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What Is The Great And Abominable Church?


Scott Lloyd

What is the Great and Abominable Church?  

109 members have voted

  1. 1. The Great and Abominable Church or Church of the Devil discussed in 1 Nephi 13 is

    • The Roman Catholic Church
      12
    • The sum total of evil in the universe; anything inspired by Satan
      54
    • Both of the above
      8
    • None of the above
      35


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A couple of recent threads have prompted this poll (my first one; normally I do not care much for these things).

Only believing Latter-day Saints are invited to respond. I will ask former members and disaffected, name-only, current members-of-record to refrain from responding.

The point is to gather an admittedly unscientific guage of belief among current, practicing members of the Church regarding this topic.

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As requested, I didn't vote. But when I was an LDS missionary in South America, I often used 1 Nephi 13 and the 3rd discussion as the "deal breaker" to follow up on the 2nd discussion's invitation to baptism. If investigators didn't accept the LDS belief (or my understanding of it) about the great apostasy and the Great and Abominable Church (=everybody else's religion practiced without restored priesthood authority) then there was little chance of progressing towards baptism.

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As requested, I didn't vote. But when I was an LDS missionary in South America, I often used 1 Nephi 13 and the 3rd discussion as the "deal breaker" to follow up on the 2nd discussion's invitation to baptism. If investigators didn't accept the LDS belief (or my understanding of it) about the great apostasy and the Great and Abominable Church (=everybody else's religion practiced without restored priesthood authority) then there was little chance of progressing towards baptism.

If I had been your companion or district leader, I would have chastened you.

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I was the Zone Leader by then.

Whatever.

I served in the mid-'70s. Nothing I recall in the missionary lessons of that time -- or of any of the revisions since then -- would justify labeling everybody else's religion as the great and abominable Church.

Add "I am not sure" as a possibility and I'll participate.

Because, frankly, I don't know who or what is meant.

Sorry.

Perhaps I should have added a couple more choices. I can't revise the poll at this point, but for those who are voting "none of the above," I would be interested to know if it is becuase they, like Rincewind, are unsure, or if it is because they, like The Dude, think what is referred to in the prophecy in 1 Nephi is every religion other than Mormonism.

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I find "none of the above" the only tenable response, given that the G&AC is identified with the whore of all the earth from Revelations, it is not a church at all, since that book identifies the Roman Empire as a type of the whore . . . and there is no particular church (with apologies to BAMcC and others who took/take his 1st edition too seriously) or even political entity that qualifies, but rather qualities which may be shared by secular and ecclesiastical organizations which constitute the G&AC (the "C" being a group of people bound together by common goals, philosophies, etc.).

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Whatever.

I served in the mid-'70s. Nothing I recall in the missionary lessons of that time -- or of any of the revisions since then -- would justify labeling everybody else's religion as the great and abominable Church.

I don't recall ever having to put the "abominable" label on any particular religion. In the context of the discussion of priesthood authority restored through Joseph Smith, and recalling the Lord's words to Joseph Smith during the first vision (...all their creeds were an abomination in his sight...), people could pretty much reach the "right" conclusion on their own. Or maybe the spirit was there helping us out.

When I'd ask, "What do you think this scripture (1 Nephi 13) is talking about?" if they didn't have the right answer, I usually figured they were just evading out of politeness. That was part of the culture.

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I voted #2, though it is not exactly how I would phrase it. I suppose it's close enough. I have never been taught that the RCC or any other earthly organization is the G∾ it's simply whoever is working for the adversary rather than for Christ. Such a person may be a member of any church or none. Similarly, The Church of the Lamb may include anyone of any belief system who is on the side of the angels. In my head, I think of these two churches as having their membership rolls written only in heaven and not necessarily having a whole lot to do with who belongs to what on earth.

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Cinepro, I believe you are correct. I have little doubt that Joseph Smith meant the Roman Catholic Church. These passages from the book of Nephi certainly spoke to protestant America and were in harmony with the ideals of religious freedom and hatred for the perceived perversions and corruption in the RCC. As more secularism has crept into American society and Christian denominations who were former foes begin to band together, it is deemed politically incorrect (and destructive) to attack the RCC, and the result is that the reference in the BoM to the "great and abominable church" gets re-interpreted to mean "all evil" rather than the RCC.

I did not vote because, although I am active LDS, my views are so liberal that my vote might distort the poll's purpose in gauging TBM views. If I had voted, I would have picked the first choice because I think that was the original intent of the BoM. Mind you, while I do believe that there is great error in the Catholic Church today (example: priests required to be celibate), I would not consider the organization itself as "evil". It has done a lot of good in the world that I cannot in good conscience ascribe to Satan. Certainly there is much evil that the RCC did in the past in the name of God, but organizations change, just as the LDS church has dramatically since 1830.

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Cinepro, I believe you are correct. I have little doubt that Joseph Smith meant the Roman Catholic Church. These passages from the book of Nephi certainly spoke to protestant America and were in harmony with the ideals of religious freedom and hatred for the perceived perversions and corruption in the RCC. As more secularism has crept into American society and Christian denominations who were former foes begin to band together, it is deemed politically incorrect (and destructive) to attack the RCC, and the result is that the reference in the BoM to the "great and abominable church" gets re-interpreted to mean "all evil" rather than the RCC.

I have to echo your thoughts on my interpretation of what is meant in the book of Nephi and as a Catholic I don't really have a problem with the viewpoint or take any offense by it. I think the only reason McConkie was so ridiculed for his interpretation in "Mormon Doctrine" is because it's not politically correct and definitely didn't help the LDS cause in being portrayed as a Christian church.

example: priests required to be celibate),

I just wanted to make a note that this is one of those issues that could be changed tomorrow and Catholics shouldn't take offense to it. There are 5 non-negotiable things the church will never change. This issue isn't one of them.

Peace

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blueadept:

The Church has never been "Politically Correct", and it has paid a very high price for it. :P

But I appreciate the high standards it does try to live up to and see no problems with it. Church groups shouldn't need to worry about what is 'politically correct' since this rarely has anything to do with living as Christians to the best of our abilities.

Peace

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I did not vote because, although I am active LDS, my views are so liberal that my vote might distort the poll's purpose in gauging TBM views.

Thanks for your comment.

I rather suspect that those few whose votes implicate the Catholic Church are those who, like you, consider themselves active members but whose views are outside of the norm.

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Don't worry, I didn't vote! :P

I just wanted to say that I think it would be very interesting to get a poll of rank and file members....ones that do NOT frequent FAIR or other apologetic sites....and especially those from McConkie's generation. They might not be familiar with the "new and improved" definition. I'm sure the results would be quite different.

I sure know how all my in-laws would vote on this one. <_<

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Don't worry, I didn't vote! :P

I just wanted to say that I think it would be very interesting to get a poll of rank and file members....ones that do NOT frequent FAIR or other apologetic sites....and especially those from McConkie's generation. They might not be familiar with the "new and improved" definition. I'm sure the results would be quite different.

I sure know how all my in-laws would vote on this one. <_<

I don't know what you consider "rank-and-file," but I'm guessing the ward I attend, located in the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley, about 15 miles from Salt Lake City, would qualify.

Some months ago, during a lesson in priesthood meeting, I had occasion to express my view similar to what I have given on this message board regarding this topic. Several in the class chimed in to agree with me, and, from what I could tell, there was universal assent to what I said. A couple of people in the class even went so far as to bring up the McConkie quote and take issue with it.

The notion that faithful Latter-day Saints on this board are somehow out of step with the "rank and file" of the Church is a rather persistant myth.

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I find "none of the above" the only tenable response, given that the G&AC is identified with the whore of all the earth from Revelations, it is not a church at all, since that book identifies the Roman Empire as a type of the whore . . . and there is no particular church (with apologies to BAMcC and others who took/take his 1st edition too seriously) or even political entity that qualifies, but rather qualities which may be shared by secular and ecclesiastical organizations which constitute the G&AC (the "C" being a group of people bound together by common goals, philosophies, etc.).

I would agree with you. The question then becomes what are these qualities and shared beliefs?

.

I think amoung these qualities and share beliefs would be:

1) A belief that there God (satan I my oppinion) has authorized them to use deadly force to concur all those who will not their God and them as to rule the world

2) A belief that by killing innocent people they will rewarded by their God and made a ruler over many

3) They will call Evil ... Good and call Good ... Evil

I can only think of one group of people that share these qualities and beliefs.

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I don't know what you consider "rank-and-file," but I'm guessing the ward I attend, located in the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley, about 15 miles from Salt Lake City, would qualify.

Some months ago, during a lesson in priesthood meeting, I had occasion to express my view similar to what I have given on this message board regarding this topic. Several in the class chimed in to agree with me, and, from what I could tell, there was universal assent to what I said. A couple of people in the class even went so far as to bring up the McConkie quote and take issue with it.

The notion that faithful Latter-day Saints on this board are somehow out of step with the "rank and file" of the Church is a rather persistant myth.

Actually I think the notion that the anti-Mos, ex-Mos and never-Mos really do have their finger on the pulse of the Church is a truly mythological one, since it could only be so by some supernatural means.

Regards,

Pahoran

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