[quote=rfk]In my mind, the quickest way to refute Mormanism is Matthew 16:17-18.
Now, Joseph Smith claimed the great apostasy foretold in the Bible had destroyed Christ’s Church within a generation of two. Jesus Christ actually had to come physically visit the America’s to start the Church again. It then lay dormant until 1820.
That directly contradicts what Jesus said in Matthew. Jesus built his Church on Peter, not the Americas, and promised it would survive.
So, either Jesus is wrong or Joseph Smith is wrong. Since Joseph Smith is dead and corrupted in the grave, I know which authority I’ll choose.
Mormons understand the passage as saying that it was by the FAITH of Peter that he received the revelation of Christ, and that it was upon the rock of faith that revelation would continue and the church remain. When faith was lost from the earth in the second and third generations of Christians, the Church was lost. It then had to be restored to humankind agan by the faithful boy Joseph Smith, who then received the Keys of the Priesthood at the hands of John the Baptist and Peter James and John.
Mormon claims don’t rest upon the body of Joseph Smith but upon his exegesis of the scripture passage you cite, and upon his visionary claims.
We should note that Rod of Iron has elsewhere acknowledged NOT being a member of the major body of the LDS Church, nor of the Reorganized Church of LDS, but of one of the smaller sects. His beliefs would reflect those of the sect to which he belongs, which might not coincide with those of the main LDS body. I am a former LDS of the main organization. See “The Great Apostasy” by James Talmage (a well known classic writer and early apologist for Mormonism) for confirmation and elaboration of what I just outlined.