After seeing the deluge of individuals on the facebook page (and a few comments on my own blog) saying basically “Why don’t you leave other people’s faiths alone, and go find your own”, I thought it might be fun to help everyone realize that, in fact, mormonism really is just an anti-traditional christian tract in the early days.
Here are quotes from other leaders who, like me, can leave the church [that is, the catholic and traditional christian churches] but couldn’t leave them alone:
“We affirm that the great apostasy was foretold by the Savior Himself while He lived as a Man among men, and by His inspired prophets both before and after the period of His earthly probation” (James E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy, 19).
“The foreknowledge of God made plain to Him even from the beginning this falling away from the truth; and, through inspiration the prophets of old uttered solemn warnings of the approaching dangers” (Talmage, Articles of Faith, 202).
“Prophecy and history predict and record a great and universal apostasy which was to be followed by a restoration as predicted by John in Revelation. The fact of the great apostasy is attested by both sacred and secular writ, and history bears witness that it became universal” (Hugh B. Brown, in Conference Report, Oct. 1964, 102).
You see, these claims that all of the apostles died and that the priesthood was lost isn’t just a faith claim, it’s actively attacking church’s belief systems. They believe that their ministers have authority.
The statements by apostles can be down right degrading:
“For over seventeen hundred years on the eastern hemisphere, and for more than fourteen centuries on the western, there appears to have been silence between the heavens and the earth. Of direct revelation from God to man during this long interval, we have no authentic record. As already shown, the period of apostolic ministry on the eastern continent probably terminated before the dawn of the second century of the Christian era. The passing of the apostles was followed by the rapid development of a universal apostasy as had been foreseen and predicted.
This quote is particularly interesting because, in fact, there are churches still on Thessolonica, Macedonia and other places that Paul wrote to. They still teach similar to what is found in the Early Christian Writingswhich go back to as early as 100 A.D. (that’s 100 years before the apostasy according to the above quote).
They include Infant baptism (pre-apostasy), women deacons and other features that the LDS faith does not contain.
“In the accomplishment of this great falling away, external and internal causes cooperated. Among the disintegrating forces acting from without, the most effective was the persistent persecution to which the saints were subjected, incident to both Judaistic and pagan opposition. Vast numbers who had professed membership and many who had been officers in the ministry deserted the Church; while a few were stimulated to greater zeal under the scourge of persecution. The general effect of opposition from the outside—of external causes of decline in faith and works considered as a whole—was the defection of individuals, resulting in a widespread apostasy from the Church. But immeasurably more serious was the result of internal dissension, schism and disruption, whereby an absolute apostasy of the Church from the way and word of God was brought about” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 745).
The fascinating thing about this quote is that it sounds like it is based on fact, but, in fact; no sources for persecution are given. Sure we all know about Christians in lion’s dens and such, ergo he must be right? But a complete apostasy with all leadership dead doesn’t necessarily follow. As far as I can tell, no apostle of the LDS faith ever put together how all the leadership of the early church died before passing on priesthood.
Here’s an interesting tid bit, Peter becoming pope is recorded outside the bible, but it is recorded .
Here is that tract that I’m pulling all the quotes up to this point from:
That’s right, the LDS student manual. The current one.
Why can’t they just leave the [christian] church, and can’t leave it alone?
Bonus quotes that are far more aggressive than the student manual:
Mark E. Peterson: The people were left in darkness, and gross darkness covered their minds, and we had a complete apostasy from the truth. (Mark E. Petersen, Conference Report, April 1945, 43, GospeLink 2001; also quoted in Mormonism 101, 80; emphasis mine)
“…for I contend that the Latter-day Saints are the only good and true Christians, that I know anything about in the world. There are a good many people who profess to be Christians, but they are not founded on the foundation that Jesus Christ himself has laid” (Joseph F. Smith, November 2, 1891, [Stake conference message], Collected Discourses, 2:305).
Brigham Young stated this repeatedly: “When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness” (Journal of Discourses 5:73); “The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God” (Journal of Discourses 8:171); “With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world” (Journal of Discourses 8:199); “And who is there that acknowledges [God’s] hand? …You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.24); “Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity” (Journal of Discourses 10:230).
Orson Pratt proclaimed: “Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the ‘whore of Babylon’ whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent” (The Seer, p. 255).
President John Taylor stated: “Christianity…is a perfect pack of nonsense…the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167); “Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom.” (Journal of Discourses, 10:127).
President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Doctrines were corrupted, authority lost, and a false order of religion took the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as it had been the case in former dispensations, and the people were left in spiritual darkness.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p.266). “For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation …Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the ‘Christian’ churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p.282).
Bruce R. McConkie: “a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom” (Mormon Doctrine, p.132); “virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Mormon Doctrine, p.269);
So how do Christians feel about this anti-“their faith” tract? I’ll let them respond with a link they use which quotes mormon scholars that illustrate the attacks are all anti-christian lies . TL;DR: a complete apostasy is bullshit
People who leave big systems and feel they have found truth are vocal about it. They trash talk the former system. Mormons are not exempt and neither are exmormons. This is human behavior that should be accepted as normal. It is only because the LDS guides attack apostates and claim it is because of the devil and “Spirit of apostasy” that members see this as irregular behavior. But it is no more devilish for an exmormon to attach “the church” than it was devilish for any of the LDS apostles to do so to the Christian faiths.
(originally posted here: http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/1l10uk/they_can_leave_the_christian_church_but_they_cant/)