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Philosophically I am an individualist, not a collectivist of the right or the left. Metaphysically I am an American pragmatist who has been strongly influenced by the psychoanalytic and clinical thinking of Freud and Jung. This response captures much of what, for good and ill, informs 12 Rules for Life , his long and often peculiar foray into the self-help genre. The effect is bizarre, like being shouted at by a rugby coach in a sarong.

Most of his rules are to do with personal responsibility, and making the kind of life choices that will allow a person to function efficiently in the world. We should choose our friends wisely, lovingly discipline our children, respect the wisdom of tradition and so on. He takes the view that one should build outwards from small-scale personal choices towards larger social and political questions. Have some humility. If you cannot bring peace to your own household, how dare you try to rule a city?

As a good student of Jung, he likes an archetype, ideally one he can ground in biology. Relativise that, postmodernists! The Roman Empire, which at first had persecuted the Christians, later adopted Christianity. Important religious questions were settled by councils. The simple doctrine and ordinances taught by the Savior were debated and changed to conform to worldly philosophies see Isaiah They created creeds, or statements of belief, based on false and changed doctrine see Joseph Smith—History Throughout history, many people have sincerely believed false creeds and doctrines.

They have worshipped according to the light they possessed and have received answers to their prayers.

Therefore, a restoration, not a reformation, was required. Priesthood authority did not continue in an unbroken line of succession from the Apostle Peter. To reform is to change what already exists; to restore is to bring back something in its original form. Thus, restoration of priesthood authority through divine messengers was the only possible way to overcome the Great Apostasy.

When the circumstances were right, Heavenly Father once again reached out to His children in love.

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He called a young man named Joseph Smith as a prophet. Through him the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. Joseph Smith lived in the United States, which was perhaps the only country to enjoy religious freedom at the time. It was at a time of great religious excitement in the eastern United States.

His family members were deeply religious and constantly sought for truth. But many ministers claimed to have the true gospel. Joseph attended different churches, but he remained confused about which church he should join. He later wrote:. Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it? As Joseph sought truth among the different faiths, he turned to the Bible for guidance.

Because of this passage, Joseph decided to ask God what he should do. In the spring of he went to a nearby grove of trees and knelt in prayer. In one account, he described his experience:. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other— This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! Even though many good people believed in Christ and tried to understand and teach His gospel, they did not have the fulness of truth or the priesthood authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances.

They had inherited a state of apostasy as each generation was influenced by what the previous one passed on, including changes in the doctrine and in ordinances such as baptism.

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As God had done with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and other prophets, He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet through whom the fulness of the gospel was restored to the earth. After the appearance of the Father and the Son, other heavenly messengers, or angels, were sent to Joseph Smith and his associate Oliver Cowdery. John the Baptist appeared and conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the Aaronic Priesthood, which includes the authority to perform the ordinance of baptism.

With this priesthood authority, Joseph Smith was directed to organize the Church of Jesus Christ again on the earth.

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Through him, Jesus Christ called twelve Apostles. The time in which we live is referred to by Bible prophets as the last days, the latter days, or the dispensation of the fulness of times. It is the period of time just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the final dispensation. A living prophet directs the Church today. He and the present Apostles trace their authority to Jesus Christ in an unbroken chain of ordinations through Joseph Smith. Bear sincere testimony that you know it is true.

Do not hesitate to explain how you came to know of its truth. Invite your companion to do so as well. Ephesians James Knowing that doubt, disbelief, and misinformation would remain after centuries of darkness, our loving Heavenly Father brought forth an ancient volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible, which contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.

This volume of holy scripture provides convincing evidence that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God.

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Joseph Smith was directed by a heavenly messenger named Moroni to a hill where golden plates had lain hidden for centuries. Joseph Smith translated the contents of these plates by the power of God. The prophets in the Book of Mormon knew about the mission of the Savior and taught His gospel.

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After His Resurrection, Christ appeared to these people. He taught them His gospel and established His Church. In order to know that the Book of Mormon is true, a person must read it and ponder and pray about it. The honest seeker of truth will soon come to feel that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon are critical for an enduring conversion.

Those who begin reading the Book of Mormon for the first time take important steps toward coming to know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that the true Church has been restored to the earth. Following is an example of what you might say when introducing the Book of Mormon:. It is the Book of Mormon.

Would you please read the last two paragraphs in the introduction to the book? Carefully explain the meaning of each concept in both paragraphs and invite those you teach to read portions of the Book of Mormon and to apply the principles described in these two paragraphs.

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When introducing a person to the Book of Mormon, it is helpful to show him or her a copy, briefly review the contents, and share one or two passages that are personally meaningful to you or that might be meaningful to him or her. Title page of the Book of Mormon. Introduction to the Book of Mormon, paragraphs 1—7. Joseph Smith—History — This message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is either true or it is not.

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We can know that it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost, as promised in Moroni —5. Consistent study of the scriptures particularly the Book of Mormon , regular church attendance, and sincere prayer help us feel the power of the Holy Ghost and discover truth. After reading and pondering the message of the Book of Mormon, any who desire to know the truth must ask our Heavenly Father in prayer in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true.