The Great Apostasy: A Timeline


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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)
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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)
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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)
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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.)
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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

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:) Hmmmm...should I answer by showcasing all the scandals and corruptions committed by the LDS church during it's short 184 years of existance?  Because it would also be pretty long...

 

No.  I don't have the patience to try and tear apart someone else's religion, neither do I have the gall to be so rude to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. 

 

But, since it's not too late, I will correct you to the point with where I had the patience to read.  Isaiah 29:10, 13 have to do with Jerusalem and how they refused to accept the prophets advice.  Read a little farther to verses 17-24 in which Isaiah reveals a part of Gods plan to end pride, ignorance and injustice (Jesus will come).  (verse 18-19 for example, "On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll; And out of the glom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.  The lowly shall again find joy in the Lord, the poorest rejoice in the Holy One of Israel").  This had nothing to do with a great apostasy after the Apostles.

 

Isaiah 60:2 "Though darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds, the peoples, upon you the Lord will dawn, and over you his glory will be seen.  v.3  Nations shall walk by your light, kings by the radiance of your dawning."  Not really sure why you list this verse as "proof" of a great apostasy. 

 

Amos 8:11 has to do with the apostasy of the Israelites and their punishment which came in 721 b.c.  However, even then there wasn't a total and great apostasy, God always kept a faithful remnant to maintain His covenant with. 

 

Matt 24:24.  Yep, there have been many false teachers and messiahs over the centuries, and they have deceived many, but not all.   

 

Acts 20:29.  Indeed, savage wolves did come, in the form of false teachers putting forth heresies.  However, each of these heresies was dealt with and councils convened in which the truth could be defined so as to clarify the Church's teachings.  None of these heresies introduced false teaching into the Church, if you did a proper study of the history of these heresies, and what they taught, and then study what the Church actually teaches, you would know that.  This verse warns us to be on guard, same as your leaders warn you to be on guard against savage wolves. 

 

Gal 1:6.  Local letter to the people of this city by St. Paul.  Not a total apostasy, but in Galatia in which Paul is sending them a letter to teach them to not follow false teachers or be upset by false teachers. 

 

2 Thess 2:3.  ?  Not sure why this is listed, is it simply b/c it has the word apostasy?  This is just a warning against a deception concerning the Second Coming.  And again, it's a local letter for this city.  

 

2 Tim 2:18; 3:5.  Paul refers to two people who have deviated from the truth and taught that the resurrection has already come.  Obviously, this does not constitute a great apostasy.  3:5 also does not mention that all people will become corrupt in the last days. 

 

2 Tim 4:3-4.  Yep, some people did stop following sound doctrine and began following their own desires.  It's been happening throughout the ages!  This does not mention that the Church will fall into a great and total apostasy.  But what Paul did say in 1 Tim 3:15 is "But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth."      

 

2 Pet 2:1.  Yep, more false prophets and teachers will come and many (not all) will follow their ways.  

 

Jude 1:4.  Again, "some", not "all".   

 

Rev 2:2.  This is to the church in Ephesus, and this is a warning to repent.  Ephesus does not comprise the Church in her entirety. 

 

You know, many of these verses could also be used as a warning against your own church, so you may want to be careful with these verses, b/c none of them teach a great apostasy, but they do warn against false prophets coming along to deceive the people with different teachings.  Just sayin'...

 

I also looked at your supposed quotes by 3 Church fathers and the first two are made up as far as I can tell.  Unless you can provide reliable sources for these "quotes" from Origen and Cyprian of Carthage, your credibility just diminished in my opinion.  Milner lived in the 18th century and did not provide reliable sources, and all I keep getting when I search these quotes are LDS sources.  Somethin' ain't right about that...so I checked the complete database for ALL known works of Origen and Cyprian of Carthage and could not find these quotes in any of their works.  So if you can find them, please provide an accurate source.  Your third quote comes from Eusebius and does indeed talk about how the church members (in Rome, not everywhere) were growing lax.  If you continue to read past the first chapter, Eusebius details the deaths of the many martyrs of the Diocletian persecution.  Ch. 13 is titled:  The Bishops of the Church that Evinced by their Blood the Genuineness of the Religion which they Preached.  Hmmm...so Eusebius is not describing a great apostasy after all...

 

I'm tired.  This is long and full of anti-Catholic misconceptions.  You do know that the OT Temple used candles and incense right?  That doesn't come from pagan rituals, it came from the original Jewish worship, as well as an altar, vestments, singing psalms, etc etc.  And we don't worship saints or relics, and the spiritual gifts described in the NT have been, and are, expected and manifested?  You do realize that God has never stopped working miracles among His people, right?  These past 2000 years are full of miracles and prophecies, which are documented and believed in, and continue to this very day, right??   

 

Tooooooo much. 

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The biggest part that makes me believe the "Great Apostasy" NEVER happened is Christ himself.

 

He called his Apostles his friends, spent three years with them, pushed them, forgave them, broke bread with them. They lived their lives for Him and most of them DIED for him.

 

Would Christ send out his friends to massively fail, after making so many promises to them? The entire history of the Old Testament is God being faithful to his people - he would not let them fail so easily.

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The biggest part that makes me believe the "Great Apostasy" NEVER happened is Christ himself.

He called his Apostles his friends, spent three years with them, pushed them, forgave them, broke bread with them. They lived their lives for Him and most of them DIED for him.

Would Christ send out his friends to massively fail, after making so many promises to them? The entire history of the Old Testament is God being faithful to his people - he would not let them fail so easily.

Amen to that! Have you read Judges for You by Timothy Keller? I'm reading it now for a bible study and one of the main themes in Judges is how faithful God is to His people. No matter how bad Israel got, God would always raise a leader when His people called out. By the end of Judges, it's so bad they're not even asking for a judge, but God sends one anyway so Israel wasn't just absorbed into a pagan nation. I'm more convinced then ever that the LDS god is not the God of the Old Testament. They act completely different.
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I am LDS, therefore, I believe that the Great Apostasy happened.  But spamlds' "proof of the Great Apostasy" is just as bad as anti-LDS' "proof that Joseph Smith is a prophet".

 

The LDS position is that the Great Apostasy happened not too long after the death of the last Apostle.  It does not, nor does it even try, to provide "proof" that it happened outside of scriptural support for the possibility of it happening because you cannot prove the presence or absence of Priesthood Authority.  Prove that Joseph Smith, and even President Monson today, has Priesthood Authority - even Apostolic and Prophetic Keys.  You can't.  I can give you just as many bad mistakes Joseph Smith and the succeeding Prophets did as the first 200 years of the Catholic Church.  It is so bad that even Emma and Joseph Smith's children themselves left the Church rather than follow Brigham Young.  Give it 600 more years and you can pile up even more dirt on our Prophets.

 

One does not have to bring down another Church to prove the LDS claim of Authority.  One simply has to have faith that it has.  You can ask me why I think the LDS Church has the authority intead of the Catholic or other Churches.  But, I'm not going to minimize the great and wonderful things that have been achieved by these Churches.

 

And I hope this will be the end of this stupid thread.

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Thank you Anatess, you said exactly what I wanted to say.  Take the negative and bad out of any historical context and everything looks evil.  The post entirely misses all the good things the Catholic Church has done throughout history, and there's far, far more good, and holy people, in our history, then there is bad.  But what else can I say?  The Catholic Church is nearly 2000 years old, our history is so large, of course there are going to be some rotten eggs.  It's a huge target and everyone likes to takes hits at it.  I hope this is the end of this thread as well.   

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The problem with the apostasy and the restoration is that both are still taking place.  The restoration has not been completed nor is the apostasy ended.  There are still changes to come before Christ will return as king and rule the world.  And there are still many that think that in the name of G-d that they will or ought to oppose the restoration of apostles and prophets sent specifically to prepare a people to accept Christ.

 

As much as men love to compete with themselves – those that adhere to the trump of warning of prophets will gladly unite with all that hear the warning and come to the aid of the Saints of G-d.  They will uphold the family and will marry to become one in marriage as G-d has commanded.  They will hold life as sacred and especially the creation of human life to protect the great responsibility of bringing froth another generation.

 

Those that say the works of G-d are done – declare a lie.  Those that say G-d has ended his word (scripture) misunderstand G-d.  Those that think these are not the last days – will be sweep away when Christ does come – and that time is quickly approaching.

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For those who wanted more detailed references, I suggest reading "The History of the Church of Christ from the Days of the Apostles, Till the Famous Disputation Between Luther and Milbitz in 1520" by the Reverend Joseph Milner, published in Edinburgh, 1836.  Many of the references listed above came from this source.  I'll try to list others as I have opportunity.

 

I am dismayed at the reaction of some of our own to this post.  Keep in mind that an LDS apostle, Elder James E. Talmage, the same man who wrote the magnificent "Jesus the Christ," also wrote a much more detailed book highlighting many of these same events.  That book is called "The Great Apostasy." Is an LDS apostle to be criticized for publishing the facts of history?

 

When we teach people that an apostasy occurred, we had better be prepared to back it up.  If there was no apostasy, there is no need for a restoration.  If the apostasy occurred, as we assert, those we offend by this assertion inevitably demand evidence.  I have provided evidence.  That's all.

 

The Lord started a fight when he told Joseph to "go not after them," that their creeds were "abominations" and their professors "corrupt."  We didn't start the fight.  But we must be equipped to defend the truth.  The truth may offend those who are resistant to it.  You can take this information or leave it, but it is still historical fact, from non-LDS sources.  These things are known to the world that desperately needs to find the gospel. I've just put the facts in one place.

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The problem with the apostasy and the restoration is that both are still taking place.  I agree, there will always be apostasy of some sort b/c people will always be falling away from the faith, and people need to now believe again and convert their lives to Christ.   

 

As much as men love to compete with themselves – those that adhere to the trump of warning of prophets will gladly unite with all that hear the warning and come to the aid of the Saints of G-d.  I agree to this as well since we have many prophets and prophecies that are older than the "restoration" that something big is coming...though it's not yet the Second Coming as no one knows when that will happen.  They will uphold the family and will marry to become one in marriage as G-d has commanded.  They will hold life as sacred and especially the creation of human life to protect the great responsibility of bringing froth another generation. 

 

Those that say the works of G-d are done – declare a lie.  God continues to speak to us and has been for the past 2000 years.  Those that think these are not the last days – will be sweep away when Christ does come – and that time is quickly approaching.  It has been prophesied by many prophets that a very large chastisement will come first, a very big final warning to repent and believe in God.  The Second Coming comes nearer every day of course, but that day no one knows.   

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For those who wanted more detailed references, I suggest reading "The History of the Church of Christ from the Days of the Apostles, Till the Famous Disputation Between Luther and Milbitz in 1520" by the Reverend Joseph Milner, published in Edinburgh, 1836.  Many of the references listed above came from this source.  I'll try to list others as I have opportunity.

 

I am dismayed at the reaction of some of our own to this post.  Keep in mind that an LDS apostle, Elder James E. Talmage, the same man who wrote the magnificent "Jesus the Christ," also wrote a much more detailed book highlighting many of these same events.  That book is called "The Great Apostasy." Is an LDS apostle to be criticized for publishing the facts of history?

 

When we teach people that an apostasy occurred, we had better be prepared to back it up.  If there was no apostasy, there is no need for a restoration.  If the apostasy occurred, as we assert, those we offend by this assertion inevitably demand evidence.  I have provided evidence.  That's all.

 

The Lord started a fight when he told Joseph to "go not after them," that their creeds were "abominations" and their professors "corrupt."  We didn't start the fight.  But we must be equipped to defend the truth.  The truth may offend those who are resistant to it.  You can take this information or leave it, but it is still historical fact, from non-LDS sources.  These things are known to the world that desperately needs to find the gospel. I've just put the facts in one place.

 

The book The Great Apostasy was not written to give the Apostasy a Timeline and used terrible acts of Catholic people to prove it.  The book The Great Apostasy provided a historical account of Papal Authority only as it is necessary to support scriptural references to the Great Apostasy so as to have the reader think about the POSSIBILITY or PLAUSABILITY of a Great Apostasy.

 

There is a reason that book is not scripture.

 

The FACT of the matter is that terrible actions of people DOES NOT PROVE nor ESTABLISH that a Great Apostasy happened in the same manner that good actions of good people DOES NOT PROVE that they have Priesthood Authority.

 

Picking and choosing historical records sympathetic to your cause and calling it a Great Apostasy Timeline does nothing but anger the millions of amazing Catholics, especially the ones who are contributors to this forum.  It sure does not do anything else.

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For those who wanted more detailed references, I suggest reading "The History of the Church of Christ from the Days of the Apostles, Till the Famous Disputation Between Luther and Milbitz in 1520" by the Reverend Joseph Milner, published in Edinburgh, 1836.  Many of the references listed above came from this source.  I'll try to list others as I have opportunity.

 

I am dismayed at the reaction of some of our own to this post.  Keep in mind that an LDS apostle, Elder James E. Talmage, the same man who wrote the magnificent "Jesus the Christ," also wrote a much more detailed book highlighting many of these same events.  That book is called "The Great Apostasy." Is an LDS apostle to be criticized for publishing the facts of history?

 

When we teach people that an apostasy occurred, we had better be prepared to back it up.  If there was no apostasy, there is no need for a restoration.  If the apostasy occurred, as we assert, those we offend by this assertion inevitably demand evidence.  I have provided evidence.  That's all.

 

The Lord started a fight when he told Joseph to "go not after them," that their creeds were "abominations" and their professors "corrupt."  We didn't start the fight.  But we must be equipped to defend the truth.  The truth may offend those who are resistant to it.  You can take this information or leave it, but it is still historical fact, from non-LDS sources.  These things are known to the world that desperately needs to find the gospel. I've just put the facts in one place.

 

Yep, read the Great Apostasy by Talmage.  It's too bad he was unable to prove that a church, such as yours, existed during the Apostles lives.  All he did, was dig up the same old skeletons which everyone else likes to dig up and parade around as "proof".  That book was heavily biased and badly cited as well, many of his sources just go to well-known anti-Catholics who were unable themselves to provide reliable sources.  And, thing is, that "proof" exists in the "restored" church as well, so you're really not doing yourself any favors, just different names and different times, but the same sins of greed and lust are present.  What I would like to see, is proof that there was an LDS church in existance before the "hackers" came and hacked it all apart.  Surely there is something, right?  So back it up and then we can have a discussion.  And BTW, I would be very appreciative if you could also back up your historical "facts" by checking for sources yourself, and not relying on well known anti-Catholics to do the dirty work for you.  How about you read the Didache?  And all the writings of the early Church Fathers so you can examine the originals for yourself?  Heck, why don't you pick up the Catechism of the Catholic Church and study what we really believe before you start posting such nonsense as honey and milk being a part of baptims which comes from military rituals (??? not sure where you got that one, you again failed to provide sources), and candles and incense came from pagan worship, which why would you consider OT Temple worship as pagan?  The Israelites used both those things in the Temple!  Or join a Catholic forum and ask questions so you can learn about the faith from faithful Catholics rather than anti-Catholics...kinda like what I'm doing here!  I think that's much more respectable, don't you?   

 

God bless! :)

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Yep, read the Great Apostasy by Talmage.  It's too bad he was unable to prove that a church, such as yours, existed during the Apostles lives. 

 

<snip>

 

What I would like to see, is proof that there was an LDS church in existance before the "hackers" came and hacked it all apart.  Surely there is something, right?

 

 

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.  LDS means - Latter-day Saints.  This means - modern era - more specifically, the period after the Restoration of the Priesthood in the 1800's.  This is what we LDS call the Last Dispensation.  So, no, LDS will not exist in the time of the events in Acts because that's a different dispensation.

 

But, the LDS Church claims to hold the same Priesthood Authority as those of the Apostles in Acts.  Also, this is the same Priesthood Authority held by Prophets in other different dispensations throughout Biblical History.  This history shows that Priesthood Authority does not have to be passed in an unbroken line of living people for it to be valid.  It does show that Priesthod Authority has to come in an unbroken line of living people directly from Christ Himself... in the same manner that Moses started his dispensation as He was given the authority straight from Christ in the form of a burning bush, the Apostles started their dispensation from the authority straight from Christ in His mortal ministry, and Joseph Smith started the last dispensation straight from Christ as well...  Make sense?

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I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.  LDS means - Latter-day Saints.  This means - modern era - more specifically, the period after the Restoration of the Priesthood in the 1800's.  This is what we LDS call the Last Dispensation.  So, no, LDS will not exist in the time of the events in Acts because that's a different dispensation.

 

But, the LDS Church claims to hold the same Priesthood Authority as those of the Apostles in Acts.  Also, this is the same Priesthood Authority held by Prophets in other different dispensations throughout Biblical History.  This history shows that Priesthood Authority does not have to be passed in an unbroken line of living people for it to be valid.  It does show that Priesthod Authority has to come in an unbroken line of living people directly from Christ Himself... in the same manner that Moses started his dispensation as He was given the authority straight from Christ in the form of a burning bush, the Apostles started their dispensation from the authority straight from Christ in His mortal ministry, and Joseph Smith started the last dispensation straight from Christ as well...  Make sense?

 

Lol!  Sorry, I should've been more clear, what I meant is a church which resembles the one you now have.  Temples for sealings, baptisms by proxy being actively taught and done (and no, 1 Cor 15:29 doesn't count), the teaching that God was once a human and progressed and we are also progressing to exaltation, etc.  Most important to me is who God is, the very nature of God.  They are completely different teachings, and as Traveler already said, it's very important to know who God is.  I believe He does want us to know Him and He has revealed Himself and His nature through Jesus.  And as promised, the Holy Spirit led the Apostles to a deeper understanding of God, and this understanding is the Trinity.  They may not have used that word yet, however, but the Church was still in its infancy, just getting started.  Jesus promised that the Advocate would guide them into all truth, and this is something that continually happens.  It didn't just happen once at Pentecost and that was that.  As time has gone on, so the Holy Spirit has continued to illuminate passages from Scripture and make them more clear.  When you were 2 years old, were you able to articulate and speak as well as you do now?  Most likely not.  As a child grows and learns the language, so the Church has grown with the Advocate helping us to understand our faith and define it more clearly w/more mature language.  I believe the Holy Spirit continues to lead and guide the Church, and all who honestly seek the Spirit out, regardless of which denomination you belong to.  I have certaintly felt the Spirit strong within me, and I have had prayers answered, and some pretty awesome miracles occur which could only be explained as God being the author  :embarrassed:    Makes my heart burn w/joy just thinking about how much God loves me, and you, and spamlds! 

 

The Priesthood authority is another topic altogether, lol! :) 

 

Blessings and the Peace of Christ to you and all your loved ones! 

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 I believe the Holy Spirit continues to lead and guide the Church, and all who honestly seek the Spirit out, regardless of which denomination you belong to. 

 

How does this work, in your thinking, when two different people from two different denominations honestly seek the Spirit and get different answers that directly contradict each other?

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"Lol!  Sorry, I should've been more clear, what I meant is a church which resembles the one you now have.  Temples for sealings, baptisms by proxy being actively taught and done (and no, 1 Cor 15:29 doesn't count), the teaching that God was once a human and progressed and we are also progressing to exaltation, etc.  Most important to me is who God is, the very nature of God.  They are completely different teachings, and as Traveler already said, it's very important to know who God is.  I believe He does want us to know Him and He has revealed Himself and His nature through Jesus.  And as promised, the Holy Spirit led the Apostles to a deeper understanding of God, and this understanding is the Trinity"

 

This is obviously a matter of experience and personal perspective.  In the years before I converted to Mormonism (35 years ago) I visited many churches and studied their doctrines.  I met with pastors and priests and became their friend.  I asked them lots of deep questions that were related to my personal search for salvation.  Like Joseph Smith, all I found was confusion and contradiction.  I didn't see any Church that looked like the one in the Bible.

 

I remember saying in exasperation to my mother one day when I was about 18, "Wouldn't it be amazing to find a church like the one in the Book of Acts in the Bible? One with real apostles, prophets, angels, and revelation?"  When I encountered Mormonism, I was amazed.  There was the very same Church we read about in Acts!  Thirty-five years later, after having held the priesthood, been involved in its ministrations, having held leadership positions, and served in many different positions as a teacher, leader, counselor, missionary, and branch president, I can tell you absolutely that this is that same Biblical church. The power of the Holy Spirit is in it.  The spirit of revelation guides its leaders at every level.  Healings, the gift of tongues, the gifts of prophecy, visions, discernment, and all the rest are part of it.  I've seen them with my own eyes.  In some cases, I have been the beneficiary or the instrument to receive those things.  It's marvelous.

 

People just don't know.  They start criticizing from a doctrinal position and they don't want to seek the Spirit.  That's because they don't want it to be true.  The cost of following Christ is too great for them.  They'd lose status.  They'd risk family relationships.  They might get persecuted.  All those things were part of the biblical Church also.  The power of God rests upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He leads it personally through revelation to prophets today.  It's a marvelous thing to know.  Through thick and thin, being a member of this Church brings amazing blessings.  And I looked long and hard enough to compare.  Nothing else is like this Church!

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Copying the pagan temples and rituals, candles and incense began to be used as part of Christian worship.

 

On what basis do you conclude that the use of ritual, candles, and incense came from pagan temples, and not what was going on in ancient Judaism, as we read in the Bible?

 

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.

 

Please cite evidence supporting your claim that baptism came to include milk and honey.  I've never heard that before, and I'd like to read more about where you heard this from.  Also, what specific ceremonies from military traditions and rituals marking the liberation of slaves were included, and please provide the revelant military traditions and liberation rituals so that we can see the connection.

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"Lol!  Sorry, I should've been more clear, what I meant is a church which resembles the one you now have.  Temples for sealings, baptisms by proxy being actively taught and done (and no, 1 Cor 15:29 doesn't count), the teaching that God was once a human and progressed and we are also progressing to exaltation, etc.  Most important to me is who God is, the very nature of God.  They are completely different teachings, and as Traveler already said, it's very important to know who God is.  I believe He does want us to know Him and He has revealed Himself and His nature through Jesus.  And as promised, the Holy Spirit led the Apostles to a deeper understanding of God, and this understanding is the Trinity"

 

This is obviously a matter of experience and personal perspective.  In the years before I converted to Mormonism (35 years ago) I visited many churches and studied their doctrines.  I met with pastors and priests and became their friend.  I asked them lots of deep questions that were related to my personal search for salvation.  Like Joseph Smith, all I found was confusion and contradiction.  I didn't see any Church that looked like the one in the Bible.

 

I remember saying in exasperation to my mother one day when I was about 18, "Wouldn't it be amazing to find a church like the one in the Book of Acts in the Bible? One with real apostles, prophets, angels, and revelation?"  When I encountered Mormonism, I was amazed.  There was the very same Church we read about in Acts!  Thirty-five years later, after having held the priesthood, been involved in its ministrations, having held leadership positions, and served in many different positions as a teacher, leader, counselor, missionary, and branch president, I can tell you absolutely that this is that same Biblical church. The power of the Holy Spirit is in it.  The spirit of revelation guides its leaders at every level.  Healings, the gift of tongues, the gifts of prophecy, visions, discernment, and all the rest are part of it.  I've seen them with my own eyes.  In some cases, I have been the beneficiary or the instrument to receive those things.  It's marvelous.

 

People just don't know.  They start criticizing from a doctrinal position and they don't want to seek the Spirit.  That's because they don't want it to be true.  The cost of following Christ is too great for them.  They'd lose status.  They'd risk family relationships.  They might get persecuted.  All those things were part of the biblical Church also.  The power of God rests upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He leads it personally through revelation to prophets today.  It's a marvelous thing to know.  Through thick and thin, being a member of this Church brings amazing blessings.  And I looked long and hard enough to compare.  Nothing else is like this Church!

 

 

The Catholic Church is the same church as the one in Acts :)  Maybe you don't see it, but I sure do, and I'm not alone!  We have Apostolic authority, angels, revelations through private revelations and prophets too.  I too have a testimony of my faith, and I too have seen the Holy Spirit at work through healings, gifts of tongues, prophecy, visions, discernments and all the rest of it as well.  In fact, the Church's history is full of such wonderful examples of God speaking to us and leading us!  It is wonderful!  And I, as well, have been the recipient of some pretty amazing things, God has done great things for me and many others whom I love.  That peace that only comes from God is in my soul, and it is truly breathtaking. 

 

I am not criticizing anyone on doctrinal issues, I've studied your beliefs, I own a BOM and I have lots and lots of wonderful friends and neighbors who are LDS.  I've been to services, firesides, farewells, baptisms etc.  I've read articles on FAIR, read through the Journal of Discourses, been to LDS.org, and if I have a question, I ask a faithful mormon friend (or just look here now, hehehe).  I have a deep respect for your faith and I love being here and reading through all the questions, comments, and links, so that I can learn more about your faith.  I am obviously a fish out of water here b/c I'm Catholic, and by all means, this forum is meant for members of your faith, I realize this, but if you're going to post something concerning my faith and you've got it all wrong, I will say something.  I expect you would do the same if you were on a Catholic forum and someone started posting blatant anti-mormon misconceptions. 

 

You assume other people are unable to pray and seek for themselves.  You know nothing about me and my journey, and with God as my witness, I have humbly sought only His Will in my life, and that is all I wish to do everyday, He is my witness in this!  And this brings me comfort!  He has my heart, soul and mind at all times, and there is nothing I would do if He asked me to do it, least of switch religions!  If He had shown me that the truth was in your church I would have converted long ago.  I would be willing to give my life for my faith in Christ, to die a death which gives Him more glory and join the other Saints who earned a martyrs crown, so don't assume I am somehow refusing to see what you see, b/c I would be persecuted or lose "status", that is an insult. 

 

I will not judge you either, what's in your heart God knows and He is our judge.  However, I will say, that if the information you've provided throughout your various posts on this topic comprise your knowledge of the Catholic Church, then you didn't research very hard.  It looks like you only got one side of the coin to look at, and that side is dirtied from anti-Catholic misconceptions, and actual history (which, c'mon, after 2000 years, there's gonna be stuff, I ain't gonna lie).  Have you ever looked at the other side of the coin though?  The other side which shows all the good the Church has done, all the holy men, women and children, the faith, love, courage, and charity that has been a light on a hill for so many people throughout the ages? 

 

God bless you spamlds, I truly hope you have a wonderful night :)  

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How does this work, in your thinking, when two different people from two different denominations honestly seek the Spirit and get different answers that directly contradict each other?

 

I can't answer that as I'm not God.  God has a purpose for everything though, and it seems He takes us through paths which are meant to refine us, test us and teach us.  I have examples but they would take too long to tell b/c there's always too much back story.  But what I've learned is, if we're honest, then we should always follow wherever He leads and trust Him.  He asks us only to trust Him and learn to love Him above everything, and to love everyone else as well.  I'm preaching to the choir here I know ;) 

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How does this work, in your thinking, when two different people from two different denominations honestly seek the Spirit and get different answers that directly contradict each other?

Isn't that just as much a problem, if not more so, with LDS theology? Mormons keep saying we need to seek and rely on the Spirit to know which church is true, but different denominations sincerely believe they are being guided toward the right faith. How can it be a reliable method of testing truth when so many people pray and get different answers.

 

The answer should be that doctrine should be tested by prayer and scripture. When Paul was rebuking the Galatians for following a false Gospel, he didn't tell them to pray about what he was saying. He referred back to the Gospel they already received (Gal. 1:8-9). John gave his readers a model of testing false teachers in 1 John 4:1-3 and it doesn't include prayer. He told them to reject a teacher if their teaching doesn't match what was revealed in the Gospels.

 

Yes, there are many passages that talk about how important prayer is, but none of them mention prayer as a way to know if someone is a false teacher or not. The passages that actually talk about false teachers/prophets don't tell us to test them with prayer.

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Isn't that just as much a problem, if not more so, with LDS theology? Mormons keep saying we need to seek and rely on the Spirit to know which church is true, but different denominations sincerely believe they are being guided toward the right faith. How can it be a reliable method of testing truth when so many people pray and get different answers.

 

It's not a problem for us at all. It's only a problem for those who like to accuse us of arrogance for the viewpoint. Those who like to do so will do so, in spite of any explanation. Arguing about it isn't going to do much good.

 

The answer should be that doctrine should be tested by prayer and scripture.

 

That's what the LDS point of view is. But we then don't follow with an explanation that entirely disregards prayer in the testing process. If you're going to agree that prayer is part of the test, maybe you should include prayer as part of the explanation of how to test. Just sayin'. ;)

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It's not a problem for us at all. It's only a problem for those who like to accuse us of arrogance for the viewpoint. Those who like to do so will do so, in spite of any explanation. Arguing about it isn't going to do much good.

 

 

That's what the LDS point of view is. But we then don't follow with an explanation that entirely disregards prayer in the testing process. If you're going to agree that prayer is part of the test, maybe you should include prayer as part of the explanation of how to test. Just sayin'. ;)

Could you explain how it's not a problem for you? Mormons keep saying prayer and Holy Ghost guidance is how you know your church is true. But other denominations also have prayer and the Holy Ghost. How can you be so sure yours is better than theirs?

 

I'm not disregarding prayer. Yes, it does play a role in studying the Bible. At the same time, you can't disregard scripture while praying. Why would you trust a prophet when they say something not taught in the Bible is an important part of the Gospel? The doctrine of 3 different kingdoms in heaven is not in the Bible.

 

The Greek words for ‘celestial’ and ‘terrestrial’ mean ‘heavenly’ and ‘earthly,’ which is how the more modern versions translate them. Why would Paul refer to a kingdom of heaven as ‘earthly’?

 

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (KJV).

Paul raises questions of how the dead will be raised and what kind of bodies they will have. His answer includes Paul referring to different kinds of bodies with various terms 18 times. But how many times does he mention kingdoms in heaven? Zero. He doesn't mention heaven itself or kingdoms at all. The focus of the passage is what heavenly bodies will be like, not different kingdoms in heaven. Our earthly bodies are corrupted, dishonorable, weak and natural. Heavenly bodies will be incorruptible, glorious, powerful and spiritual.

 

Plus, if the 3 kingdoms doctrine was really part of the true Gospel, why would only one New Testament author vaguely refer to it in 2 verses? Galatians and Romans talk extensively about the Gospel, but don't mention anything about 3 kingdoms in heaven.

 

Again, yes, prayer is important. But that can't mean we should let a teaching disregard scripture because they ask us to pray about it.

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Could you explain how it's not a problem for you? Mormons keep saying prayer and Holy Ghost guidance is how you know your church is true. But other denominations also have prayer and the Holy Ghost. How can you be so sure yours is better than theirs?

 

I'm not disregarding prayer. Yes, it does play a role in studying the Bible. At the same time, you can't disregard scripture while praying. Why would you trust a prophet when they say something not taught in the Bible is an important part of the Gospel? The doctrine of 3 different kingdoms in heaven is not in the Bible.

 

The Greek words for ‘celestial’ and ‘terrestrial’ mean ‘heavenly’ and ‘earthly,’ which is how the more modern versions translate them. Why would Paul refer to a kingdom of heaven as ‘earthly’?

 

<snip>

 

I know this was addressed to TFP but I'll put in my 2 cents, if I may...

 

It is not a problem for me.  I spent most of my life Catholic before I joined LDS.  I was not devoid of spiritual experiences as a Catholic.  As a matter of fact, my foundational Christian learning is from Catholic teaching.  I joined LDS not because I found out that the truths manifested to me by the Spirit as a Catholic became all of a sudden false.  I joined LDS because the truths manifested to me by the Spirit as a Catholic got expanded upon.  The Spirit that spoke to me as a Catholic is the same spirit that speaks to me now.

 

The Catholics follow the standard Bible - Old Testament and New Testament - as scripture.  But, the scripture is not ALL of the source of faith.  There is also Sacred Tradition.

 

With LDS, the scriptures is not only the Old Testament and the New Testament... there is the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as well.

 

Now, you might ask... how does one know if anything outside of the Bible are true?  The answer is simple - it's the exact same way you figured out that the Bible is true.

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Could you explain how it's not a problem for you?

 

No. I am not keen on being called arrogant.

 

I know this was addressed to TFP but I'll put in my 2 cents, if I may...

 

Take it anatess! I have no interesting in bashing over different interpretations of the Bible.

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Could you explain how it's not a problem for you? Mormons keep saying prayer and Holy Ghost guidance is how you know your church is true. But other denominations also have prayer and the Holy Ghost. How can you be so sure yours is better than theirs?

 

I'm not disregarding prayer. Yes, it does play a role in studying the Bible. At the same time, you can't disregard scripture while praying. Why would you trust a prophet when they say something not taught in the Bible is an important part of the Gospel? The doctrine of 3 different kingdoms in heaven is not in the Bible.

 

Your own preconceptions are blocking your understanding.

 

When we read any of the common LDS scriptures about how to get an answer to a prayer we find it is more involved then simply asking.  We need to have faith, we need to study the question out, and we need to we sincere in our asking.  He is not going to answer if we have no faith, if we have not studied it or if we are not sincere about following through with it.

 

We also have faith that the Lord is the master teacher and that if we will let him he will guide us along the path that he knows is best for us.  For some people that could simply be that other churches (and the people in them) are what the Lord judges to be the best for a person at that stage in there life.  We learn Line upon Line.  Precept upon Precept.  If the Lord says that a person will learn something better elsewhere we really can't argue with that.

 

As for thing not being found in the Bible the main core and basics very much are.  But we also understand that we have the Bible because God called prophets and apostles and revealed things to them and then they wrote it.  Every verse of scripture repeats this pattern.  It even happened after Christ came and fulled the Law of Moses (All the New Testament beginning with Acts testifies to this.)

 

Therefore to say that prophets revealing new things is somehow not Biblical can only happen if one ignores the bible.  The very verses people try to use to close things up are an inherent testimony of God not closing it. 

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