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The Great Apostasy has been a topic of interest for the past couple of days on LDS.net. I've linked this article, but I don't want to be accused of "pimping" the S.P.A.M. blog. For that reason, I'm posting the content here. I had images posted in the original, but the forum won't let me post them. Anyhow, the following information was gathered from non-LDS sources. The quotes are from early Christian saints, from history, and from Protestant reformers. A student of history doesn't have to go far to see evidence of the apostasy. Our sectarian and anti-Mormon critics may attack our claim that the Great Apostasy occurred, but they have a mountain of evidence here that they have to deal with first. Hopefully the members of the forum will be able to use this as a reference for future debates. If you want to see the original with the pictures, it's in the S.P.A.M. Archives. (Note: As a forum member challenged the validity of this post because of some missing citations, those problems have been fixed and a "Works Cited" section included.) The Apostasy was Predicted The ancient apostles and prophets warned that the Church of Christ would fall away from the simple truths Jesus had given it. The Bible, compiled after the beginnings of the Great Apostasy, recorded these predictions: Isaiah warned that "This people draw near me with their mouth" but their hearts were far from God. (Isa. 29: 10, 13.) and that spiritual darkness would cover the earth (Isa. 60: 2). Amos said there would be "a famine of hearing the words of the Lord." (Amos 8: 11) Jesus himself said there would "arise false Christs and false prophets" to oppose the true ones (Matt. 24: 24), but that you would recognize them by their fruits. Paul said that after his departure that "grievous wolves shall enter in among you (Acts 20: 29). After preaching to the Galatians, he was astonished at how fast this process of apostasy had taken root among them. He wrote, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him" (Gal. 1: 6) Paul also sought to allay the anticipation of an immediate return of Christ when he wrote concerning the anxiety for this event to the Thessalonians. He told them that that day would not come until there had been a falling away first and that the "son of perdition" would be revealed first. (2 Thessalonians 2:3) Paul also told Timothy that some church members would err concerning the truth about the time of the resurrection (2 Tim. 2: 18) and that even believers would be led astray, having "a form of godliness" but deny the power thereof, (2 Tim. 3: 5) Paul also told him that the time would come when the church itself would "not endure sound doctrine" and would turn away from the simple truths Jesus taught, following false teaches instead. (2 Tim. 4: 3-4) Peter gave similar warnings to the church, saying that there would be false prophets and false teachers among the people (2 Pet. 2: 1). Jude tells us in present tense that there were certain men crept in who were leading the ancient saints astray. (Jude 1: 4). John said that the leaders of some Christian congregations had rejected the apostles while they still lived and excommunicated those who stood up the ordained apostles of Jesus. (3 John 1:9-10) In the messages to the seven churches in Asia, John wrote that some men, claiming to be apostles, sought to lead the church astray. The church in Ephesus had tried them by ecclesiastical authority and found them to be liars. (Rev. 2: 2) This Great Apostasy was well underway by the time John wrote his last words in the opening years of the second century. When the last of the apostles ceased to minister among men, the keys of the kingdom were withdrawn from mankind and the errant Church's demise accelerated. Here are some of the important historical mileposts that transpired. Second Century Marcion- The wealthy son of a bishop, Marcion stirred controversy by trying to create the first canonic list of biblical texts. He taught that the god of the Old Testament was not the true God but rather that the true and higher God had been revealed only with Jesus Christ. Marcion was excommunicated from the Roman church c. 144 CE, but he succeeded in establishing churches of his own to rival the Catholic Church for the next two centuries. He created such controversy that, when they excommunicated him, they even gave him back all the money he had donated to the Church. Now that's serious! Montanus- Montanus claimed to be the embodiment of the Holy Ghost, whom Jesus had promised to send. He strongly criticized the growing corruption in the Church, denouncing the lack of revelation and spiritual gifts as evidence of apostasy. The Montanist sects believed in continuing revelation, but acted without benefit of the keys of authority. The resulting controversies stirred by these heretics caused the mainstream Church to declare an end to close the canon of scripture and declare that revelation had ceased. In addition to the Marcionites and Montanists, there were other heretical offshoots such as the Gnostics, Ebionites, Simonians, Cleobians, Dositheans, Gortheonians, Masbotheans, Meandrians, Carpocratians, Valentinians, Bsilidians, and Saturnillians, each of which introduced new false teachings into the Church. Third Century After a period of intense pagan persecution during the second century which killed off many professing Christians, there came period of relative peace, wealth, and luxury for them. It may well be the increased affluence and acceptance may have weakened Christianity more than the persecutions did. Here are some descriptions from the Christians of this period. Origen- "Several come to church only on solemn festivals; and then not so much for instruction as diversion. Some go out again as soon as they have heard the lecture, without conferring or asking the pastors questions. Others stay not till the lecture is ended; and others hear not so much as a single word; but entertain themselves in a corner of the church. (Milner, 1836) Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage- "Each had been bent on improving his own patrimony; and had forgotten what believers had done under the apostles, and what they ought always to do. They were brooding over the arts of amassing wealth; the pastors and the deacons each forgot their duty; works of mercy were neglected, and discipline was at its lowest ebb; luxury and effeminacy prevailed; meretricious arts in dress were cultivated; fraud and deception practiced among brethren. Christians would unite themselves in matrimony with unbelievers; could swear not only without reverence but even without veracity. With haughty asperity they despised their ecclesiastical superiors; the railed against one another with outrageous acrimony, and conducted quarrels with determined malice. Even many bishops, who ought to be guides and patterns to the rest, neglected their stations, gave themselves up to secular pursuits. They deserted their places of residence and their flocks; they traveled through distant provinces in quest of pleasure and gain; gave no assistance to the needy brethren; but were insatiable in their thirst of money. They possessed estates by fraud and multiplied usury. What have we not deserved to suffer for such conduct? Even the divine word hath foretold us what we might expect: 'If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judgments, I will visit their offenses with the rod and their sins with scourges." These things had been denounced and foretold, but in vain. Our sins had brought our affairs to that pass, that because we had despised the Lord's directions, we were obliged to undergo a correction of our multiplied evils and a trial of our faith by severe remedies" (Milner, 1836). Eusebius- "Nor was any malignant demon able to infatuate, no human machinations prevent them so long as the providential hand of God superintended and guarded his people as worthy subjects of his care. But when by reason of excessive liberty, we sunk into negligence and sloth, one envying and reviling another in different ways, and we were almost, as it were, upon the point of taking up arms against each other with words as with darts and spears, prelates inveighing against prelates, and people rising up against people, and hypocrisy and dissimulation had arisen to the greatest height of malignity, then the divine judgment, which usually proceeds with a lenient hand, whilst the multitudes were yet crowding into the church, with gentle and mild visitation began to afflict the episcopacy; the persecution having begun with those brethren in the army. But as if destitute of all sensibility, we were not prompt in measures to appease and propitiate the Deity; some indeed like atheists, regarding our situation as unheeded and unobserved by a Providence, we added one wickedness and misery to another. But some that appeared to be our pastors deserting the law of piety, were inflamed against each other with mutual strifes, only accumulating quarrels and threats, rivalship, hostility and hatred to each other, only anxious to assert the government as a kind of sovereignty for themselves (Eusebius, 1833). In addition to growing worldliness, negligence, and wickedness among the general population of the Church, Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History" tells us that the government of the Church also began to change. "The ancient method of ecclesiastical government seemed in general still to subsist, while, at the same time, by imperceptible steps, it varied from the primitive rule and degenerated toward the form of religious form of a religious monarchy . . . This change in the form of ecclesiastical government was soon followed by a train of vices, which dishonored the character and authority of those to whom the administration of the Church was committed . . . The bishops assumed in many places a princely authority, particularly those who had the greatest number of churches under their inspection, and who presided over the most opulent assemblies. They appropriated to their evangelical function the splendid ensigns of temporal majesty. A throne, surrounded with ministers, exalted above his equals the servant of the meek and humble Jesus; and sumptuous garments dazzled the eyes and the minds of the multitude into an ignorant veneration of their arrogated authority. The example of the bishops was ambitiously imitated by the presbyters, who, neglecting the sacred duties of their station, abandoned themselves to the indolence and delicacy of an effeminate and luxurious life. The deacons, beholding the presbyters deserting thus their functions, boldly usurped their rights and privileges, and the effects of a corrupt ambition were spread through ever rank of the sacred order (John Lawrence Mosheim, 1811) Copying the pagan temples and rituals, candles and incense began to be used as part of Christian worship. Also introduced during this period was the veneration and worship of martyrs. Virtues and prodigies were attributed to the bones of saints and martyrs. True spiritual gifts, as described in the New Testament, were no longer manifested or expected. The manner of baptism changed as well as the manner of excommunication. Baptism, a simple rite of immersion administered upon repentance became an elaborate ceremony including milk and honey, ceremonies borrowed from military traditions and rituals marking the liberation of slaves, the lighting of candles and the wearing of white robes and crowns. Infant baptism became common as did sprinkling or the pouring of water on the head instead of immersion. The simple ordinance of the sacrament became the elaborate mass. Transubstantiation began to be taught as doctrine. Ultimately, the lifting up of "the host" for veneration and worship as God itself became common. Later, only the priest would drink the wine, administering only the bread to the communicants, thus changing or ignoring the commandment to eat and drink in remembrance of Jesus. Fourth Century It appears that without apostles to guide the ancient church, that men of good reputation were submitted to the people for their approval to head congregations. The bishops chosen in this manner relied upon the body of elders as a council of sorts. In the fourth century, the principle of common consent was abandoned and power was consolidated in the bishops. The lay members were excluded from ecclesiastical affairs. The organization of the church began to shift, mirroring the political government's organization. Bishops of large cities established smaller communities in the suburban areas and surrounding countryside. They ordained bishops that were subordinate to their own authority. Thus the church began to coincide with the political organizations of the Roman territories, with archbishops overseeing large areas corresponding to Roman civil authority. The links between the civil government and the church began to consolidate. By this point, doctrinal innovations and controversies consumed the Church. Gnosticism, Hellenism, and pagan ritual began to infect the teachings and practices. The Arian Controversy led to such contention the Emperor Constantine called the Nicene Council to resolve the matter: Was Christ man or God? Was he created or eternal? Are God the Father and God the Son separate or simply manifestations of the same being? The Nicene Creed, intended to unite the Church, fractured it. Arius was banished and his writings burned. When readmitted to fellowship, he was murdered in Constantinople, with disciples of Athanasius being the chief suspects. Neoplatonism reconfigured the concept of the Godhead. The Athanasian Creed is attributed to this period, although it was not discovered until the 12th century. Fifth Century through the Seventh Century The Apostles' Creed was devised. Rival bishops contended for primacy. Prelates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem sank below the patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople in wealth and dignity. The latter two contended for the title of "universal bishop." The rise of Islam in Asia Minor diminished the power of the Bishop of Constantinople, permitting the Bishop of Rome to claim the triumphant title of Pontiff. When classical Rome fell, the Church became an alternative political structure and the bishops became the ultimate powers in their realms, commanding armies and ruling over the nobles. Corruption and vice were rampant because no secular authority could effectively check the clergy. The attempts to live in celibacy gave rise to scandal. It became the custom for priests to live with "sub-introduced women," who passed as sisters of the priests (Roberts, 1895) Salvian- "The very church which should be the body to appease the anger of God, alas! What reigns there but disorders calculated to incense the Most High? It is more common to meet with Christians who are guilty of the greatest abominations than with those who are wholly exempt from crime. So that today it is a sort of sanctity among us to be less vicious than the generality of Christians. We insult the majesty of the Most High at the foot of his altars. Men, the most steeped in crime, enter the holy places without respect for them. True, all men ought to pay their vows to God, but why should they seek his temples to propitiate him, only to go forth to provoke him? Why enter the church to deplore their former sins, and upon going forth--what do I say?--in those very courts they commit fresh sins, their mouths and their hearts contradict one another. Their prayers are criminal meditations rather than vows of expiation. Scarcely is service ended before each returns to his old practices. Some go to their wine, others to their impurities, still others to robbing and brigandage, so that we cannot doubt that these things had been occupying them while they were in the church. Nor is it the lowest of the people who are thus guilty. There is no rank whatever in the church which does not commit all sorts of crimes" (Jackson, 1884). Eighth through the Eleventh Centuries Perhaps no other references outside the 8th-11th centuries are necessary to establish that the Church had fallen into complete and total apostasy, bereft of the Spirit of God, without authority, a rejected harlot that had committed fornication with the kings of the earth. Just consider the manner in which the "Vicars of Christ" ascended to the throne of power. 757 A.D. - Upon the death of Pope Paul I, the Duke of Nepi compelled some bishops to consecrate Constantine, one of his brothers, as pope. 768 A.D. - A more "legitimate" group of electors chose Stephen IV and Constantine's eyes were put out and the Bishop Theodorus' tongue was amputated. The Bishop was left in a dungeon to die in agony of thirst. 795 A.D. - Nephews of Pope Adrian seized his successor, Pope Leo III in the street, forced him into a nearby church and attempted to put out his eyes and cut out his tongue. 816 A.D. - Stephen V was driven from the city of Rome. Paschal I, his successor, was accused of blinding and murdering two ecclesiastical rivals in the Lateran Palace. 872 A.D. - Pope John VIII secretly allied himself to pay tribute to Muslim invaders and the Bishop of Naples maintained a secret alliance to receive a share of the plunder from them. 891 A.D. - Formosus, a conspirator who had been excommunicated for the murder of John, was elected pope. 896 A.D. - Boniface VI becomes pope despite his being deposed as a deacon for his immoral and lewd conduct. Stephen VII, his successor, had the body of Formosus disinterred, clothed in papal robes, and tried before a council. The indecent scene ended with cutting off three of the deceased's fingers and the corpse being cast into the Tiber River. Stephen was ultimately deposed and thrown into prison where he was strangled to death. 896-900 A.D. - No less than five popes were consecrated and deposed. 904 A.D. - Leo V was thrown into prison by Christopher, who usurped his place. He was expelled from Rome by Sergius III, who seized the papacy by military force. 905 A.D. - Sergius lived with a celebrated prostitute, Theodora, who exercised extraordinary influence and control of the Pope. Theodora also was romantically involved with John X, leading to his ascending to the papal throne in 915 A.D. He maintained the papacy with Theodora's help for 14 years. However, the hateful intrigues of her daughter Marozia led to his overthrow. John X was thrown into prison where he was killed, smothered with a pillow. 931 A.D. Marozia engineered her son's becoming Pope John XI. Another of her sons, jealous of her devotions to the first, had Marozia thrown into prison. The grandson of Marozia then became Pope John XII in 956 A.D. 956 A.D. - John XII was only 19 when he became pope and his reign was so shockingly immoral that the Germanic Emperor Otho I was compelled by the German clergy to intervene. John was tried on the charges of selling ordinations of bishops for bribes, as well as having ordained a ten year-old as bishop. He was charged with incest and multiple adulteries. He was deposed and Leo VIII reigned in his stead. 963 A.D. - Leo VIII, upon gaining power, seized his antagonists, cut off the hand of one, the nose, fingers, and tongues of others. He was killed by a man whose wife he had seduced. John XIII was strangled in prison. Bonficace VII imprisoned Benedict VII and killed him by starvation. John XIV was secretly put to death in the dungeons of St. Angelo castle. The body of Boniface was dragged by the populace through the streets. Emperor Otho took the liberty of the Italians from appointing the "successor of Saint Peter." By his royal authority, he places his own kinsman, Gregory V on the pontifical throne, only to have him flee before the opposition of the Romans. There was even an "anti-Pope, John XVI. Emperor Otho seized him, put out his eyes, cut off his nose and tongue, and sent him through the streets mounted on an ass facing backwards with a wine-bladder on his head. 1033 A.D. - Benedict IX, a boy of less than 12 years sat on the "apostolic throne." One of his successors, Victor III said the boy's life was so foul and shameful that he ruled like "a captain of a banditti." Unable to bear his adulteries, homicides, and abominations, the people rose up against him. Knowing he was about to lose his position, Benedict put the papacy up for auction! It was purchased by a presbyter named John who became Pope Gregory V in 1045 A.D. Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries The doctrine of the granting of indulgences and exemptions from temporal penalties became common. This led to the selling of forgiveness for sin for monetary considerations. This practice, among others, contributed to the rise of Protestantism. An agent of the Pope, John Tetzel boasted that he had saved more souls from hell through the selling of indulgences than Saint Peter had by preaching Christianity. Fourteenth through the Sixteenth Centuries Three popes at one time! Rivalries between Rome and Avignon in France resulted in a period where there were two popes simultaneously? Which one of them had Peter's keys? This fiasco continued until 1409 when a general council of the Church was convened at Pisa. The two popes were deposed and a third installed in their stead. However, neither deposed pope would bow to the will of the council. The Church would not be reunited under a single Pope until 1414 (Talmage, 1909). Rise of the Court of the Inquisition in Spain- Thousands were burned at the stake and tens of thousands tortured. Through the challenging influence of Protestants, the Roman Church abandoned the practice of indulgences at the Council of Trent. Nevertheless, it had done so for four centuries. The practice placed the Popes in the position of sitting in judgment as God himself, fulfilling the scripture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. The Council of Trent also forbade the reading of the scriptures by non-clergy. It declared, "…the holy scriptures were not composed for the multitude, but only for that of their spiritual teachers." The Protestant Reformation Martin Luther- A German priest, Martin Luther defied the Roman Church and is excommunicated. John, Elector of Saxony undertook the establishment of an independent church based on Luther's teachings. By what authority was this done? What authority did Luther have? If the Roman Church had no authority, by what authority could a church be established? In this case, the state assumed the authority that belongs only to God. Ulrich Zwingli- Led the reformation movement in Switzerland. His trial by the state eventually led to civil war between Catholics and Protestants. In the battle, Zwingli was killed and his body was brutally mutilated. William Tyndale- Tyndale was "condemned by virtue of the emperor's decree, made in the assembly at Augsburg. Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, A.D. 1536; crying at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, 'Lord! Open the king of England's eyes.'" His crime? Translating the Bible into English (Foxe). John Calvin- Calvin appeared as another leader of the Swiss reformation movement. A doctrinal extremist, he taught the depravity of man and the false doctrine of predestination, denying the truth of man's agency. In 1553, Calvin was found at Geneva consenting to the burning at the stake of Servetus because he published views Calvin considered heretical. Henry VIII and the Church of England- King Henry VIII sought and failed to obtain permission to divorce his wife. He and the English Parliament broke away from the Roman Church and founded the Church of England. Again, we must ask, by what authority was this done. What revelation or dispensation from God enabled an earthly king to establish a church in God's name? The Church of England established the Westminster Confession of Faith in 1646, which still serves as the functional creed for modern Protestantism. It includes the following claims: "The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men . . . The Supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture" (Westminister Confession of Faith, n.d.). The Confession denies the possibility of current and future revelation from God and limits God to only speak through the Bible. It also declares God's nature to be "a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions" in clear contravention to many scriptures that describe God with a body, parts, and passions. Seventeenth Century to Present As we can see, the Roman Church's claim to the unbroken transmission of the keys of the kingdom from Saint Peter are not supported by history. John was the last surviving apostle who receive his authority from Christ. Only he would have had the authority to ordain any successors. The Roman Church does not and cannot claim authority from John. Even if it were the case that Peter somehow ordained a successor, we can clearly see that the papacy has been the nexus of political intrigue, murder, corruption, and abominations throughout the centuries. Men murdered for it. It was even auctioned and purchased. There is no possible way that the authority of the ancient apostles comes down to the present day through this corrupt lineage. This authority was lost and with it, the keys of Christ's kingdom on earth. If it were possible that a corrupt tree could produce pure branches, the assertions of Protestantism to have reformed the Church might be valid. However, there was no possible way any reformer, however sincere or influential, could restore the keys of the kingdom that were lost in the apostasy. This would require a new gospel dispensation--a new revelation. The Church of England's sermon "Perils of Idolatry" it states: "Laity and clergy, learned and unlearned all ages and sects and degrees have been drowned in abominable idolatry, most detested by God and damnable to man, for eight hundred years and more" (Sermons or Homilies Appointed to be Read in Churches, 1824) Roger Williams- Roger Williams, pastor of the oldest Baptist Church in America at Providence, Rhode Island, refused to continue as pastor on the grounds that, "There is no regularly-constituted church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer any Church ordinance: nor can there be, until new apostles are sent by the great Head of the Church, for whose coming I am seeking." (Bryant, 1872) Williams also said, "The apostasy... hath so far corrupted all, that there can be no recovery out of that apostasy until Christ shall send forth new apostles to plant churches anew." (Anderson, 1966) John Wesley- John Wesley, the founder of Methodism wrote in his sermon, "The More Excellent Way" the following indictment of Christianity: "The cause of this [decline of spiritual gifts following Constantine] was not, (as has been vulgarly supposed,) `because there was no more occasion for them,' because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause was, `the love of many,' almost of all Christians, so called, was `waxed cold.' The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other Heathens. The Son of Man, when he came to examine his Church, could hardly `find faith upon earth.' This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian Church; because the Christians were turned Heathens again, and had only a dead form left." (Russie, 2011) Alexander Campbell- The founder of the Church of Christ (Disciples) wrote "The meaning of this institution (the kingdom of heaven) has been buried under the rubbish of human tradition for hundreds of years. It was lost in the dark ages and has never, until recently been disinterred" (Roberts, 1895) Dr. William Smith- "In a work prepared by seventy-three noted theologians and Bible students, we read: "...we must not expect to see the Church of Holy Scripture actually existing in its perfection on the earth. It is not to be found, thus perfect, either in the collected fragments of Christendom, or still less in any one of these fragments. . . " (Smith, 1896) Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick- A prominent American Baptist clergyman and author, described the decadent condition of the Christian churches of the first half of the twentieth century in these words: "A religious reformation is afoot, and at heart it is the endeavor to recover for our modern life the religion of Jesus as against the vast, intricate, largely inadequate and often positively false religion about Jesus. Christianity today has largely left the religion which he preached, taught and lived, and has substituted another kind of religion altogether. If Jesus should come back to now, hear the mythologies built up around hint, see the creedalism, denominationalism, sacramentalism, carried on in his name, he would certainly say, 'If this is Christianity, I am not a Christian'" (Associated Press, 1925) Summary The scriptures clearly predict the falling away of the ancient Christian church. Not only did the world reject the apostles and their authority, but the Church did also. In the centuries that followed, it descended into corruption. Attempts to reform it could not restore the authority that was lost and the teachings that no future revelation could be expected and that any claims to such must be rejected outright prevented this from occurring. Protestant reformers have been cited, indicating that they understood that a new gospel dispensation must come before the Church could be restored. Reformation was not enough. Man could not, of himself, restore the authority that only comes from God. The Restoration Latter-day Saints testify that God himself brought to pass the restoration of the primitive Christian Church again in modern times with all its gifts, powers, keys, and authority. God the Father and the Son appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith in 1820, restoring the true knowledge of God, forever invalidating the creeds of man's religions. In 1823, a heavenly messenger named Moroni revealed the location of the plates upon which was engraved a sacred, ancient record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Joseph Smith was given power to translate this record into English and publish it as the Book of Mormon in 1829. In 1829, John the Baptist appeared and restored the Aaronic Priesthood, which includes the keys of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. Later in that same year, the ancient apostles Peter, James, and John appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and conferred upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained them as apostles of Jesus Christ. In 1836, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in Kirtland, Ohio and conferred priesthood keys related to the gathering of Israel, the gospel of Abraham, and the power to bind the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. All the powers and authority possessed by ancient Christians is present once again on the earth today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the repository of those keys and the Church is governed as it was anciently by living apostles and prophets. I invite you to investigate these claims, bearing witness that they are true. You can learn the truth of them for yourself through the Holy Ghost. It is by the Holy Ghost that I know that they are true, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Works Cited Anderson, W. F. (1966). Apostasy or Succession, Which? Board of Publications, Church of Christ (Temple Lot). Associated Press. (1925, February 22). Predicts Split from Evangelical Church: Modernist Leader Forecasts Trend Away from Theological Creeds. Palm Beach Post. New York. Retrieved from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1964&dat=19250222&id=MWgyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DbYFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2613,5314483 Bryant, W. C. (Ed.). (1872). Picturesque America, or the Land We Live In. I. New York: D. Appleton and Co. Eusebius. (1833). The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, Bishop of Cesarea in Palestine (in Ten Books). viii. (A. Rev. C. F. Cruse, Trans.) Philadelphia, New York, New York: Rev. R. Davis & Brother. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=W59UAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en&pg=GBS.PR1 Foxe, J. (n.d.). Foxe's Book of Martyrs. (W. B. Forbush, Ed.) Retrieved from http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe/martyrs/home.html Jackson, R. G. (1884). The Post-Nicene Latin Fathers. (D. L. Prof. George P. Fisher, Ed.) New York: D. Appleton and Company. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=oJcCAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA181&dq John Lawrence Mosheim, D. (1811). An Ecclesiastical History Ancient and Modern, from the Birth of Christ, to the Beginning of the Present Century. I. Charlestown. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=C59UAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dqfzcdF9MTgqzGk4_Eoz_XhY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=eHriU_yFIZWmyASArYHwBQ&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false Milner, R. J. (1836). The History of the Church of Christ from the Days of the Apostles, Till the Famous Disputation Between Luther and Milbitz in 1520. Edinburgh, Scotland: Peter Brown and Thomas Nelson. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=sHdchJiaHjcC&pg=PR1&lpg=PR1&dq=The+History+of+the+Church+of+Christ+from+the+Days+of+the+Apostles,+Till+the+Famous+Disputation+Between+Luther+and+Milbitz+in+1520&source=bl&ots=zJWEpetMPT&sig=6HcQGy9wlq6Q0Xi3V40YvzKX54Y&hl=e Roberts, B. H. (1895). A New Witness for God. Salt Lake City, Utah: George Q. Cannon & Sons. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=gboUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA488&lpg=PA488&dq#v Russie, A. (Ed.). (2011). The Essential Works of John Wesley. Barbour Publishing. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=6dMsmySqXRsC&pg=PT727&dq Sermons or Homilies Appointed to be Read in Churches. (1824). London: Ellerton and Henderson. Smith, D. W. (1896). Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company. Talmage, J. (1909). The Great Apostasy. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Deseret News. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=yJn69K_Q0y0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false Westminister Confession of Faith. (n.d.). Retrieved from Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/index.html?body=/documents/wcf_with_proofs/ch_I.html