“I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven”  (D&C 1: 17).

Since the beginning of time, mortal men have been called upon from the heavens to be prophets and revelators to their fellow men, that God, through them, might make known His will to His children. For “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3: 7).

When Jesus Christ walked among men, He established a church built upon the foundation of revelation, and then called from among His earthly followers, apostles and prophets. These would receive revelation for the church when the Lord was no longer on the earth.

However, after the Lord’s death and resurrection, it was only a matter of time before those in opposition to this new kingdom found a way to suppress it.

The apostles and prophets were slain for their testimony and the flow of divine revelation through the Savior’s authorized servants came to an end.

By the sixteenth century Martin Luther observed, “The spiritual powers [of the Church] have been not only corrupted…but absolutely destroyed….Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it” (In Galat. [1535] Weins IX, P.I. 293, 24-27, p. 50; Luther and His Times, p. 509; Martin Luther, p. 188).

Catastrophe! The spiritual powers of Christ’s church destroyed? But how could it be otherwise? How could the church be led, if not by God? Roger Williams, who founded the Baptist Church in America, declared: “There is no…church on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking” (Picturesque America, p. 502).

Thomas Jefferson said it this way: “The religion builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus….[I am] happy in the prospect of a restoration of primitive Christianity” (Jefferson’s Complete Works, vol. 7, pp. 210, 257).

A restoration!—the hope of the true believer in Christ—that God would bring again His kingdom to the earth.