During the Sunday morning session of the 190th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson introduced and delivered “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World.” He explained that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles felt inspired to create a “monument… of words—words of solemn and sacred proclamation—written not to be carved in ‘tables of stone,’ but in words that could be etched in the ‘fleshy tables’ of our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3).”
During this bicentennial year, we should be actively seeking ways to view, read, study, and share “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World,” (Ensign, May 2020). Our aims should be to have these sacred words come alive in our minds, hearts, and actions. What follows are strategies for reviewing this apostolic proclamation as we seek to become enlivened by the Spirit of the Living Christ.
View President Nelson’s Video Four Times in 2020
In a previously recorded video from where Joseph Smith’s First Vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ took place, President Nelson introduced and delivered this bicentennial proclamation. In a way, the filming location allows each viewer to visit the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. It also enables us to be personally instructed by a living prophet.
Watch this video at least four times before the end of the year. The Lord often uses repetition as a method for instructing and guiding His prophets and peoples. For example, on September 21-22, 1823 Joseph Smith was visited and received repeated instructions four times from the angel Moroni (Joseph Smith—History 1:29-49).
By viewing President Nelson’s video multiple times, we can increase our understanding and appreciation of its powerful messages. After each viewing of President Nelson’s video, write down some of the gospel principles you discover and ponder how you can apply them in your life.
Read and Recite the Proclamation Aloud
As you view President Nelson’s recorded video, notice how he frequently looks up from the text of the proclamation and speaks directly to the camera. Try to emulate his presentation style.
Find your own private or sacred location—whether in nature, your community, or your home—and deliver (and possibly record) your own reading or recitation of “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” After you have felt the words of the proclamation being proclaimed by your own mouth (or the mouths of family members), take time to reflect in your journal or during a family home evening discussion on what you thought and how you felt voicing those apostolic words.
“The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
“We solemnly proclaim that God loves His children in every nation of the world. God the Father has given us the divine birth, the incomparable life, and the infinite atoning sacrifice of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. By the power of the Father, Jesus rose again and gained the victory over death. He is our Savior, our Exemplar, and our Redeemer.
“Two hundred years ago, on a beautiful spring morning in 1820, young Joseph Smith, seeking to know which church to join, went into the woods to pray near his home in upstate New York, USA. He had questions regarding the salvation of his soul and trusted that God would direct him.
“In humility, we declare that in answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and inaugurated the ‘restitution of all things’ (Acts 3:21) as foretold in the Bible. In this vision, he learned that following the death of the original Apostles, Christ’s New Testament Church was lost from the earth. Joseph would be instrumental in its return.
“We affirm that under the direction of the Father and the Son, heavenly messengers came to instruct Joseph and re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ. The resurrected John the Baptist restored the authority to baptize by immersion for the remission of sins. Three of the original twelve Apostles—Peter, James, and John—restored the apostleship and keys of priesthood authority. Others came as well, including Elijah, who restored the authority to join families together forever in eternal relationships that transcend death.
“We further witness that Joseph Smith was given the gift and power of God to translate an ancient record: the Book of Mormon—Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Pages of this sacred text include an account of the personal ministry of Jesus Christ among people in the Western Hemisphere soon after His Resurrection. It teaches of life’s purpose and explains the doctrine of Christ, which is central to that purpose. As a companion scripture to the Bible, the Book of Mormon testifies that all human beings are sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven, that He has a divine plan for our lives, and that His Son, Jesus Christ, speaks today as well as in days of old.
“We declare that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized on April 6, 1830, is Christ’s New Testament Church restored. This Church is anchored in the perfect life of its chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ, and in His infinite Atonement and literal Resurrection. Jesus Christ has once again called Apostles and has given them priesthood authority. He invites all of us to come unto Him and His Church, to receive the Holy Ghost, the ordinances of salvation, and to gain enduring joy.
“Two hundred years have now elapsed since this Restoration was initiated by God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Millions throughout the world have embraced a knowledge of these prophesied events.
“We gladly declare that the promised Restoration goes forward through continuing revelation. The earth will never again be the same, as God will ‘gather together in one all things in Christ’ (Ephesians 1:10).
“With reverence and gratitude, we as His Apostles invite all to know—as we do—that the heavens are open. We affirm that God is making known His will for His beloved sons and daughters. We testify that those who prayerfully study the message of the Restoration and act in faith will be blessed to gain their own witness of its divinity and of its purpose to prepare the world for the promised Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Share What You Have Learned
As you find repeated opportunities to view and read “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World,” look for ways that you can share ideas you have learned and promptings that you have felt in your heart. You might create posters to display on your front door, in a window of your home, or on social media (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook). For example, you may initiate and share a twitter message, such as: “#theheavensareopen.” We are very blessed to have received a monumental proclamation from our living Apostles testifying that “the heavens are open.”