Jesus Christ is seen as the head of the Church, as its name suggests. He in turn works through his prophets and other Church leaders. Joseph Smith was the first prophet, and he claimed authority through ordination from heavenly messengers. He was chosen by God, not self-selected, which is significant for Mormons. Smith also had prophetic gifts and authority that allowed him to translate the Book of Mormon, which was given by God. In May 1829 Joseph Smith and an early co-founder of the Church, Oliver Cowdery, were given priesthood authority to perform rituals in God’s name during an appearance of the resurrected John the Baptist. Joseph was the first to be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. He and Oliver were subsequently also ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood, a higher level of priesthood, bestowed on them through the resurrected apostles of Jesus Christ: Peter, James, and John. Joseph Smith then ordained others into these priesthoods. Authority is therefore through literal apostolic succession. The Book of Mormon is seen as one evidence of Joseph Smith’s legitimacy and authority. The subsequent prophets and Apostles are his authorised successors. The words of the prophet (also called the President), when he is speaking in his prophetic capacity, are understood as the will of God for people today. However, relatively few revelations have been added to the canon of LDS Scripture since the time of Joseph Smith, who is seen as having laid all the necessary groundwork for the Church to go forward.

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Church Of Jesus Christ Of LDS


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