"Total Apostasy" Presumption Violates Mormons’ Own Doctrine and BOM.


The LDS church was founded on the very premise that a total or complete apostasy occurred very early on in the church and there was no true church in earth until it was reestablished by Joseph Smith in 1830. All Mormons must believe this in order to justify a need for their church. In fact B.H Roberts an LDS Seventy wrote in the “History of the Church” that, “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints” (vol. 1:XL). If this is the case, then the D&C and BOM are false.

John 21 (KJV) states the following:

[20] Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
[21] Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
[22] Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
[23] Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Now what most logical people would see as a mild correction from Jesus to Peter, Joseph Smith misinterpreted as being a promise from Jesus that John the Apostle would never experience earthly death. In fact Joseph Smith went so far as to claim that John walked up to him one day in Pennsylvania in 1829 and handed him a testimony to this:

Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself. HC 1: 35–36.
1–3, John the Beloved shall live until the Lord comes; 4–8, Peter, James, and John hold gospel keys.

1 AND the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what bdesirest thou? **For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. **
2 And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me apower over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. **
3 And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this
thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people. **
4 And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom.

Furthermore, Third Nephi in the BOM states that the resurrected Jesus appeared to three Nephite disciples and promised them that hey would not experience earthly death:

7 Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.
8 And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.
9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me,** for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand**.



Jesus explains they will bring many souls to Him:

29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

Wouldn’t the people converted by these men be a part of the “true church” and therefore NO total apostasy?

They will perform great and marvelous works:

31 Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the great and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;

This is how it will happen:

36 And now behold, as I spake concerning those whom the Lord hath chosen, yea, even three who were caught up into the heavens, that I knew not whether they were cleansed from mortality to immortality
37 But behold, since I wrote, I have inquired of the Lord, and he hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a **change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death; **
38 **Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world. **
39 Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them.
40 And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ; and at that day they were to receive a greater change, and to be received into the kingdom of the Father to go no more out, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens


It pretty difficult to tout a total apostasy claim when your own founder, doctrines and scripture say otherwise. Are the converts of John and the Nephites part of the true church or part of the “church of the devil” the Mormons describe?

Based on the LDS theology this leads to one of three conclusions:

The efforts John and the Nephites in fact yielded no fruit thus making the D&C and the BOM false accounts.
No total apostasy ever occurred because there was always the existence of the “true church” through John and the three Nephites and the people they converted.
Jesus has already returned, John and the three Nephites died, and nobody even noticed it.

Either the D&C and the BOM are false accounts or Joseph Smith was never needed to establish the “true church”. So which is it??

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