Initially, covenants offer a fulness of light. Through apostasy civilizations are destroyed and all that remains are fragments of the covenant. Fragmented covenants cannot be fixed once they’re broken. The only option is to have the covenant restored anew. The restoration of the covenant is individual, not institutional.
Fragments: Initially, covenants offer a fulness of light. God always establishes His people, by first establishing great covenants. However, men continuously stray from the covenant, and soon get distracted by the things of the world, until they have no more promise. They are ripened for iniquity, and are destroyed. At the end of each apostasy, we find the destruction of great nations, ..who, at one point or another, were God’s people. In all ancient civilizations, fragments remain, as finger-prints, telling the story of a once chosen people.
At the end of each dispensation was the necessity for a restoration. Although fragments remain, fragmented covenants cannot be repaired, once they are broken. After each apostasy, a restoration was necessary. Noah restored the covenant after the flood. Abraham did so too, eleven generations later. Moses restored the covenant a thousand years after Abraham. Lehi restored the covenant after the Hebrew apostasy in 600 BC. Christ restored the covenant in the meridian of time, and Joseph Smith did so also in 1830.
Many believe that a restoration is only a foundational start, …and then it grows from there. However, take a close look at each dispensation, and you’ll see that it was at the beginning of the restoration that men were given a fulness. From that point, men have strayed, corrupted the truth, and followed after the image of their own gods, only to repeat the pattern of apostasy, and be destroyed. This is so in our day.
Restore the Covenant: The only option for our salvation is to have the covenant restored anew and preserved. Although Joseph Smith provided us a partial restoration before he was killed, the restoration is incomplete to all who have not entered into the presence of Christ in the flesh. But, who talks about that anymore? Why isn’t it being taught in church? How are we supposed to do it, without a pattern in our day?
No one talks about being restored to the fulness because we are taught not to look beyond the mark. But we don’t even know what the mark is. The way we can be restored to the covenant is to seek it in deep prayer, like Abraham and Joseph Smith.
The restoration and preservation of the New and Everlasting Covenant is individual, not institutional. Abraham lived ten generations after Noah. Both his father and grandfather worshipped idols, and dismissed the necessity of a covenant traditions. Yet, Abraham sought and prayed, and became a Father of many nations, and a prince of peace, because he sought diligently the covenant of the Fathers (Abraham 1:1-2). Abraham had little by way of an example. Just like us, no one taught him such grand concepts. Joseph Smith searched religions for more than three years before going to the Lord in a grove of trees. He sought the heavens not knowing an example either. Thus, although not much is offered to us today, concerning reconnecting to the heavens, …if we seek, we too shall find. It is not an institutional salvation. It is 100% individual.
Conclusion: Fragments cannot be pieced together to restore the covenant. A restoration is necessary after each apostasy. The restoration of Joseph Smith is not an institutional restoration, but an individual restoration. Both Abraham and Joseph Smith had little to go off of for them to reconnect to heaven. We have more than they did. We must seek it. It all depends on you seeking to be restored.
Humble yourselves. The only method of self humbling is to study the words of Christ. Those who study the words of Christ, are promised to get more words of Christ, until they know the mysteries of God in full (Alma 12:10). Knowing the words of Christ and the mysteries of God in full, provides a grand data base, to discern the content of a message from Christ to your mind.
Once the data base is established by the constant and continuous feasting upon the words of Christ, now you can begin to experiment upon Christ’s words (Alma 32:27). The process of experimenting upon the words of Christ isn’t just a practice on memorizing scriptures, quoting them, or even obeying them. It is a process of conditioning your spiritual ears to recognize the voice of the Lord. As we can recognize the Lord’s voice and act upon it, time after time, …then we can become more and more familiar with His voice. This is the process of developing faith. After many successful experiences, you will be so familiar with the voice of Christ, that you will have developed “unshaken faith.”
Those with unshaken faith are instructed to continue in faith and endure to the end, and thus saith the Father you should have eternal life (2 Nephi 31:20). Then they are in “the way.” Then all Christ need do is to step out from behind the veil and show Himself unto you. Then are you restored to the fulness.
Feast. The words of Christ is the only way to humble yourself. As you become more confident in the words of Christ, begin to practice recognizing the voice of the Lord. Experimenting on the voice of the Lord, time and time again, will strengthen your faith, until your faith is unshaken. Soon after, you will be restored individually, and can now become a special witness, to teach others to make the same journey.