Why do we no longer receive public revelation? The Mormons

claim that God loves His people today the same way He loved them 2000 years ago, when public revelation existed upon the Earth.
Can someone clarify this for me, in a doctrinal and apologetic manner?

Public revelation ended with the death of Jesus. He revealed what was necessary for salvation. Nothing could be added to His testimony. That doesn’t mean that God has stopped working for His people. There are miracles happening everyday, but nothing new as pertains to how to gain heaven.

Actually, I believe public revelation ended at the death of the last Apostle (Saint John, around 100 AD). I can’t find any authoritative source that directly says that, however. Perhaps someone can find a Vatican document (Dei Verbum doesn’t mention the last apostle, like this Catholic Answers article states).

It is not about God’s love, but about the nature of the Church that Jesus established.

We believe the Catholic Church is the One True Church established by Jesus Christ. In order for this to remain factual, the Church must never change. If the Church changed, it would no longer be the One True Church (because something cannot change and yet remain the same as it was).

Therefore, the Church teaches that everything (the essential Doctrine of the Church) was revealed to the Apostles - we call this the Deposit of Faith. We can never add, modify, or subtract from this Deposit (although our understanding of it may increase over time).

This is also why the Church has no definitive answer to certain questions - such as the fate of unbaptized babies. The modern Church expresses “hope” that they may attain full salvation, but nobody can ever say for sure because the fate of unbaptized babies is not part of the Deposit of Faith.

There is a sense in which both are correct. Jesus taught his Apostles everything before His crucifixion. He promised the Holy Spirit would remind them of everything He taught them. Thus, for the Apostles, revelation ended with the death of Jesus (He did not teach anything new after His resurrection) and for us revelation ended with the death of John.

Revelation of the fullness of Jesus Christ ended at the Council of Nicea, when His divine and human nature were then completely defined.

That is why our profession of faith changed from the Apostles Creed on Resurrection Sunday to the Nicene Creed.

Hi Angelina, ot would seem that you were and are now catholic with a period of mormonism in between. Can you explain what you mean by public revelation?

This topic is discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 65-67.

My :twocents:…
The completion of public revelation by Jesus Christ and the apostles is implied by St. Jude (Jude 3), who said that “the faith…was delivered once for all to the saints,” and by St. Paul, who cautioned Christians against accepting anyone who preachs a different gospel: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9; also see 2 Cor 11:4)

Hi Lynnette!

I meant public revelation as the lack of prophets. The Mormons have modern-day prophets to guide them as the world evolve. I KNOW that their pride in having a modern-day prophet is bound to come up in the future as I will defend the Catholic faith.
Thanks everyone!!

God’s final and complete revelation is not thing, but rather a Person, Jesus Christ. He is God’s only Word and God has no other. There is nothing left to be revealed. Jesus is the fullness of God’s revelation because he is God himself.

The Apostles did not receive continuing revelation. They simply taught and recorded that which God had revealed through his Son. Naturally, through time, we receive and attain a better and higher understanding of the revelation of Christ, but it is never a new revelation.

Those who claim to receive continuing revelation must deny that Christ is the fullness of God’s revelation to man. To believe that we need new revelation is to believe that there is something lacking in the revelation of God through Christ. As others have said here, this has nothing to do with God’s active presence in the Church and in the world. We must remember that this is Christ’s Church, guided into all understanding (not new revelation) by the Holy Spirit, so to equate God’s presence in a Church with continuing revelation is a false argument. He is truly present and through his grace we have received the fullness of all revelation (Jesus Christ) which he has entrusted to his Church to preach to the whole world.

This is why no doctrine or dogma of the Church can ever change. It is why we believe today what the Apostles and the early Church Fathers believed 2,000 years ago. It has never changed because Christ can never change.

There are those who receive private revelation but no one in the Church is under any obligation to believe it and no private revelation can change Church doctrine. Simply put, if it conflicts with what the Church holds to be true and what the Church teaches as doctrine then it is a false revelation and the one giving it is a false prophet. This holds with any person, in or out of the Catholic Church. Truth can never conflict with Truth and it is Christ who is the Way the Truth and the Life, not Joseph Smith.

Wow what a powerful post Steve! Thank you!! It gave me goose bumps. I was reading the thread "Why I’m not a Mormon and I also enjoyed your posts on there.
I ultimately want to become a Catholic apologist. I have ways to go I know. But when I think of common LDS objections, I like to prepare myself in order to refuse efficinetly yet gently.
Mormons believe a prophet is necessary to guide them through daily life and dangers as well. The prophets “revelation” or admonishmwnt about food storage is a proof to many of them that their prophet is inspired of God.

Can someone clarify this for me, in a doctrinal and apologetic manner?

I’ve never found proper justification for this belief. And feel, scripture leads me to the opposite conclusion.

First, let’s look at the official definition.

[FONT=Arial]Meaning of revelation** (Catholic Encyclopedia)**[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Revelation may be defined as the communication of some truth by God to a rational creature through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature.

**The truths revealed may be such as are otherwise inaccessible to the human mind — mysteries, which even when revealed, the intellect of man is incapable of fully penetrating. But Revelation is not restricted to these. God may see fit to employ supernatural means to affirm truths, the discovery of which is not per se beyond the powers of reason. The essence of Revelation lies in the fact that it is the direct speech of God to man . . . **

Two observations

  1. Revelation is a term of the Magisterium rather than a biblical term**.**. While the first sentence was fairly clear, the subsequent paragraphs were not. (read the full entry yourself). The Official definition is broken down into two components I would summarize as:
    a. Public Revelation is defined as our “deposit of faith” and we are OBLIGATED to believe.
    b. Private Revelation is constantly occurring among the faithful. The Saints were often guided by Private Revelation. We are NOT OBLIGATED to believe.

Since Public Revelation was defined by the Magisterium to equal the existing “deposit of faith” we must agree it will never change, end of discussion (using the Magisterium definition).
Further, no Christian can dispute that Jesus already gave us the essential message on salvation, end of discussion (if that is your definition of revelation)

  1. However, If God communicates to us “through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature.” then aren’t we talking about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
    a. The Gifts are clearly discussed in Scripture
    b. The Catholic church does not dispute these gifts, but rather redefines many of them under Private Revelation.

Going forward, let’s just discuss the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Looking at the 9 gifts, I feel the first three can meet the requirement of “the communication of some truth by God to a rational creature through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  1. The Word of Knowledge
  2. The Word of Wisdom
  3. The Gift of Prophecy
  4. The Gift of Faith
  5. The Gifts of Healings
  6. The Working of Miracles
  7. The Discerning of Spirits
  8. The Speaking in Tongues
  9. The Interpretation of Tongues

I believe the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to us and I believe God continues to guide us, especially through the first three Gifts.

Thank you, you are very sweet. I think you are on the right path. Apologetics is about winning souls, not arguments. I fail at this on a fairly regular basis and truly admire those who can take emotion and personality out of the conversation. Your words indicate that you are aware of this aspect of apologetics which puts you way ahead of a lot of us.

God bless.

Yes, this is the definition of revelation which reason tells us cannot change, but Mormon “Prophets” do change much to their embarrassment.

I don’t know, but doesn’t it seem convient when these mormon “prophecies” are released?
Like the one ending the practice pf polygamy just when Utah wanted to become a state?

And the one that opened the Aaronic priesthood to black men, just when BYU basketball was being snubbed?

Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit, which is a gift that still exists in the Catholic Church.


As has already been said, these are private revelations. Examples would be Fatima, Lourdes, Saints who have had visions, etc.

This was brought up at Mass last Sunday. I knew I was in God’s Holy Church then. It was a nail in Mormon coffin

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