A marvelous work, wonder started from humble beginnings

"On the 6th of April, 1830, . . . a group of men and women, acting in obedience to a commandment of God, assembled in the house of Mr. Peter Whitmer to organize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church . . . , that had been prophesied to be a latter-day marvelous work and a wonder, has come forth from the most humble of beginnings," said President Howard W. Hunter at the April 1991 general conference.

"Six men comprised the total membership of the Church that day. None of them laid any claim to special learning or significant leadership. They were honorable people and respectable citizens, but were virtually unknown outside of their own immediate neighborhood."We can get a good picture of the moral and economic atmosphere of the circle of six from the description in the History of the Church of one of the local citizens, Mr. Joseph Knight. The history states that he `owned a farm, a grist mill and carding machine. He was not rich, yet he possessed enough of this world's goods to secure to himself and family, not only the necessaries, but also the comforts of life. . . . [He] was a sober, honest man, generally respected and beloved by his neighbors and acquaintances. He did not belong to any religious sect, but was a believer.' " (History of the Church 1:47.)

President Hunter said that most of life's momentous hours are recorded, but what these men did on that humble occasion would not have given the world much reason to take note. "What they did, however, ranks among the most important events ever to have transpired since the death of Jesus and His Apostles in the meridian of time," he said.

"These humble, ordinary men gathered because one of them, Joseph Smith Jr., a very young man, had set forth a most remarkable claim. . . . that he had received profound and repeated heavenly communications, including an open vision of God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. . . . Furthermore, the Lord had commanded this young man, by now only twenty-four years of age, to reinstitute the Church that had existed in New Testament times and that in its restored purity should again be designated by the name of its chief cornerstone and eternal head, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. . . .

"On April 6, 1830, the Church was officially organized with its six members. That action was largely unknown to the world at that time, and would only come to be known to the extent that it contained and radiated eternal principles that harmonize with all other truth coming from God, the author of all truth. Only thus, through its truthfulness, could it and would it ever become a marvelous work and a wonder.

"Today, from those humble beginnings those many years ago, there are units and members of that Church almost literally around the face of the earth. . . .

"We represent and speak today for a worldwide church, the organized and established kingdom of God on earth. I bear you my testimony that the Church organized in obscurity [on April 6, 1830] is indeed the Church of Jesus Christ."

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