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Why Mormon Baptism Is Invalid: Sect´s Concept of the Trinity Differs from Christian Notion
ZENIT ^ | 2001-07-17

Posted on 04/20/2010 7:56:29 PM PDT by delacoert

VATICAN CITY, JULY 17, 2001 ( Prompted by questions about Mormon practices, the Vatican recently confirmed that the sect´s baptism is invalid.

Last month the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith noted the invalidity of the Mormons´ baptism given their misconception of the Trinity and, consequently, the identity of Christ.

Father Luis Ladaria, a theologian at the Pontifical Gregorian University, explained today in L´Osservatore Romano the Church´s view about Mormon baptism.

"The baptism of the Catholic Church and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," the theologian said, "differ essentially as regards faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose name baptism is conferred and, at the same time, in regard to Christ, who instituted it."

Father Ladaria pointed out that even non-Catholics can administer baptism validly, as the minister of the sacrament is, in fact, Christ himself. But the baptizer must do so in the name of the Trinity and "with the intention of doing what the Church does," he added.

Joseph Smith founded the Mormons in New York state in 1830. He was inspired to find the place were golden tablets were placed, which expressed the revelations of the prophet Mormon, written by him and his son Moroni. Mormonism is a "sacred history" rewritten in America, in which God revealed the "latter-day saints."

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith´s response is based on research requested by the U.S. bishops.

Father Ladaria said the formula used by the Mormons for baptism states that, "having received Christ´s mandate, I baptize you in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

But there is no real invocation of the Trinity, the theologian said, because, for the Mormons, the "Father," "Son" and "Holy Spirit" are not the three persons in which the one divinity subsists, but three gods who form a divinity.

The term divinity itself has no "substantial" content, because, according to this Mormon concept, divinity has come into existence given that the three gods have decided to unite and form the divinity to bring about the salvation of man. This divinity and man share the same nature and are "substantially the same," according to Mormon belief.

Such divergence in doctrine implies, Father Landaria said, that the Mormon minister does not have the intention, when baptizing, of doing what the Catholic Church does when it confers baptism.

TOPICS: Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: beck; glennbeck; inman; lds; mormon; mormonism
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The doctrine of the Trinity is an essential doctrine.

There are three common errors that arise in regard to the doctrine of the Trinity.

The first error to avoid is tritheism. This error comes from an over-emphasis on the function of each of the three persons within the Godhead at the expense of their absolute equality. In essence, tritheism asserts that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct gods. This clearly contradicts the first proposition; namely, that there is one, and only one, true and living God.

The second error to avoid is called modalism. This is the opposite extreme of tritheism. Modalism is an over-emphasis of the unity of God at the expense of the distinction of persons within the Godhead. Modalism will teach that there is one and only one God who manifests himself at various times as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The third and final error is Arianism (named after the 3rd century monk, Arius). This error denies the third proposition by making the Son and Holy Spirit lesser created deities.

1 posted on 04/20/2010 7:56:29 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: delacoert

Last month the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith noted the invalidity of the Mormons´ baptism given their misconception of the Trinity and, consequently, the identity of Christ.

And thats just the start...

2 posted on 04/20/2010 7:57:49 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: delacoert; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

3 posted on 04/20/2010 8:01:26 PM PDT by narses (Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

Give me a break. Surely this is a joke. These folks don’t have a corner on Christ. In Fact they need to stop the organized cover-up of child rape before they start with criticizing Mormons.

4 posted on 04/20/2010 8:01:38 PM PDT by rogertarp
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To: delacoert

God said not to foresake our fellow worshipers .

In the 1980’s when asked about the mormons the pope noted a lot of common issues but in the end noted either they are right and we are wrong or we are right and they are wrong.

Guess that is why we call it faith.

5 posted on 04/20/2010 8:04:11 PM PDT by edcoil (If I had 1 cent for every dollar the government saved, Bill Gates and I would be friends.)
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To: delacoert
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith´s response is based on research requested by the U.S. bishops.

The US Catholic bishops actually needed the Vatican to explain this to them?

6 posted on 04/20/2010 8:05:00 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: edcoil

Unless you can corroborate that, I’m calling that wildly inaccurate, because I am familiar with the actual story which is often misrepresented as such.

7 posted on 04/20/2010 8:06:14 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: delacoert

Oh my! This will get interesting ... please, Catholics, don't defend mormonism this thread.

8 posted on 04/20/2010 8:06:56 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: rogertarp

“These folks don’t have a corner on Christ.”

Ahh, but they do. And if you want to talk about child rape, why don’t we start with the Mormons marring multiple child brides.... (much the same as the ROP folks)

9 posted on 04/20/2010 8:07:39 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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I'm Resty will have plenty of her platoon feeding her posts. Perhaps I need more popcorn ...

10 posted on 04/20/2010 8:08:31 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: rogertarp

You know what they say about getting flak! Yowsers.

11 posted on 04/20/2010 8:10:02 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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Pass the popcorn! This ought to be good.....

12 posted on 04/20/2010 8:12:56 PM PDT by blasater1960 ( Dt 30, Ps 111, The Torah is perfect, attainable, now and forever)
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To: delacoert

Mormons don’t see dead people but they do baptise them!

13 posted on 04/20/2010 8:14:24 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
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To: blasater1960

We already have one apologist making assertions without proving anything, just to divert readers from the issues raised in the article.

14 posted on 04/20/2010 8:17:52 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: babygene

I don’t think Mormons have child brides. Are you talking about the FLDS? I was talking about millions of parishioner dollars paying damages for priest attacking small children by the thousands. and then covering that up like Ratzinger did in Phoenix after the child was raped there by a priest and instead of turning that pervert over to the authorities as is required by law, he moved the criminal to New York where he attacked another child.

15 posted on 04/20/2010 8:20:34 PM PDT by rogertarp
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To: rogertarp

“I don’t think Mormons have child brides.”


16 posted on 04/20/2010 8:24:00 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

That is a knee slapper.

17 posted on 04/20/2010 8:33:46 PM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: rogertarp

“Are you talking about the FLDS?”

Same thing... Ask them, they will tell you they are Mormons (real Mormons)

In the same vein, Homo Priest that abuse children and do not follow Christ... Are they Catholic? Or are they impostors? (maybe there closet Mormons)

18 posted on 04/20/2010 8:35:07 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: rogertarp

I don’t think Mormons have child brides

Joey Smith had several...

and no they arent real wives, just concubines...

He started his perverted sex practices early in his religion..

To cover his many sexual adventures..

he committed adultery with at least 40 woman and young girls

some were other mens wives and some young as 14 years old..

His D&C 132 allows for many “wives”

and has never been rescinded...

Joey Smith and his friends wrote to use to abuse and threaten his legal wife Emma with death so that she would not stop him from his one night stands...

But the mormon doctrine on bigamy/polygamy is that a mormon male cannot go to the mormon afterlife if he only has one wife...

One man one woman kind of marriage was called “prostitution” by the mormons...

In 1890 the US government made them stop or they would lose their land in Utah and belongings

So a “proclamation” was announced by the mormon “prophet”

But the prophet didnt give up his extra wives...

nor did the “prophets” after that one..

The Utah mormons still practiced polygamy until the 1920-30s

19 posted on 04/20/2010 8:37:45 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: edcoil

God said not to foresake our fellow worshipers

- - - - -
Mormons are not fellow worshippers, they believe in an entirely different God, on who was once human (and technically Mormon), who is NOT omnipotent and has a “God” Himself.

Just saying...

20 posted on 04/20/2010 8:38:20 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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To: rogertarp

You just might change you mind if with any measure of objectivity, you give this careful and scholarly treatment a very careful and dispassionate read. It is a long read to be sure but it has changed the minds of many and may just change yours. In this respect, be warned
Is Mormonism Christian? A Respected Advocate for Interreligious Cooperation Responds
Copyright © 2000 Richard John Neuhaus. All rights reserved. Used with permission..

That is not the only interesting question, but it is probably the most important. Most non-Mormons have little occasion to think about Mormonism, and those who do tend toward distinctly negative thoughts. Although there is this curious thing of recent years that many conservative Christians warmly welcome Mormons as allies in various cultural tasks. To cite but one recent instance, it was an alliance of Catholics, evangelicals, and Mormons that was instrumental in persuading the people of Hawaii to reject same-sex marriage.

Yet a few issues ago we published an article by a Mormon doctor presenting the case for Natural Family Planning and received blistering letters of protest. We thought that the fact that the argument was not being advanced by a Catholic might make it more persuasive to some. But at least some readers did not see it that way. Didn’t we know that Mormons are the enemies of Christ and his Church? Such views are stronger in the Northwest and, increasingly, in the Southwest where the Mormon presence is a force to be reckoned with.

“For missionary and public relations purposes, the LDS may present Mormonism as an ‘add-on,’ a kind of Christianity-plus, but that is not the official narrative and doctrine.”

Ours is an interreligious enterprise, basically but not exclusively Jewish and Christian. Dr. Bruce Hafen is on our Editorial Advisory Board. He has held prominent positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), including that of provost and dean of the law school at Brigham Young University. I can’t say that many of my friends are Mormons, but some are. We are obliged to respect human dignity across the board, and to affirm common discernments of the truth wherever we find them.

Where we disagree we should try to put the best possible construction on the position of the other, while never trimming the truth. That will become more important as Mormons become more of a presence, both in this country and the world. There are about ten million of them now, with about one-half of the membership in the U.S. Sociologist Rodney Stark — a non-Mormon with strong personal connections to the LDS — predicts that, on the basis of present growth patterns, there will be more than 265 million Mormons by the end of this century, making it the most important new religion in world history since Islam. For reasons I will come to, I think that is improbable. Put differently, if that happens, Mormonism will be something dramatically different from what it has been over the last century and a half.

Some while back we were sent for review the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: The History, Scripture, Doctrine, and Procedures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s a big five-volume set, written largely by professors at Brigham Young; we weren’t sure what to do with it, but I’ve been reading in it with great benefit. Then comes a big new book by Richard N. Ostling, Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, published by HarperSanFrancisco (454 pp., $26). It is a remarkable piece of work and likely to be the best general introduction to Mormonism for years to come. The Ostlings are evangelical Protestants. Dick was for many years religion editor at Time and now covers religion for the Associated Press.

I have had frequent occasion to say that he is one of the two or three best religion reporters in the country. Joan is a freelance writer with a background in the practice and teaching of journalism. What they have achieved with this assiduously researched and very readable book puts us all in their debt. Apparently the powers that be in Salt Lake City are ambivalent about the book, but it is probably as thorough and fair a treatment of the LDS by outsiders as they are likely to get.

Much to Admire

The Ostlings find much to admire. Mormonism gives a whole new meaning to being “pro-family.” In Mormon belief, families are, quite literally, forever. Proxies are baptized on behalf of the dead, and families and relatives hope to go on living together and procreating in a celestial eternity. All children are baptized at age eight, and at twelve boys (no girls allowed) take their place of responsibility and status by entering the first level of the priesthood — the priesthood, according to Joseph Smith, having been restored by John the Baptist in upstate New York in 1829. While bar mitzvah among Jews and confirmation among Christians too often means that young people graduate from their religious responsibilities, Mormon youth at that point in life graduate into intense and clearly defined responsibilities within the community. Also widely and justly admired is the LDS welfare system, whereby the community takes care of its own when they get into economic or other difficulty.

At present, in a time of economic prosperity, only about 5 percent require help from the welfare system. (A figure, interestingly, about parallel with Edward Banfield’s famous claim about the percentage of people in any society who will never be able to make it on their own.)

There is no denying that the prohibition of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine has a payoff. Mormons live; on average, eight to eleven years longer than other Americans, and death rates from cancer and cardiovascular diseases are about half those of the general population. Of course, it is fair to note, they do die of other things, and one may do one’s own calculation about the risk worth taking for a scotch before dinner and a cigar afterward, never mind one’s morning coffee. (The most recent Harvard longitudinal study found that the strongest positive correlation between health and habits is the daily consumption of about three ounces of wine or liquor. Go figure.)

In addition, a strong emphasis on chastity sharply reduces sexually transmitted diseases, while a tightly knit and supportive community makes homicide and suicide rare. Put it all together, and one concludes that Mormonism is good for your physical health. Whether it is good for your spiritual health is a disputed question. (It should also be noted that medical data on the strongly committed in other religious communities are comparable to the Mormon findings.)

There are other things to admire. Brigham Young University, for instance, where, because of church subsidies, young Mormons get the entire package (tuition, room, board, etc.) for less than $10,000 a year. The ticket is slightly more for non-Mormons, but there are very few takers. There is also the Church Educational System, which involves hundreds of thousands in continuing education programs here and around the world. Nor can the most severe critics deny the energy, enthusiasm, and organization of the LDS in its missionary zeal, and in its dramatic presentation of its colorful history, whether through the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or annual pageants reenacting the key episodes of its sacred stories. In a world that seems to be largely adrift, it is no little thing to be part of an organized crusade in which you and those who are closest to you view your life as crucial to the unfolding of the cosmic drama.

Restoring the Church

The LDS is, among other things, a very big business tightly controlled from the top down. If one believes that the entire enterprise is based on revelation that is authoritatively interpreted by divinely appointed officers, it makes sense that control should be from the top down. The LDS claims that God chose Joseph Smith to reestablish the Church of Jesus Christ after it had disappeared some 1,700 years earlier following the death of the first apostles. To complicate the picture somewhat, God’s biblical work was extended to the Americas somewhere around 2000 B.C. and continued here until A.D. 421. This is according to the Book of Mormon, the scriptures given to Joseph Smith on golden tablets by the Angel Moroni. American Indians are called Lamanites and are part of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Jesus came to preach to these Indians and for a long time there was a flourishing church here until it fell into apostasy, only to be restored, as the golden tablets foretold, by Joseph Smith. In addition to giving new scriptures, God commissioned Smith to revise the Bible, the text of which had been corrupted over the centuries by Jews and Christians.

Today’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is, allegedly, in direct succession to Smith, and the First Presidency claims powers that would have made St. Peter, never mind most of his successors, blush. The top leadership is composed, with few exceptions, of men experienced in business and with no formal training in theology or related disciplines. The President (who is also a prophet, seer, and revelator) is the oldest apostle, which means he is sometimes very old indeed and far beyond his prime. Decisions are made in the tightest secrecy, inevitably giving rise to suspicions and conspiracy theories among outsiders and a substantial number of members.

Revenues from tithes, investments, and Mormon enterprises have built what the Ostlings say “might be the most efficient churchly money machine on earth.” They back up with carefully detailed research their “conservative” estimate that LDS assets are in the range of $25-30 billion.

Protecting the Stories

But, of course, the most important control is over the sacred stories, and attendant truth claims, upon which the entire enterprise rests. Of the telling of history, Orwell wrote, “He who controls the past controls the future and he who controls the present controls the past.” The Ostlings devote a great deal of attention to “dissenters and exiles” who have tried to tell the sacred stories honestly, and in a manner that might bring them into conversation with other stories of the world.

Some may think the Ostlings devote too much attention to these “troublemakers,” but I think not. In my limited experience with, for instance, people associated with the publication Sunstone, these are devout Mormons who are seized by the correct intuition that truth that must be protected within the circle of true believers, that cannot intelligently engage critical examination by outsiders, is in some fundamental sense doubtfully true. Some of the “dissenters and exiles” may be dismissable as troublemakers — a species all too familiar in other religious communities as well. I expect, however, that what most of these people are trying to do is much more important to the possible futures of the LDS than all the billions in assets, massive building programs, and ambitiously organized missionary campaigns combined.

To give a credible account of the sacred stories and truth claims is no easy task. Not to put too fine a point on it, the founding stories and doctrines of Mormonism appear to the outsider as a bizarre phantasmagoria of fevered religious imagination not untouched by perverse genius. Germinated in the “burnt-over district” of upstate New York in the early nineteenth century, where new religions and spiritualities produced a veritable rainforest of novel revelations, the claims of Joseph Smith represent a particularly startling twist of the kaleidoscope of religious possibilities.

In 1831, Alexander Campbell, cofounder of the Disciples of Christ, said that Smith pasted together “every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years.” Much of the teaching reflects the liberal Protestantism of the time, even the Transcendental and Gnostic fevers that were in the air: e.g., a God in process of becoming, progressive revelation, the denial of original sin, and an unbridled optimism about the perfectibility of man. Mix that in with the discovery of golden tablets written in a mysterious language, the bodily appearance of God the Father and Son, angelic apparitions, and a liberal dose of Masonic ritual and jargon, and the result is, quite simply, fantastic. The question, of course, is whether it is true.

In what sense true? It is true in the sense that it is meaningful for those who believe it uncritically, and even for more critical souls who embrace the community whose fabulous founding, they contend, points to higher truths. In the conventional version controlled by LDS authorities, it is true if you believe it is true. Thus is the back door shut against potentially subversive reason. One possible response is to say that all religion is finally based on faith and is incapable of rational demonstration. Did not St. Paul say that the gospel of Christ is “foolishness” according to the wisdom of the world? Of course he did. But every part of the traditional Christian story has been and is subjected to critical examination, by believers and nonbelievers alike — and that examination, with its attending disagreements, will go on to the end of time.

Over two thousand years, from Origen and Augustine through Anselm, Aquinas, Newman, Barth, and Balthasar, the truth claims of Christianity have engaged, with utmost intensity and sophistication, alternative and opposing construals of reality. In short, there is a very long Christian intellectual tradition. There is not, or at least not until very recently, such a Mormon tradition. And those who are interested in encouraging such inquiry typically find themselves in the company of “dissenters and exiles.” Keep in mind, however, that Mormonism is not yet two centuries old. A youngish Mormon intellectual today is in relation of time to Joseph Smith roughly comparable to Origen in relation to the apostles.

But his task is ever so much more difficult than that of Irenaeus, Origen, and the many other early Christian thinkers. There is, for instance, the surpassingly awkward fact that not a single person, place, or event that is unique to the Book of Mormon has ever been proven to exist. Outside the fanum of true believers, these tales cannot help but appear to be the product of fantasy and fabrication. There is, moreover, a corrosive tradition of make-believe in the LDS, such as the claim that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham — a book he said was written by Abraham — from Egyptian papyri that were later proven to be nothing but conventional funerary inscriptions.

The sanitized story of Mormonism promoted by the LDS tries to hide so much that cannot be hidden. The Ostlings are to be commended for resisting sensationalism in relating the sensational history of polygamy in the LDS, including Joseph Smith’s coercive use of threats of eternal damnation in order to procure young women he desired as additional wives. (On this score, the quasi-official Encyclopedia is also considerably more candid than the usual LDS presentations.)

And how, except by a practiced schizophrenia, can LDS biblical scholars engage with other scholars if they are required to give credence to the normative status of Smith’s “translation” (i.e., rewriting) of the King James Bible? There is a long list of particulars in the formidable obstacles to be overcome if anything like a credible intellectual tradition is to be secured, and not least among the obstacles is the history of LDS leadership in backstopping secretiveness with mendacity. Taking note of these realities is not to deny the frequent moral courage, indeed heroism, of the early leadership, or the continuing devotion and talent of their successors.

Missionary Zeal

The LDS is much given to boosterism, and it is no surprise that its leaders relish the projections of almost exponential growth offered by such as Rodney Stark. Nobody can help but be impressed by the thousands of clean-cut Mormon young men who go on mission, two by two, knocking on the doors of the world, but the Ostlings helpfully put this missionary enterprise into perspective by comparing it with the many times larger enterprise of various Christian groups, noting as well that, unlike the Mormons, these missionaries do not limit themselves to winning converts but minister to the illiterate, the poor, and others in need.

Moreover, these Christian efforts result in large and thriving indigenous churches that engage and transform local cultures, whereas the Mormon mission, totally controlled and directed from Salt Lake City, is about as pure an instance of American cultural imperialism as can be imagined, albeit a benevolently intended imperialism.

It appears also that the figures of Mormon growth are considerably inflated, not taking into account the massive defections through the back door, especially in developing countries. The Ostlings observe, “Mormonism succeeds by building on a preexisting Christian culture and by being seen as an add-on, drawing converts through a form of syncretism. Mormonism flourishes best in settings with some prior Christianization.” There is, in this view, a parasitic dynamic in Mormon growth. Yet the Ostlings suggest that, despite doctrinal and demographic problems, Mormonism may continue to thrive. “Ours is a relational era,” they write, “not a conceptual one. Members are more likely to be attracted by networking and community than by truth claims. The adherents appear to be contented or docile in their discontent, except for some thousands of intellectuals.”

I am not so sure, and that brings us to the opening question of whether Mormonism is Christian or a new religion tenuously founded on fables and sustained by authoritarian management. Maybe ours is a time in which truth does not matter that much in terms of institutional flourishing, a time in which communities can get along with useful, if not particularly noble, lies. But we should not too easily resign ourselves to that conclusion.

An Insulting Question

Asking whether Mormonism is Christian or Mormons are Christians (a slightly different question) is thought to be insulting. “How can you ask that,” protests a Mormon friend, “when we clearly love the Lord Jesus as much as we do?” It is true that St. Paul says that nobody can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). But that only indicates that aspects of Mormon faith are touched by the Holy Spirit, as is every element of truth no matter where it is found.

A Mormon academic declares that asking our question “is a bit like asking if African Americans are human.” No, it is not even a bit like that. “Christian” in this context is not honorific but descriptive. Nobody questions whether Mormons are human. To say that Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists are not Christians is no insult. It is a statement of fact, indeed of respect for their difference. The question is whether that is a fact and a difference that applies also to Mormonism.

The question as asked by Mormons is turned around: are non-Mormons who claim to be Christians in fact so? The emphatic and repeated answer of the Mormon scriptures and the official teaching of the LDS is that we are not. We are members of “the great and abominable church” that was built by frauds and imposters after the death of the first apostles.

The true church and true Christianity simply went out of existence, except for its American Indian interlude, until it was rediscovered and reestablished by Joseph Smith in upstate New York, and its claims will be vindicated when Jesus returns, sooner rather than later, at a prophetically specified intersection in Jackson County, Missouri.

The Ostlings, in a manner common among evangelical Protestants, address the question of whether Mormons are Christians exclusively in terms of doctrine. Mormonism claims that God is an exalted man, not different in kind as Creator is different in kind from creature. The Mormon claim is, “What God was, we are. What God is, we will become.” Related to this is the teaching that the world was not created ex nihilo but organized into its present form, and that the trespass in the Garden of Eden, far from being the source of original sin, was a step toward becoming what God is.

Further, Mormonism teaches that there is a plurality of gods. Mormons dislike the term “polytheism,” preferring “henotheism,” meaning that there is a head God who is worshiped as supreme. If Christian doctrine is summarized in, for instance, the Apostles’ Creed as understood by historic Christianity, official LDS teaching adds to the creed, deviates from it, or starkly opposes it almost article by article.

LDS teaching that believers are on the way to becoming gods has, of course, interesting connections with early church fathers and their teaching on “theosis” or “deification,” a teaching traditionally accented more in the Christianity of the East than of the West, but theologically affirmed by both. Some Mormon thinkers have picked up on those connections and have even recruited, not very convincingly, C. S. Lewis in support of LDS doctrine. (Lewis simply offers rhetorical riffs on classical Christian teaching and in no way suggests an ontological equivalence between Creator and creature.)

Christianity and the History of Christians

Beyond these doctrinal matters, as inestimably important as they are, one must ask what it means to be Christian if one rejects the two thousand year history of what in fact is Christianity. Christianity is inescapably doctrinal but it is more than doctrines. Were it only a set of doctrines, Christianity would have become another school of philosophy, much like other philosophical schools of the Greco-Roman world. Christianity is the past and present reality of the society composed of the Christian people. As is said in the Nicene Creed, “We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.”

That reality encompasses doctrine, ministry, liturgy, and a rule of life. Christians disagree about precisely where that Church is to be located historically and at present, but almost all agree that it is to be identified with the Great Tradition defined by the apostolic era through at least the first four ecumenical councils, and continuing in diverse forms to the present day. That is the Christianity that LDS teaching rejects and condemns as an abomination and fraud.

Yet Mormonism is inexplicable apart from Christianity and the peculiar permutations of Protestant Christianity in nineteenth-century America. It may in this sense be viewed as a Christian derivative. It might be called a Christian heresy, except heresy is typically a deviation within the story of the Great Tradition that Mormonism rejects tout court. Or Mormonism may be viewed as a Christian apostasy.

Before his death in 1844, Joseph Smith was faced with many apostasies within the Mormon ranks, and since then there have been more than a hundred schisms among those who claim to be his true heirs. Still today LDS leaders quote Smith when censuring or excommunicating critics. For instance, this from Smith: “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that man is in the high road to apostasy.”

With respect to the real existing Christianity that is the Church, the words apply in spades to Joseph Smith. He knew, of course, that he was rejecting the Christianity of normative tradition, and he had an explanation. On the creation ex nihilo question, for instance, he declared only weeks before his death: “If you tell [critics] that God made the world out of something, they will call you a fool. But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow; and he is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him.” By definition, he could not be apostate because he spoke for God. It is an answer, of sorts.

The history of Christianity, notably since the sixteenth-century Reformation, is littered with prophets and seers who have reestablished “the true church,” usually in opposition to the allegedly false church of Rome, and then, later, in opposition to their own previously true churches. There are many thousands of such Christian groups today. Most of them claim to represent the true interpretation of the Bible. A smaller number lay claim to additional revelations by which the biblical witness must be “corrected.”

One thinks, for instance, of the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. There are other similarities between Mormonism and the Unification Church, such as the emphasis on the celestial significance of marriage and family. According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “Gods and humans are the same species of being, but at different stages of development in a divine continuum, and the heavenly Father and Mother are the heavenly pattern, model, and example of what mortals can become through obedience to the gospel.”

Another Religion

Some have suggested that the LDS is a Christian derivative much as Christianity is a Jewish derivative, but that is surely wrong. The claim of Christianity is that its gospel of Jesus Christ is in thorough continuity with the Old Testament and historic Israel, that the Church is the New Israel, which means that it is the fulfillment of the promise that Israel would be “a light to the nations.” The Church condemned Marcion’s rejection of the Old Testament, and she never presumed to rewrite or correct the Hebrew Scriptures on the basis of a new revelation. On the contrary, she insisted that the entirety of the old covenant bears witness to the new. While it is a Christian derivative, the LDS is, by way of sharpest contrast, in radical discontinuity with historical Christianity.

The sacred stories and official teachings of the LDS could hardly be clearer about that. For missionary and public relations purposes, the LDS may present Mormonism as an “add-on,” a kind of Christianity-plus, but that is not the official narrative and doctrine.

A closer parallel might be with Islam. Islam is a derivative of Judaism, and Christianity. Like Joseph Smith, Muhammad in the seventh century claimed new revelations and produced in the Qur’an a “corrected” version of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, presumably by divine dictation. Few dispute that Islam is a new and another religion, and Muslims do not claim to be Christian, although they profess a deep devotion to Jesus. Like Joseph Smith and his followers, they do claim to be the true children of Abraham.

Christians in dialogue with Islam understand it to be an interreligious, not an ecumenical, dialogue. Ecumenical dialogue is dialogue between Christians. Dialogue with Mormons who represent official LDS teaching is interreligious dialogue.

One must again keep in mind that Mormonism is still very young. It is only now beginning to develop an intellectually serious theological tradition. Over the next century and more, those who are now the “dissidents and exiles” may become the leaders in the forging, despite the formidable obstacles, a rapprochement with historic Christianity, at which point the dialogue could become ecumenical. As noted earlier, there is the interesting phenomenon of Mormon thinkers appealing to the Christian tradition, from Irenaeus through C. S. Lewis, in support of aspects of their doctrine.

And there is the poignant and persistent insistence of Mormons, “We really are Christians!” Sometimes that claim means that they really are Christians and the rest of us are not. Increasingly, at least among some Mormons, the claim is that they are Christians in substantively the same way that others are Christians.

It is a claim we should question but not scorn. Such a claim contains, just possibly, the seed of promise that over time, probably a very long time, there could be within Mormonism a development of doctrine that would make it recognizable as a peculiar but definite Christian communion. Such attempted development, however, could produce a major schism between Mormons who are determined to be Christian, on the one hand, and the new religion taught by the LDS on the other.

Meanwhile, Mormonism and the impressive empire of the LDS will likely be with us for a long time. They are no longer an exotic minority that is, by virtue of minority status, exempt from critical examination and challenge. Such examination and challenge, always fair-minded and sympathetic, is exemplified by the Ostlings’ very helpful book, Mormon America. I am skeptical about the more dramatic projections of Mormon growth in the future. That depends in part on the degree to which the Ostlings are right in thinking our era is “relational” rather than “conceptual.”

It depends in larger part on developments internal to the LDS and transformations in its self-understanding and self-presentation to the world. The leadership of the LDS will have to decide whether its growth potential is enhanced or hampered by presenting Mormonism as a new religion or as, so to speak, another Christian denomination. Sometimes they seem to want to have it both ways, but that will become increasingly difficult. And, of course, for Mormons whose controlling concern is spiritual, intellectual, and moral integrity, questions of marketing and growth, as well as questions of institutional vitality and communal belonging, must be clearly subordinated to the question of truth.

As for the rest of us, we owe to Mormon Americans respect for their human dignity, protection of their religious freedom, readiness for friendship, openness to honest dialogue, and an eagerness to join hands in social and cultural tasks that advance the common good. That, perhaps, is work enough, at least for the time being.

21 posted on 04/20/2010 8:39:14 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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And in turn, Mormons don’t accept Catholic or Protestant baptisms. And they certainly don’t teach infant baptism, in fact, they decry it.

22 posted on 04/20/2010 8:39:17 PM PDT by Ripliancum (I'm not ignoring you, just taking good counsel. - Proverbs 15:1-4)
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To: JDW11235
Corroborate this:
23 posted on 04/20/2010 8:39:29 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: delacoert
“Prompted by questions about Mormon practices, the Vatican recently confirmed that the sect´s baptism is invalid.”

Perhaps the Mormons feel the same way about Catholic practices.

24 posted on 04/20/2010 8:41:32 PM PDT by verity (Obama Lies)
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To: Tennessee Nana
What a pile of garbage.
25 posted on 04/20/2010 8:42:09 PM PDT by BlueMoose
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To: delacoert

For all you rainbow enthusiasm, it had nothing to do with what we posted about.

26 posted on 04/20/2010 8:43:11 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: verity
Actually, Mormon leadership has referred to Rome and the Pope as the great whore babylon. Would you like a link to the material? ... And here's some extra popcorn ...

27 posted on 04/20/2010 8:43:54 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: verity

“Perhaps the Mormons feel the same way about Catholic practices.”

Doctrinally, correct. Individually, up to which one you ask.

28 posted on 04/20/2010 8:44:36 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: rogertarp

The LDS church has covered up sexual abuse as well.

There have been several publicized cases lately.

There was a serial rapist in my LDS congregation, the Stake President (similar to Catholic Bishop) knew about it, covered it up and kept moving him to different wards after every rape. The women were counseled not to press charges because he was ‘mentally sufficient’ and therefore didn’t know it was a sin.

His psychologist (also LDS and the father of my then boyfriend) broke doctor/patient confidentiality by telling me what was going on and warning me never to be alone with him.

AFA child brides, SLC stopped that practice in the 1930’s, although as late as the 1990’s you could get married at age 14 with parental permission and I know 4 girls who did (all the husbands were over 18, one was over 30, and all were LDS).

29 posted on 04/20/2010 8:45:14 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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To: rogertarp

Yeah, yeah, yeah. "It all depends on what the meaning of is is."


30 posted on 04/20/2010 8:46:05 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: Steelfish

Thanks for posting that. Now I shall take it to bed for bedtime reading.

31 posted on 04/20/2010 8:46:38 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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Make sure that after that link, you post information where church Leadership stated that that was not doctrine, and the person that stated that was not justified in saying that. Just so they can get the full picture.

32 posted on 04/20/2010 8:47:49 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: reaganaut

“they believe in an entirely different God,”

They believe in the father of Abraham.

33 posted on 04/20/2010 8:51:26 PM PDT by edcoil (If I had 1 cent for every dollar the government saved, Bill Gates and I would be friends.)
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To: Ripliancum

Not all Protestants baptize infants.

And no Protestant churches accept LDS baptism either, it isn’t just the Catholics.

34 posted on 04/20/2010 8:52:27 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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To: JDW11235

then state your case or shut up.

35 posted on 04/20/2010 8:53:28 PM PDT by edcoil (If I had 1 cent for every dollar the government saved, Bill Gates and I would be friends.)
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To: BlueMoose; Tennessee Nana

But VERY accurate.

Smith had many, many wives some as young as 14.

36 posted on 04/20/2010 8:53:38 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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To: JDW11235

Why don’t you do it, since it was your religion’s leadership who said it! ... Yet Catholics will defend your religion at FR. Go figure.

37 posted on 04/20/2010 8:53:59 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: rogertarp

I don’t think Mormons have child brides

the flds are mormons...

they follow the teachings of Joey Smith...

The SLC moornmons are an off shoot in the 1920s who abandoned the “first principal” the most important “everlasting covenant” that the mormons had...polygtamy...

Without polygamy...mormons are not a unigue cult...

The SLC group claim that when theiur mormon jesus returns he will tell them to return to polygamy...

They believe that there will be whole sale polygamy in their mormon afterlife...
the mormon males will progress into gods with their own planet and their own well stacked harem of very young beautiful convcubines who are forever pregnant having spirit babies to populate their masters planet...

What happens when the planet is overcrowded we are not told...

Joey smith (the mormon lord) didnt think that far ahead...

What the females are to do when there is no need for further babies we dont know...Joey smith (the mormon lord) did not think that far ahead

What the mormon man-gods are to do when they dont need to impregnate the concubines of their harems anymore we dont know...Joey smith ( the mormon lord) didnt think that far ahead...

and what one of his gang would have asked him about that any way ?? Many of his gang of cutthroats joined him because they were hiding out from the law...and not being exactly gentlemen, they were there as Joey Smith was for the easy access to never ending illict female companionship...if they were running low on women, they just sent out pimps err “missionaries” for more...especially non-English speaking young good looking females..

38 posted on 04/20/2010 8:54:30 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: verity

Perhaps the Mormons feel the same way about Catholic practices

they lose.....we were there first na-na

39 posted on 04/20/2010 8:54:42 PM PDT by terycarl (4)
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To: edcoil

Such eloquence. The pope never said that, but you probably know that.

40 posted on 04/20/2010 8:55:40 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: terycarl

Had you been born in Pakistan, you would be a Muslim. So what the heck.

41 posted on 04/20/2010 8:57:21 PM PDT by verity (Obama Lies)
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To: edcoil

They believe in the father of Abraham.

- - - - - - -

I suppose they do believe in Terah, but I was never taught that they thought he was God.

Although, Brigham Young DID teach that ADAM was God, and he was speaking as a prophet at the time.

BTW, I used to be LDS, I know exactly who their God is and it is in no way the God Christians, or Jews, worship.

42 posted on 04/20/2010 8:57:42 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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I’ll start disproving libelous, misleading “facts” when they’re posted, and I feel so inclined. Until then, it’s easy enough to see when someone is ranting in a silly fashion.

43 posted on 04/20/2010 8:58:19 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: reaganaut
AFA child brides, SLC stopped that practice in the 1930’s, although as late as the 1990’s you could get married at age 14 with parental permission and I know 4 girls who did (all the husbands were over 18, one was over 30, and all were LDS).

That's a function of the State, not the church. For example, in New Hampshire you can get legally married at the age of 13.

44 posted on 04/20/2010 8:58:38 PM PDT by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the Sting of Truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: JDW11235; MHGinTN

On a thread regarding Mel Gibson’s view of Mormonism, a poster calling himself “Anthony” said:

“I am new to this site, so pardon me for possibly a stupid question, but what does the Book of Mormon say about the Catholic Church? Any specific excerpts about the Catholic Church found in the Book of Mormon would be appreciated. Thanks.”

Here’s my reply:

There’s a couple of things to consider before examining the Book of Mormon and what it says about the Catholic Church:

1. Starting with the First Vision, Mormonism teaches that all churches except the Mormon Church are an abomination in the sight of God.

Joseph Smith History 1:18-20:

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.”

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw• near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” He again forbade me to join with any of them;...”

2. The Doctine and Covenants also has Jesus Christ condemning ALL other churches, and especially the “great and abominable church”.

D&C 1:30-31
“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually— For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;”

D&C 38:10-11:
“Verily I say unto you, ye are clean, but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased; For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—”

D&C 29:21:
“And the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, who spoke of these things, which have not come to pass but surely must, as I live, for abominations shall not reign.”

D&C 88:94:
“And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.”

3. The Church has a history of identifying the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church.

“The present Christian world exists and continues by division. The MYSTERY of Babylon the great, is mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, and it needs no prophetic vision, to unravel such mysteries. The old church is the mother, and the protestants are the lewd daughters. Alas! alas! what doctrine, what principle, or what scheme, in all, what prayers, what devotion, or what faith, `since the fathers have fallen asleep,’ has opened the heavens; has brought men into the presence of God; and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to an innumerable company of angels? The answer is, not any: `There is none in all christendom that doeth good; no, not one.’
- Apostle John Taylor, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.811

“Babylon, literally understood, is the gay world; spiritual wickedness, the golden city, and the glory of the world, The priests of Egypt, who received a portion gratis from Pharaoh; the priests of Baal, and the Pharisees, and Sadducees, with their “long robes,” among the Jews, are equally included in their mother’s family, with the Roman Catholics, Protestants, and all that have not had the keys of the kingdom and power thereof, according to the ordinances of God.”
- Prophet John Taylor, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.939

“Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the “whore of Babylon” whom the Lord denounces... as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. And any person who shall be so wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent of the unholy and impious act. If any penitent believer desires to obtain forgiveness of sins through baptism, let him beware of having any thing to do with the churches of apostate Christendom, lest he perish in the awful plagues and judgments, denounced against them. The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints. Before the restoration of the church of Christ to the earth in the year 1830, there have been no people on the earth for many generations possessing authority from God to minister gospel ordinances. We again repeat. Beware of the hypocritical false teachers and imposters of Babylon!
- Apostle Orson Pratt The Seer, Vol.2, No.4, p.255

“A great portion of the oriental country has been preserved from the grossest idolatry, wickedness, confusion, bloodshed, murders, cruelty, and errors in religion that have overspread the rest of the world, under the name of Christianity, or mystery of iniquity. An open defiance of God is no mystery; open drunkenness, and revelling debauchery, and all manner of wickedness and immorality professed by sinners who profess to be nothing else, are no mystery; they do not deceive anybody; but when all manner of wickedness, idolatry, drunkenness, and corruption is cloaked under a sacred name, under an outward sanctity and holiness, and under as high and dignified an appellation as Christian, it is a mystery of iniquity; and that has overspread a great portion of the world, and has borne rule until the present day, sometimes under the name of Roman universality, sometimes under the name of the Greek Church, and at other times under various classes and names.”

“Many that were honest have been deceived by this mystery of iniquity, who have esteemed things to be sacred, which were abominably corrupt; and corrupt superstitions have been revered because of the great names and sanctified professions that were attached to them. If such institutions actually professed wickedness, they would go for what they were worth; but when a thing professes to be holy, and takes the name of Christ as its founder, and the holy Prophets and Apostles, to carry out all manner of oppression, all manner of idolatry and idol worship, all manner of priestcraft and kingcraft, and more or less instigating division among nations and governments, all to carry out bloodshed, cruelty, the rack, the inquisition, and holding of men in bondage, ruling them with a red of iron, it is a mystery of iniquity calculated to deceive millions.”

“But returning to the general corruption that has prevailed nationally, politically, and religiously, under the name of Christianity, leaving out Christ and his Apostles, I do think there has been no idolatry in the world, under any form or system, that could surpass it. It is the mystery of iniquity, the great whore of all the earth. It has brought the whole earth under a lasting curse, having departed from the laws of God, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant, in consequence of which the earth is destined to be burned, and few men left.”
- Apostle Parley P. Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p.41

“How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostacy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations.”

“She is termed, in other places, by the same prophet, “The whore of all the earth,” making the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Some three centuries ago there came out sortie excellent men, named Martin Lather, John Calvin and many others that might be mentioned, who protested against the wickedness and abominations of the Church wherein they had been educated, and of which they had been members. Because of their protestations against the mother Church they were called Protestants. They pronounced her the whore of all the earth; they declared that she had no authority, that she had none of the blessings and gifts which characterized the ancient Christians. They came out and established other Churches... But among all these Churches where are the characteristics of Zion? We hunt for them in vain.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses Vol. 14, p.346

“Thrones shall be cast down, and the Ancient of Days shall sit, and the body of the fourth beast (or Babylon) shall be given to the devouring flame, and then shall the remnant of the heathen know that the Lord is God, for they shall see and hear of his judgments, which he shall execute upon the corrupt powers of the earth under the name of modern Christianity, scripturally called “Babylon the Great”—”The whore of all the earth,” with whom the nations for centuries have committed fornication, and have drank out of her filthy cup. O Babylon! thou hast decked thyself with costly ornaments! Thou has clothed thyself with the most gaudy apparel! Thy seminaries of learning, and thy theological institutions have been multiplied far and wide. Thy priests are polished with all the refinements of a profound and extensive education. Thy costly and magnificent churches have been erected in great numbers throughout all thy borders. The merchants of the earth have made themselves rich through the abundance of thy luxuries. The learned—the great—the mighty—the kings of the earth, have glorified themselves in thy grand and superb palaces. Thou hast indeed enrobed thyself in the royal splendors of a queen. Thine external appearance has excited the admiration of all nations. But internally thou art rotten with the filth of thy whoredoms.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Essential Orson Pratt, p.109

“The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church is the great corrupt ecclesiastic power, represented by great Babylon which has made all nations drunk with her wickedness, and she must fall, after she has been warned with the sound of the everlasting gospel. Her overthrow will be by a series of the most terrible judgments which will quickly succeed each other, and sweep over the nations where she has her dominion, and at last she will be utterly burned by fire, for thus hath the Lord spoken. Great, and fearful, and most terrible judgments are decreed upon these corrupt powers, the nations of modern Christendom; for strong is the Lord God who shall execute His fierce wrath upon them, and He will not cease until He has made a full end, and until their names be blotted out from under heaven.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.84 - p.85

In that context, here’s what the Book of Mormon says:

1 Nephi 13:5-6:
And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.

1 Nephi 13:8:
And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.

1 Nephi 13:26:
And after they [the prophecies and testimonies of the Bible] go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

1 Nephi 13:28:
Wherefore, thou seest that after the book [the Bible] hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

1 Nephi 13:34:
...the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb [Bible] which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb..”

1 Nephi 14:3:
And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children,, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, said the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.

1 Nephi 14:9:
And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.

1 Nephi 14:10-11:
And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. 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.

1 Nephi 14:12:
And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters [oceans]; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

1 Nephi 14:13:
And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.

1 Nephi 14:15-16:
And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—

1 Nephi 14:17:
And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel.

1 Nephi 22:13:
And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood.

1 Nephi 22:14:
And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it.

2 Nephi 6:12:
And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfill his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written things.

2 Nephi 10:16:
Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.

2 Nephi 28:18:
But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.

The Book of Mormon uses different terms for different things:

The Great and Abominable Church
The Whore of All the Earth
Baylon The Great
The Harlot
The Church of the Devil

There are some verses in the Book of Mormon that talk in broad terms and others that speak of a specific church.

“Babylon the Great” and “The Church of the Devil” are broad terms to mean “not of the church of God.” That’s clearly what 1 Nephi 14:9 is saying. But look at the other scriptures and you’ll see they are referring to a SPECIFIC church:

- In the Book of Mormon, there are many references to “a church which is most abominable above all other churches.”

- This church had a history of an Inquisition similar to the Roman Catholic Church in that it “slayeth the Saints of God, yea and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron and bringeth them down into captivity” (1 Ne. 13:5).

- The people involved with this depraved organization wore finery similar to priestly vestments; their church structures were ornate; and women in their church, like nineteenth-century Catholic nuns, were accused of sexual misconduct. Smith’s Nephi reported in the Book of Mormon that he “saw gold, silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots” (1 Ne. 13).

- Smith went on to assert that this abominable church “whose foundation is the Devil” and who is “the whore of all the earth” would pervert the scriptures entrusted to people by God, i.e. the Bible.

- A book was to come from the Jews which would contain the gospel. The writer claimed this book (The Bible) eventually would fall into the “hands of the Great and abominable church” after which are “many plain and precious things taken away from the Book” (1 Ne. 13:26-29).

- The Book of Mormon also predicted the sale of indulgences. “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say, come unto me and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins” (Morm. 8:32)

These are SPECIFIC references to the Catholic Church.

So the Book of Mormon talks in specific terms about the Catholic Church (The whore and the abominable church) and in broad terms (Great Babylon and the Church of the Devil).

The Mormon Church also has a long and consistent history of bashing Christians and Christianity. See:

45 posted on 04/20/2010 9:01:00 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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To: PugetSoundSoldier

But you’re adding fact to counter baseless accusations based on anecdote! It so easy to take away emotionally charged, inflamatory conjecture that way, you know?

46 posted on 04/20/2010 9:02:10 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: PugetSoundSoldier; T Minus Four; svcw; colorcountry; Utah Binger

Over 90% of the state leadership is LDS. LDS influence pretty much makes laws in Utah.

47 posted on 04/20/2010 9:02:48 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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To: Tennessee Nana
the flds are mormons...

Then we can say that Catholics approve of pedophilia, since there are cases of priests molesting children, and they are clearly not just followers and members but LEADERS in the Church.

See, the problem with painting everyone with a broad brush is that you can get brushed right back...

48 posted on 04/20/2010 9:04:13 PM PDT by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the Sting of Truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: reaganaut

Reaganaut, good to see you today. I’m off soon though, been a long day.

I’m familiar with the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and so I hope you don’t mind If I don’t wade through that long of a post. I can read canon without reading from a poster “Anthony” on a Mel Gibson thread, but thank you for bringing what you have under your belt to the table. I appreciate your intent.

If I don’t see you more today, have a good night. (I may be on and off as I wind down before bed).

49 posted on 04/20/2010 9:06:42 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: JDW11235

Not baseless in the least. The LDS culture contributes to things like that. Kinda like the high rate of prozac use.

50 posted on 04/20/2010 9:06:57 PM PDT by reaganaut (I am not an apostate. God rescued me from mormonism.)
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