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?