A Treatise on the "Great Apostasy" (A Latter-Day Saints Teaching)

Greetings friends,

I’ve been working on a treatise of sorts, which examines the Latter-Day Saints Great Apostasy. This is clearly a work-in-progress, feel free to provide feedback.

First, let us first acknowledge that the Evil One, and his minions, seek the ruin of souls. The Prince of Lies will stop at nothing to have us join him.

Let us next acknowledge that the Evil One, and his minions, can disguise themselves as angels of light. As a fallen angel, he has no doubt knowledge of Scriptural precedents that humans will listen to an angelic messenger of God - and could disguise himself accordingly.

Let us without question acknowledge that because of this, any time one receives a message from from what appears to be the Lord or it must be tested, preferably with someone with a strong gift of discernment.

Let us then acknowledge that no messenger of the Lord, or the Lord Himself, would ask of us to sin.

Let us acknowledge that the Latter-Day Saints stake claim to the vision received by Joseph Smith that was informed that all churches have “turned aside from the gospel”.

Let us then agree that the statement “turned aside from the gospel” denotes that a radical departure from the Christian faith had occurred.

Let us note that this departure must be doctrinal in nature, as if it was simply customs or how people lived their lives, there is no need to start a new church - just reform the old one.

Let us now acknowledge that Latter-Day Saints refer to this time as “The Great Apostasy”.

Let us then come to terms with that when a church turns aside from the Gospel or becomes apostate, fundamental beliefs of that church would change.

Let us then come to the Catholic Church, and examine it’s teachings.

Let us see that in key doctrinal teachings such as marriage (prohibition of divorce, marriage is to be between one man and one woman), human life (prohibition on direct abortions, life begins at conception), the Church has remained consistent.

Let us examine that doctrinal beliefs, such as the Trinity, the Eucharist, have remained consistent.

Let us acknowledge that we can corroborate this as if we were journalists, through historical third party documentation such as the Didache and the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

Let us now state that these documents are authentic, validated by third party historians.

Let us then approach other beliefs people deem as “modern inventions”, and refer to the aforementioned ancient documents and see they were believed and encouraged during that time period.

Let us acknowledge that these were not created, but had already existed and needed to be clarified, which could be done thanks to these historical texts that are fully accessible to the public to see and read.

Let us say at this point remind ourselves again that the if the Great Apostasy was due to customs or the actions of men, there would be no need to found a new church.

Let us then look to the Catholic Church as a model of consistency as it pertains to doctrines being consistent and unchanging.

Let us see that due to consistency in doctrine, there is no chance that the Church has fallen away from the gospel nor been a part of that state of apostasy.

Let us now state, unequivocally, that there is no chance the Catholic Church could fall under the qualification(s) set forth by Joseph Smith, due to the Catholic Church never having changed doctrines - thus never becoming apostate.

Let us then took towards one of the tenants of the Latter-Day Saints church, which is continued revelation.

Let us see that beliefs and doctrines can change based on the revelation received, based on continued revelation.

Let us now see that we can view all of the doctrinal changes made by the Latter-Day Saints.

Let us examine that some of these changes provide a start contrast to that of early Christianity, and Scripture itself.

Let us examine how the Ladder-Day Saints view God, and see no evidence of this belief within the early history of the Church,

Let us now admit that there is no corroborating evidence to support these beliefs.

Let us compare that all of Catholicisms documents, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, are known and have been validated by neutral third parties.

Let us then now compare a Church that has not changed it’s doctrine (Catholicism) and a church that has (Latter-Day Saints).

Let us ask who would stand to benefit from a church that changes it’s doctrine.

Let us examine who would benefit from telling others that the Church which has not changed it’s doctrine, has actually become apostate.

Let us now pose the question of who would benefit greatly if we began to believe that we could become like God?

Let us seriously consider what happened to the first one who attempted to become God?

Let us marvel at the capital sin of pride, and see the consequences of the Evil One’s folly of trying to achieve godhood.

Let us look to Sacred Scripture, and see where the first time that humans tried to become like God.

Let us examine who it was that tempted humans to become like God.

Let us then notice that even then, the Evil One was disguised as something that was not his ordinary appearance.

Let us then read the first commandment, about how “there shall be no other Gods before Me”

Let us finally then ask ourselves if we are comfortable with a Church that has unchanged doctrines, historical records that show the doctrinal consistency, and does not give any indication we are to achieve godhood…

Let us finish now by asking ourselves if we are comfortable with a church that has changed doctrine, and whose founder was informed that a period of apostasy was under way, yet all evidence clearly points otherwise.

Let us ask once again, as a final question, who would benefit?

I pray that God’s grace will touch the hearts of those who need to read the words you wrote.

One correction re: spelling. It is tenets of the faith, not tenants of the faith. (sorry, I am a spelling police lady sometimes!) :slight_smile:

In order for an apostasy to have occurred Jesus would have to have been a liar. He sent His Apostles to die for what? But if that’s the case then an apostasy has also already occurred in the LDS church also. It has split off into different churches itself. Im not sure of your current knowledge of Mormonism but you can find a lot of threads on this forum that can give you a lot of info!

I think the approach is good, but could be condensed, or separated into branches and made easier to read. Replace “Let us” with an outline format or bullet points.

The examination of the LDS belief about becoming gods is well done, I think. Not actually a common way of addressing it, and brings out the problems with it more than most.

I myself have some lists addressing the issue of a “total apostasy” in general. At last count, I think I was in the 70s for the number of discrete, demonstrable arguments against it (not 70+ lines; 70+ whole, separate arguments – though some are related or support each other).

The quickest one is a challenge and clarification on the definitions of Apostasy vs. Heresy. Usually what various “restorationist” groups call “apostasy” they really mean “heresy.” Apostasy means a total repudiation of God. Heresy is a fault in doctrine, though there can still be a genuine belief in and desire to totally serve that same God. This approach can backfire (it forces the adherent to an “apostasy theory” to declare all other Christians totally non-Christian and damned to Hell), but it at least makes the stakes clearer and then forces the burden of proof even more clearly upon the adherent.

After all, heresy doesn’t mean the faith died out. Apostasy does.

Then there are other interesting approaches. Consider these (I have them in more detail):

  1. Gamaliel’s Test (from Acts of the Apostles). If a total apostasy occurred, Gamaliel’s Test of the Church is failed, and demonstrates that the Pharisees were right to reject Christ – that He can’t be the Messiah and His Church can’t be of God, because it died out.

  2. Compare this New Covenant to prior covenants, and Salvation History. We DO have true, widespread (though never total) apostasy many times throughout the history of Israel (and even before, after Adam). Yet God always maintains His covenants and maintains a true line of faithful authority in the world. See Noah, Shem (Melchizedek, the high priest to whom Abraham subordinated himself), and many times throughout Israel’s history. In fact, we even have wonderfully clear examples of Israel worshipping other gods quite openly yet God remains faithful. 10 tribes of northern Israel even break away from the true King of Judah, yet Judah (whose own kings apostasize many times yet never break the authority of the line of David) remains. Even though Israel broke away due to unjust treatment from Solomon and his heirs, they were not justified in God’s eyes in breaking away, and in fact were destroyed because of this folly.

So we see time and time again that even IF there is widespread apostasy, God maintains a faithful, visible, and authoritative line.

Were a total apostasy to be posited, one would be saying that the very first time such a total apostasy EVER happened (and authority died out with it) was AFTER Christ’s Redeeming Sacrifice, after the Resurrection, after Pentecost and the UNPRECEDENTED gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, after the institution of the Church as Christ’s own Bride and Body. So just when the Church of God’s faithful should have been at their strongest point ever, they had their greatest failing ever.

Twice, according to Joseph Smith. Because remember, according to the BoM, this also happened in the New World.

What a terrible failure Jesus is. Any theory of total apostasy unwittingly declares Jesus to be incredibly weak and foolish.

  1. The blasphemy of making Jesus the butt of his own parables. Consider that Jesus said “I will build MY Church.” Christ’s followers are not primarily responsible for building it. Jesus is. And it’s HIS Church, not that of any other founder. Now consider the parable of the house built on sand vs. the one built on a rock, and how they fare when the inevitable storms come (useful also for showing the reliability of Peter as the rock and the Apostles as foundation). Consider the parable of the tower builder, who if he builds without counting the cost, he won’t be able to finish, and everyone will laugh at him and call him a fool. And similarly the king who counts his enemy and assesses whether he is prepared to do battle or will parlay.

Jesus becomes the fool building on sand, the laughingstock not counting the cost, the ruler unprepared to meet his enemy. What blasphemous insults to hurl at Jesus!

  1. The failed promises of Christ. The obvious is that the “gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church.” But there are many others. If the Church is the Bride of Christ, and yet he sets up another separately some time later, (and for Mormons, it fails, too,) then he is a divorcer and adulterer, a serial polygamist, an oathbreaker. Also, according to JS, in the 12 apostles seen in Revelation don’t work – since 12 more are set up in the new world, and 12 more by JS. And Jesus keeps working on new foundations, tearing up or abandoning the old.****
  1. The NT records that it is the last age. “In THESE last days…” And during these last days, the NT states that God has spoken to us in a new and final way with Jesus (so no continuing revelation of the sort proposed by most restorationists, and no Christian church prior to Christ’s coming as proposed by JS). And Jesus said he would be with us “until the end of the age.” So the NT Christians knew they were in the last age, and Jesus would remain with them throughout it. Thus Jesus never abandoned His Church (and kept it from abandoning him–he kept it the Spotless Bride).

  2. The impossibility of dating or finding proof of a total apostasy. Note that in the OT, when authority was taken, it was done publicly and given to another (as with Shebna), and this was recorded and identifiable – and there was no gap between. The Church is thoroughly Catholic from the earliest recordings, and during the decades of writing of the NT. For Joseph Smith, it’s interesting to note that he backs himself into a corner on dating:

a. He rewrote Revelation to change the time of the “church in the wilderness” to 1260 YEARS, and then in his sermons states that this means the 1260 years prior to his “restoration” in ~1820. So the apostasy had to finally happen by ~570AD. Much has been written in those communities supporting this dating–but there is a vast body of documents showing how the Church had been thoroughly Catholic (with doctrines clearly intact) for centuries by that time. Nothing happened then that would have been identifiable as an apostasy. Yet if you date earlier than those 1260 years, you admit that JS unjustifiably changed and erred in his rewriting of Revelation, thus earning the eternal damnations and curses the book declares upon those who so alter it.

b. If you DO go back further, we can take another signpost of when the Church DID have authority to act in the formal establishment of the canon of Scripture, since all accept that at least 66 books of the bible are Divinely Inspired. That’s ~300AD, and once again, we have abundant evidence that the Church is demonstrably Catholic.

c. If you must go back to the actual writing dates of the NT, and during the life of the Apostles, you must account for the Didache and the letters of Clement, as well as some others. You find that other early writers – perhaps most famously, Ignatius of Antioch – who were appointed by and tutored by the Apostles themselves testify to Catholic beliefs (and none of these others), and even the name “Catholic.”

d. You can’t find most of the distinct doctrines of these other restorationist churches at any point in history, much less near the times that they propose for an apostasy. Even though the Church well documented the heresies that it opposed and preserved records of them – so even if you think the Catholic Church just persecuted them out of existence (which should not have been possible for Christ’s church to be so defeated), it somehow selectively and very perfectly eradicated all historical record of JUST these doctrines of the supposed “true” church, while preserving the records of the other heresies it opposed. Yeah, right. Considering that we have God’s promise that His Word does not come back to Him void, and cannot be eradicated from the earth, this is also impossible without God’s failure.

Oh, so many more. The fulfillment of prophecies in the Catholic Church alone (the Messiah’s kingdom would be everlasting, taken to all the earth, conquering Rome, grafting in the Gentiles, with a sacrifice of thanksgiving [Eucharistia] offered continually throughout the world, a new and never ending priesthood, etc etc). The proof of unity and consistency in the Church (which you point out) as opposed to the failure and decline of all other breakaway churches. The fruits of the Church historically and in its Saints (who demonstrate in every age miraculous gifts). The fact that the Catholic (and Orthodox, of course) Church is the only one that preserves a claim to a forgive sins (gift given clearly by Jesus as his very first act upon his first visitation to the Apostles after his Resurrection); “euhuchs for the Kingdom” and those living with “all things in common” (celibates, consecrated religious), and so many other marks of the Church.

You really don’t even need to resort to dismantling the claims of any given restorationist church (which is an easy exercise). All you need do is demonstrate thoroughly the impossibility of a total apostasy, then demonstrate objectively the authority of the Catholic Church as THE Church established by Christ.

Bishop Duane Hunt, of the SLC Diocese wrote a response to Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie’s first publication of “Mormon Doctrine”, where McConkie named the RCC as the “church of the devil”.

It is the most concise and comprehensive response I’ve seen to Mormon claims about Catholicism.

The Continuity of the Catholic Church
The Most Reverend Duane G. Hunt D.D.
Bishop of Salt Lake City (1937-1960)

Chapter on the Great Apostasy(?) is here.

Wow, that is comprehensive! I had no idea that such a thorough response had ever been written. Great resource.

I thought the Mormons never claimed the CC was the church of the devil…:wink:

McConkie changed the next publication, and removed that particular slander. There are still individuals within Mormonism who believe the “church of the devil” is the RCC.

Thank you so much for that resource!

Do you have any others? I’ve been collecting and examining. I like to focus on apostasy theories and the authority of the Catholic Church in general, as I find these are the root issues of many disputes.

Also, I think it’s generally better to accept being on the defense rather than raising the emotional barriers by putting other people on the defense. It may be easy to dismantle an opposing position, but the wall of defensiveness and emotional investment is often more formidable than the rational basis.

I like the expression: the Truth is like a lion (the Lion of Judah, in fact); it needs no defense, it just needs to be let out of its cage. Thus I readily accept the attacks so that they can be refuted soundly by the truth.

The website with Bp, Hunt’s book has more resources, just have to click around. :slight_smile:

Of course, CA has some good resources too. I particularly like the pamphlet “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth

This is great. I would enjoy hearing what the LDS think of this response.

Bolding mine.

This is so true when it comes to discussion with Mormons. It doesn’t really matter how good one’s argument is. What matters is the “testimony”. Emotion trumps reason.

It was when I allowed myself to let go of my emotional attachment and consider the possibility that Joseph Smith could be a false prophet that reason and truth were able to bring me out of Mormonism and home to the Catholic Church. Unfortunately my LDS family will not listen to a word I have to say.

What I am trying to work on right now with relatives in a restoration movement (granted, we share more common beliefs than Catholics do with LDS), is to first establish what common ground and similarities we have. Get that nice warm feeling of acceptance in those areas of agreement.

Then show somewhat similar doctrines (like JS’s three degrees of heaven vs. purgatory–somewhat similar). The purpose of this, I am thinking, is to show that there is perhaps a comfortable slide to a near-doctrine.

Also show **where we agree on the problems **with other Christian denominations – common ground in what we both affirm are wrong. For instance, the common Protestant/Evangelical ideas of Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, “once-saved-always-saved,” lack of ministerial priesthood, personal interpretation vs an objective ordained authority, etc.

Then I want to demonstrate how it’s good that JS saw there was much lacking in Protestantism, that they had jettisoned many essentials – like the ministerial priesthood and authority. How it’s great that LDS recognize that we need an objective authority, and that there was much that Protestantism lost that needed to be restored.

Then I would start a discussion about how I believe there was even MORE – there is more that needs to be “restored” to Protestantism even than JS believed. There’s all this wonderful stuff that God wants for us that the Catholic Church contains in the fullness of the Gospel, the fullness of worship in Spirit and in Truth. Things like the Communion of Saints (of which they have a shadow); continuity through all the ages with our ancestors in faith; the liturgy of the ages; the Eucharist; the forgiveness of sins; the full regeneration of baptism, etc.

Use that to open the discussion on those topics briefly, but not necessarily in depth. No need to argue out each point when the source of the difference here is really, fundamentally, authority and continuity – i.e., the Great Apostasy theory.

To get there I would want to have a discussion about the sources of truth – real, objective truth, beyond our subjective judgment. And then about t**he tremendous need we have to find and follow the One True Church of Jesus Christ and be united with it in obedience of faith. ** And reinforce that with the various scriptures about “He who hears you, hears me, he who rejects you rejects me,” “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts,” “I pray that they be One as We are One,” etc.

By going through this succession, I hope to establish some comfort, common ground, familiarity, acceptance, and even praise of their position, move to the importance of finding the Church and uniting with it, and lay the groundwork for an objective means of evaluating that.

Then I would take on the burden of proof, the defensive position we’ve been discussing here. Demonstrate the complete fidelity of Jesus Christ to His Bride, of God the Father to all the covenants He has made with His children. Show how that faithfulness is borne out in the Catholic Church and that a total apostasy is impossible because of it. **Show how the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of all the prophecies of what the Messiah would build and work in the world **(restorationists are big on prophecy!).

This is the most gentle and thorough progression that I’ve been able to come up with, bypassing as much as possible the emotional defensiveness.

If it achieves the desired fruit of really opening the door to considering conversion, of seeing the Catholic Church as the True Church, then perhaps next steps will be **apologetics on the various doctrines **they may find difficult, to show their reasonableness – but always with resort to authority, stressing that with that authority, our comfort with a doctrine really doesn’t matter, that we must first approach Jesus with obedience and pray for understanding.

At some point, those aspects of teaching that they held most convincing from JS/LDS thought may need to be addressed. These can be done impersonally through the wealth of resources out there showing blatant contradictions within the BoM and other documents, as well as measuring them against every external objective source (history, logic). It would be great if these can suffice with minimal face to face discussion, again to try to avoid throwing up that emotional, defensive wall that occurs if there is a perception that you are attacking them.

If that does need to happen (personal discussion)–and really, it’s the best option, if it can be done without defensiveness–it should probably be done without too many people around. One of my first experiences in these discussions was in a “cottage meeting” setting with a room full of restorationists trying to convince and convert me. That left them with comfort within the group of not having to seriously consider an opposing argument, and made it easy for them to rotate among themselves to just change the subject.

You can see also in large groups with “debaters” from both sides the same thing. This is why forums aren’t necessarily very fruitful, either. You can hide. The Mormon Apologetics Discussion Board (MADB) was another place I tried, and learned what it must be like for Mormons coming here :).

It is the human condition that we seek shelter in numbers and often will not face the realities we need to if we can hide behind others.

Do you think any of that is helpful, perhaps to open discussion with your family up?

Does anyone have advice on a better approach? I’m still searching out the best way to do this myself…

If I may, I would like to add the LDS response to Matthew 16:18. This quote is from a book of sermons and writings of Orson Pratt, a church elder. The book is titled The Masterful Discourses And Writings Of Orson Pratt.

“Secondly, it is objected, that if the Church of Christ has not continued, then the gates of hell must have prevailed against her; and they refer us to that cheering passage in Matthew (XVI. 18), which reads thus: ‘And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ They argue, that if the Church has ceased to exist, the gates of hell have prevailed over her, and the promise of Jesus must be falsified. But we would inform the Catholics that the Church of Christ has not ceased to exist, neither has Peter ceased his existence, but both the church and Peter are in Heaven, far out of the reach of the gates of hell, and far out of the reach of the abominable and soul destroying impositions of popery.”

Which renders the whole passage meaningless and ignores all other Scriptures in alignment with this.

I would ask just what are the “abominable and soul destroying impositions of popery?”

Matt 16:18 and surrounding illustrates much more and doesn’t stand alone. It also illustrates the primacy of Peter and his place as Rock (the rock the builder – Jesus – builds His House on to withstand the coming storms, itself a parable that nullifies Pratt’s interpretation), and the succession of his office as the prime minister of the Davidic King (Jesus) – again establishing a succession that must continue. It illustrates that Jesus is the builder, thus tying it in to His parables and all other passages related to the growth of the Church and preventing completely any concept of total apostasy because man cannot destroy what Jesus is building. It establishes the Church as His, similarly removing ultimate responsibility for the earthly success or failure from man, clearly stating the Divine Institution that is divinely preserved, and that “organized religion” – the Church – is not merely a man made thing made by power-hungry men or even those just attempting to follow Christ. It is HIS. And it defies any other founders – which clearly repudiates the idea of founders like Luther, Calvin, or Joseph Smith, for Jesus would allow no such confusion about who started His Church.

But to get directly to the argument Pratt made (as if what precedes weren’t enough to completely refute it), his position is simply nonsensical. It’s like saying “God is in Heaven, and Hell won’t prevail against Heaven.” Well, yeah, of course. Why bother saying that? “If you get to Heaven, you won’t be in Hell.” Duh. What’s your point?

It was stated to fulfill what the Messiah was expected to do: Redeem Israel and all mankind and create an everlasting Kingdom even on earth. It was a flaunt in the face of the ruler of the earth – Satan. Satan won’t prevail against the Church on earth. Death won’t come to the Body of Christ that He Institutes on earth (His Church). It must be a visible, physical presence on earth.

This is the problem with having such discontinuity with history. It was obvious to the Jews and to the early Christians what was meant (and they talk about it frequently, that the Church would remain until Christ’s Second Coming – this is clearly how everyone understood it). The Jews knew their prophecies of the Messiah, and they knew that He would usher in an everlasting covenant and kingdom on earth. This, the promise to a people so sick of being conquered and living in subjugation to other kings. Many thought this meant a new nation, but it was a kingdom of living believers. They would have seen right through and totally rejected such a pointless saying as Pratt suggests.

After all, the promise of the Covenant to Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and through to David and so many of the prophets was that the Chosen People of God would NEVER die out. That they would be sustained forever – despite constant falling into the worst sort of idol worship (worse than anything that can possibly be accused of Christians throughout history). Even for those who rejected Christ himself. God has remained faithful to that covenant and preserved them against all odds and reason even after they rejected His Son. The Jews should have been annihilated and disappeared into history like countless cultures before them even after Christ. But they have not.

The New Covenant of Christ is far greater than the Old. How, then, are we to surmise a lesser promise? That for the first time in history, the authoritative line and the promise of the Covenant dies out? That the physical, earthly presence of a continual line is removed from the earth (though look alikes persist with remarkable consistency and spread through all the earth…)? TWICE? And leaving a gap in time far longer than ever the Jews had to wait for a renewal?

That the lesser covenant to the Jews would remain strong, but that the followers of God’s own Son would be allowed to die out, leaderless, without anointed authority?

Again, what a terrible and blasphemous charge to lay at the feet of our Savior, that His Covenant is so far inferior to the Old.

There’s so much more that could be said about that proposition, so many more Scriptures to bring in, but the logic of it just quickly falls flat.

Presumably the usual allegations of greed and corruption. Also, I get the feeling that you think that I am a Mormon. I am not. I was merely playing Devil’s Advocate.

Sorry, maybe I was too aggressive. I did not think you were a Mormon – I check a poster’s “Religion” listing to try to get a little more of a sense of where they are coming from, so I knew you weren’t.

I appreciate the Devil’s Advocate posture. I was responding to refute the position of Orson Pratt, so that it could be seen that such a defense wouldn’t stand against what else we had been discussing in this thread.

I find it helpful if posters who even share the same views post critiques of an argument. Would that I had the Thomistic gift of stating the opposing viewpoint in its greatest strength to help bring clarity.

No need to apologize. I agree that Mr. Pratts argument doesn’t have much to stand on, but it is the only statement I have read of of an LDS leader taking on that specific argument. Also, on a side note, seeing as you are in Independence, I suppose you may know a little bit about Mormonism due to having the RLDS/Church of Christ in town.

Yes, the “Center Place” and all that. I have a good appreciation for the differences in the sects. They vary more widely than one might expect, and moreso than most denominations originating from the same founder. I dated a wonderful LDS girl for a while in college (after we had already been friends for a couple years), so I learned much from that. My wife, though, is opposite on the spectrum of belief for those who follow JS and the BoM. She’s part of the very conservative Restoration Branch movement that holds to the more traditional mainline Protestant views (as one poster also familiar with them once characterized them, “Southern Baptists with an extra book of Scripture to interpret strictly;” though I think that misses the big distinctions of a restoration movement from a merely Protestant one). And yes, then there’s the RLDS/CoC (which the Restoration branches were part of before the split in the 1980s), which has gone liberal. I am aware of them but mostly ignore them. :slight_smile:

Arandur wrote: <<I would ask just what are the “abominable and soul destroying impositions of popery?”>>

Sadly, comments such as the above that point to the sins of the members of the Catholic Church, (popes included of course) do not take into account that such sins do not eclipse the truth of what the Catholic Church teaches.

This is an interesting discussion. A lot of it is over my head, but I am learning at the same time.

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