Mormons 17 Points of True Church

A poster on another thread relied on the LDS “17 points of a True Church” As a mssionary, we were given a card with these 17 points. We used this a lot. But how accurate is it?

The LDS 17 Points

  1. Christ organized the Church (Ephesians 4:11-14)

Of course, Catholics believe this. And we believe Christ did…The problem is, the LDS believe Christ started His Church, failed, and had to start it again…

  1. The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:23)

The verse does not say this: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

But, even assuming it does, Mormons must answer as to why their own church was called merely “The Church of the Latter-day Saints” from 1834-1838. Hard to explain why, if this was so important, why didn’t it apply back then?

  1. The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20)

Actually, the verse does not say it MUST. It says it HAS BEEN. Big difference. But After Jesus, there was no longer a need for a “prophet”. When Jesus left, who was the “prophet”? There was not one.

  1. The true church must have the same organization as Christ’s Church (Ephesians 4:11-14)

This is a huge problem for Mormons. Nowhere in the Biblical Organization do you see Wards, Stakes, Presidents, 15 Apostles, teenagers as Priests distributing the Eucharist…either it has to mirror it, or it doesn’t.

  1. The true church must claim divine authority (Hebrews 4:4-10)

The Catholic Church claims authority…since 33 AD

  1. The true church must have no paid ministry (Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)

Mormons who believe their leaders are not paid are very misinformed. All the General Authorities in Salt Lake City receive remuneration for their services to the church and from the church. If they don’t believe it, they should call the LDS Church headquarters and ask. A paid ministry is not unbiblical. The entire Old Testament speaks of a paid ministry as well as I Corinthians chapter 9. Further, Nowhere does it say no one should EVER receive pay. Even as missionaries in the LDS Church, Members paid me.

  1. The true church must baptize by immersion (Matthew 3:13-16)

This verse only says: 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. Now, I challenge ANY Mormon to show where it says, in this verse, that we MUST baptize by immersion. Further, where it specifically says Jesus was immersed. It doesn’t. Further, it say NOWHERE in the Bible that a person MUST be baptized by immersion.

  1. The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)

The Bible shows, however, that at times the Holy Ghost (Spirit) was received of men without mention of hands being laid on them. (See Acts 4:31; 10:44; 11:15.). Again, the LDS Church says the Bible says it MUST occur like that. It never says that.


  1. The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)

Another misuse of the word “must”. But, most Churches practice this.

  1. The true church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)

John 17:11 does not say that: 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. But, to be clear, The Catholic Church has taught The Trinity consisted of Three Personages. JS took it too far and made them three GODS. This is NOT what is taught in the Bible OR the Book of Mormon…

  1. The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 1:1-3)

This is odd, because JS, in "Lectures on Faith, taught God the Father was Spirit and Jesus was flesh. But, anyway, if you read these verse, again, it does not say what they claim. For example, Hebrews 1:1-3 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:


  1. The officers must be called by God (Hebrews 4:4; Exodus 28:1; 40:13-16)

A subjective point. All ministers and priests feel called of God.

  1. The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)

First, all cults claim revelation. All of them. That is why there is no revelation. And the verse used is from the OT. Funny that they cannot use any verse from any time AFTER Jesus…that should make it very clear…

  1. The true church must be a missionary church (Matthew 28:19-20)

Almost all Christian Churches have a missionary program. The Catholic Church has been using missionaries non stop since AD 33…

  1. The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)

Acts 3: 19-20 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Ok…I give up…where does it say it MUST be a restored Church? You can’t restore something that wasn’t lost. Jesus Himself said the gates of hell would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). History proves this.

  1. The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:16&29)

Paul mentioning it as something that should not be done does say it MUST be done. The Mormons have built a doctrine over this ONE verse. Heck, look at the Book of Mormon Alma 34:34-35…even in the Book of Mormon it says that when you die, its over…

  1. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthews 7:20)

This one makes me laugh…because it is finally an accurate point. Matthew 7:20 talks about FALSE PROPHETS and how we will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


… and again, and again…

Jesus Christ** is **the head of the Catholic Church, and always has been.

definition of prophet: “a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God” (Priest, Bishop, Pope, etc., all fit)

Not even close.


Catholic clergy receive a stipend. Considering the level of education required to be a Priest, and the responsibilities of their office, they are grossly underpaid.


Actually, the Sacrament of Confirmation bestows the Gift of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, by the Bishop.

As long as they tick all of the boxes on their own checklist, as far as the LDS is concerned, they believe they are the truth.

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ " 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Ultimately, the Mormons have the same problem as every other Protestant - how do you know the books that you accept as the NT are inspired? They proof text Bible verses, thus accepting the Bible as the Word of God, but they reject the Christians (Catholics, all) who selected those writings as apostates.

"Extreme Unction

A sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ to give spiritual aid and comfort and perfect spiritual health, including, if need be, the remission of sins, and also, conditionally, to restore bodily health, to Christians who are seriously ill; it consists essentially in the unction by a priest of the body of the sick person, accompanied by a suitable form of words."

Lack of understanding often leads to error.

MOTS error


“DR- John 14:[26] But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.”


I assume it’s because of the word “refreshing”, but I’m pretty sure Peter’s referring to the second coming of Jesus, at the resurrection of the dead.

Here, Paul is teaching about the truth of the resurrection of the dead. I believe he mentions it because it was the practice of some of the Gnostic sects in that area. I think his point was that, even though they were wrong about many other things (that included), even they believed in the resurrection of the dead. But, it was not an approved practice in the early Church.



Do you remember a small book (I forget the name of it) that had a supposed debate between a Mormon and a Catholic?

I remember it being a soft cover, light blue in color. I dont remember whether it claimed an actual debate or if it was meant to be more of “this is what a debate would be like”

Yep. I have a copy of it somewhere from my missionary days. I also had one about an alleged trial. I do not remember where they are now.

I realized when posting this, my mission started 30 years this August.

Wow. Time truly does fly

  1. Christ Organized the Church.

Yes, Catholics believe that Jesus Christ established His Church 2000 years ago, and that the Catholic Church is that Church that has continued in existence since then.

  1. The true church must bear the name of Christ.

Nowhere does the Bible state that the true Church must have “Jesus Christ” in its name. Further, the LDS Church did not even have “Jesus Christ” in its name for some years, when it was known as the Church of the Latter day Saints in the 1800s (forgot the exact dates). Therefore, this “point” condemns the LDS Church itself.

What Catholics do believe is that the Church is Christ’s, He is at the Head, and it has His authority.

  1. The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets.

The Catholic Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Further, the authority of the apostles continues in the Bishops, and Catholics believe that the Bishops and other leaders of the Church are guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects the Church from falling into doctrinal error (or apostatizing), and can be considered “prophets” in that sense. As well, Catholic history is filled with examples of prophets and prophetesses, witnesses to Heavenly visions and visitations. All Catholics are prophets by virtue of our baptism, where we share in Christ’s offices of prophet, priest, and king.

  1. The true church must have the same organization as Christ’s church.

The LDS Church does not pass this. Firstly, it has 15 apostles, with 3 apostles outside of the 12 regarded as a “First Presidency”. There was no office of Seventy in the New Testament Church that one was ordained to. There were no stake presidents. Further, LDS claiming to have the same offices, and use Ephesians 4 to back that up, fail to realize that the LDS Church does not have offices of pastor nor evangelist. With the latter, Joseph Smith redefined evangelist to mean “patriarch”, and there is no ancient evidence that that was how the NT Church understood it.

  1. The true church must claim divine authority.

The Catholic Church claims divine authority.

  1. The true church must have no paid ministry.

Nowhere does the NT support this. Further, the LDS Church itself has ministers that receive a living stipend, and are therefore paid ministers. The General Authorities receive a living wage for their full time service. Many LDS perhaps are not aware of this, hence the repeating of this self-condemning requirement.

  1. The true church must baptize by immersion.

The Bible nowhere supports that baptism must only be done by immersion. The Catholic Church performs baptisms by both immersion and pouring. The Church has the authority to add different ways to perform the sacraments if necessary. We see this in the LDS Church itself, which has changed the mode of the Initiatory washing and anointing multiple times, where now, it is only a symbolic washing and anointing.

  1. The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

The Catholic Church does this.

  1. The true church must practice divine healing.

The Catholic Church does this.

  1. The true church must teach that God and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct individuals.

The Catholic Church teaches that the Father and the Son are distinct Persons, contrary to the common modalistic misportrayals of the Trinity doctrine by many LDS, including leaders.

  1. The true church must teach that God and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bone.

The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ has a body of flesh and bone, due to His Incarnation and bodily Resurrection and Ascension. The Father does not have a body (since He never incarnated), and the Bible does not support Him being embodied.

  1. The officers must be called of God.

The Catholic Church believes that all deacons, priests, and bishops are called by God. Discerning that call is very important in priestly formation.

  1. The true church must claim revelation from God.

The Catholic Church teaches that it is guided by the Holy Spirit in protecting the deposit of faith. Further, the Spirit guides the Councils of the Church, as well as the Pope, in formally defining doctrines. Guidance from God is extremely important in Catholicism, and Catholic history is filled with examples of Heavenly messengers speaking to Catholics. God is further believed to speak to us individually.

  1. The true church must be a missionary church.

The Catholic Church has always been a missionary church.

  1. The true church must be a restored church.

The Bible nowhere supports a total apostasy of Christ’s Church. It nowhere claims that the Church, Christ’s Kingdom, would be taken away from the earth, would fail, and would need restoring. The Bible teaches, and Catholics accept, apostasies of people, but nowhere does it claim an apostasy of the Church.

  1. The true church must practice baptism for the dead.

Paul nowhere includes himself nor the Church in this practice, referring to “they”. Further, some viewing this as a positive Church practice connect this to the ancient Jewish-Christian practice of prayer for the dead, which is a Catholic practice.

  1. By their fruits ye shall know them.

No other Church can match the fruits of the Catholic Church throughout the world, in establishing schools, hospitals, universities, charities, etc.

I think I said all of this…:slight_smile:

And Devil and his fallen angels also believe they are the truth. Please!

The trouble with that universal argument is that you run into us annoying Lutherans who claim to be a valid continuation of the western church and that our church began at Pentecost.

Of course, you don’t have to agree with us. But we’re rather immune to that particular argument. I imagine that Anglicans are mostly immune to it as well with the Branch Theory that some of them profess.

Might work if not started by, and named after, a guy named Luther…long after Pentecost…while the Church Jesus started and Luther left is still going strong


So how do you justify to yourself that you are a valid continuation of the western Church?

When, among others…you pick and choose what to follow…like throwing some sacraments, disregard the authority of bishops, and disregard Holy Orders, which are important to both the original east and west…and you call one of the bishops the Anti-Christ.

figured a Mormon or two would defend their 17 points…

It seems that soon after an LDS poster gets banned from CA another takes his place, like they’re keeping tabs over in SLC.

They’ll pick someone soon. :wink:

Regarding number 2, I have a question. Since it is claimed that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates, did those golden plates have the words “Jesus Christ” written on them? why would the language, supposedly of reformed egyptian, use two english words that didn’t exist at the time? moreover, was Joseph Smith under the impression that ‘Jesus Christ’ was really the Messiah’s name?

That sounds kinda fishy to me. I would think that if you’re going to have the Messiah’s name included in the name of your church, it would be important to get his name right, no?

Apostolic is one of the four marks of the true church. (The other being, one, holy and catholic (universal)).

Apostolic means not only that the church is founded on the Apostles, but also that it teaches what the Apostles taught. This is why Catholic doctrines cannot change, as doctrines are what the Apostles taught.

Mormonism has a list of things that were not taught by the Apostles. Some of them in this list of 17:

  1. Christ Organized the Church.

Jesus established his church on the Twelve. They are the foundation that he laid. The Church was not organized, ie built on the foundation, until after Jesus ascended into heaven. The organization was, and continues to be, guided by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles ordained Bishops as their successors, and some were appointed as Deacons who served the Bishops. Priests aid in the ministerial duties of Bishops who need help leading community of Christians, and dispensing the sacraments.

Bishops continue today in an office of apostolic succession, and continue to ordain and appoint priests and deacons, who serve under and for our Bishops.

  1. The true church must bear the name of Christ.

The Apostles never taught this. They did teach:

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

(In the OT, orphans and widows are examples the defenseless and oppressed.)

So it is the baptized who bear the name of Christ, in word and deed, and it is the baptized who are the living stones of the Church.

  1. The true church must be a missionary church.

The great commission given to the 11 Apostles is this:

Matthew 28: 19-20 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

This is the entire reason for the existence of Christ’s Church, who has and continues to fulfill this prophecy of Jesus Christ.

This is also one of the four marks of the true church, that it is catholic (universal). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all nations.

1 Peter 2:9-10* But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were “no people” but now you are God’s people; you “had not received mercy” but now you have received mercy.*

  1. The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)

As has already been pointed out, this scripture quote is speaking of Christ restoring us to a union with the Father. To teach otherwise is to teach contrary to the teachings of the Apostles.

The Church exists to bring people to Christ, so that they may be restored to the Father, in and through Him. The Sacraments of Baptism, Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation imbue the grace of restoration in us. We are reconciled to God, as a people, as a Church, and so our restoration is continual, and never ending. We often speak in terms of renewal, which is an expression of our restoration. So it is, we are a restored Church, always have been, and always will be.

Lord send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

  1. The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:16&29)

No, the Apostles did not teach baptism for the dead. A group of people were mentioned as baptizing for the dead as an example of resurrection belief. Nowhere were baptisms being performed as the LDS do. The great commission is to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Often in the NT this instruction is given by the Apostles for baptism of the living. NEVER is this instruction given for the dead.

–That’s all I have time for. Each of the 17 points are a single topic that could be discussed for an hour or more, just by me. :smiley: …and I’m not the expert on any single topic. There are numerous books and other media on each topic as well.

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