The Salt Lake Tribune recently published a book review on the book “Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints” published by the Maxwell Institute. Both the book and the Tribune article make note that what Latter-day Saints believed about early Christianity and the Great Apostasy may not only “overly simplistic, if not (a) completely false narrative”. But where did Latter-day Saints get these beliefs? How did Mormonism define the Great Apostasy? And more importantly if we redefine the very reasons for what a Restoration is and why it was needed, might we be undercutting the restoration itself?
Maxwell Institute Book available –Ancient Christians Available Now – Neal A. Maxwell Institute (byu.edu)
1832 First Vision Account contradicting SLTRIB Claim that B. H. Roberts was the first promoted the apostasy narrative – History, circa Summer 1832, Page 1 (josephsmithpapers.org)
1838 First Vision account also contains significant apostasy narrative piecesHistory, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2], Page 3 (josephsmithpapers.org)
The Great Apostasy by: James Talmage published 1909 by the Deseret News – Which lays out in significant ways “The Great Apostasy” – The great apostasy : considered in the light of scriptural and secular history : Talmage, James Edward, 1862-1933 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
The Church url for their pamphlet on the Great Apostasy – The Great Apostasy (churchofjesuschrist.org)
While The Church is reducing the Great Apostasy to only Priesthood and Keys – They clearly have attached Doctrine, Church organization and Offices, consistency of Saving Rituals as well as imposing that Christ set up an actual Church as key components of “The Great Apostasy” – Talks where some of those concepts are spoken Example 1Example 2Example 3
The Church teaches that part of the Great Apostasy is that rather than leading via revelation that the early Christian Church instead traqnsitioned over to “Long Conferences” and “Erudite Councils” “depending upon their own brilliant minds” (See Manual Image Below) – and yet Elder Eyring admits that such is the very way this Church is led – Henry B. Eyring: “Forget Harvard and Stanford. We’re in another kind of thing here.” – YouTube
LDS Church Shifting to More Pageantry and Colorful Presentation to satisfy everyone (which in their manual they claim is a sign of the Great Apostasy) Example 1Example 2Example 3
The Modern Church creating a narrative of an ongoing restoration and that such has only begun to obfuscate that they are moving and shifting in every way they had previously labeled in the early Church as signs of Apostasy (Please note how is one to discern that all shifts and changes ithin the modern Church are “Auhtorized” and all shifts and changes in the Ancient Church are “Unauthorized”
1.) Distorting the and changing the Church organization and offices (Modern Church has changed the calling of Seventies, disbanded the General Patriarch, and created and then laterdisbanded the High Priests Group
2.) Silence between the Heavens and the Earth
3.) Vast numbers who had professed membership and many who had been officers in the ministry deserted the church; while a few were stimulated to greater zeal under the scourge of persecution.
4.) Internal dissension, schism and disruption, whereby an absolute apostasy of the Church from the way and word of God was brought about”
5.) The corrupting (Changing) of the simple doctrines of the gospel of Christ by admixture with so-called philosophic systems. (Corrupting is subjective)
6.) Unauthorized (Subjective) additions to the prescribed rites and rituals of the church and the introduction of vital alterations in essential ordinances.
7.) Unauthorized (Subjective) changes in church organization and government
8.) “If the savior had come back to earth at the beginning of the fifth century A.D., i doubt whether he would have recognized the Christian church as the one that claimed descent from that which he had established, so far had it gone astray.” VERSUS ” If Joseph Smith came back to earth today, i doubt whether he would have recognized the LDS Church as the one that claimed descent from that which he had established, so far had it gone astray.”
9.) The power of godliness was no longer present in the Christian church. (Is that power recognizable within the LDS Church ?)
10.) The laws were changed (Notice all the laws that have changed in the LDS Church EXAMPLES: The doing away of “Free Agency” and D&C say a Disciplinary Court requires 12 high priests but the Modern Church says not necessary)
11.) The ordinances were changed (Notice the changes to the Endowment)
12.) The everlasting covenant was broken that the lord Jesus Christ gave to his people in those days. (Notice what happened to the New and Everlasting Covenant within Mormonism AKA Polygamy)
13.) The superimposing of a man-made structure upon and over the divine program.
14.) Many men with no pretense nor claim to revelation, speaking without divine authority or revelation, depending only upon their own brilliant minds, but representing as they claim the congregations of the Christians.
15.) In long conference and erudite councils, sought the creation process to make a God which all could accept.
16.) The brilliant minds with their philosophies, knowing much about the Christian traditions and the pagan philosophies, would combine all elements to please everybody.
17.) They replaced the simple ways and program of the Christ with spectacular rituals, colorful display, impressive pageantry, and limitless pomposity, and called it Christianity.
18.) They had replaced the glorious, divine plan of exaltation of Christ with an elaborate, colorful, man-made system. they seemed to have little idea of totally dethroning the Christ, nor terminating the life of God, as in our own day, but they put together an incomprehensible God idea”
It also should be noted that the LDS Church imposes that Christ organized his Church, and set forth the offices of the Church and that whenever the Gospel has been on the Earth it has been taught and administered by the Church. Also note that even believing Faithful Scholars within the Church indicate that Jesus and his disciples remained Jews within the Jewish faith and synagogue.
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4 Replies to “Mormonism LIVE: 113: What Ever Happened To The Great Apostasy?”
One thing that has never been a part of Christ’s church was corporate, for profit enterprises with boards of directors and a reliance on Babylon banking. And yet here we are with a Corporate church that has very successfully taken control and ownership of the so called lay church and its tithes and offerings. Well successful as an accomplishment, not successful in outcome. For we can see the withering of the vine.
The core problem is Corporatism demands conformity and control. Risks and liabilities must be managed! Efficiency is paramount. Noncompliance must be discouraged. Yet nothing is more corrosive to a noble institution built-up from amateur, organic efforts than the entanglement of that organization with corporate pursuits. And nothing squelches the Spirit and the Love of God more than a people who are completely dependent on “a prophet” to tell them what to think and do.
The corrosiveness of Corporatism is that it requires compromise of principles to satisfy the demands of the Money and Political interests. And so we see a Church reinvented before our eyes to align itself to the preferences of the Lawyers and Financiers who now run the Church.
Wrote songwriter Neil Peart: “Glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity.”
As mentioned in the broadcast, constant tinkering and adjustments do not demonstrate leadership. Rather they reveal an organization bounced to and fro according to the whims of managers who are deeply afraid to make hard decisions.
has anybody ever looked at the LDS Gen Conf Corpus to see through some of the gas-lighting?
I looked up “restored Church; 364 references in LDS talks – vs the true, but misleading claim that “the Doctrine & Covenants never speaks explicitly of a restored church” from Ancient Christians book just released. wow!
Great work, gentlemen! I think this is somewhat inevitable. The LDS CHURCH has to keep watering everything down in order to be palatable and relevant in 2023. They can’t build bridges with other churches while simultaneously calling them satanic, apostate, abominable, whores. We know building bridges is mandatory these days, so the satanic-apostate-abominable-whore rhetoric has to go. No more apostasy.
As RFM and Bill said, the identification of the great and abominable church in Nephi’s vision with Catholicism did not start with Bruce McConkie. It also didn’t start with Joseph Fielding Smith. It actually started with Martin Luther and the reformation.
The great and abominable church in Nephi’s vision is clearly the whore of Babylon in Revelation 17. Joseph Smith borrows phrases to describe it directly from Revelation 17. These include “mother of abominations” and “whore.” Just read 1 Nephi 14 and Revelation 17 side by side. Compare 1 Nephi 14:11 “And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people;” with Revelation 17:1 “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters…” and verse 15 “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox each identified the whore of Babylon in Revelation 17 as the Catholic church. This interpretation continued and was common in Joseph Smith’s environment. Joseph Smith makes the interpretation explicit by calling the whore of Babylon a church, the great and abominable church. Early converts to Mormonism were well aware of the common idea that the whore of Babylon was Catholicism and would therefore have understood the great and abominable church to be Catholicism. It would be impossible to miss the connection, and so-called scholars who want to deal honestly with the Book of Mormon need to acknowledge it and not pretend that this interpretation started and ended with Bruce McConkie.
By the way, notice that the Book of Mormon never prophesies the restoration of a church. In the Book of Mormon, there are “save 2 churches only.” (1 Nephi 14:10). This never made sense from a modern Mormon perspective, but from Joseph Smith’s perspective at the time he wrote 1 Nephi, it made sense as Catholicism being one church and non-Catholic Christianity as the other. The Book of Mormon was intended to persuade protestants, not become the canon of a new church that would replace Protestantism. Evidently, the idea of starting a church occurred to Joseph Smith after he wrote 1 Nephi.