The history of the Mormon Church, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is full of miraculous events that witness God’s involvement in the lives of His children. Read on to learn more about just a few of the events in the history of Mormonism that have blessed the lives of millions of people around the world.
Mormon History Miracle #1: Joseph Smith’s First Vision
In the spring of 1820, Joseph Smith, a young farm boy from rural New York, was struggling to know which church he should join. During his study of the Bible, Joseph came across James 1:5, which reads, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Inspired to act by James’s words, Joseph went into the woods near his home and prayed.
In a miraculous answer to Joseph’s prayer, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared. They told Joseph not to join any church then on the earth. Joseph followed the counsel he received and later became the prophet through whom God restored His true Church to the earth (see Joseph Smith—History 1). Joseph was the first prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mormon History Miracle #2: The Translation of the Book of Mormon
Latter-day Saints believe that the Book of Mormon “is a record of God’s dealings with the people who lived in the ancient Americas” (True to the Faith , 157). The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets who engraved the record onto golden plates. The last of those prophets, Moroni, buried the plates before he died. In 1823, Moroni appeared as an angel to Joseph Smith and told him how to find and translate the plates.
When Joseph obtained the plates, he was miraculously able to translate them into English through help from God. Without divine assistance, Joseph could not have translated the ancient record. Joseph’s wife Emma testified that at the time of translation, Joseph “could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictat[e] a book like the Book of Mormon” (“Book of Mormon Translation,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org). Today, the Book of Mormon has been translated into over one hundred languages and helps millions of people around the world learn more about Jesus Christ.
Mormon History Miracle #3: The Restoration of the Priesthood
Latter-day Saints believe that the priesthood is the power and authority God gives to man to act in His name. When Jesus Christ and His Apostles were killed, the priesthood was taken from the earth. In 1829, the priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith by heavenly messengers, including John the Baptist and the Apostles Peter, James, and John. Using that priesthood authority and under the direction of the Lord, Joseph organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830.
Mormon History Miracle #4: The Kirtland Temple Dedication
In December 1832, God commanded His people to construct a temple: a house of worship and learning. Early Latter-day Saints labored and sacrificed for several years to complete the Kirtland Temple. This “house of the Lord” was finally dedicated in March 1836, and great spiritual manifestations accompanied its dedication. Many Church members saw angels, and Jesus Christ Himself appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to accept the temple. Moses, Elias, and Elijah also appeared (see D&C 110). Today, Church members can worship and learn in over 150 temples around the world.
Mormon History Miracle #5: Joseph F. Smith’s Vision of the Spirit World
In 1918, Church President Joseph F. Smith was mourning the loss of several family members, including his oldest son, a young son-in-law, and a daughter-in-law (see Lisa Olsen Tait, “Susa Young Gates and the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead,” Revelations in Context series, Aug. 14, 2015, history.lds.org). While pondering the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the record in 1 Peter of Christ preaching to the dead (see 1 Peter 3–4), President Smith beheld the afterlife in a miraculous vision. He saw that God’s righteous servants continue to preach the gospel after they die to those who have not heard it. He taught that those living on earth have the responsibility to perform sacred gospel ordinances, such as vicarious baptism, for their deceased family members who did not receive these ordinances while living (see D&C 138).
Latter-day Saints believe that miracles continue today. As people around the world learn more about Christ’s Church on the earth today, they can come to understand the miraculous history of Mormonism for themselves and experience the peace and joy of knowing that God is still actively involved in the lives of His children. To learn more about the history and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visit mormon.org.