The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I received a series of e-mails from Michael Bethel, founding apostle of The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which relevant portions are quoted below. Please note that the explanatory material and The Statement of Beliefs and Practices are copyright ©1996 Michael Bethel, and the Brief History is copyright ©1996 Ryan Burrage. I have made some minor formatting changes in switching this information over from plain text to HTML, and i have spliced some information together in an order different from the way it was originally given to me in part to make it easier to page through, but the content and effect of the original has been maintained.
Here is The Statement of Beliefs and Practice of The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our church is also known by two names, the PLDS Church or The Pentecostal Church of Christ...[Also included is] A Brief Background History of The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which will shed light on how our church began. As I mentioned earlier, I am the founding apostle of this church and all correpondence can be e-mailed to my attention or to Ryan Burrage (we share an e-mail address), one of our pastors and church secretary, at Faster response can be accessed through the mail at:

The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1000 W. Esplanade Ave
Suite 102-214
Kenner, LA 70065 [USA]
...To answer your question concerning the scripture used by this church, we use The Holy Bible (various versions, officially the KJV), The Book of Mormon (the 1908 and Utah editions). We don't accept the Doctrine and Covenants or The Book of Commandments as scripture, but we do believe that there are many spiritually edifying subjects written within these volumes. Of the two, we consider The Book of Commandments to be the most true to the original and restored Church of Christ in 1830...

Statements of Belief and Practice of The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A Brief Background History of the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In 1994, Mike Bethel, along with nearly 30 others, formed an independent study group called "LDS Scripture Readers." The members of this group came from various backgrounds, including various restorationist groups, such as RLDS members, Temple Lot members and Bickertonites. Bethel, at the time not an official member of any restoration group but having a strong and unshaken testimony of the Book of Mormon, founded the group to discuss peacefully and without contention matters of doctrine within the various restoration groups. Bethel and the other members of the "cell-group" deemed it wise and apprpriate to discern the truth from error through diligent study in the scriptures. Other topics discussed within the group included current events, Biblical and apocolyptic prophecy, the importance of Christ in the Christian walk, and family edification.

According to Bethel, the group was formed in response to inspiration after a group study in the Book of Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whither those things were so." The "LDS Scripture Readers" concluded that it made perfect sense that all new revelations from God should be thoroughly researched according to extant scripture to determine if they were valid, for God remains the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8; Mor 4:68,69; Moroni 10:7, 14).

Soon after many regular meetings in which the Holy Spirit was beckoned for guidance, their diligent search was rewarded through Christ with unity among one another. It became apparent that their studies in the scriptures through the guidance of the Holy Spirit had united them, for the word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12), so sharp, that it cut through the ungodly confusion (I Cor 14:33; III Nephi 5:30) and replaced it with unity and peace in Christ Jesus. From that point on, there was no contention or disputations among them because of their unity in faith in Christ (IV Nephi 1-19; Acts 3:44).

Some conclusions that were reached after their studies were attained with the help of David Whitmer's "Address to All Believers in Christ," the author being one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Brother Whitmer, through analysis of the scriptures, covered many subjects such as polygamy, the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthoods, the office of the first presidency, and changes in prior revelations to Joseph Smith, Jr., the prophet of the restoration. As a result of these scripturally based conclusions, only the Bible and the Book of Mormon were accepted as the standard works. According to a revelation to the prophet, "the only gift" Joseph Smith was given was the gift to translate the Book of Mormon. It later states that he "should pretend no other gift" because "I will grant him no other gift." Later in the Doctrine and Covenants, still accepted by some restoration groups today, this revelation was changed to read that the gift of translation was "the first gift" espoused on Brother Joseph. The priesthods were not mentioned in the Book of Commandments (1833), the predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants (1835). The same section from the Book of Commandments was expanded in 1835 in the Doctrine and Covenants to contain many details concerning the two priesthoods. Polygamy, emphatically condemned by the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants (1835), was declared a commandment of the unchangeable God (LDS D&C 132). In editions after 1835, a statement concerning the condemnation of polygamy was expunged from modern editions of the Doctrine and Covenants. These are only a few of many areas which the scriptures cleared up for the "LDS Scripture Readers."

In March of 1995, the Lord worked within the "LDS Scripture Readers" in a most marvellous and exciting way. During a study meeting which began with the usual praise and worship prayer and song, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was extremely powerful. As a result, the members of the group were spiritually revived as the disciples of Jesus were revived on Pentecost (Acts 2). They spoke in the tongues of angels, some prophesied, some experienced dreams and visions, some attained wisdom in Christ, and some were healed physically and emotionally according to their need in Christ (I Cor 12; Acts 2:2-6; Moroni 10:10-12). Also, many experienced God's unspeakable joy and became "drunk" in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:13-21).

Three months after this remarkable and exciting experience, during a meeting, one of the members of the "LDS Scripture Readers" received a revelation from the Lord, with which the Spirit gave him utterance with the gift of tongues. When interpreted by another member, the Lord revealed that He recoginzed the "LDS Scripture Readers" as part of His remnant, and ordered that the name of the group be changed to The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord said, "...for I shall revive this Church as it was in the day of Pentecost..." (A Revelation to the PLDS Church). The Lord also appointed Michael Bethel, who was not present at this meeting, as an apostle of the Lord and commisioned the PLDS Church to unite all latter-day/restorationists. Many present testified to truth of this revelation which was also accompanied by miraculous events. The following week, Mike Bethel had a vision in which an angel had ordained him an apostle of God, and set aside other leaders for the PLDS Church, thus again adding testimony to the truth of this revelation.

Today, the PLDS Church has international correspondance through virtually every means of communication possible: mail, telephone, radio, electronic mail, and the internet. Many members are still members of their home churches and there is no pressure to convert or belong to the PLDS Church. The PLDS Church is actively involved in discussion of as many restoration groups possible, with the primary focus of returning to the original doctrines which God restored through Joseph Smith, the Prophet, in 1830.

May God Bless you All, and continue in your walk upright in the Lord's eyes.

Added: 27 September 1996

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