day when students have instant access to virtually everything about the Church from every possible point of view. Today, what they see on their mobile devices is likely to be faith-challenging as much as faith-promoting. Many of our young people are more familiar with Google than they are with the gospel, more attuned to the Internet than to inspiration, and more involved with Facebook than with faith.

The Internet= the earlier generation was an easier, more pure generation. Now the world is more wicked.

Lesson 1 Readings

A Marvelous Work and a Wonder

• Isaiah 29:13–14; Amos 8:11–12; 2 Nephi 27:1–5, 25–26; Doctrine and Covenants 1:12–30; Joseph Smith—History 1:5–10.
• Gordon B. Hinckley, “At the Summit of the Ages,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 72–74.

Throughout history, saints (the people of God) have always been different.

How is this church different from any other Christian church?

  • Godhead vs Trinity
  • Priesthood
  • Book of Mormon
  • Temples
    • 154 right now?
  • Premortal Life
  • Modern day revelation
  • The Restoration
    • because of the Great Apostasy
      • 1 Tim 4- seducing spirits and gospel of devils
      • Amos 8:11-12
        • famine in the land, of hearing the words of the Lord
      • 2 Thess 2:1-3
        • falling away first
          • footnote b= apostasy or defection
          • or mutiny
          • (James Talmage does refer the son of perdition as the pope, haha. Not necessarily doctrine)
    • Loss of the Priesthood keys

So when did the Apostasy occur?

  • 100 A.D.
  • If you put it too late, you get messed up
  • “Days of the Martyrs”
    • By the beginning of the second century, Christians numbered fewer than 10,000 according to some estimates. The Apostles- the small circle of disciples who had known Jesus personally- were gone. Several had been….
      • -U.S News & World Report, April 16, 2001 p.42
  • Without keys of an apostle, bishops keys do not have any power


The Great Apostasy

After the death of Jesus Christ, wicked people persecuted the Apostles and Church members and killed many of them. With the death of the Apostles, priesthood keys and the presiding priesthood authority were taken from the earth. The Apostles had kept the doctrines of the gospel pure and maintained the order and standard of worthiness for Church members. Without the Apostles, over time the doctrines were corrupted, and unauthorized changes were made in Church organization and priesthood ordinances, such as baptism and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Without revelation and priesthood authority, people relied on human wisdom to interpret the scriptures and the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. False ideas were taught as truth. Much of the knowledge of the true character and nature of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost was lost. The doctrines of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost became distorted or forgotten. The priesthood authority given to Christ’s Apostles was no longer present on the earth. This apostasy eventually led to the emergence of many churches.