by Morley Evans
Although its official name is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” the LDS Church (Mormon) is by its own definition totally different from Christian churches because Mormons believe that God (himself) accompanied by Jesus (himself) appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 — in the flesh. God told Joseph Smith that the apostolic chain had been broken after the last Apostle died and that nothing that Christians have done after that is legitimate. God (himself) reconnected Joseph Smith with the true religion of Jesus Christ.
|LDS Temple, Salt Lake City|
|Smith's First Vision: God and Jesus|
As a boy, Joseph Smith was surrounded by various churches which, though they disagreed with one another, each claimed to teach the truth. This caused him much serious reflection. He wanted to know which church was right. One day he read a passage in the Bible which says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to accept the invitation to ask God.
In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. Joseph wrote: “When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph was told to join none of the churches that existed at that time as the priesthood authority and Church as Jesus Christ had organized it when He was on the earth had been lost over the centuries.
Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth. Joseph’s written account of this event is a powerful testimony of what he saw and experienced. (Joseph Smith’s History chapter 1 verses 8-17.)
Joseph Smith according to Joseph Smith was the first legitimate apostle since the days of Jesus. Who can argue with that? Every head of the LDS Church since Joseph Smith has been and is a true apostle, a saint, and a prophet, according to the Latter Day Saints.
So while the Christmas show broadcast each year from Salt Lake City certainly is very impressive, what Mormons are selling is NOT what any Christian church is selling — not even the TV evangelist churches.
Mormonism can be written off by Christians. Along with The Book of Mormon, Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible onto which the LDS have added their own ideas. Mormon leaders are free to do anything with the Bible by virtue of their claim to understand it correctly allowing them to restore the Gospel.
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