After Christ had completed his earthly ministry and ascended to his Father in Heaven after his resurrection, the twelve Apostles were left to organize and govern the church. They had the power and authority given by Jesus Christ to act in his name (Click here for more information) However, as time passed, many wicked people began to persecute the church and killed many of the Apostles and early church members. With the death of the Apostles also came the taking away of the Power and Authority to perform the sacred ordinances in the church. Without God's chosen leaders, and with no other people left worthy to be called as Prophets and Apostles, the simple doctrines that Christ taught became corrupted. Worldly philosophies were introduced as Gospel. Many plain and precious truths that were found in the Bible were either altered or omitted completely. Without divine revelation from God, these false doctrines were unable to be corrected, and people began to rely on their own wisdom rather than to ask God for inspiration. This period of spiritual hunger and darkness has become known as the Great Apostasy.
While there were still many good people on the earth who were seeking for truth and spiritual light, they lacked the necessary authority to organize and re-establish God's church. But because our Heavenly Father loved us all, he waited for the right opportunity for a new prophet to be called, just as he had done in times of old, when his children have rebelled and disobeyed his commandments. Further discussion on how this came about will be given in the theme of next month's postings.