“… And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…” – Matthew 16:18
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons or LDS) have been taught for the last 180 years that their religion is the “only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth [i].” From their point of view, there has been no Christian church and no Christianity for the past two thousand years until Joseph Smith came to reinstate it. Mormons have been taught to believe that the Body of Christ has been absent from the world for nearly two millennia.
According to Mormon leaders, the true church was nonexistent from 90 A.D. until Joseph Smith arrived on the scene. Because of Joseph Smith the true church was brought forth “out of obscurity” and was founded on the American frontier in 1830. LDS authorities assert that the Apostle John, writing in the Book of Revelation, predicted the demise of the Christian Church and the later rise of Mormonism in America: “…And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days… [ii] ” How 1260 days calculates to 1740 years is still a mystery to Mormons and the rest of us [iii].
Mormons believe that they have received the restored gospel truths “line upon line, precept upon precept.” [iv] “No other church has believed the true Gospel for eighteen centuries” is the propaganda put forth by Mormon leadership. The Word of God, the Bible, has been mistranslated and misinterpreted during this entire time. Christ has been without a witness in the world. The plethora of ancient biblical manuscripts was utterly mistranslated by Christians; however Joseph Smith (who knew no Greek or Hebrew, or Egyptian for that matter) corrected the Word of God using an English Bible. It has somehow escaped the notice of the Mormon faithful that the very King James Version Joseph Smith used to make his perfect Joseph Smith Translation (JST) was, according to their own authorities, entirely corrupted too.
Joseph Smith claimed that he now had the gospel truths restored to him personally. From the Apostle John’s day until his own the world had been utterly lost. There were indeed “millions of God-fearing men living righteously by their own standards,” mind you, but Smith had to make his truth known in order to replace their broken theological “system which was based in error [v].” If asked to name just one “God-fearing man or woman” who believed the Mormon doctrine and covenants in the eighteen centuries prior to Joseph Smith an answer cannot be found; hence, we prove from this query alone that Mormonism is a fabrication of Joseph Smith et al. The Book of Mormon is, in fact, a comic book of lies.
“We have come to restore the true church which has been nonexistent until we arrived” or “We are the New Testament Church” or “The Bible you have in your hand is in error, but we have the true word of god” If you think you may have heard these kinds of things before, you have. Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses make identical claims. Christian Scientists and all other subchristian cults say similar things. All of these faiths have arrived on the religious scene to correct or add to the teachings of the Bible, more or less replacing the historic people of God. Though they themselves contradict each other on every point of doctrine they propose, each cult still claims to be the one true religion which has been called forth to restore the Bible and the Church.
But Christ’s Church was never lost and will never be lost. There have always been a people of God, a chosen remanant, through whom our Lord has been building His Kingdom. They are the number of men and women called out of this world, and set apart from it, and are dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ as their sole Redeemer. He is our Sin-Bearer and Prophet and Priest and King. The chosen ones of God have always existed. And these Elect, their Scriptures, and their doctrines have never been lost because the Builder and Maker of the Church is Christ Himself. The Mormons and these other pseudo-christian counterfeits are the ones who have been hopelessly lost, not the Christians; and they have been lost because they are not Christians. God has always had a people, a congregation, who are called by His name from the very beginning of time and even up and to this present day, and He will forevermore always have a church filled with Christ’s people. Not even the gates of hell can prevail against Christ’s Church. There are times when Satan has tried to pervert the church, but the devil has always failed. Such a satanic perversion is seen in the arrival of these faddish cults such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Islam. Each one of these false faiths claim to have the truth of God in their religion, yet none of them were known to exist prior to the arrival of their earthly founders.
Christ’s Church is built upon a Rock, and this Rock is Christ Himself. His people throughout history, including in ancient Israel “… drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ… [vi]” Orthodox Christianity has existed from day one and can be traced through time by way of our Scripture, our books and commentaries. Our teaching has been proven to be a consistent faith — not only by what we have written about ourselves, but by the writings of our enemies. From Roman times to the present day, the many enemies of Christian people have written much about us. We have always existed and we have always taught the same thing about God. The Bible and our doctrines have remained in their original form and are protected from harm. The Apostle’s Creed is proof of this claim.
And what about the unbroken chain from Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and the rest of the prophets? Then to the Apostles onward to Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Papias, Tertullian, Origen, Alexander of Alexandria, Athanasius, the Gregories, Chrysostom, Augustine, Aquinas, Wyclif, Hus, Calvin, Luther, Knox, Pascal, Bunyan, Zwingli, Wesley, Edwards, Whitefield, Dwight, Spurgeon, the Hodges, Warfield, Lloyd-Jones, and Sproul. Time will fail me if I mention the millions of other Christians of days gone by who have all believed in the very same doctrines that Joseph Smith wrongly condemned. And now Joseph Smith is condemned for inventing a new faith that was never taught in the two thousand year history of the Christian church.
Christians are men and women from all over the world who have been God’s witnesses and have believed the Gospel as expressed in the teachings of the Bible, and the Bible only. These teachings have been summarized in the Apostle’s Creed and other ancient documents. Christians have always believed what these men and woman believed because what they believed is what the Apostles believed. Christians quote from the ancient testimonies and books dating to the time of the Apostles. Ignatius, Clement and Polycarp, for instance, are first generation Christians, and it is widely believed they were taught by the Apostle John himself or someone near to him. Their writings are still with us. Their so-called “broken theological system,” despise by Joseph Smith, has been preserved miraculously throughout history and is available to read this very day. How about Mormon doctrine? Does it have an unbroken chain of witnesses too? We want to see proof.
Where are the Mormon witnesses in history? They don’t exist. And they don’t exist because Mormonism is not the true faith. It is a recent invention of Joseph Smith and his followers.
[i] DOCTRINES AND COVENANTS 1:30
[ii] Revelation12:6 (KJV).
[iii] You might be interested in knowing that this unconventional commentary was published by Marion Romney, uncle of 2008 Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, in DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS COMMENTARY, Deseret Book Company, © 1972, Winchester, MA: University Press, p. 9
[iv] DOCTRINES AND COVENANTS 128:21
[v] ON THE WAY TO IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE, Clark, J. Reuben, © 1949, pp. 442-443
[vi] 1 Corinthians 10:4