In the pages of history, there are moments when the world witnesses something truly extraordinary—a work that defies human comprehension and transcends the ordinary. In April 1980, President Ezra Taft Benson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stood before a congregation of faithful Saints and declared that the work they were engaged in was nothing short of “a marvelous work and a wonder.”
This phrase, borrowed from the book of Isaiah in the Bible, has profound significance. Isaiah, a prophet of old, had foreseen and foretold the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days. He had declared that this work would be wondrous and astonishing to all of humanity. When Jesus appeared to the Nephites in ancient America, He confirmed Isaiah’s prophecy, affirming that for His sake, the Father would work a great and marvelous work among the people in the land of America in the last days.
The stage was set, and on April 6, 1830, in the state of New York, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had its humble beginnings. It was a day that went largely unnoticed by the world, with only a small group of individuals, including the Prophet Joseph Smith, gathering in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr., to witness and participate in the official organization of the Church. Little did they know that they were heralding the commencement of a work that would grow to encompass over 4.5 million members in eighty-one countries worldwide.
The growth of the Church in the years following its inception resembled the parables shared by the Savior himself. Jesus often used the analogy of the small mustard seed to describe the early beginnings of His church. Though it started small, like a tiny seed, it would eventually grow into a great tree, providing shelter and refuge for many in its branches. Likewise, the prophet Daniel had prophesied that the Church would begin as a small stone but would ultimately become a great mountain that would fill the entire earth.
The early days of the Church were marked by both growth and opposition. The message of the restored gospel faced hostility, persecution, and even violence. The murder of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum did not deter the Church’s progress. It persevered and matured despite relentless efforts to destroy it. The Saints endured exile, harassment, disenfranchisement, and persecution, but through it all, they emerged stronger and more steadfast.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as prophesied by Daniel, is a spiritual kingdom “cut out of the mountain without hands.” It began through the direct intervention of God and is unlike any other human institution. Its foundation rests on the declaration that messengers from God came to restore the ordinances and keys lost through apostasy. The Church’s survival and growth through adversity demonstrate its divine origin and purpose.
Opposition to the Church did not wane as time passed. However, as people learned more about the Church, they began to see it for what it truly stood for, rather than what its enemies claimed. In times of crisis, such as the Great Depression, the Church gained recognition for its principles of independence, self-reliance, and care for its members. Latter-day Saints excelled in various fields and distinguished themselves as a people of faith and integrity.
As the Church commemorates its 150th anniversary, we are reminded of the urgency of the present. The world is drifting further from God, and the standards of virtue and honor are eroding. Opposition to the Church and its teachings persists, and the conflict intensifies. It is a time when every member of the Church must stand firm and demonstrate their allegiance to the kingdom of God.
President Ezra Taft Benson’s call to action echoes through the ages. He calls on inactive priesthood holders to return to the fold, renew their covenants, and be part of the work of God. The Church needs their support, affiliation, and strength.
In conclusion, the marvelous work and a wonder foreseen by prophets of old continues today. The Church’s progress and growth are undeniable. As we look to the future, we anticipate even greater spiritual growth, the spreading of the gospel message, and the construction of temples worldwide.
In honor of the marvelous work and a wonder that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, let us commit to the following:
Faithfulness: Be faithful to the Church and its teachings. Strengthen your testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Support: Reach out to those who may have distanced themselves from the Church and extend love and understanding. Encourage them to return and be part of this marvelous work.
Service: Engage in acts of service within your community and congregation. Share the message of the gospel through your actions.
Prayer: Pray for the Church and its leaders. Seek guidance on how you can contribute to the growth of this divine work.
By standing firm in our faith and actively participating in the marvelous work and a wonder, we become instruments in the hands of the Lord to hasten His purposes and bring about positive change in the world. Link to the original: Click Here
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