Apostasy

“The early Church creeds were motivated more by political than theological concerns. As William Penn is credited with saying, ‘Persecution entered with creed-making.’ Like-mindedness became a requirement rather than a goal. Orthodoxy, not love and grace, became the central focus. The saved were those Christians who shared our doctrinal creed. It wasn’t enough to claim you were Christian. You had to be the right kind of Christian, a faithful adherent of our religious code. Those within this tight circle were our brothers and sisters, and we were obliged to love them. Those outside our church, denomination, or religion were unsaved.”

James Mulholland  |  If God Is Love: Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World (San Francisco: Harper, 2004), 56, 61

Topics: , ,

0

“The view that changes in the early church resulted in the descent of a blanket of stygian darkness over the entire earth such that humankind had no contact with God or the Spirit for nearly two millennia simply doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of modern scholarship. Scholars of today, benefiting from perspectives and information not readily available a century ago, understand that the ‘Dark Ages’ were not nearly so dark as previously had been thought.”

Alexander B. Morrison  |  Turning from Truth: A New Look at the Great Apostasy

Topics: , ,

0

“I know of many cases where a man has gradually failed to magnify his priesthood and moved away from activity in the Church. As a result, a man who has been very active loses his testimony and the Spirit of the Lord withdraws from him, and he begins to criticize those in authority, and to persecute the saints, apostatize, and fight against God.”

N. Eldon Tanner  |  Conference Report, Apr. 1970, p. 52

Topics: , ,

0

The war in heaven never ended, we simply switched battlefields. In pre-earth life Satan sought us by gift and was rejected with his plan by our Father in Heaven. Now, here upon the earth, he seeks us by the commission of sin. During the Missouri persecutions there were many who apostatized from the Church and even became enemies. The Prophet Joseph Smith spoke of their sad state and warned against apostasy.

At the conclusion of the Prophet’s remarks, Isaac Behunnin, a member of the Church, stated: “If I should leave this Church, I would not do as those men have done – I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of, settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it.” To which Joseph Smith replied: “Brother Behunnin, you don’t know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.” He [further] emphasized the fact that a man or woman who had not taken sides either with Christ or Belial could maintain a neutral position, but when they enlisted under either the one or the other, they left the neutral ground forever. (Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 15, 1892, p. 492). . . Why is it, then, that the apostates will not leave the Church alone? Because they are the servants of sin and have another master whose bidding they now do.

Church News  |  Church News, January 4, 1997, p. 13

Topics: , , ,

0

Mark well those who speak evil of the Lord’s anointed, for they speak from impure hearts. Only the “pure in heart” see the “God” or the divine in man and accept our leaders and accept them as prophets of the Living God. . . .

I want to bear you my testimony that the experience I have had has taught me that those who criticize the leaders of this Church are showing signs of a spiritual sickness which, unless curbed, will bring about eventually spiritual death. I want to bear my testimony as well that those who in public seek by their criticism to belittle our leaders or bring them into disrepute, will bring upon themselves more hurt than upon those whom they seek thus to malign. I have watched over the years, and I have read of the history of many of those who fell away from this Church, and I want to bear testimony that no apostate who ever left this Church ever prospered as an influence in his community thereafter.

Harold B. Lee  |  Conference Report, October 1947, p. 67

Topics: , , , , ,

0

“Underlying this insistence on individual interpretation, is the assumption . . . that the plainest, most evident reading of the text is the proper one. Everyone becomes his or her own theologian. There is no longer any need to consult Augustine or Thomas Aquinas or Martin Luther about their understanding of various passages when you yourself are the final arbiter of what is the correct reading. This tendency, together with the absence of any authority structure within Protestantism, has created a kind of theological free-for-all, as various individuals or groups insist that their reading of the Bible is the only possible interpretation.”

Randall Balmer  |  Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, 3rd ed.

Topics: ,

0
Joseph Smith Portrait

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’; which I cannot subscribe to.”

Joseph Smith  |  History of the Church, 4:536

Topics: , , ,

0

The wolves amongst our flock are more numerous and devious today than when President Clark made this statement. . . .Not only are there apostates within our midst, but there are also apostate doctrines that are sometimes taught in our classes and from our pulpits and that appear in our publications. And these apostate precepts of men cause our people to stumble. . . .

Christ taught that we should be in the world but not of it. Yet there are some in our midst who are not so much concerned about taking the gospel into the world as they are about bringing worldliness into the gospel. They want us to be in the world and of it. They want us to be popular with the worldly even though a prophet has said that this is impossible, for all hell would then want to join us.

Through their own reasoning and a few misapplied scriptures, they try to sell us the precepts and philosophies of men. They do not feel the Church is progressive enough.

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Conference Report, April 1969, p. 11; Book of Mormon Student Manual, pp. 39-40

Topics: , ,

0

“The line of priesthood authority was broken. But mankind was not left in total darkness or completely without revelation or inspiration. The idea that with the Crucifixion of Christ the heavens were closed and they opened in the First Vision is not true. The Light of Christ would be everywhere present to attend the children of God; the Holy Ghost would visit seeking souls. The prayers of the righteous would not go unanswered.”

Boyd K. Packer  |  “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, April 2005, 11;

Topics: , ,

0

“For all their learning and their eloquence, the clergy could not be trusted with the Bible. They did not understand what the book meant. It was a record of revelations, and the ministry had turned it into a handbook. The Bible had become a text to be interpreted rather than an experience to be lived. In the process, the power of the book was lost. . . . It was the power thereof that Joseph and the other visionaries of his time sought to recover. Not getting it from the ministry, they looked for it themselves.”

Richard L. Bushman  |  “A Joseph Smith for the Twenty-First Century”

Topics: ,

0