Monday 16 March 2020

Sunday Sermon: Search the Scriptures

"Rely upon the things which are written, for in them are all the things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock"
(D&C 18:1)

One of the great blessings given in this dispensation is the privilege of possessing copies of the sacred scriptures for our own personal enlightenment. For centuries Christian people had to depend upon the teachings of scribes and priests for their scriptural knowledge. We should be grateful that today any member of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ may study the word of God through the scriptures and through individual study in their own homes.

An additional blessing has come available to members of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ through the publication of our own sacred scriptures. We are blessed that the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ is responsible for the bringing forth of the Chronicles of The Children of Araneck and the Doctrine and Covenants and we are proud of the fact the we have been able to procure The Inspired Version of the Bible along with The Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon. These sacred scriptures have made it possible for us to understand the scriptures in a new way and for us to be able to have access to the things that the Lord wishes for us to know. Those who prayerfully study the scriptures will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forbears could have ever hoped to achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and defend Him.

Along with this great blessing comes the responsibility to search the scriptures prayerfully, to study and learn the laws of the gospel, to apply the laws to our lives by daily living the commandments, to teach and train our children by precept and example, and to guide and inspire others. An impressive example of training within the home is found in the scriptures. Speaking to Timothy, Paul said "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also" (2 Timothy 1:5).

Paul further wrote, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them, And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus"  (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

From the beginning, God has commanded his people to keep a written record of their history and His teachings, laws, and commandments. These records were considered of such vital consequence that the Lord has required that all his people do this, from the Children of Araneck to the people in The Book of Mormon all have kept records and all have gone to great lengths to keep them safe or to obtain them. For example The Prophet Jeraneck in the Book of Jeraneck which is contained in the Chronicles of The Children of Araneck kept the records close to him at all times even unto his death "Now I finish the record of the history of my people and I finish my testament and I have laid it out upon these twenty four plates and they are fashioned by my hand, and I have also compiled a record of the religious laws and practices of my people and the priests of Ridnon so that you may know more fully how to worship the Almighty and they are to be one record.  Now I make an end of this record and I say unto you I have lived a life that I am proud of and a life that I would live again.  I have lived a life in service unto my people indeed unto all people but also unto my God"
(Book of Jeraneck 18: 131-132).

For the Nephites records were also of vital importance so much so that the great Nephi was commanded to slay Laban in order to obtain scriptural and historical records engraved upon the plates of brass. Without these plates they would have been lost not knowing who they were and from whence they came.

The scriptures are replete with admonitions and direct commandments from our Father in Heaven and his prophets to study and learn His word. Today I give that same counsel. We need to make sure, that so far as is in our power, our homes are never without scriptures. I would like all of our members to read all of the works of scripture, to ponder in your hearts the eternal truths that are found within their pages, and to get on your knees and ask the Lord in sincerity and in faith for understanding and comprehension and guidance. I would like each of you to read the scriptures either by yourself or with your loved ones and families, not simply to read the words but to ponder and pray about the content so that there will come into your lives the desire for righteousness that grows out of the study of the pure, perfect word of God. I fear that we rush about from day to day taking for granted the scriptures. We scramble to honour appointments here and there, yet we think nothing of postponing daily scripture study. Ask yourselves how much better it would be for yourselves and your families if you planned and held a sacred fifteen minuets a day for reading the scriptures together. Such time with the Lord would help us recognise His voice and empower us to receive guidance in all our affairs.

In conclusion I would like to say that a study of the scriptures should be an integral part of the religious education of every member of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ. I know that if we will do this great blessings will come to us as we prayerfully search for and ponder the words of the Lord. Place the sacred scriptures in convenient areas in our homes, so that they will easily be used and available. Search the scriptures brothers and sisters, and then strive to apply the teachings found within their pages in your life and the life of your families so that you may become more Christ like in your thoughts and actions. We must be an example to everyone around us including our children. We must show them that their is pleasure in searching the scriptures and answers to be find to the problems that beset our world today. We must all endeavour to help one another to interpret the meanings of the scriptures so that we can start to help ourselves, our families and our world. Without scriptural direction we are all lost and it is my hope that we find light, love and understanding from reading them in our lives.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday 13 March 2020

Branch Statement: COVID-19 Response

As the Prophet and First Elder of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ it is important that I make the following statement. With all the media attention on the COVID-19 outbreak I just want to assure you that The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ will continue to meet for our Sunday Services. I feel this is right and that we should keep meeting as long as we can. I want to ask everyone to pray for our country and the world at this time. We must remain positive and believe in the Lord to see us safely through.

However can I ask that if you have been in contact with anyone showing symptoms or who has COVID-19 to stay at home and follow the governments guidelines. If you are okay and haven’t been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 then please continue to come to sacrament meetings on Sunday. We must never see this unfortunate time in our world as an excuse to just not come out to church. If you are healthy and fine then you should be at church. We must continue in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord. See you all on Sunday. God bless.

Sunday 1 March 2020

Repentance: A Mighty Change

Changing for the better is an important part of repentance. It is a process of improvement offered by the Lord that can lead to perfection. We have the opportunity to repent because of Christ's atonement, and the Lord promises to forgive us when our repentance is complete. "I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Nevertheless he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven" (D&C 1)

One of the beautiful things about the restored gospel is that we  know that although we are born in to a sinful, fallen, carnal world we are all born with a clean slate. We are not born in to sin and we do not become accountable for our sins until we reach the age of accountability and receive baptism. It is after this event that sin in our lives starts to be recognised by the Lord and so we need to learn at an early age that we are responsible for our actions and that we may need to make changes in our lives to correct those mistakes. Recognising the need to change our lives and acting upon that need requires a daily effort. It is necessary, however, as an ongoing part of our sincere and complete repentance.

When King Benjamin admonished his people to repent, he told them that if they truly wanted to repent they would keep the commandments (Mosiah 2). When they responded, they acknowledged that the spirit of the Lord had indeed "wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have nor more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 3). They further said "We are willing to enter in to a covenant with our God to do his will and to be obedient to his commandments in all things, all the remainder of our days" (Mosiah 3). They were willing to repent and be baptised and keep the commandments. This true repentance shows the pattern for overcoming weakness to become like Christ.

Often we hear people say that they would like to go back and live life over, knowing what they know now. Although such a wishful returning to our yesterdays is impossible, we can begin to make needed changes where we are today. There is virtually nothing that man cannot turn away from if he really wants to. There is virtually no habit that he cannot give up if he sincerely set his will to do so and will sincerely seek and accept help, the help of others and the help of his father in heaven.

We sometimes think that we are not capable of changing, that changing is just too hard, that our weaknesses are either to small or too great to change, or that we are to old or too young to begin. Such doubts keep us from seeing repentance honestly, deprive us of many blessings, and hinder our progress towards eternal life. We must remember that the Lord has made us accountable and responsible for our own acts. We each have the power to conquer faults and failings, to make changes, whether they are great or small, that will make our lives conform to gospel principles. We catalogue our weaknesses and move in against them to overcome them. Christ became perfect through overcoming. Only as we overcome shall we become perfect and move forward towards the throne of God. Through the gift of repentance we have the opportunity to change. We can overcome personal weaknesses and become Christ like. The important thing in creating a mighty change in our lives is to start now.

In concluding we all need to take a long hard look at our lives and see what needs changing through the power of repentance. We should all make a mental note and go to work as soon as we get back to our homes form this meeting. I pray that we can all find the strength to examine or lives and think upon Christ and seek his help in asking for repentance.

In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prophet Matthew Gill

Wednesday 26 February 2020

The Book of Mormon

As the first Elder and Prophet of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ I want to express to the world our love and appreciation for The Book of Mormon.

As a branch we cherish The Book of Mormon we consider it a sacred text given to us by way of revelation through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is a central part of our worship and our belief. It is true that The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ have other sacred scriptures that we use but they do not take away the importance and need for The Book of Mormon.

We consider ourselves part of the wider restoration movement, we consider ourselves followers of The Book of Mormon message and we endeavour to share that message with all the people of our country and the wider world. We love The Book of Mormon and we consider it important and special in bringing people closer to Christ and to a knowledge of our covenants that we have made with Christ and He with us. Its place within our Branch will never change and neither will our love for it falter.

We want to world to know that The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ are followers of The Book of Mormon and the Angel message it provides. We thank God for it in our loves and we hope that our love for this great piece of scripture will bring us closer to our brothers and sisters in the restoration.

Matthew P. Gill
Prophet & First Elder

Sunday 26 January 2020

The Last Days

As the Prophet and First Elder of the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ it is my duty to prepare the people under my care for the final and last days that we are now living in. It will have come to some of your attention that there is growing in the east a virus called the coronavirus. This looks like it is growing and spreading and we must all take care. Do not be fooled in to thinking that just because it’s not on your front door now that it might not be later. We need to understand our place in this world and what has been promised and foretold about our day by the Lord and the Prophets of today and in the past. Joseph Smith the first Prophet of the Restoration foretold of our day in D&C 88 and in our own day to the Branch to day we have been given D&C 138 given in 2006. I would call upon the saints to read these two accounts because they speak to us today and about some of the things happen to us and the earth. The great Prophet Enoch also saw our day in a vision recorded in the Bible and he saw great wickedness upon the face of the earth, and he pleaded with the Lord, “When shall the earth rest?” and “Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?” The Lord answered him, “As I live, even so will I come in the last days. … And the day shall come that the earth shall rest.”  Make no mistake my friends we are living in the last days we are living in the days that Enoch saw.

My brothers and sisters we are living in the last days. In those days we shall hear of great calamity and of natural disasters and plagues and pestilences and many people will die, those are the facts and we need to come to peace with them. We are now living in the last days, this is a period of wickedness and tribulations, of calamity and great distress be not deceived in this for we will see and hear and experience these things in our lives.

I proclaim unto you all that we must prepare the way for the Second Coming of the Lord. We must obey the principles of the gospel and know the signs of the times, so that they may endure the trials and difficulties of this dispensation, recognise the signs of His coming, and be prepared to receive Him as His own people when He comes. We must remember that The Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied of a time when no one would have peace except in Zion.  

As a branch and a people under God let us not treat these last days with lightheartedness but let us face them knowing that if we are with God and are in his services we shall be lead and comforted in Him. I know these days are turbulent and full of darkness but it is always the darkest just before the dawn and our dawn will bring Christ and with it and peace and love and rest from all cares

Sunday 19 January 2020

Joseph Smith & The Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith, the first Prophet and founder of the Restoration tells us that the Book of Mormon was translated from plates shown to him by a heavenly messenger on September 21, 1823.
"While I was thus in the act of calling upon God I discovered a light appearing in the room which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not touch the floor...When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni. That God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil, among all nations, kindred’s, and tongues; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate constituted what is among them called the Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 753)

The time soon came for The Prophet Joseph to see the plates and to experience the beauty of being given a record that has been lost to the world, this is what he says concerning that moment.
"Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario Co. New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated on any in the neighbor hood; on the west side of this hill not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates deposited in a stone box: this stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all round was covered with earth. Having removed the earth and obtained a lever which I got fixed under the edge of the stone and with a little exertion raised it up, I looked in and there indeed I beheld the plates, the Urim and Thummim and the Breastplate as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement; in the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them. I made an attempt to take them out but was forbidden by the messenger and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would until four years from that time." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 771)

After many times of being able to go to the hill and see the plates the time came for the Prophet to be given the plates and to take them. Here the prophet Joseph describes receiving the plates and the gravity if the situation.

"At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, and Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate; on the 22nd day of September, 1827, having went as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me, with this charge that I should be responsible for them: that if I should let them go carelessly or through any neglect of mine I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he the messenger should call for them, they should be the wisdom of God they remained safe in my hands until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hands when according to arrangements the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him and he has them in his charge until this day." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 772)

Here Josephs mother Lucy describes the effort that Joseph had to make to get the plates back home safely.

"After removing the plates from the stone box, Joseph hid them in a birch log until preparations could be made at home for the plates. Then he went to retrieve them. "The plates were secreted about three miles from home...Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and wrapping them in his linen frock, placed them under his arm and started for home." After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be safer to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again; and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house."  (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, pp. 107- 108)

In the modern restoration today and in this Restored Branch we hold the prophet Joseph Smith in high regard not because he was an extraordinary man although he was but because he is a Prophet of God and he brought forth one of the greatest books in history, The Book of  Mormon. Now in this day we have been given further revelation from God and have had plates of brass given to us and upon those plates are engraven the words of a lost Children of Araneck who once lived here on this land. We as a branch are now standing and building on the foundation laid by Brother Joseph Smith we are rebuilding what was once torn down and in doing so we hold before the world not only the Book of Mormon but also the Chronicles of The Children of Araneck. We need not be afraid and shamed to do this for we know that Joseph was and is a prophet of God and that he did translate form ancient lost plates, and that we have had the same privilege and that we are like unto him. My brothers and sisters let us go forth from here with a renewed vigour to take these two wonderful records to the world and bring light and knowledge to a dark and dreary lost people who are crying out to be saved form themselves and the eternal darkness that awaits them if they do not heed our words. I bless you with the Lord guidance in the coming week ahead until we meet again in fellowship and love.

In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

What Makes The Restored Branch Different From All The Rest

I am often asked what the difference is between our Branch and other churches or branches in the Restoration, latter Day Movement.

In answering this question I like first to draw attention to things that we have in common. The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ follows and believes in Christ. We testify of him and we teach of Him and center our lives on Him. We believe in The Book of Mormon. We hold it as scripture as do many if not all those in the Restoration Movement, The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ are no different. We believe in the divine calling of The Prophet Joseph Smith. We hold him as the first Prophet of the Restoration. We believe in the restoration of the fullness of the Gospel. We believe in the events of the First Vision and the translating of the ancient record of the Nephites. We believe in the plan of salvation outlined by the Prophet Joseph Smith. We believe in and hold as scripture the Doctrine and Covenants and revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. We use the Inspired Version of The Bible like many others within the movement. We believe in many of the same things as most of those involved in the Restored Gospel.

However the main difference between The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ and the rest of the restoration movement is that we believe that the heavens are not closed to us that God continues to give revelation through a living Prophet. This has led to one of the biggest differences between our Branch and the rest of the restoration movement. The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ has been given new scripture to stand with The Book of Mormon the Inspired Version of The Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants. This new book of Scripture is called The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck.

The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck contains two records. One written by a Prophet called Jeraneck and the other by his son who was called Rayaneck. Both the Book of Jeraneck and The Book of Rayaneck are contained with The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck. The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck were translated by Matthew Gill, Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator of the Branch in 2006 and 2015.

Throughout history much has been written concerning those who once lived upon the Isles of Great Britain in the era some call the pre-history of the world. Much has been spoken of the people that built Stonehenge, Woodhenge and all the other stone monuments and burial grounds that are found throughout the lands of Great Britain, however not one of these so called historians has had any record or writing to base their claims and ideas on. Now a record has come forward written by those that lived anciently upon the land of Great Britain between the years 3000 B.C until 700 B.C and much of what they have written will shock and destroy many of the false ideas that many of these learned men of the world have had to say concerning the past of those that lived long ago upon the land of Great Britain.

The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck stands as the record of a dying civilisation of early Britain which had constructed Stonehenge and the other stone circles, hill forts and burial mounds and other such places as meeting places and places of worship of Almighty God, the same God who brought them from the Tower of Babel to Britain to have them serve Him as His People. The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck answers fundamental questions that have perplexed historians for centuries, like: - What were the early peoples of Britain like? Where did they come from? What did they believe? And who built the ancient Megaliths like Stonehenge - and for what purpose?

This ancient record witness of Christ and speaks of Him and testifies of Him. It glories in the gospel of Jesus Christ and testifies that he will be born and lives and die for us.  The Chronicles of The Children of Araneck is as special to The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ as all the other books of Scriptures that we use. However it is the one big thing that makes us so very different.

We have been charged to take this record unto all the world and we have. However so much still has to be done to bring this record to those who have yet to hear about it. It is the continuing mission of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ to bring this record to the entire world. It was our first charge and remains our most important mission. We encourage you to read the record for yourselves and ask God the Eternal Father if the things you have read are true. We know if you have been sincere in your study and your heart is true that He will indeed reveal the truth of this ancient record to you.

The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ stands as the only organisation within the Restoration to bring forth new scripture and we are very honoured that the Lord and our Father in Heaven have seen fit to allow us this honour.

For more information on this ancient record and to obtain a PDF of the record please visit our website

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