Whom Did the Lord Choose?

Ensign, Jan. 2006, 34-35; “In a surprisingly short time, the [ancient] Church disassembled. Without Apostles, the Church lost its anchor and began to drift on every wind of doctrine. Spiritual gifts disappeared, revelations ceased, the keys to the priesthood were lost, ordinances changed. Ultimately, the purity of our Lord’s gospel began to meld with other doctrines, beliefs, and practices. Philosophies and political influences began to infiltrate and transform the Church.

“During the centuries that followed, the light dimmed even further. President Thomas S. Monson . . . explained: ‘The dark ages of history seemed never to end.’ . . .

“At first a few great reformers began to speak out. When John Wycliffe completed the first English translation of the entire Bible, those in authority did all they could to destroy it. Many of Wycliffe’s followers were severely punished.

“Jan Hus, another fearless reformer who spoke against corruption in the church, was chained by the neck to a stake and burned.

“Thousands of others heroically searched for the truth and risked their all as they sought to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Restoration and Faith”

Matthew 24:4-5, 23-24; “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

All the above claims and accusations are just that.  There is no external evidence that the ancient church disassembled.  Where is the proof?

Where stands clear and irrefutable evidence that spiritual gifts and revelations ceased to exist but in the accusatory allegations from the mind of Joseph Smith?

And why is Mr. Wirthlin’s message contradictory?  At first he said everything disappeared and was lost and then he begins talking about Hus and Wycliffe – so what part of his accusation is true?

While I do wholeheartedly agree that reform was needed, to arbitrarily throw the baby out with the bath water is dangerous indeed!

Hus, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bunyan, and Luther as well as untold others were all guided by the hand of God.  And while the Dark Ages did seem to go on forever, God in His mercy promised us the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail against His church.  Today we experience this miracle and evidence of His words every time we see the face of another believer.

We’re witnessing yet another truth even today – Jesus told us to be on guard and watch out for there would be many false christs and false doctrines.