A Statement of Principals.
A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES for the Lord’s covenant people, written as a GUIDE AND STANDARD for His people to follow and to bless, benefit, and inform others who know nothing, as yet, of His work now underway. The Lord has restored His gospel in this new dispensation—a call to action to renew His direct contact with mankind. The Restoration was originally founded on revelation, but with the death of Joseph Smith those revelations were ignored and replaced, making it necessary for God to begin again. The following are principles that we agree upon and send forth, as commanded, “unto the ends of the earth” (3 Nephi 5:9 RE).
WE BELIEVE the Lord will soon return to the earth. All of the signs of His coming, as recorded in the book of Matthew, will occur in one single generation, and these signs have begun to appear. As it was in the days of Noah, so is it about to be (Matthew 11:11 RE). Prophets are among the people, sharing wonderful messages that come from the Lord.
IF CHRIST cared enough to speak to others in times past, does He not care enough to likewise speak to us? Can He not speak in our day? We testify that He does. We invite all people, everywhere, of all religious backgrounds and persuasions, ethnicities, and geographies to hear the Lord’s message given to us today.
1. We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, which constitute the Godhead, and accept that the image of God is a male and a female.
2. We believe that the resurrected, living Christ wants to redeem all mankind and bring us into His presence while in mortality and, ultimately, into the presence of the Father.
3. We believe that men and women will be punished for their own sins and blessed according to their own faithfulness.
4. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel— the Doctrine of Christ, which is the only true doctrine of the Father, Son, and holy ghost.
5. We believe and invite all to accept the Doctrine of Christ, without regard to faith, tradition, or religious affiliation. The Doctrine of Christ includes: faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ; repentance; baptism by immersion in water; and the baptism of fire and the holy ghost.
6. We believe that certain ordinances are required by God in this life and must be performed by those given the power and authority to do so. These include: baptism; the blessing of the sacrament, as instituted at the Last Supper and among the Nephites; and priesthood ordination.
7. We believe that God intends to preserve what He began through Joseph Smith and that men must repent, return, and reclaim priesthood by first receiving an ordination by the laying on of hands. Power in the priesthood then comes by petitioning Heaven.
8. We believe that God has given authority to deliver His covenant in our day and has invited all to be numbered among His people.
9. We believe that true religion, when present on the earth, exists when a community of believers are willing to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and places, and bear one another’s burdens. A legal entity is not required—just a community of believers who fellowship with one another.
11. We believe in scripture containing inspired writings of the Old Covenants, New Covenants (including the Book of Mormon), and Teachings and Commandments, and which constitutes an open canon. We expect to receive additional scripture.
12, We believe in following the Law of Christ, as recorded in the Sermon on the Mount (found in the book of Matthew) and the Sermon on the Temple Mount (found in the book of Third Nephi in the Book of Mormon).
13. We believe in obedience to God, sacrifice, chastity, consecration, and covenants.
14. We believe in revelation and that God is revealing truth in our day directly to individuals who seek Him, as well as through His divinely appointed servants and teachers.
15. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion and the New Jerusalem will be built upon the North American continent and occupied by a covenant people, individually redeemed; and that Christ will reign personally upon the earth from His temple in Zion.
16. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience and allow all men and women the same privilege: let them worship how, where, or what they may.
17. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
18. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men and women; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
19. We believe every denomination in the world can be represented in fellowships of belief, either as individuals or groups. This is not designed to limit the possibilities of shared faith but to greatly expand them. The restoration must roll forth. Because fellowships are informal, based only on the Doctrine of Christ, and require acceptance of Christ’s simple statement of His doctrine—faith to believe and act, repentance from sin, and baptism—the result is that salvation can sweep the world and cross barriers now stopping the restoration from being heard.
20. We invite all who will repent to be baptized and to be forgiven, and they shall obtain the Spirit of the Lord to guide them. The time is short, and He comes quickly.
– Attribution: Based upon “The Wentworth Letter,” written by Joseph Smith Jr., Teachings and Commandments, Section 146.
If there is a chance of remembering the restoration, it is now. The restoration is not the property of any man or institution—God alone oversees it and has authorized this work to begin again. God has extended an invitation to return to Him and says to be of good cheer, because this is the greatest news delivered to this generation. Those with the eyes to see and ears to hear will listen to the Master's voice and follow.
The Lord has called and sent a new messenger and teacher in our day who testifies of Him and has restored the original doctrines revealed through Joseph Smith. With this understanding, many have questions such as, “What’s next?” or “What do I do now?” This Guide serves as a reference or roadmap to answer these questions and assist those who are beginning this path.
Understand and apply the Doctrine of Christ. “And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me . . . and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God” (3 Nephi 5:9 RE).
Even if you have been baptized previously, be baptized in this new dispensation, The Lord has renewed this commandment for our time, and baptism is a sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. He expects us to follow His pattern and obey this to receive a remission of sins. This baptism does not grant membership in any organized church or religion; it is a sign between you and God that you sincerely believe in Jesus Christ and wish to follow Him. Children should be taught to understand the Doctrine of Christ and may be baptized when eight years old (Teachings and Commandments 55:5; 1 Peter 1:14 RE). This ordinance should be performed in living water, where possible: lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans. It should be performed by someone who has priesthood authority and who has petitioned heaven to give him the power to baptize. Use the words found in 3 Nephi 5:8 RE.
“On this wise shall ye baptize them: behold ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And ... these are the words ye shall say, calling them by name, saying,
Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy ghost. Amen.
And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.”
If you’ve not been baptized or would like to be baptized again, there are those with authority to administer the ordinance who will assist you. If there is not someone local who is available to perform the ordinance, arrangements can be made for someone to travel to you.. The ordinance is free, and the service is provided without any charge or acceptance of gift or donation. Visit www.bornofwater.org to make this request.
3. HOLY GHOST
Once baptized, you can receive the Father’s testimony of His Son by the power of the holy ghost. It comes as a result of baptism. The holy ghost is given according to the Doctrine of Christ, to any who repent and are baptized following His direction.
A fellowship can consist of an individual, a couple, a family, or a group of families. You can join an existing fellowship or begin one of your own. There is no hierarchy in a fellowship, only a group of equals—and there is no paid ministry. Fellowships own no buildings and, like the early Christians, meet in homes. They are informal groups, based on the Doctrine of Christ, and their purpose is to gather together to learn, worship, fast, pray, bear one another’s burdens, and assist all who are desirous to come into the fold of God and be called His people (Mosiah 9:7 RE). Every denomination in the world can be represented in these fellowships. The Fellowship Locator (found at www.fellowshiplocator.info) can help you locate like-minded people in your area who you can worship, fellowship, serve, and grow with.
Priesthood, in its highest form, is an opportunity, afforded by God, to serve and bless others and is the authority required to perform ordinances. Power can only come from Christ. Priesthood is currently confined to men because of the Fall of Adam and the conditions that God established at that time. There are three steps to receiving power in Christ.
1. Ordination. Priesthood ordination is for males 12 years of age and older. Any man holding priesthood can ordain another man. Because John the Baptist laid his hands on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, we continue the practice of laying on hands to confer priesthood. No one should perform priesthood ordinances until they have had priesthood conferred on them by someone who can trace their authority back to John the Baptist, through Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Keep a record of the line of authority from the one who does the ordination.
2. Confirmation. Wait until the Spirit approves your ordination before you act. Ask God to give you Power in the priesthood, and get His “word” through the Spirit, just as Alma did (Mosiah 9:8 RE). Heaven must ratify.
3. Sustaining. Inside the family, there is no requirement for the sustaining of a priest, but if a man is performing priesthood service for those outside of his family, seven women must sustain him—meaning they openly signify their support and approval of his priesthood. If the man is married, one of the seven must be his wife. For a youth to be sustained, one of the seven women should include his mother, because she is most acquainted with his daily walk. Keep a written certificate, signed by the seven women, proving the sustaining vote. All of these steps should precede performing any public ordinance in a fellowship. Priesthood should always be used to serve, not to rule over any man (see Teachings and Commandments 139:6-7).
The sacrament should be taken in the way God commanded. Partake of the sacrament in your families and in your gatherings, following the pattern in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 8:6-7; Moroni 4:1; 5:1 RE). All should kneel down, and one with authority, if present, should break and bless the bread, praying aloud to the Father in the name of Christ, saying:
O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son and always remember him and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with them. Amen (Moroni 4:1 RE).
Use wine—the symbol of the blood of our Lord. If you are opposed to alcohol or have a medical condition that prevents you from using wine, use red grape juice. All should kneel, or continue kneeling, and one with authority, if present, should bless the wine, praying aloud to the Father in the name of Christ, saying:
O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen (Moroni 5:1 RE).
Tithing is one tenth of your surplus after you have taken care of all your responsibilities and needs, and it is for the poor among you. After you gather your tithes, look at your brothers and your sisters who are in your meeting, and help those who have needs: health, education, transportation, food needs, or children that need care. If there are no poor among you, then excess funds can go to the temple fund; they can also be shared as your fellowship determines, by common consent.
8. ZION AND THE COVENANT
Zion and the New Jerusalem are a place occupied by covenant people who are living in harmony with God. The people who gather there will all be individually redeemed, individually connected to God, and will have all accepted the covenant.. The Book of Mormon is a sign of this covenant, and in it we have examples of covenant-making. The Lord cannot fulfill His promises, prophecies, and covenants without a covenant people and has asked us to receive His covenant and abide in it. The Lord again offered and made available His covenant to all in 2017 (see www.restorationarchives.com, Covenant of Christ Conference, Opening Remarks, Boise, Idaho, Sept. 3, 2017).
Seek the spirit to guide your personal growth and development through fasting and prayer. Study the scriptures. God is waiting to talk directly to you. The scriptures have a message from God for you, and He will speak to you about what is important in your life and in the lives of those around you. Obtain copies of the Restoration Scriptures from www.scriptures.info.