Claims of Restoration Equal Claims of Apostate Christianity
Inherent in the history of the Mormon church and fundamental to its current teachings are bold claims about the authenticity of the universal Christian Church. By necessity, the LDS claim of exclusively being the only "restored" church requires that all other churches already be fallen away and apostate. Specifically, Mormonismís past and current teachings state the following about todayís Christian churches:
To be clear, then, Christendom was first attacked by and continues to be opposed by Mormonism. In fact, Mormons must continue to oppose orthodox Christianity, since without making such claims there would be no need for a "restoration," and Mormonism would then be reduced to only another denomination of many. Therefore, each article against Mormonism on Xristian.org could be rightly viewed as primarily a defense of Christianity, rather than an attack on Mormonism. Yet, Mormons will still continue to send the emails and notes asking why we have "anti" Mormon material here, which "bashes" their faith.
- All other churches are apostate and have been since the death of the apostles.
- The LDS church is the only true church on earth.
In the Words of Mormon Authorities
Many Mormon leaders have spoken forthrightly against orthodox Christianity, due to the above LDS teachings around the "restoration." For example, in the Mormon canonized "Joseph Smith History" found in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith wrote that all of Christianity's "creeds were an abomination" in God's sight and that their "professors were all corrupt" (JS-H 1:18-20). Joseph Smith later went on to institute a "sacred" temple ceremony that portrayed a Christian minister as a direct hireling of Satan. This ceremony continued with this portrayal up until 1991, when it was changed to curb the general offensiveness (among Mormon members) of the entire ceremony. Nevertheless, the Mormon position toward Christianity has been clear since the days of Joseph Smith.
Again, Joseph Smith was not the only Mormon authority to speak against Christianity. Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church and a self-professed prophet, affirmed the same teaching of Joseph Smith:
Even stronger statements were made by President Young, where he specifically stated that Christianity was among more darkness than the heathen of the world:
- But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 171, 1855, emphasis added.)
And again, said Young:
- The Devil has the mastery of the earth: he has corrupted it, and has corrupted the children of men. He has led them in evil until they are almost entirely ruined, and are so far from God that they neither know Him nor his influence, and have almost lost sight of everything that pertains to eternity. This darkness is more prevalent, more dense, among the people of Christendom, than it is among the heathen. They have lost sight of all that is great and glorious--of all principles that pertain to life eternal. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 208, 1860, emphasis added.)
Yet, many a Mormon who would take offense at "anti" material directed at their church would not count the above as "bashing" of all other Christian faiths. As if those were not enough, consider some of the following statements by other authorities of the LDS Church:
- We declare it to all the inhabitants of the earth from the valleys in the tops of these mountains that we are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--not a church but the church--and we have the doctrine of life and salvation for all the honest-in-heart in all the world. Who else has got it? Is it to be found in the creeds of Christendom? It is not. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 12, p. 173, 1868, emphasis added).
- "We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense....Myself and hundreds of the Elders around me have seen its pomp, parade, and glory; and what is it? It is a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century"(John Taylor, 3rd President of the LDS Church, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, page 167 - 1858, emphasis added).
- "What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing; yet these very men assume the right and power to tell others what they shall and what they shall not believe in. Why, so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God" (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 224, 1870, emphasis added).
- "Through it [the restoration] the creeds of Christendom were shattered to smithereens, and because of it the truth about those Beings whom it is life eternal to know began again to be taught among men" ("Apostle" Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 284 -85).
- "...there is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" ("Apostle" Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 670).
All informed and devout Mormons believe that Orthodox Christianity is completely apostate and that the LDS Church is the restored and only true church on earth. Consequently, Mormons teach against other Christian churches and faiths and are therefore "anti's" themselves. Even the Mormon missionaries will openly teach a Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian that his/her church is not true. So, the question is not which side is a combatant and "anti" something (they both stand opposed to one another). In fact, the battle, if you will, was instigated by the Mormons from the earliest days of Joseph Smith. The outstanding question then is, "Which side is biblical and correct?" And, it is that question - emphasized by the Mormons themselves - which draws the critique of the claims and teachings of the LDS Church. To pursue the answer to that question is only to follow up on the words of Brigham Young, "Come with the sword of the Spirit! Let the whole world of Christendom come with their arguments and Scriptures, and let us argue these things together! Let us lay them before the people and see who is right and who is wrong" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 329).
Rising to defend the Christian faith against Mormonism is not only an answer to a challenge from Brigham Young, but it is even more importantly an answer to the call of God, as discussed in "The Purpose and Premise of Refuting False Teachings."
Copyright 2003, Xristian.org.
All Rights Reserved.