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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class
the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread wickedness, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth. “During the Great Apostasy, people were without divine direction from living prophets…. This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the restoration of the fulness of the gospel.” —True to the Faith, p. 13
2 Thessalonians 2:3
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
“mutiny, defection, rebellion”
Apostasy from within
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:11–13.)
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13–15.)
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. (3 John 1:9.)
There was a single Christian church that progressively changed its teachings and ordinances until the Nicene Creed and the creation of the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century completed the apostasy.
Eusebius of Caesarea
• c. A.D. 263–339. • Bishop of Caesarea (A.D. 313–339). • Author of Historia Ecclesiastica (“Church History”)
Eusebius’ view of church history
Reevaluating church history ×
• γνωσις (gnōsis), “knowledge.”
• Secret knowledge the way to salvation of the soul from the material world. • Human spirits (sparks) trapped in physical bodies. • Separationist Christology. • Many Gnostic sects.
The Sun Cross or Gnostic Cross
• Marcion of Sinope (c. A.D. 85–160). • Old Testament God of wrath vs. merciful God of Jesus = two Gods. • Docetism, from Greek δοκεο (dokeō), “to appear.”
Marcion of Sinope
• True Christianity = Jewish Christianity. • One God (Old Testament). • Adoptionist Christology.
• • • • Montanus, Maximilla, Prisca (c. A.D. 150). The “New Prophecy.” Ecstatic visions from the Holy Ghost. Zealousness for martyrdom & prominence of women .
• Sabellius, a priest (c. A.D. 215). • Modalism = one God, three different modes (Father, Son, or Holy Spirit).
• Arius, a priest in Alexandria, Egypt (c. A.D. 250–c. 336). • Christ not pre-existant, created by and subordinate to the Father. • Declared heretical at First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325).
• Before it was the orthodox majority, it was proto-orthodox. • Dominant by A.D. 313–325. • Destroyed “heretical” writings.
The Chi Ro, early Christian symbol adopted by Constantine
Nag Hammadi library
• 4th-century Gnostic Christian writings discovered 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
There was a total apostasy from Christ’s original teachings.
The great apostasy was caused by the Hellenization of Christianity or the incorporation of Greek philosophy and culture into the teachings of the early church.
The Roman Catholic Church is the “great and abominable church” spoken of in Nephi’s vision (1 Nephi 13–14).
The great and abominable church
1. Persecutes, tortures, and kills the Saints (1 Nephi 13:5). 2. Seeks wealth and luxury (1 Nephi 13:7–8). 3. Characterized by sexual immorality (1 Nephi 13:7). 4. Has removed “many plain and precious things” from the scriptures (1 Nephi 13:26–29). 5. Has “dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” (1 Nephi 14:11). 6. Is consumed by a great war (1 Nephi 22:13–14). 7. Did its work after the death of the apostles (D&C 86:1–3).
Opening the seals
old Catholic church traditions are worth more than all you have said. Here is a principle of logic that most men have no more sense than to adopt. I will illustrate it by an old apple tree. Here jumps off a branch and says, I am the true tree, and you are corrupt. If the whole tree is corrupt, are not its branches corrupt? If the Catholic religion is a false religion, how can any true religion come out of it? If the Catholic church is bad, how can any good thing come out of it? The character of the old churches have always been slandered by all apostates since the world began.” —Joseph Smith, June 1844 History of the Church 6:478
Thanks for a terrific year!