Mormons, Catholics, and the Great Apostacy

The key issue above all others between Catholics and Mormons is the “Great Apostacy.” Either it happened or it didn’t. If it did, then the Mormons are correct and they are the true church they claim to be. If it did not happen, the Mormon church’s very reason for existence is gone. I would like to hear from LDS as to why they believe in the Great Apostacy and their evidence for it.

I’m not a Mormon, but I would like to note that the “great apostasy” hypothesis is not unique to Mormonism - hence, even if it were true, it would not necessarily mean the Joseph Smith was the prophet God raised up to set the record straight. Islam is also based on the same hypothesis - but they claim Mohammed was the new prophet God raised up to set the record straight. Proving the historicity of a “great apostasy” is thus necessary for Mormonism to be true, but not sufficient.

[quote=SteveT]I’m not a Mormon, but I would like to note that the “great apostasy” hypothesis is not unique to Mormonism - hence, even if it were true, it would not necessarily mean the Joseph Smith was the prophet God raised up to set the record straight. Islam is also based on the same hypothesis - but they claim Mohammed was the new prophet God raised up to set the record straight. Proving the historicity of a “great apostasy” is thus necessary for Mormonism to be true, but not sufficient.
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Interesting point, but I would like to limit this discussion to the Mormon version of the Great Apostacy.

Interesting to note…My LDS friends told me the apostasy occurred after the death of the Apostles. No proof, no references, nothing. They just stated it as fact like everyone in their right mind should know it! Then just a few minutes later into the conversation they told me that the Apostle John has never died. Kinda puts a contradiction on their belief of a Great Apostasy after the death of the Apostles if one of them never died. So…I asked where John is (I’m thinking a 2,000 year old man would draw a HUGE amount of publicity if for nothing else than being that old), but they said they don’t know, only that he is working somewhere to further the kingdom of God. If someone could point out how this works as well, that would be nice.

[quote=SteveT]I’m not a Mormon, but I would like to note that the “great apostasy” hypothesis is not unique to Mormonism - hence, even if it were true, it would not necessarily mean the Joseph Smith was the prophet God raised up to set the record straight. Islam is also based on the same hypothesis - but they claim Mohammed was the new prophet God raised up to set the record straight. Proving the historicity of a “great apostasy” is thus necessary for Mormonism to be true, but not sufficient.
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The Charles Russel, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses used the EXACT same arguement. So, I guess the Mormons and the JW need to duke it out for who is really the authentic church to take over for the apostate Catholic church. Oh, wait, there is a third contenter for the crown. Yes, that’s right, Evangelical Fundamentalists are throwing their hat into the ring to determine the “Church of all Churches” and supplant the now defunct (since the 4th centruy in their estimation) Catholic Church.

I’ve been told by Mormons that the Great Apostasy [supposedly] occurred while Constantine was emperor. That would mean that the Catholic Church fell into apostasy around the same time it was busy defining the Trinity; or, if later, around the time the Church was occupied with canonizing the Old and New Testaments and putting them together to form the first Bible – :D.

JMJ Jay

[quote=Katholikos]I’ve been told by Mormons that the Great Apostasy [supposedly] occurred while Constantine was emperor. That would mean that the Catholic Church fell into apostasy around the same time it was busy defining the Trinity; or, if later, around the time the Church was occupied with canonizing the Old and New Testaments and putting them together to form the first Bible – :D.

JMJ Jay
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The edict of Milan in 313 is almost the universally accepted timeframe of this supposed “Great Apostacy”

[quote=Apologia100]The edict of Milan in 313 is almost the universally accepted timeframe of this supposed “Great Apostacy”
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I always thought that the LDS believe it came much earlier than that, right around the time of the death of the Apostles.

QUOTE

APOSTASY FROM THE TRUE CHURCH

Throughout history, evil men have tried to destroy the work of God. This happened while the apostles were still alive and supervising the young, growing Church. Some of the members taught ideas from their old pagan or Jewish religious beliefs instead of the simple truths taught by Jesus. In additon to this, there was persecution from outside the Church. Church members were tortured and killed for their beliefs. One by one, the apostles were killed. * Because of the persecution, surviving apostles could not meet to choose and ordain men to replace those who were dead* [emphasis mine]. Eventually, local priesthood leaders were the only ones who had authority to direct the various scattered branches of the Church. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine and soon the destruction of the Church was complete. The period of time when the true church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy.

Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking of those called “Christians.” The Roman emperor adopted this false “Christianity” as the state religion. This church was very different from the church Jesus organized. Members of this church believed that God was a being without form or substance [emphasis mine]. These people lost the understanding of his love for us. They did not know that we are his [spirit] children. They did not understand the purpose of life. Many of the ordinances were changed, because the priesthood and revelation were no longer on the earth.

The emperor chose his own leaders and called them by the same titles used by priesthood leaders in the true Church of Christ. Church officers were given honor and wealth. Bishops and archbishops fought among themselves to gain more power. There were no apostles or other priesthood leaders with power from God and no spiritual gifts. The prophet Isaiah had foreseen that this condition would come about. He had prophesied: “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 24:5). It was the Church of Jesus Christ no longer; it was a church of men. Even the name had been changed. In the Americas, apostasy also occurred (see 4 Nephi).
END QUOTE

Source: Gospel Principles, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1988, pages 100-101.

This is a Mormon instruction manual for adults.

The LDS church teaches that God is an “exalted man” of flesh and bones.

[quote=Chris-WA]I always thought that the LDS believe it came much earlier than that, right around the time of the death of the Apostles.
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There seem to be varying opinions among individual Mormons about the date of the Great Apostasy.

I’ve only been able to verify from Mormon sources that the apostasy took place “sometime after the death of the last Apostle.” In that case, it was definitely an apostate Church that defined the Trinity and formed the Bible, because God had taken his True Church back to heaven.:stuck_out_tongue:

JMJ Jay

[quote=Katholikos]There seem to be varying opinions among individual Mormons about the date of the Great Apostasy.

I’ve only been able to verify from Mormon sources that the apostasy took place “sometime after the death of the last Apostle.” In that case, it was definitely an apostate Church that defined the Trinity and formed the Bible, because God had taken his True Church back to heaven.:stuck_out_tongue:

JMJ Jay
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Well, technically, sometime after teh death of the last APostle COULD have been yesterday at 2:15 PM EST.

[quote=Katholikos]There seem to be varying opinions among individual Mormons about the date of the Great Apostasy.

I’ve only been able to verify from Mormon sources that the apostasy took place “sometime after the death of the last Apostle.” In that case, it was definitely an apostate Church that defined the Trinity and formed the Bible, because God had taken his True Church back to heaven.:stuck_out_tongue:

JMJ Jay
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Yeah, but my LDS friends keep telling me that John never died! There couldn’t be an apostasy after the death of the last Apostle if John never died!

[quote=tkdnick]Yeah, but my LDS friends keep telling me that John never died! There couldn’t be an apostasy after the death of the last Apostle if John never died!
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There are also the 3 Nephites, apostles from the Book of Mormon, who never died and are still walking around today.

Mormons also believe that Cain is still walking around. Many (including my Mormon brother-in-law) believe that Bigfoot is Cain.

Paul

[quote=PaulDupre]There are also the 3 Nephites, apostles from the Book of Mormon, who never died and are still walking around today.

Mormons also believe that Cain is still walking around. Many (including my Mormon brother-in-law) believe that Bigfoot is Cain.

Paul
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I thought it was one Nephite. Had NO IDEA about Cain though!

Speaking as an ex-mormon, the belief is simply that the early Christian church lost it’s priesthood authority. The general belief is that this occured gradually over the course of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. I believed this very thing for 30 years. Once I began studying the works of the early church fathers I came to realize that they believed and taught very little of what the current Mormon church teaches. There is no talk of temples, the word of wisdom, baptism for the dead, polygamy, revelation, baptism by immersion only, the cross as a negative symbol, Christ being the physical son of a physical God who had a physical relationship with Mary…none of that. Instead you do find talk about the Real Presence, the cross being the tree of life, baptism by pouring allowed, etc. I came to realize that the 1st and 2nd century church matched the Catholic and Orthodox churches more so than any others.

Satan hates Christ, the Cross and the Eucharist very much because it is all at the core of his defeat. . The great Apostasy is a way of saying that Christ is a failure. That his Church lasted just a few short years. That it needed to be restored. Restored by Joseph Smith and the Jesus that we have come to know was changed to something else. .Just a mere man but more exalted because he had proven himself to his father in another life. The Mormons do not realize this. The Jesus they have come to know is very real to them.

But again the Apostasy was set into motion because of jealousy. A jealous angel who has set out to prove that he can do a better job than Jesus can do. And a whole people have been swept up in this lie, in what appears to be in the light of Christ.

Here is some really good stuff on the great apostasy
http://catholic-rcia.com/pages/Apostacy.html

Question folks…I need some good material fast. My friend was foirst approached by Mormons a couple of months ago. My friend, very strong in her faith, boned up on Mormon belief and has been evangelizing them. We even took them to Mass after attending Mormon service (made me appreciate Mass even more, but more on that later.)

Last week, they left a DVD on Joseph Smith, which we may watch, so as to know more about where LDS went wrong, but we were both thinking, “Hey, we watch your DVD, you watch ours.” I am looking for a good DVD or audio tape that would be something along the line of a conversion to Catholicism out of Mormon. Something that isn’t offensive (the dialog is good and I don’t want to shut them down) but still speaks the truth of our faith…Any recommendations. I went to CA and nothing.

Peace,

Tom

Without trying to sound cliche, how about “The Passion of the Christ”

[quote=TommieW]Question folks…I need some good material fast. My friend was foirst approached by Mormons a couple of months ago. My friend, very strong in her faith, boned up on Mormon belief and has been evangelizing them. We even took them to Mass after attending Mormon service (made me appreciate Mass even more, but more on that later.)

Last week, they left a DVD on Joseph Smith, which we may watch, so as to know more about where LDS went wrong, but we were both thinking, “Hey, we watch your DVD, you watch ours.” I am looking for a good DVD or audio tape that would be something along the line of a conversion to Catholicism out of Mormon. Something that isn’t offensive (the dialog is good and I don’t want to shut them down) but still speaks the truth of our faith…Any recommendations. I went to CA and nothing.

Peace,

Tom
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[quote=TommieW]Question folks…I need some good material fast. My friend was foirst approached by Mormons a couple of months ago. My friend, very strong in her faith, boned up on Mormon belief and has been evangelizing them. We even took them to Mass after attending Mormon service (made me appreciate Mass even more, but more on that later.)

Last week, they left a DVD on Joseph Smith, which we may watch, so as to know more about where LDS went wrong, but we were both thinking, “Hey, we watch your DVD, you watch ours.” I am looking for a good DVD or audio tape that would be something along the line of a conversion to Catholicism out of Mormon. Something that isn’t offensive (the dialog is good and I don’t want to shut them down) but still speaks the truth of our faith…Any recommendations. I went to CA and nothing.

Peace,

Tom
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saintjoe.com/p/prod_desc.pl?id=402

Try this – it has an added advantage. Paul DuPre, whose story this is, posts on Catholic Answers.

[quote=Katholikos]saintjoe.com/p/prod_desc.pl?id=402

Try this – it has an added advantage. Paul DuPre, whose story this is, posts on Catholic Answers.
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TO TOMMIE W

I’m sure you could get help and other recommendations from PaulDuPre by clicking on his profile and sending him a private message. I know you can find his posts under the thread “God has a body (flesh and blood) is this Mormon teaching?” [or something like that]. His journey:
Catholic-Mormon-Catholic

You might check out Isaiah Bennett - search google. He was a priest who became a Mormon and eventually returned to the Church. He writes lots of books to tell the truth about Mormonism. Don’t know if he’s made any tapes.

JMJ Jay

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