The way of Heaven is orderly. And when that way is manifest to men ministry, is the same pattern to which we look today. When we see His order, we will recognize His Church.
The pattern of Orderliness and Godliness begins with the bestowing of power to act in His name; that power must originate in the only Source from which it could come–Christ Himself. The Apostle Paul writes:
“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5: 4).
We see the order of God manifest in the way Aaron was called:
“And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office” (Exodus 28: 1).
By the command of Lord Jehovah, the prophet Moses was directed to bestow priesthood power upon his brother Aaron. The manner of bestowing authority to act in the name of God is given in the example of Joshua. When Moses had come to the end of his days, he passed on power to the next prophet of Israel:
“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deut. 34: 9, 10).
Because Moses knew “the LORD” face to face, clearly that great prophet received authority under His hands. Thus, there are two essential elements of order necessary to receiving power from God:
1) Authority to act in His name is bestowed by the laying on of hands; this is called ordination–the way of Godliness is always done in order.
2) Power to act in His name is bestowed either by the tangible touch of Christ Himself or by someone who has previously received priesthood power from Christ, or by someone who has received power from a chain of ordinations originating in Christ.
When the Savior began His mortal ministry, He called disciples and gave them power, ordaining twelve to the calling and authority of Apostle (Matt. 16: 19; Luke 9: 1). Upon this foundation was the Church of Jesus Christ organized:
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2: 19, 20).
The “household of God” is the Church of Jesus Christ, and members of the household of God are called “saints.” This is the pattern established by the Chief Corner Stone, who is Christ.
Why did Christ cause His Church to be organized? In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed these words to the Father:
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. . . . that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17: 20-23).
Being fully aware of the Lord’s desire for oneness among those who “believe,” Paul wrote the following words:
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4: 3-5).
In this same epistle to the Ephesians, Paul explains why Christ caused His Church to be organized:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-15).
This is the pattern of order that Christ Himself established. When we see this order, we will recognize His Church. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) witness to the world that “the head, even Christ” has personally caused a “restitution” (Acts 3:18-21) of His Church in these latter days, through His chosen prophet, Joseph Smith.