The Great LDS Apostasy?


#1

RLDS Resource Page
Testimonies that Joseph Smith Jr. designated his son,
Joseph Smith III, to be the next leader of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Testimony of Joseph Smith III.

Joseph Smith III testified on several occasions of this event, as well as other times when his father, Joseph Smith Jr., designated him to be the successor to the Presidency of the church. The following was written on October 1, 1868:

"In Liberty jail the promise and blessing of a life of usefulness to the cause of truth was pronounced upon our head by lips tainted by dungeon damps, and by the Spirit confirmed through attesting witnesses. This blessing has by some been called an ordination, from the usual predilection to confound names and terms. The blessing which marked Moses as the deliverer from Egyptian bondage was not that which Jethro pronounced upon his head.

Subsequent to our baptism in 1843, upon two occasions was the same blessing confirmed by Joseph Smith, once in the council room in the brick store on the banks of the Mississippi, of which we have not a doubt there are witnesses who would confirm the present testimony; once, in the last interview Joseph Smith held with his family before he left Nauvoo to his death. A public attestation of the same blessing was made from the stand in the grove in Nauvoo, some time prior to the murder in Carthage." (Saints Herald 14:105, History of the RLDS Church, 3:506-507)

During the Temple Lot court case in the 1890’s Joseph Smith III testified under oath:

"About my selection by my father to be his successor in office, I remember of being called in his office, or into a room adjoining his office, and receiving the laying on of hands, and a prophetic blessing or setting apart, whatever it may be called. I remember that, and also remember that just before his departure for Carthage, with a number of others, I was called into a room in the Mansion House, and there again received the laying on of hands, and the blessing. I was also present at a meeting in the grove near the temple, and I remember my father laying his hands on my head, and saying to the people that this was his successor, or was to be his successor…
“No, sir, I did not state that I was ordained by my father; I did not make that statement. I was not ordained by my father as his successor; according to my understanding of the word ‘ordain’, I was not. I was blessed by him and designated, well in a sense chosen, and the word ‘ordain’ could not be applied in any other sense than by the act of pointing out or indicating only, and he indicated or designated me as his successor.” (Complainant’s Abstract, pp. 40, 41, 79)

Elder James Whitehead

Elder Whitehead served as one of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s personal secretaries from 1842 to Joseph’s death. In the Temple Lot suit, Mr. Whitehead testifed under oath:

“'I recollect a meeting that was held in the winter of 1843, at Nauvoo, Illinois, prior to Joseph Smith´s death, at which the appointment was made by him, Joseph Smith, of his successor. His son Joseph was selected as his successor. Joseph Smith did the talking. There were present Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, and some others who also spoke on the subject; there were twenty-five I suppose at the meeting…
”'I became a member of the Reorganized Church at Alton, Illinois; … and the reason I became a member was because I knew that Joseph Smith was the right man to lead that church; I knew he had been ordained and set apart by his father as his successor in office…
"‘I did not become a member earlier, because Joseph Smith was a boy about twelve(12) years old when he was ordained, and he was not to take his place as the President of the Church until the Lord called him; and he did not become president until 1860…’ (Complainents Abstract of Pleading and Evidence, pp. 27, 28, 31, 33)

“Mr. Whitehead further testified to the fact that the church did take action as a body and agreed to the appointment of Joseph Smith III as the successor to his father without a negative vote being cast. He estimated that there were three thousand present on that occasion. He said a record was kept, but that it was taken to Salt Lake City.” (cited in “Succession in Presidency and Authority” by Russell Ralston)

home.earthlink.net/~jptandy/rlds/


#2

When you compare the theology of RLDS with Utah LDS, it makes sense that one will say the other is apostate. One believes people will be exualted as gods, the other does not. One at one time practiced plural marriage the other did not.

And, one can argue that Joseph Smith taught that one can become a god.

Some, think that their was a public set of morals and theology and that there was a secret hidden set of morals and theology.


#3

Are RLDS christian? If not, what rules them out as such?

:confused:


#4

They believe in the Trinity according to their web site:

cofchrist.org/ourfaith/faith-beliefs.asp

I think that makes them Christian.


#5

The struggle for control
As elders in the Church, both Brigham Young and Strang claimed to have been chosen by Smith to succeed him, and a power struggle ensued between the two, as they clamored for Church supremacy. The Mormon followers quickly chose sides as either “Brighamites” of “Strangites.”

Strang even produced a document that he claimed was written by Smith some time before his death, stating that Strang was to be Smith’s successor.
strangstudies.org/James_Jesse_Strang/


#6

Note: lawsuits on this between RLDS and utah LDS have ruled in favor of RLDS.


#7

Where can I see the docs on this?


#8

Perform a search on the Temple Lot Case that was tried in the Federal Court in the District of Western Missouri. There is not a ruling in favor of the RLDS vs the LDS, per se’. However, since the LDS was** indirectly** involved in the suit, as a ‘power behind the thrown’ , the Judge stated in his opinion that the RLDS was the true successor to the church established by Joseph Smith, II.


#9

ownership of the kirtland temple comes to mind.


#10

The Community of Christ (as the RLDS is now known) also accepts the Nicean creed and considers the Book of Mormon to be inspired writings but not Scripture. The CofC also does not believe in baptism by proxy (baptism of the dead).

Many mainline LDS members consider them to be Protestant mormons.


#11

I predict that the Utah LDS leadership will come to the same position within the next ten years. Otherwise, they will watch their church disintegrate before their eyes. It is happening already.

They have toned down the offensive temple endowment several times, removing large elements of it; even though the earlier Mormon prophets said that the endowment was given by revelation and could never be altered.

They have changed the wording of the Book of Mormon - “the most correct book on earth” - to try to make it sound less racist.

In 1978, they gave the priesthood to blacks of African descent, in an attempt to protect their tax-free status and deflect charges of racism, though all earlier Mormon prophets had declared that no black man would hold the priesthood until the millennium following the second coming of Christ.

They have started teaching the “limited geography theory” of the Book of Mormon (which does great violence to the text and contradicts Joseph Smith’s revelations and even the introduction page printed in the BoM), attempting to deflect objections based on new DNA proof that Amerindians are descended from Mongolians, not Hebrews and to explain why there is no archaeological or other evidence of the Nephite civilization.

They are now portraying themselves as “Christian”, a word they abhorred just a few decades ago.

All these are simply band-aids applied to the gaping wound that is Mormonism. The hemorrhaging continues - the convert rate is shrinking, the convert retention rate is shrinking even faster, the rate of people leaving the church is growing daily, 40% of returned missionaries leave the church within a few years, and LDS chapels are emptier every Sunday.

Mark my words. Ten years.
Paul


#12

Not enough fingers for Joe Smith’s mud-caked dike.

I agree, Paul.

Robert


#13

LOL!!!

Of course they are protestant, so are the LDS!


#14

I maintain the apostacy of the LDS church is its founding.


#15

The founding of the lds church was unique for its time. Lets put it this way. Many protestants churches were clamoring for members during that time. Smith goes and prays. He asks Heavenly Father which church to join and he is told to join none of them. Then, after revelation and heavenly visitations, a new church is formed because of past apostacies of christiandom. Not a bad reason.

Thus, we now have two churches that claim a truth foundation. The Catholic and the LDS church.


#16

This is not seen in official figures. Stakes are increasing as is the membership. All churches are suffering from the current age of disbelief that is now in place on our planet. The Catholic church is suffering also.

The LDS church has not been proven wrong. And so, it continues to grow at a slow pace but it is still growing. People do go inactive from the lds church, but this is also the case in other churches, the catholic church included.

The fight is against the age of disbelief, not with the lds church.


#17

If you use the same criteria that LDS use to justify a Christian apostasy after the death of the Apostles you can definitely claim that the LDS Church apostasized after the death of the LDS Apostles that knew Joseph Smith.

For instance according to Joseph Smith polygamy was not only suggested it was a requirement for Heaven and exaltation, now it is an offense that calls for excommunication. Then if you also take into account the priesthood ban being overturned, the changes to the temple ceremony. You could definitely flip the coin on LDS and call the current SLC Church an apostate Church. The polygamist communities in Arizona and Utah follow a Mormonism much closer to what Joseph Smith practiced than do modern LDS.

So all a fundy Mormon has to do is quote the prophet Joseph Smith and the “early LDS church fathers” to show that polygamy is required and the current Church is now apostate. It’s funny how that works. I’ve had this discussion on an LDS board before.


#18

You have been reading too many anti-Mormon websites. Try to getting your facts right about the LDS doctrine before talking—and you won’t obtain that from anti-Mormon websites.

For instance according to Joseph Smith polygamy was not only suggested it was a requirement for Heaven and exaltation, now it is an offense that calls for excommunication.

Wrong! Polygamy has never been a requirement for heaven and exaltation.

Then if you also take into account the priesthood ban being overturned, . . .

How can that be construed as a sign of LDS apostasy? A fundamental tenet of LDS Church is the belief in continuing revelation. Under the old Mosaic Law, the priesthood was confined exclusively to the tribe of Levi. Under the law that Christ instituted, the priesthood became available to all worthy males, including Gentiles. If your theory is correct, that should indicate the apostasy of the Judeo-Christian religion.

. . . the changes to the temple ceremony.

Like I said, you have been reading too many anti-Mormon websites. The temple ordinances have not been changed. You are confusing the presentation of the Endowment ceremony with the Endowment itself—not having a clear understanding of either. The presentation of the Endowment has little sacramental significance, therefore it can change. The Endowment itself, which consists of the sacred covenants that one makes in the process, is where the sacrament itself lies; that has not changed.

You could definitely flip the coin on LDS and call the current SLC Church an apostate Church. The polygamist communities in Arizona and Utah follow a Mormonism much closer to what Joseph Smith practiced than do modern LDS.

So all a fundy Mormon has to do is quote the prophet Joseph Smith and the “early LDS church fathers” to show that polygamy is required and the current Church is now apostate. It’s funny how that works. I’ve had this discussion on an LDS board before.

That is just a reflection of your twisted mind and warped imagination. It has no truth in the world of reality.

zerinus


#19

WOW Zerinius hit a nerve huh? I didn’t say anything outrageous nor anything from an “anti-mormon” site. Nothing I said was in fact inaccurate at all, polygamy WAS in fact called the “everlasting covenant” and Joseph Smith and Brigham required it for exaltation… The endowment ceremony was significantly changed including removing the blood oath, and some other scandalous parts like lucifer paying a Catholic priest and protestant minister, the throat slashing movements, and the words pay lay ale were removed after it was exposed. I would hope in the future you could step back and comment on what is written and not get so defensive.

In fact nothing I said is any worse than what you spout off about Catholicism day in day out here, and nothing is inaccurate at all. I can see it bothers you to have someone call your Church apostate and and use quotes from your very own leaders to debunk your religion, but thems just the breaks. Again nothing I said is inaccurate it did in fact happen. And the fundementalist mormons in Utah and Arizona practice Mormonism in a much closer way than the SLC Church does.

FYI “gringo” is a racist term and shouldn’t be used on these boards. And calling my mind “twisted” is just ridiculous, especially from someone who has shown to not be able to get along with one person on this board, including me who has defended Mormonism and the use of anti-mormonism attacks on these boards.

So now that Zerinius has called me out I would hope he can prove that:

  1. The endowment ceremony wasn’t changed significantly like I said.
  2. Joseph Smith didn’t teach polygamy as the “new and everlasting covenant” and as a requirement to gain entry into the highest level of Heaven.
  3. Fundementalist mormons don’t in fact practice Joe Smith mormonism mroe closely than SLC mormons.

Your church is an apostate mormon Church, Joseph Smith wouldn’t even recognize it, especially with polygamists being ex-communicated and black priesthood holders.


#20

VERY good point, lukewarm! It’s true - the church according to Joe looked a lot different within even a few presidencies than it did when he was alive.


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