Skip to comments.“Saved or Damned”: Tracing a Persistent Protestantism in Early Mormon Thought [Lds damning non-Lds]
Posted on 07/15/2012 4:33:47 PM PDT by Colofornian
In...1838...Joseph Smith responded to...questions which he said were daily and hourly asked by all classes of people. To the question "Will every body be damned but Mormons?" he replied, "Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent and work righteousness."...I...assumed, along with others, that Joseph's response was rather tongue-in-cheek. Actually, as we shall see, he was very much in earnest and was...a sentiment widely held among the early Saints...
But what of the honest and honorable of other churches? A Times and Seasons editorial answered bluntly that it did not matter...Such either/or thinking did belong to some fanatic fringe; it permeated the membership from the Prophet on down...Joseph referred to the various professors of religion who do not believe in revelation & the oracles of God and said, "I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ they will be damned & when you get into the eternal world you will find it to be so they cannot escape the damnation of hell." A week later, he singled out the Presbyterians as an example and declared, "If they reject our voice they shall be damned."
...Whole churches of non-Mormons were designated in various revelations as "the congregations of the wicked." "Babylon, literally understood," wrote John Taylor, "is...the Roman Catholics, Protestants and all who have not had the keys of the kingdom."
...Only Mormons would survive the second coming of Christ...
...it was no more difficult to conceive of the earth being swept clean of every single non-Mormon at the Second Coming than it was to accept the fact that the Flood had destroyed all but eight believers...Parley P. Pratt explained to Queen Victoria, "As Noah was the sole survivor of a world destroyed...so will the Saints of the Most High possess the earth, and its whole dominion..."
(Excerpt) Read more at byustudies.byu.edu ...
From the BYU article: In...1838...Joseph Smith responded to...questions which he said were daily and hourly asked by all classes of people. To the question "Will every body be damned but Mormons?" he replied, "Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent and work righteousness."...I...assumed, along with others, that Joseph's response was rather tongue-in-cheek. Actually, as we shall see, he was very much in earnest and was...a sentiment widely held among the early Saints...Joseph referred to the various professors of religion who do not believe in revelation & the oracles of God and said, "I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ they will be damned & when you get into the eternal world you will find it to be so they cannot escape the damnation of hell." A week later, he singled out the Presbyterians as an example and if declared, "If they reject our voice they shall be damned."
There ya go...why...how inspirational: The religion of Mitt Romney damning all the Presbyterians...all the Protestants...and...if you think the Catholics escaped Mormon fire and brimstone...just listen to the third Lds "prophet," John Taylor:
From the article: ...Whole churches of non-Mormons were designated in various revelations as "the congregations of the wicked." "Babylon, literally understood," wrote John Taylor, "is...the Roman Catholics, Protestants and all who have not had the keys of the kingdom."
My, my. How "inspirational." [For MORE on similar 'inspirational' "revelations" from the Mormon god, see: If Mormonism is 'anti-Christian,' then how can it be considered 'Christian?']
Mitt Romney and all true-believing Mormons subscribe to the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith - History, verses 18-19 as THE founding vision of their religion:
I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right 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..."
(Note: LDS cannot just take or leave for this is authoritative "Scripture"; the Mormon religion is "made" or "breaks" on this)
One of the top teachings explained by every LDS missionary is the doctrine of the supposed universal apostasy of the historic Christian church (they teach this right alongside their key doctrine of "restoration").
Any true-believing LDS candidate (not necessarily a Jack Mormon candidate) who approaches us historic Christians is essentially saying: "You are an apostate; I am a restorationist built upon the complete ashes of your faith. Your creeds--all of them--are an 'abomination' before God. Your professing believers are 'corrupt.' As it says in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:9-10, there's only two churches...Ours, the Church of the Lamb; and yours, the Church of the devil. Now, that I've properly inspired you, Mr. Joe Voter, I can expect your vote on Tuesday, then?"
For modern Latter-day Saints accustomed to extolling the vision of the three degrees of glory as the antidote to the confining polarities of Protestant conceptions of the afterlife, the idea that early Mormons spoke almost entirely in terms of either being saved in the celestial kingdom or else being damned, rather than discussing terrestrial or telestial salvation, seems foreign indeed. Yet it is the purpose of this article to trace within Mormon thought the persisting lineaments of traditional salvationist rhetoric and to demonstrate that the vision of the three degrees of glory did not begin to alter such notions until the end of the Nauvoo period.
IOW...Mormons in the Joseph Smith era DIDN'T believe in three degrees of salvation...e'en tho Joe had uttered a few things now & then 'bout that!
So...Jesus draws the line at Himself. Mormons? They draw the line at places like Joseph Smith and the Lds Church!
Example A Brigham Young: "...EVERYevery spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist..." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 435)
So, does that sound very civil to you for Mormon prophets to label us all as of Antichrist???
Example B Spencer W. Kimball, Lds 12th prophet: "Presumptuous and blasphemous are they who purport to baptize, bless, marry, or perform other sacraments in the name of the Lord while in fact lacking his specific authorization." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 494)
Now with this quote you need to understand that Lds teach ALL authority for this priesthood ability rests ONLY in the Mormon church. Therefore, they label ALL Christian pastors and priests who baptize, bless, marry, and perform sacraments as engaging in blasphemous behavior. See how skewed doctrinal believes leads to uncivil accusations?
Example C Lds leaders: "Since whoever does not belong to 'the church of the Lamb of God' belongs to 'the church of the devil,' as Nephi announced then all systems of worship outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be classified as 'the church of the devil' by Nephi's definition (Kent B. Jackson, "Watch and Remember" etc. from publication By Study and Also by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, 3/27/90, vol. 1, p. 87)
Do you see how its not exactly hospitable for the Mormon claim that all other churches are part of the church of the devil? I suppose you may next simply say, Well, hey, if all they are doing is teaching what their word says, how can that be deemed as uncivil? For one thing, most Christians seem to own up to the implications of John 14:6 (or, at least, they one time did). Mormons dont EVER want to seem to own up to the implications of D&C 1:30, 1 Nephi 14:9-10, and JS History, vv. 18-20. In other words, they like to play victim and say woe is us look at how Mormons are being treated not realizing that the same thing (only often worse) has been coming right out of their tithing $ paying for the Lds publishing expenses on these accusations.
Hence...whereas Jesus draws the line at Himself; Mormons? They draw the line at whatever extra-biblical revelation catches their current prophets fancy.
And even worse... even if the Mormons were to get Christian concession that the apostle Paul taught 3 degrees of salvation, there's nowhere in the Bible that says the bottom 2 degrees = banishment from being in God's presence forever. You can find more about this -- THE top surprising thing about Mormon afterlife -- here: THE TOP TEN MOST SURPRISING 'MORMON TEACHINGS' ABOUT MORMON HEAVEN and AFTER-LIFE [Vanity]
According to its founder, Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young, Smiths successor, Mormons are the only true people of God on the earth. All non-Mormons and their religions are wrong, an abomination, blind, damned, of the devil, whores, not Christians, groveling in darkness, heathens, ignorant, devoid of fact, pagan and hatched in Hell. When Romney made a speech about his religion in 2008 he refused to distance himself from his faith and fully affirmed his Mormonism. Responding to critics, Romney said, "They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers - I will be true to them and to my beliefs."
Here, "the faith of" Romney's fathers - a faith he "endeavors to live by" and "will be true to" comes to us Christians and tries to woo us by touting how we as Christians are wrong, an abomination, blind, damned, of the devil, whores, not Christians, groveling in darkness, heathens, ignorant, devoid of fact, pagan and hatched in Hell.
Well...in case that given article wasn't thorough enough in what Romney's fathers think of Christians...here's a primer for you to "inspire" all of us Christians to "unite" with the promotion of Mormonism for double-digit years (not only 2012-2020...:
Q 1: What did Lds apostles John Taylor and Orson Pratt -- Pratt being a direct ancestor of Mitt Romney -- have to say about Catholics & Protestants?
* "'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."' (Lds Apostle John Taylor, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.811, Feb. 15, 1845...Taylor would later emerge as an Lds prophet in the late 1870s upon the death of Brigham Young...he did jail time with Joseph Smith over the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper)
* "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon' whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt 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" (The Seer, p. 255).
* "But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be ...But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written - `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots' " (Journal of Discourses 18:172).
* "We have already proved in the previous numbers of this series that immediately after the first century the whole earth became corrupted by the great "Mother of Harlots," that apostasy and wickedness succeeded Christianity, that for the want of new revelation, all legal succession to the apostleship was discontinued that the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit ceased and that the Church was no longer to be found on the earth: this being the case, all nations must have been destitute of the everlasting gospel for many generations - not destitute of its history as it was once preached and enjoyed but destitute of its blessings, of its powers, of its gifts, of its priesthood, of its ordinances administered by legal authority" (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No.6 (1851), pg.82).
Q 2: Now did Lds "apostles" John Taylor and Orson Pratt come up with applying these labels to the Catholic and Protestant Church themselves, or did they get it from LDS Scripture?
A Taylor and Pratt derived this at least from the Book of Mormon (especially the following verses) and likely spending a lot of direct time with Joseph Smith:
* "abominable church...whore of all the earth" (2 Nephi 28:18);
* "whore of all the earth" (2 Nephi 10:16)
* 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 14:10-11)
* ...their dominions upon the face of the earth were small because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. (1 Nephi 14:12)
* 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 14:13)
* 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 14:15-16)
* 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 14:17)
* 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 22:13)
* 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. (1 Nephi 22:14)
Q 3: Where did Mitt Romney's direct ancestor, Orson Pratt derive his concept that the great whore of supposed B.C. Prophecies in the Book of Mormon had a contemporary application to the Catholic church and that it would be one who would give birth to "harlot daughters" (the Protestant church)?
A From Joseph Smith himself, as found in LDS "scripture" (& elsewhere). I refer the reader, for example, to "that great church, the mother of abominations" (LDS ScriptureDoctrine & Covenants, 88:94).
Q 4: Now did Mitt Romney's direct ancestor, Orson Pratt just happen to pounce upon gobs of passages from a few Nephi books in the Mormon scriptures and take them out of proportion, or was Mormon scripture rife with this need to pronounce the church-at-large as an abomination before God that was sourced in the devil?
A 1 Nephi 13, 1 Nephi 14, and 1 Nephi 22 uses the term abomination or abominable at least eight times! As previously shown, 1 Nephi 14:9-10 says there are only two churches: The church of the Lamb & the Church of the Devil. In the opinion of Mormon leaders, the church of the devil ("abominable church...whose foundation is the devil"-- 1 Nephi 14:9) is the great non-Mormon church that branched out into Protestantism.
The King James-era word "abomination" is used repetitively to describe this non-Mormon church. 1 Nephi 13:6 & 2 Nephi 6:12 both call it a "great & abominable church." D&C 29:21 references it as an "abominable church" & D&C 88:94 calls it a "great church, the mother of abominations" (D&C 88:94). [Also, see references above to "whore...of all the earth."] 1 Nephi 13:32 accuses this church of censorship: "parts of the gospel kept back by that abominable church (1 Nephi 13:32).
Also, the most important abomination Joseph Smith reference is to describe every single creed believed by Catholics and Protestants. LDS decided to enshrine Joseph Smiths First Vision in LDS scripture which means its binding as authoritative as LDS canon (not speculation; not commentary; not an opinion piece) upon the beliefs & consciences on ALL true-believing Mormons: "they [Christian sects] were ALL wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that their ALL creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were ALL corrupt" (from Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith-History 1:19).
Q 5: What leading Mormon general authority was the next to carry the mantle for portraying Christian churches as linked to Babylon?
A: That fell to Lds president George Q. Cannon. Cannon was the only member of the First Presidency to serve four separate Lds prophets as one of the two closest counselors to the Lds prophet (Taylor, Woodruff, Snow, and Joseph F. Smith). * Cannon said: "After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon" (Gospel Truth, p.324).
Q 6 Since all of these authoritative Mormon directives were published before the end of the 19th century, who then carried this notorious legacy into the 20th century for Lds general authorities?
A Lds apostle Bruce R. McConkie, who first published his book, Mormon Doctrine, in 1958. Under the heading Church of the Devil, McConkie wrote: There are two scriptural senses in which the titles church of the devil and great and abominable church are used: 1. All churches or organizations of whatever name or naturewhether political, philosophical, educational, economic, social, fraternal, civic, or religiouswhich are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God; and 2. The Roman Catholic Church specificallysingled out, set apart, described, and designated as being most abominable above all other churches. (1 Ne. 13:5). (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, p. 129)
Translates: Your tithes are late. We are not amused.