Did Joseph Smith Restore The Church?
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans )
The Mormon doctrine concerning the “church” is a maze of confusion and contradiction. According to Mormon teaching, “When Jesus Christ lived in mortality he established a Church” (Mark E. Petersen, Which Church is Right? p. 1).
It is contended, however, that “with the passing of the so-called apostolic age the Church gradually drifted into a condition of apostasy, whereby succession in the priesthood was broken; and that the Church, as an earthly organization operating under divine direction and having authority to officiate in spiritual ordinances, ceased to exist” (J.E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy, p. 18). Accordingly, to remedy this situation Joseph Smith was raised up by God to bring “fourth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth . . .” (Doctrine and Covenants, ).
The Establishment of the Church
Mormons claim the church was established by Christ when he lived “in mortality” (see above). This assertion is erroneous, however, for the church was not established until Pentecost, ten days after the Lord’s ascension to Heaven from the realm of mortality (Mt. 16:18; Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:4).
On the other hand, The
Book of Mormon has “the church of God,” in existence some
years before Christ was even born (Alma 46:13-16). Contrast this with
affirmation that “disciples were called Christians first in
The Perpetuity of the Church
Though Mormonism asserts that the church “ceased
after the apostolic age, the Bible teaches otherwise. When Daniel
establishment of the kingdom (church) in the days of the
In the first century Paul announced that God would be glorified “in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever” (Eph. ).
Those early recipients of God’s grace were in the process of receiving a kingdom “that cannot be shaken” (Heb. ).
Wherever the gospel exists, the church can exist, for the Word is the seed of the kingdom (Lk ). But the gospel is “eternal” (Rev. 14:6); “. . . [T]he word of the Lord abides forever. And this is the word of good tidings which was preached unto you” (1 Pet. ).
Certainly it was prophesied that “some” would depart from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1), but this does not indicate that all would.
The persecuted church of the post-apostolic era did not cease to exist; rather, she “fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God” (Rev. 12:6).
Remember, in the days of Elijah, Jehovah had 7,000
not bowed to Baal, though the prophet knew not of them. A studious
of historical documents reveals various bands of genuine Christians in
dimness of antiquity (see Dr. Hans Grimm, Tradition and
History of the Early Church of Christ in
The So-called “Restored” Church
Joseph Smith restored nothing. He founded the Mormon Church.
“On April 6, 1830, six men met in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr., in Fayette, New York, and formally established The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Temple Square in Salt Lake, p. 17).
Prior to this time, the Mormon religion is a perfect stranger to all literature, both sacred and profane.
Since it is an undisputed principle that no structure is stronger than its foundation, an examination of the faulty base of the “Latter-day Saint” movement is a commentary upon the corrupt system as a whole.
Mormon writers concede that “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has its foundation in the revelations he [Joseph Smith] received, the sacred truths he taught, and the authority of the Priesthood restored through him” (Joseph Smith Tells His Own Story, p. 24).
Joseph Smith’s “Revelations”
If the restoration of the “L.D.S.” Church is based upon Joseph Smith’s revelations, it is in deep trouble. For instance:
Smith prophesied that the civil war conflict between northern and southern states would be so intense that “war shall be poured out upon all nations” (Doctrine & Covenants 87:1-3). It wasn’t!
He suggested that the
By the criterion of Deuteronomy 18:21-22, Joseph Smith, Jr. was a false prophet.
Many of Joseph Smith’s teachings were both morally and religiously corrupt. In The Pearl of Great Price, Smith has Adam and Eve exultant over the fact that they fell into transgression that they might know the joy of redemption (Moses -11).
Too, while The Book of Mormon affirms that God approves of only “one wife,” and polygamy is characterized as whoredom, sin, etc. (Jacob 2:27; 3:5; 1:15; 2:23-24; Mosiah 11:2), Joseph Smith received the “revelation” of plural marriage as “a new and everlasting covenant” which could not be rejected without the penalty of damnation (Doctrine & Covenants 132:3-4).
These are but a sampling of the degenerate teachings of Mormonism’s “prophet.”
A Restored Priesthood?
The significance of the priesthood to Mormons is
the words of Mormon writer, “Elder” Mark E. Petersen: “Without a
approved ministry there can be no
No Aaronic Priesthood Today
There can be no Aaronic priesthood today for: That priesthood was a part of the Law of Moses, which was permanently “taken” away by Christ’s death (Col. 2:14). [Note: The Greek, erken, in the perfect tense denotes the permanent abolition of the Law of Moses. See A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, IV, p. 494.]
Only descendants from Levi could administer those Aaronic priestly functions (Heb. 7:5), and, as all tribal records were destroyed in A.D. 70, a lineage determination is impossible.
The priesthood of Christ “after the order of Melchizedek” was an anti-typical “likeness” (Heb. ) of the former. It is heavenly, not earthly, in its nature (Heb. ). And it is “unchangeable” (Heb. ), the meaning of which is “perpetual, spoken of Christ’s priesthood as ever remaining to him inviolate, never passing from him to another” (Edward Robinson, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 68).
That genuine Christians are “priests” in a spiritual sense, we do not deny (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6), but there is no earthly physical priesthood authorized by God today.
From the foregoing it is patently evident that the Mormon Church is not “The Church of Jesus Christ,” nor is it composed of “saints.” Rather, it is a cult founded in the delusions of Joseph Smith and others.
It is our devout prayer that sincere Mormons would candidly examine the evidence, renounce this false system, and in true obedience, turn to the Lord.