The Salt Lake Tribune recently published a book review on the book “Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints” published by the Maxwell Institute. Both the book and the Tribune article make note that what Latter-day Saints believed about early Christianity and the Great Apostasy may not only “overly simplistic, if not (a) completely false narrative”. But where did Latter-day Saints get these beliefs? How did Mormonism define the Great Apostasy? And more importantly if we redefine the very reasons for what a Restoration is and why it was needed, might we be undercutting the restoration itself?
The Great Apostasy by: James Talmage published 1909 by the Deseret News – Which lays out in significant ways “The Great Apostasy” – The great apostasy : considered in the light of scriptural and secular history : Talmage, James Edward, 1862-1933 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
While The Church is reducing the Great Apostasy to only Priesthood and Keys – They clearly have attached Doctrine, Church organization and Offices, consistency of Saving Rituals as well as imposing that Christ set up an actual Church as key components of “The Great Apostasy” – Talks where some of those concepts are spoken Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
The Church teaches that part of the Great Apostasy is that rather than leading via revelation that the early Christian Church instead traqnsitioned over to “Long Conferences” and “Erudite Councils” “depending upon their own brilliant minds” (See Manual Image Below) – and yet Elder Eyring admits that such is the very way this Church is led – Henry B. Eyring: “Forget Harvard and Stanford. We’re in another kind of thing here.” – YouTube
The Modern Church creating a narrative of an ongoing restoration and that such has only begun to obfuscate that they are moving and shifting in every way they had previously labeled in the early Church as signs of Apostasy (Please note how is one to discern that all shifts and changes ithin the modern Church are “Auhtorized” and all shifts and changes in the Ancient Church are “Unauthorized”
1.) Distorting the and changing the Church organization and offices (Modern Church has changed the calling of Seventies, disbanded the General Patriarch, and created and then laterdisbanded the High Priests Group
2.) Silence between the Heavens and the Earth
3.) 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.
4.) Internal dissension, schism and disruption, whereby an absolute apostasy of the Church from the way and word of God was brought about”
5.) The corrupting (Changing) of the simple doctrines of the gospel of Christ by admixture with so-called philosophic systems. (Corrupting is subjective)
6.) Unauthorized (Subjective) additions to the prescribed rites and rituals of the church and the introduction of vital alterations in essential ordinances.
7.) Unauthorized (Subjective) changes in church organization and government
8.) “If the savior had come back to earth at the beginning of the fifth century A.D., i doubt whether he would have recognized the Christian church as the one that claimed descent from that which he had established, so far had it gone astray.” VERSUS ” If Joseph Smith came back to earth today, i doubt whether he would have recognized the LDS Church as the one that claimed descent from that which he had established, so far had it gone astray.”
9.) The power of godliness was no longer present in the Christian church. (Is that power recognizable within the LDS Church ?)
10.) The laws were changed (Notice all the laws that have changed in the LDS Church EXAMPLES: The doing away of “Free Agency” and D&C say a Disciplinary Court requires 12 high priests but the Modern Church says not necessary)
11.) The ordinances were changed (Notice the changes to the Endowment)
12.) The everlasting covenant was broken that the lord Jesus Christ gave to his people in those days. (Notice what happened to the New and Everlasting Covenant within Mormonism AKA Polygamy)
13.) The superimposing of a man-made structure upon and over the divine program.
14.) Many men with no pretense nor claim to revelation, speaking without divine authority or revelation, depending only upon their own brilliant minds, but representing as they claim the congregations of the Christians.
15.) In long conference and erudite councils, sought the creation process to make a God which all could accept.
16.) The brilliant minds with their philosophies, knowing much about the Christian traditions and the pagan philosophies, would combine all elements to please everybody.
17.) They replaced the simple ways and program of the Christ with spectacular rituals, colorful display, impressive pageantry, and limitless pomposity, and called it Christianity.
18.) They had replaced the glorious, divine plan of exaltation of Christ with an elaborate, colorful, man-made system. they seemed to have little idea of totally dethroning the Christ, nor terminating the life of God, as in our own day, but they put together an incomprehensible God idea”
It also should be noted that the LDS Church imposes that Christ organized his Church, and set forth the offices of the Church and that whenever the Gospel has been on the Earth it has been taught and administered by the Church. Also note that even believing Faithful Scholars within the Church indicate that Jesus and his disciples remained Jews within the Jewish faith and synagogue.