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Latter-day Saints and the “Great Apostasy”

Catholics and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the Mormons, can agree on one very important principle. Both Catholics and the LDS believe in an authoritative, hierarchical church that speaks with the authority of Christ. The problem with the Mormon attempt to claim apostolic authority is the obvious fact that there was no such Mormon church until less than 200 years ago. The informed Catholic need only ask the question: “Why would I leave the Catholic Church which was, as a matter of history, founded by Jesus Christ and received apostolic authority directly from Christ and the apostles, to join the LDS? The bishops in union with the pope are the true successors of the apostles and possess apostolic authority.”

The (Nonexistent) Great Apostasy

The Mormon response is to claim that the Church fell into total and complete apostasy after the death of the last apostle. Moreover, Mormons maintain that biblical texts like Amos 8:11-14 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (which we will examine below), among others, positively teach this to be so. Thus, the LDS contends that the true church of Christ did not exist at all for some 1,800 years and then was re-established through another testament given to Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A great place to begin a discussion is with the biblical texts used by Mormons in an attempt to demonstrate their position. The prophet Amos prophesied in Israel ca. 785 B.C. Among other things, he warned of the coming destruction that did, in fact, occur in 721 B.C. because of Israel’s idolatry (see chapters 6 and 7). Amos 8:11-14 reads:

"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God, "when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it."

This text speaks of an apostasy in ancient Israel, not after the death of the last apostle in the New Testament. But even this apostasy was not total; it does not qualify as the apostasy Mormons claim. In chapter 9, Amos makes this very clear.

"Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground; except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob," says the Lord. "For lo, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the ground. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Evil shall not overtake or meet us.’" (Amos 9:8-10)

Old Testament salvation history records many times when priests and prophets were corrupt (cf. Lam. 4:13, Ez. 22:22-26, Zeph. 1:4, Mic. 3:5), when prophets had no vision from the Lord or prophesied falsely (cf. Lam. 2:14, Jer. 23:26-31), or when there were no prophets at all (cf. Ps. 74:9). Apostasies were frequent in the Old Testament, but never total. There was always a faithful remnant.

God Remains Faithful

When we examine the entire Old Testament, we can see that in the midst of good times and bad—times of faithlessness and faithfulness—there was one constant: the existence of the high priesthood and a God-ordained hierarchy as detailed in Exodus 28 and Deuteronomy 17. God himself established and gave authority to this hierarchy in order to guide the children of Israel. The high priest, or those to whom he delegated authority, had the power to deliver the oracle of God to his people. Deuteronomy 17:8-12 is an example of this historical fact:

If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case . . . which is too difficult for you, then you shall . . . go up to . . . the Levitical priests, and to the judge who is in office in those days, you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision. Then you shall do according to what they declare . . . you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you . . . The man who acts presumptuously, by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge . . . shall die.

According to Exodus 28:30, the high priest had what was called the “Urim and the Thummim” on the breastplate of his vestments, whereby he would bear the sins of the people of Israel when he went before the Lord in the temple. Through this gift of God the high priest would also hear the word of God and proclaim divine oracles from God.

Even during such a corrupt time as we find in the book of Judges, we see this gift in operation in Israel. This was a time characterized by these words from Judges 17:6: ” . . . every man did what was right in his own eyes.” It was a time of rebellion and disobedience; yet, even then the ministry of the high priest and the gift of “the Urim and the Thummim” was alive and functioning.

In fact, Christ himself acknowledged the existence of this hierarchy and its authority during his earthly sojourn. In Matthew 23:2-3, Jesus commanded his apostles: “The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.” Even the apostles had to obey the scribes and Pharisees, who spoke in an official capacity as God’s authority in Israel. Moreover, St. John acknowledged the authority of the high priest to be valid and effective even if the person occupying the office at the time was personally corrupt (see John 11:47-52).

A New Covenant Apostasy?

A sharp Mormon missionary may contend that even if the Old Testament people of God didn’t completely apostatize, Paul prophesied that the New Covenant people of God would in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3:

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition.

Paul used the Greek word apostasia in verse three—translated as “the rebellion”—to describe it. He declared this apostasy must first come before Jesus would come again. And after all, did not the Jews themselves reject the Messiah and apostatize? Does this not demonstrate that such an apostasy is at least possible?

First of all, not all of Israel apostatized. The apostles, Mary, and the earliest disciples were mostly Jews, so obviously not all in Israel fell away from God. And 2 Thessalonians never says, nor is there one shred of biblical evidence elsewhere to say, that a total apostasy would ever happen. Apostasy, yes, but total apostasy, no. But even more importantly, a total apostasy as taught by the LDS is not only never mentioned in Scripture, but it is impossible according to Scripture for at least three reasons.

1. Old Testament prophecies concerning the New Covenant and the then-future coming of the kingdom of God, the Church, describe it as perpetual and indefectible. For example, Daniel 7:13-14: “. . . behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man (Jesus), and he and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (see also Is. 9:6-7 and Dan. 2:44).

2. The New Testament describes the Church as indefectible as well.

  • And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me . . . and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).
  • . . . and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:33).
  • And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).

The LDS claim these texts merely speak of the ultimate triumph of the Church but that they do not mean there could not be a total apostasy in the centuries between the time of the apostles and that final triumph through the LDS. This contention leads us to our third and perhaps most definitive reason to say a total apostasy is impossible:

3. Paul uses explicit terms that eliminate the possibility of a total apostasy in his letter to the Ephesians. In Ephesians 1:23, he describes the Church as “[Christ’s] body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” This Church, he goes on, is “built upon the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). Indeed, Paul describes the Church as being the instrument God has chosen so that “through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10). Paul then reminds us, as we have already seen, this Church must have apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers (cf. Eph. 4:11). And why? “For the equipment of the saints . . . for building up the body of Christ . . . so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine . . .” (Eph. 4:12-14).

According to St. Paul, God gave us the Church so that we may know with certainty the truths of the faith. This is by no means the only reason for the existence of the Church, but it is a central reason. But most importantly, consider Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

This Church that Paul is describing in Ephesians will be here to all generations (pasas tas geneas, “all the generations”) forever and ever. This biblical text eliminates the possibility of a total apostasy for even one generation, much less 1,800 years.

An Unthinkable Possibility

According to Matthew 18:15-18, Jesus gave us a definitive commandment. He said:

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you . . . If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Mormons and Catholics agree that Christ was directing the faithful to obey the Church that he established and that we can be confident about doing so because the true Church to which Jesus was leading us would never steer us away from God. The question is: To what Church is he referring? Mormons say it is the LDS “church.” Catholics say it is the Catholic Church. How do we know which is true?

One way to know is to ask another simple question: What if you were living in, let’s say, 1785, and you were to read this very passage from Matthew. You know that Jesus would never lead you to a “church” with no one who could speak for him. In obedience to Jesus, where would you go? The LDS did not exist yet. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He would never lead us astray or command us to follow error. If the true church did not exist on this earth for 1,800 years, then Jesus misguided millions into obeying error-filled churches with no apostolic authority. That would be unthinkable.

 

Written By Tim Staples










70 comments

  1. jeffrey Reply

    You forgot to mention that God the Father and his sonJesus Christ appeared to the young boy Joseph and revealed to him the great truths about the restoration of his true church THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

    1. Christian Apologist Reply

      Dan 2 44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."

      Head of Gold is the Babylonian Empire
      Breasts and arms of silver is the Medo-Persian Empire
      Belly and thighs of brass is the Macedonian Empire
      Legs of Iron is the Roman Empire
      Feet of iron and clay is Rome broken into Ten Kingdoms

      1. Alemanni – Germany.
      2. Franks – France.
      3. Burgundians – Switzerland.
      4. Suevi – Portugal.
      5. Vandals – Exterminated.
      6. Visigoths – Spain.
      7. Anglo-Saxons – England.
      8. Ostrogoths – Exterminated.
      9. Lombards – Italy.
      10. Heruli – Exterminated.

      Notice in verse 44
      God would set up a kingdom which would never be destroyed during the Roman Empire and it would fill the whole earth. No Apostasy

      http://www.youtube.com/jesusisjehovah#p/u

    2. Christian Apologist Reply

      http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Lectures_on_Faith

      Lectures on Faith
      Lecture Five 2. “There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things, by whom all things were created and made…. They are the Father and the Son: the Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fulness. The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, is a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man,” If you believe that fairytale then why did Joseph Smith teach God the Father was a personage of spirit ?

    3. sifi Reply

      Jeffery… 2 Corinthians 11:14
      . Well no wonder! Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angle of light… is this the same bait he use at the beginning when he told Eve to eat this fruit and you become like God,,,so did Adam become God,,only Brigham Young your second prophet teach that Adam was God….

      1. Don Reply

        Sifi, You just need to read a little further. Genesis 3:22 says: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    4. Jesus Jehovah Reply

      Theirs approximately 7 different versions of this mythical visitation and with no witnesses of this it would make you wonder

      1. Don Reply

        It does make you wonder. Fortunately, James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…” He will testify to you that it is true, through the power of the Holy Ghost. It is the most perfect communication when it is Spirit to our spirit.

    5. Amanda Blood Reply

      thank you for this article I have read all of it including the scriptures you quote .As far as I am concerned all you have done is convince me of the truthfulness of the church of jesus Christ and I will not be leaving anytime soon. Thank you once again for re affirming my testimony of jesus Christ my saviour and the truthfulness of his church.

      1. Jesus Jehovah Reply

        Amanda is passage explains your response : 2 Corinthians 4
        1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

  2. lynnea1 Reply

    If what you say is true, and there was no total apostasy, then why were there no more apostles/prophets after the last of the original ones were gone?

    “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me . . . and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt. 28:18-20).
    . . . and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:33).
    And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).” They are speaking of God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, here…not the population of the world. And even now, in a world that’s worse than Sodom & Gomorrah was (my opinion), would you argue that there is not near total apostasy in the very days in which we live?

    1. Mace Church Reply

      Your quote from Matt.28:19-20, although correct, is taken out of context. If you read the verse just proceeding it, you will find that what the Savor is referring to was that He would establish his church upon the rock of REVELATION from His Father in Heaven.. The context was upon what principle He would establish His church and that verse makes plain what that would be: ” And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona. (yes he was speaking to Peter, and that was plain also, but) for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (it was upon the rock of revelation from His Father that He would establish his church, not upon Peter, a man of flesh and blood) For His word/revelation cannot fail, and as we know, no matter how great a man is, he is still subject to the frailties of the flesh.

      1. Jesus Jehovah Reply

        Jesus is the ROCK 1 Cor 10:4, 1 Peter 2:6-8 Duet 32:4, Isa 17:10 Hab 1:12 no other ROCK would I build my Church with

        1. Don Reply

          in 1Cor 10:4, Jesus is telling Paul that the way he knew that Jesus was the Christ was through Revelation. It is through the rock of Revelation that you can know that Jesus is the Christ and through no other way.

  3. fluffycatisfat2 Reply

    God the father and Jesus appeared to JS? Not! Which of the 10 different versions of JS’s story are people supposed to believe? And to know it took him YEARS after this supposed even to even write it down once? Plus, the FACT that 18 months after JS was convicted of fraud, he conjured up some Book of Mormon by seeing a fake language “reformed “Egyptian” by seeing hieroglyphics in a rock he put in his hat? Well, I call BS. No “great truths” to be had. Only a kid-turned man’s pile of hot, steaming, … lies.

    1. Doodah Reply

      Well, fluffycat, “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Show me another church that does more humanitarian service solely through the donations of time, money, and substance of its membership and then you can talk about hot, steaming whatever. Call their prophet a fraud if you want, but you can’t deny the good they do, and that counts for something.

  4. Mige Reply

    “Paul then reminds us, as we have already seen, this Church must have apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers (cf. Eph. 4:11). And why? “For the equipment of the saints . . . for building up the body of Christ . . . so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine . . ." (Eph. 4:12-14).”
    Exactly! That’s why the Catholic Church has prophets and apostles nowadays like in the days after Christ’s Resurrection! Not like the LDS Church, they don’t! … Oh wait!

  5. Bobby Reply

    Joseph Smith caught my attention for the same reason Paul caught my attention. Why lie to the point of death and suffering? Ever tell a lie when you were 14? At what point would you break and admit it was all a lie? If I told a lie when I was 14 and two weeks later a 16 year old threatened to punch me in the face if I didn’t tell the truth…I’d probably just admit I was lying. So to me it doesn’t make any sense. Why endure mobs, tar and feathering, having to pay off huge amounts of money (which he did) for a failed bank, death of children, friends, family and finally your own death just to cover up a lie you told when you were 14? About some of your other points, you can say why did it take so long for John to write his account since he wrote it down long after Christ’s death. And the only major variation I’ve seen in any of Joseph Smith’s accounts had to do with his age (once said he was 13 and once said he was 14). Kind of like if you asked me to recall when I went to the Little League World Series. Huge moment in my life but I can’t recall my exact age. I’d have to go through…well I remember wearing my all star jacket at the beginning of 8th grade so I must have been in 7th grade and lets see most people are 11 or 12 in seventh grade so I think I was 12 when I went to the little

    1. Edmund Reply

      Everything that happened to Joseph Smith was not just for religious persecution. It was because he conned people and went state to state, making his own bed and then having to lay in it. Joseph Smith didn’t tell anyone anything at 14 years of age. He made it all up in his 20’s, then told a story – in his 20’s- of his visions at 14 to back up what he was about to lie to the world about. Even his own mother in her biography said that JS said nothing at age 14. Study the history of the church in greater, deeper detail. Not just what you’ve been told. (5th generation Mormon here.) It’s painful, but trust me it is worth it. May I suggest a book written by a well respected historian with familiar ties to the Church: No Man Knows My History by Fawn M. Brodie. Originally, it was published in the 40’s. Joseph Smith did not die a martyr. He had a gun, he fired it, he killed someone, and he tried to climb out a window. Have you read the CES Letter by Jeremy Runnels? What are your thoughts about that? I encourage you not to study only what the church quietly published with its “11 Essays” hidden within Gospel Topics on their own website. How do you feel about the entire Smith family having a family business of treasure hunting, that JS was arrested for being a glass looker, and that he tried to join the Methodist church (while writing the BoM) but was thrown out? How would you explain the errors in the BoM that are specific to the King James Bible that the Smith family owned? One of the tings that bothered me as well was this: the original name of the LDS church didn’t even include Jesus Christ in it. That wasn’t until 1838. It’s a painful journey man, good luck.

  6. jon Reply

    A good discussion of the issue from a conservative Catholic perspective. Of course, as a Mormon, I disagree with the conclusion(s), but a generally accurate description of the debate.

    My question would be this: if the author of Ephesians (probably Paul, IMO), really meant for the church he describes as having apostles and prophets to be to “all generations,” then why were there no more apostles? What makes later Catholics think the bishops were their successors? The bishops themselves didn’t think so. Both St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Clement (of Rome!) insist that their authority is not an apostle’s, and it was the apostles’ own practice to replenish their ranks with other apostles, so they themselves didn’t see their own role as merely transitory (cf. Acts 1).

    This is not to point to the LDS church as the right one, necessarily, but how can the Catholic church claim an unbroken succession line if their organization is so different from the one Christ established?

  7. tamarasw Reply

    Have to agree with jon above. If you read the New Testament and observe the details of the church Jesus established, you will see almost no similarity to the modern Catholic Church. However, the LDS church does have a prophet and apostles and missionaries, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and baptism by immersion–none of which exist in the Catholic Church.

  8. Matthew Reply

    I am LDS (mormon) and i just wanted to say i appreciated this article. I think that for the most part it was fair. I appreciated that you agreed both religions want to follow Jesus Christ the same way he set up his church anciently. My parents worked with catholics a lot to feed and cloth orphans in Haiti. I think our two religions have a lot in common and we could all build on that. The only thing i would add to this article is the importance of asking God himself which church is His. Thanks again.

    1. Christian Apologist Reply

      The Biggest problem is that Catholics haven’t different Jesus than Mormons according to LDS leadership

      The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak as been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the matters of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.” (Church News, June 20, 1998, p70)

      Mormons also follow a different Jesus than Book of Mormon

      http://youtu.be/tkMY88DZcGU

  9. Patrick Reply

    The problem for the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church was NOT set up by Christ in his day. The Roman catholic Church emerged out of the original true Church by the middle of the 4th century or so. it was only part of the original Church, the Church at Rome, due to Political scheming etc became the leading Church and the Bishop of Rome became the head of the emerging Roman Catholic Church, due to the fact that Rome was the most powerful city in the world at the time. When Mormons talk about the LDS Church being Christ’s Church and existing in his day etc What is meant is that the LDS Church is synonymous with the Original Church set up by Christ and his Apostles and which only existed in this form until about 100 AD. the 1830 Church founded by Joseph Smith is a restoration of the Original true Apostolic Church.

    1. Michael Reply

      The 11 good apostles all preaching believed in the same Things, same teachings, same morales, therefore they all taught non contradicting things, therefore if peter “The Rock” on which the gates of hell with never preveal against The Church that is built on “The Rock” then how could The Catholic Church ever go wrong with Peters succession? Peter will never lead us astray. And not to mention the greatest Human evangelist Paul of tarsus was best friends with Peter and They worked together. The vast majority of The Church was Under the same teachings of The Church Of God Catholic was a term used alittle while after Christ or maybe during that time. Ultimately the Early Church believed in the same teachings as Peter. The Early Church fathers who lived while some apostles where still alive and Taught directly under the first good 11 (with a replacement making12) wrote papers down about The same things Catholics believe in.

    2. Jesus Jehovah Reply

      If it was the 4th century ? How come in the 556 BC 1000 years prior to the 4th century do we have the Book of Mormon teaching the Catholic view of the Godhead

      2 Nephi 31:
      21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

  10. Superman20 Reply

    Mormons teaching they can become Gods lose all credabity on the spot. I’m sorry but, how can a religion claim they’re the truth 1800 years later. Yes the story of gods true church was not found etc. anyways when the serpent tempted eve he said ” eat from the fruit and you shall be like gods” I dont remember the exact words but it was mostly like that. Regardless, u cannot become Gods period no one ever, that’s it.

    1. Tomothy Reply

      Just throwing it out there but the serpent said “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:” (Genesis 3:22). That part wasn’t a lie (unless the Lord God was lying?), the “Not surely die” part sure was though!

      1. James Reply

        Go read a translation that isnt drastically changed

    2. Don Reply

      What loving father wouldn’t want his children to be as successful as he is? A number of places in the Bible we are told we are to be like Him.

  11. sifi Reply

    the mormon church only accept you if you believe joseph smith is a prophet,,they dont care if you believe in god or jesus christ,,the book of mormon is more important to them than the holy bible..

    1. john D Reply

      I just returned from an lds mission, and what you just said is completely and entirely FALSE. The first question that is asked when someone wants to be baptized, or in other words wants to join the church is, and I quote, “Do you believe in God the eternal father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, the savior and redeemer of the world?” I realize that you don’t understand the LDS church or why it’smembers are the way they are. And that’s because your afraid. And that’s ok, I was the same way. But something I learned after 2 years in a foreign country, teaching people that were very active in their church, whether it be catholic, or protestant, or whatever, is that attacking just makes you seem scared and immature, and not to mention very very weak in testimony. Learn to accept that just because someone doesn’t believe the same thing as you in no way means you can attack them. Also, yes the book of Mormon is very important, but I would like to invite you to do some history. If not for the bible, the book of Mormon still would not be here. It was James 1:5 that Joseph Smith read, from the very same bible you have on your coffee table that you opened up to psalms 91 and never turned the page again, that inspired jospeph Smith to ask God where he should go. So, saying the bible is not important is a ridiculous statement that you simply can’t back up. So sifi I invite you to one, stop attacking just because you don’t understand, and to actually make sure the statements you make have a little backbone. Two, read that scary book of Mormon, because that way, if it isn’t true then you can just keep ranting on and on about things you don’t understand. But if it is true, and I know it is just as much as I know the bible is true, you will feel it, and know it just like I do. At the end of the book of moroni there are two verses that I invite you to read. Moroni 10:4-5. There is an invitation that you should act on. Finally, I invite you to talk to the missionaries, because I imagine they will be knocking your door here pretty soon. Thanks for your comment. Also look up 2 Timothy 4:3,4……it talks about the apostasy.

      1. Christian Apologist Reply

        You say Jesus is the Son but the Book of Mormon teaches he is God

        2 Nephi 26:12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;

        3 Nephi 11:17 Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.

        Mosiah 3:5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

        3 Nephi 19:
        18 And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.

        Mosiah 5:15 Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.

        Jesus is God above all, our Lord and God, God from Eternity, the Most High God and the eternal God according to the Book of Mormon

    2. J Tx Reply

      Interesting, sifi, that to determine worthiness to enter LDS temples, members are asked about their testimony (belief) in Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the World. And Article of Faith # 8 states, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” Which was mentioned first, now? If you are going to attack the LDS Church, there are far less fact-checkable things you can say…….

      1. Jesus Jehovah Reply

        Mormons teach there god was a fallen, exalted, saved, finite man like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

        “The Gods who dwell in the Heaven…have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this earth were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a fallen state….they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods to inhabit their Heaven forever and ever.” (Apostle Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 23)

        Would you think fallen means sinner In the 1844 LDS publication, Times and Seasons, volume 5, pages 613-614,… Joseph Smith reiterated that God was an exalted man and that Mormon men could also become Gods. This teaching is well documented, as is their claim that God is not a spirit being, but that he has a body of flesh and bone.

        “God is a perfected, saved soul enjoying eternal life." (Second Counselor in the First Presidency, Marion G. Romney, as per Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1977.)

        It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communion with him as many have supposed. He has passed on, and is exalted far beyond what we can now comprehend. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 334

        Doctrine and Covenant’s 132:
        37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

  12. Christian Apologist Reply

    The Apostle Paul wrote: “Unto Him (God) be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end Amen” (Eph. 3:21). Could that be true if there was a universal apostasy of the church for several centuries? Jesus also said, “Upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Notice that it is Christ Himself (not mortal men) who builds His church or adds to it (Acts 2:47), and Christ has all power in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 19:6). LDS often claim that the true church must be built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, as Eph 2:20 says. This is commented upon later in this chapter under the sub-title, “Apostles.” But Paul wrote, “…other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). Since Jesus Christ is the Foundation of the church, He is also part of the church! Could that church “collapse” or become extinct when the omnipotent Christ is the Foundation of it? Is it possible for Christ to lose “the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25)? Christ is called the “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11. But, any shepherd who loses all his sheep is not a very good shepherd!

  13. sifi Reply

    John D,, i said it because thats wat the missionary first say to me if i believe Joseph Smith is a true prophet of god,,,i ask them bout Joseph Smith teaching that god was once a man like us and his many wives including a 14 year old girl and they said they dont believe me,,,so whats happen now your church finally admit JS han about 40 or more wives..so why would i believe in a church that llies to its member and everyone….

  14. Dan Madsen Reply

    I am a former mormon and don’t believe as either church being ” The true” church. But I would like some catholics defend, why they don’t have apostles and prophets as paul said would characterize the true church?

    1. Michael Reply

      well actually The Gift of phrophecy is well alive in many Catholics and have been since Christ Established His church. Its rare to have but it does occur in people, its just not a big role as it used to be considering that Christ Has come, He has instructed us in what to do as did His apostles. Those early Church Fathers are considered apostles as are we. Anyone who recieves The Word of God correctly and then preaches The Word is an apostle. There are still people with The Gift of miracles, you dont usaully find it in a better country considering the people are more focused on the world in these 1st class/world countries. But yes even in 1st class/world countries there are people with the gift of miracles.

  15. Dan Livingstone Reply

    Catholic church was founded well after Christ. History will tell you a different story.

    1. James Reply

      actually historical evidence of peter shows otherwise. Peter was “The Rock ” of the church Established by Jesus. Historical evidence of peter who lived at that time. Also there are papers from saints/early church fathers that testify what Catholics believe in.

  16. Yamil Inostroza Reply

    I’m a mormon from Chile and I want to thank you for this article. I think the autor is honest and didn’t break the commenment “you shall not give false testimony”. We have differences in our doctrine and things in common. It a blessing to live in free countries were we can share our different points of view without fear while we can share -at the same time- the good things our faiths have each others.

    1. Christian Apologist Reply

      The Catholic Faith have nothing in common, Catholics have a different Jesus, different Gospel and different Spirit than Mormons.

      2 Corinthians 11:1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

  17. Micah Reply

    The complete restoration of the Priesthood and the Doctrine the we believe existent with Christ and his church is what was restored. The correct knowledge of who our Heavenly Father is was restored starting with Joseph Smiths first vision. Then to help the world understand and accept the restored gospel Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ brought forth The Book of Mormon a companion scriptures to the Bible to help make clear the plain and precious part of The Gospel of Jesus Christ that where lost through the great apostasy that took place in about or less than a generation after the Apostle where killed. Jesus set up his Church the way he wanted it and in the most perfect way and that was manipulated and rearanged in a way that does not reflect his arrangement ( the Catholic Church). This is your first clue that an apostasy did in fact take place. The most important authority is God and he is the one true seekers of truth can reley on to know the truth. Study it out pray about it and Heavenly Father will let you know the truth.

    1. Christian Apologist Reply

      No proof for Melchizedek Priesthood
      It is claimed by the Mormon leaders that before the church was organized Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. Apostle LeGrand Richards admits that the exact date of this ordination is not known: “While we are a record-keeping people, as the Lord commanded, nevertheless our records are not complete…. we do not have the date that Peter, James and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon them” (Letter from LeGrand Richards, dated September 26, 1960).

      “In the History of the Church, no account is given of the date when the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored.” Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 3 page 95 Joseph Fielding Smith

      The Doctrine and Covenants 27:12
      is cited as proof that the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred at a very early date: “And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles …. ”

      This verse, however, did not appear in the revelation when it was published in the Book of Commandments in 1833. It was added into the Doctrine and Covenants, and therefore cannot be cited as proof that the Melchizedek Priesthood was in the church at the time the revelation was given

      Hyperlink is the Original section of 27 before 12 verses were added.

      This hyperlink shows the two side by side

      http://www.utlm.org/images/changingtherevelations/changingtherevelations_p157.gif

      Visitations of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John conferring the priesthood apparently were not known in the church until sometime after 1834. If restoration of priesthood was such a significant event, wouldn’t Joseph have mentioned it earlier? “I never heard that an Angel had ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic Priesthood until the year 1834, 5, or 6—in Ohio… I do not believe that John the Baptist ever ordained Joseph and Oliver…" – David Whitmer (Early Mormon Documents, 5:137). “I joined the church in 1831. For years I never heard of John the Baptist ordaining Joseph and Oliver. I heard not of James, Peter, and John doing so… I never heard of it in the church for years…" – William McLellin (An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, pp.224-25). The revelation referring to the Aaronic restoration is missing from the Book of Commandments, as well as from the original church history as published in The Evening and Morning Star (edition dated March 1833, p.6). The only known manuscript copy of the revelation makes no reference to the LDS priesthoods either (Origins of Power, p.16).

      The account of the Melchizedek restoration is entirely missing. B.H. Roberts writes that “there is no definite account of the event in the history of the Prophet Joseph, or, for matter of that, in any of our annals…" (History of the Church, 1:40fn).

      The information that is available about the Melchizedek restoration creates a problem. Many LDS scholars who have studied the event place the ordination within a few weeks of the Aaronic priesthood ordination date, which was in May 1829 (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:885-86). There is a brief mention of the event in Oliver B. Huntington’s journal, which places the Melchizedek ordination on a night after Joseph and Oliver had been on trial in Colesville, New York (Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, 13 January 1881). Joseph Smith dated this incarceration in mid-to-late June of 1830 (History of the Church 1:84-85, 92-94). Wesley Walters located the court bill for this trial, which was dated “July 1st 1830" (Joseph Smith’s Bainbridge, N.Y., Court Trials, p.125). That date is several weeks after the Church was organized. But LDS sources are emphatic that Smith could not have legally organized the Church unless he had received the Melchizedek priesthood first. At the time of church organization, Joseph Smith gave himself the title of FIRST ELDER of the church. That creates an irreconcilable problem for the LDS claim of authority.

      The first mention of Melchizedek Priesthood in the scriptures of the church is Doctrine and Covenants 68, which was recorded in November 1831. Verse 15 says, “Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron." Nowhere before 1831 is there any such notion of a Priesthood of Melchizedek on the records of the church.

    2. Jesus Jehovah Reply

      The Apostle Paul wrote: “Unto Him (God) be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end Amen” (Eph. 3:21). Could that be true if there was a universal apostasy of the church for several centuries? Jesus also said, “Upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Notice that it is Christ Himself (not mortal men) who builds His church or adds to it (Acts 2:47), and Christ has all power in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 19:6). LDS often claim that the true church must be built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, as Eph 2:20 says. This is commented upon later in this chapter under the sub-title, “Apostles.” But Paul wrote, “…other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). Since Jesus Christ is the Foundation of the church, He is also part of the church! Could that church “collapse” or become extinct when the omnipotent Christ is the Foundation of it? Is it possible for Christ to lose “the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25)? Christ is called the “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11. But, any shepherd who loses all his sheep is not a very good shepherd!

      Jesus must bear some responsibility for the existence of the church since God “gave Him to be head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22). The Lord Himself also nourishes (feeds) and cherishes (lovingly cares for) the church (Eph. 5:29). Jesus never told anyone else to go build His church. Instead, He declared, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). And after He ascended into heaven, Acts 2:47 declares, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” He needed no successor to build His church because He lives forever (Heb. 7:24-25). That is why Col. 1:18 declares, “He is the head of the body, the church.” Notice the present tense verb is used which shows that Jesus was still Head of His church even though He had ascended to heaven many years before that was written! And Jesus is still the Head of His Church and He is adding members to it today! Thus, when LDS claim that Christ’s church was prevailed against and ceased to exist, they insult the living Head of the Church!

  18. Joe Reyna Reply

    The catholic popes, cardinals, and Roman curia became corrupted and intoxicated with power, wealth, and sexual deviances throughout the last two millennia. When the Top Catholic priesthood leaders succumb to homosexualism, sexual perversions, political corruption, and unjust dominion over mankind, God and Christ ABANDONED the popes and the Catholic leadership. Hundreds of examples can be pointed out even recently with the Roman curia scandal of homosexuals, the corruption at the Vatican bank, priests abusing children worldwide….may I say more? Would Christ be governing this type of church which I just described above?….Absolutely not!

  19. Morgan Reply

    Fair article. One thing is for sure, regarding “Christianity”, either the Catholics or the Mormons are the one and only true church upon the earth. Christ was crystal clear about the “authority” needed to act in His name, baptize, etc… That “authority” is either with Catholics or Mormons.

    I’m biased because I’m a very informed Mormon. I also see absolutely no similarity in the Catholic church and Christ’s church. Therefore the Great Apostasy did occur, and it is undeniable – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the restored Church upon the Earth today in these last days and is preparing the world for Christ’s return.

  20. Jesus Jehovah Reply

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/LPrLuvC.jpg[/img]

    Mormonism is the restored religion of the Pharisees , the have lovers of wealth, lovers of keeping strange commandments and praised in public

  21. Jesus Jehovah Reply

    The Godhead consists of the three distinct personages and three gods.. The Father Son and Holy Spirit. The Father and Son have bodies of flesh and bones, while the Holy Spirit is a personage of spirit. Robert Millet A Different Jesus page 198

    Robert Millet ignores Jesus’s words and turns to Joseph Smith

    “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods,” (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370)

    Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: ”

  22. Chip Barrett Reply

    The entire discussion can be answered by one simple question: “where did the Book of Mormon come from?”

  23. Uti Makasini Reply

    I am LDS. Are we not in the latter days ? How did Joseph Smith know that these are the last days ? I’ll tell you. He didn’t. It was by revelation from the Jesus Christ himself in 1838 when he was commanded to name the church. I quote the Lord ” thus shall my church be called The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints”…… Not Mormons, not Christians. but Saints. If you want to save yourself a lot of truth searching time, just join this church, you’ll eventually find out sooner or later.

  24. Dustin Reply

    Interesting that the author didn’t discuss the Nicene Creed. Utter confusion in 325 A.D. Proving total apostasy as the author stated not just kinda of apostasy.

    1. Jesus Jehovah Reply

      It’s interesting how in 556 BC the Nicene Creed was being taught

      2 Nephi 31:
      21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.’ 556 BC

      Alma 11:
      44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but everything shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

      Mormon 7:
      7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

      The Testimony of Three Witnesses
      And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
      Oliver Cowdery
      David Whitmer
      Martin Harris

      1. Dustin Reply

        Correct, the word of God was being taught by Nephi, Alma and Mormon but they were not apostles. Jesus organized his church by calling twelve apostles. After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus we know that a new apostle was called to replace Judas. Thus this should have continued on and on as apostles died. However their message was rejected and were killed for it thus sending the world into apostasy.