A key to understanding our beliefs of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is understanding what we call the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ organized His church when He was alive, giving priesthood authority to His twelve apostles. Peter, James, and John and other apostles directed the Church after Christ’s death. Through the priesthood, these leaders were authorized to perform saving ordinances like baptism and confirmation, and to teach the doctrine of Christ. But after time, most of these leaders were killed, priesthood authority was lost, and many of the truths of the gospel were also lost.
After centuries of this period that we call The Great Apostasy, the heavens were opened once again and a prophet was called to re-establish Christ’s Church. Joseph Smith was the man who was called by God and Jesus Christ to be a prophet to do this work.
The following full-length film tells more about the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, how he received priesthood authority, how The Book of Mormon was translated and The Church of Jesus Christ was organized, and more. [Edited to add] There is a high-definition version of this film also available for download.
This film is similar to one that was shown for some time in the Church’s Legacy Theater in Salt Lake City, as well as various LDS Church visitor’s centers. However, the version below has been updated. As stated on the LDS Newsroom site:
The film will…help people better understand Latter-day Saint belief in modern prophets, the purpose of temples, and the eternal nature of family relationships. There is also additional context around historical events such as the First Vision — when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith when he was 14 years old.
“Our hope is that people who aren’t familiar with the story will come away with an increased understanding of the role Joseph Smith played in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ,” John Garbett, who produced the new movie, said. [Links in original article.]
You can also watch “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” on YouTube
Do you have questions or would you like to know more? You can chat anytime with a Mormon missionary.