WILL THE ONE TRUE CHURCH PLEASE STAND UP?
The one thing I always believed as a Mormon was that I belonged to the “only true church on the face of the earth”. By birthright alone I was “special” and had advantages that no one else did. By birthright alone I would be in heaven and by birthright alone I was a superior being. All other churches were the whores of Babylon and only thought they knew God.
The Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Nazarenes and yes, even the Pentecostals were all going to the Telestial kingdom (lowest kingdom) because they weren’t members of the LDS Church. They were going to be serving those of us in the highest kingdom of heaven (Celestial Kingdom) because they either didn’t understand or chose not to be a part of the one true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To understand why there is such a huge stumbling block in the mind of the Mormons on this topic, we need to take a look at what causes it to begin with.
Joseph Smith maintained the body of Christ could no longer be found on earth. He claims he went to the grove of a forest near his home in Palmyra, NY to ask God which church he should join and God told him to join none of them, that every single church on the face of the earth was wrong. (Joseph Smith’s Testimony chapter 1.) He was then told he must wait to receive the golden or brass plates which held the story of a forgotten people from Jerusalem that came here to the Americas to escape persecution.
It was also at this time Smith claims to have been told by God to translate some old papyrus that a traveling salesman sold to him. This papyrus supposedly held the story of the creation and the pre-existence that we read in the book of Abraham. In reality, the papyrus is what Egyptologists call a “funerary breathing”. (How to perform ceremonies at mummification.) As time went by the Church continued to evolve, but already the heresies had been born.
While the vast majority of the public believed Smith was a false prophet, there were on the other hand, those who believed his story. The little group of believers grew as they continued to believe that God Himself had actually visited Smith and revealed to him the new commandments and the way to salvation. After all, assurance of salvation is much easier to achieve and believe if you took care of things yourself; and Joseph had them convinced this was the “only true way to salvation”. This was the mindset needed for the LDS Church to flourish and indeed it did!
The other mindset needed for a vulnerable flock, is for the belief that you are being persecuted all for the sake of the Lord. From the beginning the Church has insisted this has been their lot in life, thus the need to continually flee to the next town while at the same time the warrants for Joseph Smith’s arrest began to stack up. For a chronological detailed account of Joseph Smith’s life, be sure to visit the website of www.josephsmith.net to find an abundance of informative stories, historical documents and pictures to keep anyone occupied for a long time! Keep in mind this website is a “pro-Mormon” site and you will not find all of his arrest records or complaints filed against him at this site. (1)
The LDS have always held a very strong position in asserting their civil rights and pointing out their patriotism for America. They are defensive when someone brings up religion in conversation and they will inevitably bring their rights as Americans into the equation every time.
Granted, it’s not against the law to invoke your First Amendment Rights to worship as you please. However, it is unlawful to practice polygamy, to create and distribute your own monetary system; invoke Martial Law based on your own whims; and to arbitrarily burn down buildings when newspapers publish the details of charges that are being brought against you.
These charges, amongst others, were just the tip of the iceberg for the communities the LDS Church had invaded and subsequently fled from in its early years. As of today the LDS Church now claims, as it always has, that it is the “only true church on the face of the earth”, (D&C 1:30). They believe the power of the priesthood was not handed down as it should have been, thus the apostasy. The Church members will become immediately defensive when asked about the history of the LDS Church, so expect some resistance to your message even after they get out of the Church.
When a Mormon gets out of the Church they are not accustomed to the vocabulary that Christians employ. An example of this is the phrase “The church of Jesus Christ” – meaning the body of Christ – the Christians. I would use this phrase with the new Christian as much as possible to get them used to the idea that this phrase has been in use since the inception of the true Christian church circa 33 AD. The Christians belong to The Church of Jesus Christ. It is His church; it belongs to Him, not the Christians.
Compare that to the Mormon’s church which is called The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints.
They believe the body of Christ originated with Adam as Joseph Smith taught (DS 3:82). People were baptized for the remission of sins, received the gift of the Holy Ghost and men held the priesthood. Now with the short story of the LDS Church out of the way, let’s take a look at what God tells us about His church – from the Bible!
We see in the book of Acts how God built up His church to lay the foundation for the rest of time. I have been of the opinion lately that if the LDS Church really wanted to say there are no inconsistencies in their doctrine they should have changed the text in the book of Acts in the JST.
The entire book of Acts of the Apostles is just that; an account of how it all began. If the so-called church at the time of Christ died with the last apostle, then why keep their stories in scripture? What purpose does that serve the Mormon community?
For the first time in history the Holy Spirit poured Himself upon a group of people – it’s called Pentecost. Acts chapter two tells us that men from every single country were represented in that room on that day. They had all come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the first-fruits and many ended up being a witness to the ultimate Passover Sacrifice – Christ Jesus. They waited as Jesus instructed them to do (Acts 1:8) to receive the Promise that He had spoken to them about earlier.
Be sure to share with them some interesting facts about this event and the entire book of Acts! For example: at the time Luke wrote this no one objected to his writings or the authenticity of events that took place. The witnesses of these events were still alive and they most certainly would have said something if he had any of it wrong. Luke was a well respected doctor in that region and was known to be meticulous about the minutest of details.
Matthew Henry said this in his introduction commentary on the book of Acts;
“Now this book gives us an account of the framing and rearing of that tabernacle. The four gospels showed us how the foundation of that house was laid; this shows us how the superstructure began to be raised…”
Luke was with the apostle Paul on many of the missionary journeys, and therefore knew about the dreadful prisons mentioned in Acts, as well as the “prison letters” Paul wrote known as the book of Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians and Philemon. From what the majority of respectable theologians have surmised, it is probable that Dr. Luke was also one of the original “seventy” the apostles ordained to look over the church. The “authority” to preach the gospel, establish churches in the world and baptize believers did not die when the last apostle died.
On the contrary, the church of Jesus Christ thrived as promised by Jesus Himself. Believers withstood persecution because of the stand they took for Jesus everywhere they lived. Rome was notorious for the atrocities that took place in the first 300 years of Christianity. The Romans would wrap the skins of dead animals around the Christians in the Coliseum and open the gates to let out the lions. They were burned at the stake while those in charge would wait for them to denounce the Lord. Nero used the Christians as human torches to light his world famous gardens in 64 AD. By 100 AD 25,000 people became martyrs for Jesus.
As for today? There were more Christians killed in the 20th Century for the Lord than there were in the past 19 centuries combined! The LDS Church will reply by stating these facts do not prove anything and they do not believe the doctrines of the “Christian church” are correct, thus the need for a complete restoration. Keep in mind this “Restoration” isn’t anything similar to what Martin Luther did some 500 years ago with the Reformation! Many Mormon missionaries explain to the unsuspecting public that the “Restoration” and the Reformation were very similar.
Joseph Smith took every doctrine, every principle of Judeo-Christian theology and turned it upside down and sideways. There is not one single doctrine that he left untouched in regards to the precepts of what you or I know as Christianity. In fact the more I know about Joseph Smith the more he reminds me of Simon the great magician spoken of in Acts 8:9-24; believing that he could buy the power of the true Holy Spirit to baptize people who were seeking the God of the Bible.
Simon was also known as the “father of Gnosticism”; those who believed you are saved by what you know. Simon didn’t care about the believers or the things they did while worshipping God. His goal was strictly focused on one thing only – he wanted the believers to think he was a divine person. Take notice also that he didn’t go to the unbelievers. His mission was to go to the Christians; just like Joseph Smith. The LDS’s biggest “pool of converts” comes from the Baptist church in the United States.
The LDS Church will tell everyone the fact that people apostatized proves the original church of Christ left the earth. To this, our reply is hogwash! Jesus warned there would be false christs; John spoke of the people who would sneak in a side-door in his first epistle. The apostle Paul spoke of the elect being tricked into believing a lie in his letter to the Thessalonians. There will always be someone who will present a false product to the masses but it doesn’t mean the entire church is gone!
Jesus’ church has withstood 2,000 years of persecution and she is still alive and well. She is awaiting the return of her Beloved Bridegroom and will continue to wait. The LDS Church can say what they want, but to the rest of the world and most importantly, God, the church is still in operation.
There are many churches and denominations out in the world today. Life After hasn’t been called to examine each church’s by-laws and constitution. What we have been called to do however is to encourage the body of Christ to stand up to the grossly inaccurate doctrine of the LDS Church that says they believe in the God of the Bible. Come alongside us in unison with thousands of others to stand for the truth!
Life After Ministries also wants to make sure it’s understood that we don’t do this out of any animosity or revenge to bash the Mormon people. We’ve been in the shoes of the Mormon people and our hearts are broken for the souls who truly believe they are worshipping the right Jesus.
Things to think about:
If you (the LDS Church) are so positive that your message of the gospel is absolute truth then why bother with the “whore of Babylon” when we have websites or ministries that tell the other side of the story?
If lies about the Bible and Jesus are exposed and set straight then why are you offended?
Why has the LDS Church spent millions of dollars and 170 – plus years in proselytizing the “Christian” nation of America instead of focusing on the areas of the 10/40 or the 10/70 window of the world?
Why are families torn apart and shunned when they decide to leave the Church? What happened to the “Families are Forever” plan?
© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.
1. LAM had an ongoing e-mail debate with one of the designers of www.josephsmith.net when it first came into existence in 2005. For months we went back and forth…we are still praying for “J” that he would come to know the real Jesus.