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creature under heaven," by which comprehensive statement the Apostle doubtless meant that the Gospel had been so generally proclaimed in known lands that all who would might have learned of it.
The Apostles had been instructed to go into all the world and to preach the Gospel to every creature, with the assurance that such as accepted their message and were baptized as the Lord had commanded would be saved, while such as rejected the Gospel would be damned.
So far as we know, during the apostolic epoch and for more than a millennium thereafter, the existence of a Western Continent was known to no one in the East. Nevertheless, at that very time and for centuries before, America was inhabited by powerful nations, who exhibited the entire range of attainment from savagery to refinement and culture, and all the gradations from deviltry to godliness.
It was obviously impossible for the Galilean Apostles, by any but miraculous and supernatural aid, to carry the Gospel to the western world, and we find scriptural warrant for the assertion that they did not so.
Nevertheless, the Church of Jesus Christ was established upon the American continent, and that through the personal ministry of the Risen Lord, soon after His ascension from Mount Olivet. The Book of Mormon contains a circumstantial account of this marvelous theophany.
Jesus Christ visited the aboriginal peoples of the Western Continent. His identity affirmed by the voice of the Eternal Father and by His own solemn testimony, the Resurrected Christ, still bearing the wounds of the cross in hands and feet and side, declared that the old order under the Mosaic Law was fulfilled and abrogated in Him; and straightway He proceeded to organize His Church under the new or Gospel dispensation.
He chose twelve men, whom He ordained to be special witnesses of Himself and the Church; and to them He gave authority to administer the ordinances essential to salvation, as He had done on the other hemisphere.
Baptism had been practised among the Nephites prior to this visitation, and disputation had arisen as to the mode and purpose of the ordinance. The Savior cautioned the Nephite Twelve and the people generally against schism and contention. To the ordained disciples He said:
"On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them: behold, ye ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which 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. . . . And there shall be no disputations among you, as there hath hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there hath hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. . . And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto 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. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned." (Book of Mormon, 8 Nephi 11).
Then by specific commission He empowered the Twelve Disciples to administer the higher baptism of the Spirit, or the bestowal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
The sacrament of bread and wine was instituted by the Lord for the further blessing of those who, after due confession of faith and repentance, had been baptized in His name. As to partaking of the broken and consecrated bread He gave special commandment: "And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shewn unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father, that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you."
In connection with the administration of the sacramental wine He said: "Ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you." (18: 7-11).
We read further: "And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the Church of Christ." (26:21).
Thus was the Church of Jesus Christ organized among the ancient Americans. For nearly two centuries it flourished with such fruitage of blessing as had never before been known. Then the weeds of dissension attained so rank a growth as to well-nigh smother the tree of the Lord's own planting. Man-made churches sprang up, and persecution, foul sister to intolerance, became rampant.
About four hundred years after the visitation of Christ, the Church in America ceased to exist, for an overwhelming tide of apostasy had swept the New as well as the Old World, and by Divine allowance the Nephite nation fell a prey to its hereditary foes.
That Jesus is the Christ
WO national histories, separate and distinct, written on opposite hemispheres, unite in circumstantial testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ as the World's Redeemer; and these are embodied in independent volumes of Scripture -The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon.
The evidence of witnesses, whether individuals, coteries or nations, refutes itself if it fail in consistency, mutual support, and agreement in all substantials. The most critical examination of these two compilations of Scripture as to this vital feature is invited.
Among the outstanding facts of profoundest import recorded in the Bible concerning Jesus Christ and His mission are these:
1. His preexistence and antemortal Godship.
2. His foreordination as the Redeemer and Savior of mankind.
Predictions of His embodiment in the flesh, as the Son of the Eternal Father and of mortal woman.
4. The fulfilment of these predictions in His birth as Mary's Child.
5. The sending of a forerunner, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the Lord's public ministry.
6. Christ's earthly life, covering about a third of a century, characterized by beneficent service, by authoritative administration, and by unexceptionable example.
7. The establishment of His Church with duly ordained Apostles, who, with other ministers invested with the Holy
Priesthood, carried forward the work of salvation after the Lord's departure.
8. The specific and authentic enunciation of the fundamental principles and ordinances of the Gospel, by which the way of salvation has been opened to all, and without which none can abide in the Kingdom of God, these comprising: (1) Faith in Him as the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world; (2) Repentance of sin; (3) Bap tism by immersion for the remission of sins; and (4) Bestowal of the Holy Ghost by the authoritative laying on of hands.
9. The Lord's sacrificial and atoning death.
10. His actual resurrection, whereby His spirit was reunited with the crucified body and He became a glorified and immortalized Soul.
11. His ministry as a Resurrected Being among men. 12. His exaltation to the place He had won at the right hand of God the Eternal Father.
13. The general apostasy of mankind from the Gospel of Christ, bringing about an era of spiritual darkness.
14. The restoration of the Holy Priesthood in the latter days, by which the Gospel would be again preached in power and its ordinances administered for the salvation of
15. The assurance of our Lord's yet future return to earth, in glory and judgment, to inaugurate the predicted Millennium of peace and righteousness.
16. His eternal status as Judge of both quick and dead, and the eventual Victor over sin and death.
In every particular, even to circumstantial detail, the Scriptures of the West accord with those of the East in their solemn witness to these portentous developments of the Divine plan, which has for its purpose "the immortality and