Q for Mormons


#1

Curious: According to Mormon teaching, if Christ is the son of God; if He came down on earth to establish His Church; if that Church apostatised; What happened to the teachings that the rest of us would consider unique to Mormonism? Does the Mormon church teach that these things were revealed by Christ 2000 years ago, but lost or deleted by the Catholic Church or what? Were they new revelations? Some of both?

I’m most interested in official teaching from the Mormon church. - Thanks.


#2

They believe that those teachings were lost after the apostles died. They don’t find the fact that there is no record of them nearly as problematic as the rest of us do.


#3

Pax vobiscum!

One problem you’ll run into with Mormons (I have a friend who has been witnessing to some of them recently) is that they will never be able to tell you when the apostacy occurred, only that there was one. They are unable to say at which point the teachings of Christ were corrupted.

In Christ,
Rand


#4

I was baptized in the LDS church in1976 in Denver Colorado. This was ten years before I became Orthodox. If any body has any questions I would be more than happy to give you official LDS teaching.
About the apostacy, they believe after the Apostles died, the Great Apostacy began, and the Church was invaded by paganism.
The Church became more and more corrupt until there was no more Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. The Holy Priesthood was taken away.


#5

Maybe these are some of the precious parts of the Bible that were lost/removed, according to their mythology.

One would think there’d be extra-biblical records of some of these beliefs, such as the claim that Jesus and the Apostles were polygamists.


#6

But they still believe St John is still alive don’t they?


#7

It would be easier to answer your question if you would be more specific, and give a list of those teachings “unique to Mormonism” that you are referring to.

Does the Mormon church teach that these things were revealed by Christ 2000 years ago, but lost or deleted by the Catholic Church or what? Were they new revelations? Some of both?

Some of both.

zerinus


#8

Welcome, obadiah. I take it that you don’t believe in the Mormon mythology about the Great Apostasy.

We’ve been given a pretty good variety of Mormon opinion about the Great Apostasy from our visiting Mormon friends. There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast opinion that all of them share, as to when it began, when it was complete, and whether it was universal in the sense that ALL Christians EVERYWHERE renounced their faith (apostasy being the active renunciation of faith).

Maybe you could share with us your own opinions about the Great Apostasy. I assume that you became orthodox for a reason, and that the Mormon mythology about Great Apostasy had at least a little something to do with that. I see from your profile that you are opposed to “monarchical” aspects of the Latin Rite. Thanks.


#9

That’s a pretty broad question. I am going to go with the Catholic church tried to preserve as much as it could in the face of continuing persecution. Much of it survived but some was lost and still can be seen in various passages in the Bible. Some was lost entirely and was restored by the modern-day prophets (although this is a matter of faith.)

Much of the areas that are unique to Mormon beliefs (and hotly debated all over this forum) have at least some Biblical support. People don’t quote scripture much here and there’s no need to bog your question with a endless and meaningless debate so I’ll just refer you to users.tellurian.net/waif/alley/LDS/17points.htm.


#10

Here I go. First I would like to say to EVERY ONE: CHRIST IS RISEN, INDEED HE IS RISEN!!!

The great Apostasy is a fantasy cooked up by disgruntled Protestants who dislike any form of spiritual authority. The notion of the Catholic and Apostolic Church East and West going into apostasy, gave them the excuse they needed to separate from the Church and form their own religion cooked up in their minds.
This type of reasoning gave rise to a new concept of the church. It was no longer a visible organized structure centered around the Bishop as the shepherd of the Lord’s sheep. It gave rise to the idea of the INDIVIDUAL choosing for themselves what is right and what is wrong. Because of this mindset, people felt free to believe whatever they chose to, relying on some vague notion of the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Disregarding or forgetting History, they were cast adrift in a vast sea of diverse opinions, with only one thing to guide them: THE HOLY BIBLE. The rallying cry became SOLA SCRIPTURA, THE BIBLE ONLY.
After the printing press made the Word of God inexpensive and widely available, everyone could afford one and like one person said, it was in the hand of every plow boy and farmer in the known world.
People began to form their own opinions about Bible interpretation, some choosing this doctrine and others that. This led to great confusion, and people rallied around whatever sounded good to them. This is why there is no cohesion in Protestant theology.
During the time of Joseph Smith the first Mormon Prophet, there began to arise the idea that the New Testament Church had to be RESTORED because it had to be lost. This was the foundation of the various restoration groups, including the LDS Church.
This is my take on why the LDS church arose. There was felt a need for the TRUE CHURCH, and Joseph Smith fulfilled that need in the minds of many people. God bless every one in their search for truth. I have found my home in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
All my love is in Jesus Christ.:smiley:


#11

In point #7 The church must baptize by immersion. I assume this to mean, according to your view, that ONLY immersion is valid. Could you expound a little on this verse reference it gives, Mt 3:13-17? Assuming that this was an immersion baptism in the river, which BTW there seems to me to be no obvious saying to that effect in the cited verses, but assuming it to be so, why would Mormons, or other immersion-only folk, maintain that immersion is the ONLY valid form? There are plenty of NT instances of baptisms where the form is not specified, or in which immersion would not likely have been possible, and I’m thinking now of the 3,000 who were baptized following Peter’s sermon at Pentecost. Furthermore, it has been Church practice since the very earliest times to allow both immersion and non-immersion, for a variety of reasons. This nearly 2k year practice is a powerful argument in favor of doing baptisms either way.


#12

Thanks, obadiah. I think most of us agree with you wholeheartedly. I certainly do.


#13

I call that burying your head in the sand. The early Christian church did apostatize. The best witness to that is the fact that there is no church today (apart from the LDS Church) that resembles the church that Jesus established in ancient times. Let’s note some stark differences. Firstly, in the earliest church there were no paid or professional clergy. People were elected to serve in various priesthood capacities or callings from the members of the congregation, without prior schooling or preparation; and it certainly was not a lifelong profession. You didn’t choose such a career for yourself for life. All of that developed later on as the apostasy set in. Secondly, the early Christian church was led by revelation, through the prophets and Apostles of the Lord. It was never part of the program that that institution, and the ability to lead the church by revelation should be done away. If it cannot be lead by direct and immediate revelation from the God, through His chosen ministers and servants, the prophets and Apostles of God, then it is not the church of God, period.

zerinus


#14

Obadiah, we’ve been through this before on the Apostacy. My point is that the Apostles were replaced with the local bishops when that should have never happened. The Apostles travelled from church to church, keeping watch over the larger flock and the bishops as well.

The whole question of Apostacy of the church, of it’s leaders and of its people is really bigger than the Catholic/Protestant divide. There is the “matter of degree” aspect that affects everyone. Martin Luther was a reformer and unless you want to support the sale of indulgences, I would expect that most modern Catholics would agree that the Catholic church emerged from the Reformation in better shape. At least the indulgences were dropped.

Personally, I think the Protestants made a few serious mistakes from their sola scriptura approach which eventually degraded into legitimizing all personal interpretations. I still object very much to the OSAS that is occasionally debated here.

Back to the matter of degree thingie. Not every Catholic or every Mormon believes 100% of the “party line”. Harry Reid (D senate leader) is supposed to be a Mormon but he’s a abortion supporter which is a very serious sin in our church. So he’s a bit of an apostate in this regard. Somehow, in his mind, he’s still a good Mormon. The Catholic church is a mighty defender of Christ and has preserved and interpreted the Bible for all the world for centuries but somehow, someone some where allowed the sale of indulgences. So there’s a problem there that was addressed. But while it existed, it was a variance from the gospel.

The point where we disagree is the line of priesthood authority. You claim in through Peter and we claim it through Peter, James and John too but in 1820, not 33 A.D. This is a matter of faith. There’s no proof that the Catholic church lost their priestly line and there’s no proof that it was restored. Proof is not for a believing people anyway.


#15

Mr. Allweather: I don’t mean to put you off but this topic has been very hotly debated and has lead to the formation of a huge branch of Protestantism: the Baptists. From there, the Annabaptists and the Mennonites and the Amish. I just don’t think I could do the same justice to this argument as the many people who have debated this before.

Let me just summarize: the Catholics view baptism as an infusion of grace. The Protestants and Mormons view it as repentance and being “born again”. The form of the baptism wherein a man goes under water and is brought out again is a symbol of rebirth. If you don’t believe that baptism is for repetance, that symbol doesn’t really hold up. The Mormons follow baptism with the bestowal of the Holy Ghost which is close to what a Catholic woould call an infusion of grace.


#16

Understood. Without getting into long-winded argument over the superiority of the Catholic/Christian orthodox 2k year-old understanding of baptism, it needs pointing out once again the similarity of Mormonism to most branches of Protestantism in this, as well as many other, regards. In an earlier post today, rmcmullan mentioned problems associated with the Protestant view of Scripture interpretation, and I think we agree on this point. It seems odd, then, that the Mormons would so identify with a strikingly Protestant interpretation of Scripture that would lead them to follow a Protestant theology on baptism.

rmcmullan also mentioned the “sale” of indulgences. Indulgences weren’t “sold.” He also said that indulgences were “dropped.” Not so. This is another area in which a Mormon reveals Protestant thought.


#17

That thing about paid “professional” clergy seems like a strong argument, but I wonder, what is necessarily wrong with having a paid professional clergy? Don’t the Mormons also have a cadre of paid professionals at the top? Didn’t the Apostles, while apparently at least some of them, like the tentmaker Paul, who continued to make some of his living by that trade, also receive financial and other support from the congregations they established? Wouldn’t one expect there to be a development of structure and function as the Church grew mightily in the early centuries?

As for “revelation” is it possible that Mormons have a different definition for the word than Christians do?


#18

funny that prophets and apostles are the highest paid mormon clergy…

as for the original church, the bible tells us that they were paid as they needed. we can see OT and NT teaching on this in many places.


#19

we are still led by revelation. just not from confused men who don’t understand the creed.


#20

That is an oversimplification. I could believe that the Earth moon is populated by six-foot-tall men who live for 1,000 years and dress like Quakers. But that wouldn’t be a valid faith, because there is plenty of concrete evidence, if not absolute proof, to know with a large amount of certainty that no such moon-men exist.

Or, I could believe that the Holy Bible as written, collected and ratified by the Holy Catholic Church, is true by means of a mixture of fact and faith. There is plenty of historical, archaeological, evidence to support the Bible. The Bible doesn’t require the sort of blind faith that the Book of Mormon, or its related “modern scripture” require in order to think them to be fact rather than fiction.

God doesn’t require blind faith. Blind faith usually leads down blind alleys. God has given us plenty of concrete evidence, and expects us to use our minds as well as our hearts to know that He is, and that the Church that Jesus established upon the Apostles approximately 2k years ago is the same one that lived throughout the intervening centuries, and is alive today under the authority of the successors of Peter and the other Apostles.


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