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New Book about the Apostasy. Any thoughts or comments?


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I received a notification from Signature books that they have released a new book by Gregor McHardy on the Apostasy entitled Eight Myths of the Great Apostasy. Does anyone have any thoughts on the book, content, or author (I am not familiar with him)?  I have ordered it, but haven't read it yet. I am not sure whether it is against the rules or not to post a link to the book on Signature Books, so I won't. Is posting a link to a book about which you are seeking input legit or a no-no? Thanks and best wishes to all.

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I received a notification from Signature books that they have released a new book by Gregor McHardy on the Apostasy entitled Eight Myths of the Great Apostasy. Does anyone have any thoughts on the book, content, or author (I am not familiar with him)?  I have ordered it, but haven't read it yet. I am not sure whether it is against the rules or not to post a link to the book on Signature Books, so I won't. Is posting a link to a book about which you are seeking input legit or a no-no? Thanks and best wishes to all.

Given his apparent generous and conciliatory attitude toward the great apostasy, one of the main tenets of the restored Church, it will be interesting to see how McHardy addresses 1 Nephi 13, or if he focuses on it at all.

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I agree with teddyaware that the book would be interesting, whether or not McHardy addresses 1 Nephi 13. I long ago bracketed the Great Apostasy because all the descriptions I've encountered either track well with history or require assumptions I think have not been adequately proven. Based on the book description, McHardy is writing in that direction. So for me, he'd probably be preaching to the choir. If he is arguing we should just drop the doctrine entirely, I would certainly agree with it.

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I can't wait to read this book.  It's a topic of high interest to me.  I agree there are some myths about the Great Apostasy that Latter-day Saints may have, but based on the book description it doesn't sound like he's going in the right direction.  But sometimes a book synopsis is more hype than reality, and designed to provoke a response.  It's click-bait.  So I'll withhold my judgement :) 

As for 1 Nephi 13, I think there is a lot of historical information that documents what is being described there.   And the "great and abominable church" isn't a specific church (denomination), but all those who are against God and who fight against Zion, in all periods of time (2 Ne. 10:16).  And there was certainly a lot of that going on during the first three centuries. 

Edited by InCognitus
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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

I can't wait to read this book.  It's a topic of high interest to me.  I agree there are some myths about the Great Apostasy that Latter-day Saints may have, but based on the book description it doesn't sound like he's going in the right direction.  But sometimes a book synopsis is more hype than reality, and designed to provoke a response.  It's click-bait.  So I'll withhold my judgement :) 

As for 1 Nephi 13, I think there is a lot of historical information that documents what is being described there.   And the "great and abominable church" isn't a specific church (denomination), but all those who are against God and who fight against Zion, in all periods of time (2 Ne. 10:16).  And there was certainly a lot of that going on during the first three centuries. 

But here’s the thing: in light of what’s prophesied in 1 Nephi:13, what ecclesiastical organization was there that existed back then that would have been in a position to possess the scriptures, then tamper with them by deliberately removing many plain and precious gospel truths, and then further corrupt them be taking away sacred covenants God makes with men that they might inherit eternal life (celestial marriage seems like an obvious candidate)? It appears quite obvious to me that there was only one ecclesiastical organization that existed at that time that was in a position to to fulfill the angel’s dire prophesy, and that was the church that existed after the Apostolic Era. After all, what  other organization could it be? Certainly not any of the many religious organizations that existed at that time that didn’t possess the scriptures so as to be able to tamper with them.

Now there may be some legitimate debate about whether it was the entire organization that should be held responsible or whether there was a corrupt subset of insiders who finally succeeded in destroying the truth, quite literally. But regardless, I can’t imagine who else the angel might have been referring to if it wasn’t the church organization that existed immediately after the Apostolic Era. Can you think of anyone or anything else that could fit the bill?

 

Edited by teddyaware
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3 hours ago, teddyaware said:

But here’s the thing: in light of what’s prophesied in 1 Nephi:13, what ecclesiastical organization was there that existed back then that would have been in a position to possess the scriptures, then tamper with them by deliberately removing many plain and precious gospel truths, and then further corrupt them be taking away sacred covenants God makes with men that they might inherit eternal life (celestial marriage seems like an obvious candidate)? It appears quite obvious to me that there was only one ecclesiastical organization that existed at that time that was in a position to to fulfill the angel’s dire prophesy, and that was the church that existed after the Apostolic Era. After all, what  other organization could it be? Certainly not any of the many religious organizations that existed at that time that didn’t possess the scriptures so as to be able to tamper with them.

Now there may be some legitimate debate about whether it was the entire organization that should be held responsible or whether there was a corrupt subset of insiders who finally succeeded in destroying the truth, quite literally. But regardless, I can’t imagine who else the angel might have been referring to if it wasn’t the church organization that existed immediately after the Apostolic Era. Can you think of anyone or anything else that could fit the bill?

 

A “movement” qualifies as something among the nations (plural; 1 Nephi 13:4) and infecting every aspect of political, economic, religious, social and cultural life. It is described in terms of desires (v. 8); the “book of the Lamb of God” is likewise a set of plain and precious doctrines, covenants and ordinances (“the gospel of the Lamb”), not only a physical text (Bible) represented by the symbol of a book in the vision and described in terms of “other books,” which would be the revelations of the restored gospel (appealing to godly desires, perhaps a reflection of the spirits reserved to come forth in the last dispensation).

And of course, there would be well-organized, intentional evildoers among the natural men who were also less-intentional enemies to God perpetuating this movement and its effects which led to the Great Apostasy.

Edited by CV75
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2 hours ago, Nevo said:

Stephen Robinson addressed this question in his classic 1988 Ensign article, Warring against the Saints of God. (I'm showing my age.)

Here are some relevant excerpts:

TL;DR, according to Robinson, the agent of the apostasy was hellenized Christianity in the first and second centuries AD.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I find it perplexing that Robinson appears to absolve those who inherited apostate Christianity from any moral accountability for continuing to propagate the apostasy. It sounds as if he’s saying, “why place moral responsibility on them when they’re just well meaning, innocent victims?” But then one can’t help but wonder why 1 Nephi 14 depicts the modern-day apostate church of the devil as the uninterrupted continuation of the great and abominable church that perverted Apostolic Era Christianity. In fact, the modern-day great and abominable church of 1 Nephi 14 appears to be the same organization as the great and abominable church that destroyed the purity of early Christianity, and for its abominations Nephi tells us it will be judged by the Lord as if it is indeed one and the same organization as the early church of the devil.

3 And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end. (1 Nephi 14)

Note how the great and abominable church of 1 Nephi 14 appears to have never deviated from its original goal, which is to “lead away the souls of men down to hell.”

and…

13 And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. (1 Nephi 14)

Also note how the day will come when the great and abominable church will gather multitudes from every nation of the gentiles to destroy Jesus Christ and his Church. The modern great and abominable church appears to be as malevolent as was the early great and abominable church.

A question: what do you think it is that will cause the “innocent victim”, less accountable apostate church of the last days to be transformed into a worldwide satanic church modeled after the early great and abominable church? Which is another way of asking you if you believe the original great and abominable church ceased to exist after that initial period of apostasy, and that a church of the devil “restoration” of sorts will be required before the great and abominable church of the devil will be able exist again in the last days? In other words, did the original great and abominable church “fall away.”

 

 

Edited by teddyaware
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24 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I find it perplexing that Robinson appears to absolve those who inherited apostate Christianity from any moral accountability for continuing to propagate the apostasy.

How would they (the well meaning people who intertied the apostasy) know if they are in apostasy or not?  What measuring stick would they use?  Consequently, how could they be held accountable for that?

There were some among them who had evil intent (to gain power, assert authority, for personal gain), and that would be a perpetuation of what would be considered Babylon, the mother of harlots, or the great and abominable church. 

The Book of Mormon describes this as a period of "captivity".  The great and abominable church "bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity" (1 Nephi 13:5).   And it is "for the praise of the world" that they "destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity". (1 Nephi 13:9)  They also “pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men (verse 27)”. This is an attitude of mocking and persecution, it puts limits on religious freedom, and that's exactly the attitude of the governments and society at the latter end of the first century and beginning of the second century A.D.   And it's an attitude that has persisted since that time, and more so today.

49 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Also note how the day will come when the great and abominable church will gather multitudes from every nation of the gentiles to destroy Jesus Christ and his Church. The modern great and abominable church appears to be as malevolent as was the early great and abominable church.

This is referring to modern day Babylon, the ways of the world.  This, again, is an attitude that could exist in people of any religious denomination (or lack thereof).  

53 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

In other words, did the original great and abominable church “fall away.”

I know you're not asking me this question, but I didn't see anything in the prior posts that would indicate that the great and abominable church has ceased to exist.  It is very much alive today, unfortunately.

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13 hours ago, Nevo said:

Stephen Robinson addressed this question in his classic 1988 Ensign article, Warring against the Saints of God. (I'm showing my age.)

Here are some relevant excerpts:

TL;DR, according to Robinson, the agent of the apostasy was hellenized Christianity in the first and second centuries AD.

The problem of course is that very early in the first century we have multiple forms of Christianity. So which of those was the "true" version? 

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23 hours ago, InCognitus said:

You could have opted for the Amazon link :) 

https://www.amazon.com/Eight-Myths-Apostasy-Gregor-McHardy/dp/1560854529

 

I'm sorry, but I made a conscious decision not to do that, because I'm constitutionally incapable of advancing the interests of The Evil Empire. :vader:  (It's not that I've never made any purchases from Amazon, but I do hold my nose while doing so. ;)) Certainly, there are Signature Books publications with which I would find myself decidedly at odds, including, perhaps, some things that I, myself, own but that I haven't had the opportunity to read yet, such as D. Michael Quinn's biography of J. Reuben Clark that I recently procured second-hand. 

While I realize that, technically, my procurement of the Clark biography doesn't count as "support" for Signature Books because of the manner in which I procured it, still, I would much rather support Signature Books than Amazon.  Already, Jeff Bezos is more than rich enough: He doesn't need any more of my very limited resources. :P 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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11 hours ago, InCognitus said:

How would they (the well meaning people who intertied the apostasy) know if they are in apostasy or not?  What measuring stick would they use?  Consequently, how could they be held accountable for that?

There were some among them who had evil intent (to gain power, assert authority, for personal gain), and that would be a perpetuation of what would be considered Babylon, the mother of harlots, or the great and abominable church. 

The Book of Mormon describes this as a period of "captivity".  The great and abominable church "bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity" (1 Nephi 13:5).   And it is "for the praise of the world" that they "destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity". (1 Nephi 13:9)  They also “pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men (verse 27)”. This is an attitude of mocking and persecution, it puts limits on religious freedom, and that's exactly the attitude of the governments and society at the latter end of the first century and beginning of the second century A.D.   And it's an attitude that has persisted since that time, and more so today.

This is referring to modern day Babylon, the ways of the world.  This, again, is an attitude that could exist in people of any religious denomination (or lack thereof).  

I know you're not asking me this question, but I didn't see anything in the prior posts that would indicate that the great and abominable church has ceased to exist.  It is very much alive today,.

Are the leaders of today’s great and abominable church aware that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is it’s primary enemy and the most important of its targets for destruction?

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33 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

I'm thinking outside the box:

1 Nephi 14:10:  "And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth."

Obviously the "church of the Lamb of God" is not limited to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it would be anyone who loves God and seeks to promote his principles.   Consequently, the attacks against the "church of the Lamb of God" would be those opposed to those principles.  
 

Do you believe if some of these devout non-LDS Christians turn out to anti-Mormons that they will still be considered to be members of the church of the Lamb of God?

 

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I'm sorry, but I made a conscious decision not to do that, because I'm constitutionally incapable of advancing the interests of The Evil Empire. :vader:  (It's not that I've never made any purchases from Amazon, but I do hold my nose while doing so. ;)) Certainly, there are Signature Books publications with which I would find myself decidedly at odds, including, perhaps, some things that I, myself, own but that I haven't had the opportunity to read yet, such as D. Michael Quinn's biography of J. Reuben Clark that I recently procured second-hand. 

While I realize that, technically, my procurement of the Clark biography doesn't count as "support" for Signature Books because of the manner in which I procured it, still, I would much rather support Signature Books than Amazon.  Already, Jeff Bezos is more than rich enough: He doesn't need any more of my very limited resources. 

I hope you get volume 1 of the Clark biography by Fox. It is really interesting reading and very revealing!

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For what its worth - (not too much) I believe there was only one great apostasy, that from Ezekiel 9 to the birth of Christ. It was a Judaic apostasy, not Christian. Certainly some components of Christianity on occasion, in certain places, and under certain leaders from then to now have apostatized, no doubt about it, but nothing approaching a total or "great" apostasy. I didn't start this thread to start a rumpus (I think that is a Pennsylvania Dutch term). Just thought I would throw in my two cents.

Edited by Navidad
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I hope you get volume 1 of the Clark biography by Fox. It is really interesting reading and very revealing!

Thanks for the recommendation.  I value your opinion greatly.  By any chance, have you read Quinn's bio of Pres. Clark?

Edited by Kenngo1969
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3 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Thanks for the recommendation.  I value your opinion greatly.  By any chance, have you read Quinn's bio of Pres. Clark?

Yes and no! I own and read the first and second volume in the biographical set of two books. The first covers his life up to leaving the Mexican ambassadorship. The second covers his life as a church leader. Two different authors penned the two volumes. I did not read the biography penned solely by Quinn in the early 2000s. The first two books are around 1000 pages of great detail.

I found the history of the relationship between Clark and Senator Smoot and Clark's relation to the church while he was Solicitor General for the State Department very interesting. His role in helping write the document that put a pause in the Cristero conflict is also interesting and relatively unknown. Dwight Morrow almost always gets the credit, but Clark was the Solicitor/consultant for Ambassador Morrow at the time and had a significant hand in helping draw up the document (Modus Vivendi) and getting the two sides to come together. He followed Morrow as Ambassador to Mexico and then was an interim Secretary of State, another little known part of his life. All this is covered in the first volume. The first volume sheds a lot of light on the interesting notion that Clark rose to the highest ranks of the presidency without ever having been a bishop, stake president, or apostle. The story of his train ride with former Juarez Stake President Junius Romney is a fascinating one as well. But I better quit before I bore you to an early demise.

Edited by Navidad
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5 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Yes and no! I own and read the second volume in the biographical set of two books. The first covers his life up to leaving the Mexican ambassadorship. The second covers his life as a church leader. Two different authors penned the two volumes. I did not read the biography penned solely by Quinn in the early 2000s. The first two books are around 1000 pages of great detail.

I found the history of the relationship between Clark and Senator Smoot and Clark's relation to the church while he was Solicitor General for the State Department very interesting. His role in helping write the document that put a pause in the Cristero conflict is also interesting and relatively unknown. Dwight Morrow almost always gets the credit, but Clark was the Solicitor/consultant for Ambassador Morrow at the time and had a significant hand in helping draw up the document (Modus Vivendi) and getting the two sides to come together. He followed Morrow as Ambassador to Mexico and then was an interim Secretary of State, another little known part of his life. All this is covered in the first volume. The first volume sheds a lot of light on the interesting notion that Clark rose to the highest ranks of the presidency without ever having been a bishop, stake president, or apostle. The story of his train ride with former Juarez Stake President Junius Romney is a fascinating one as well. But I better quit before I bore you to an early demise.

On the contrary!  You have piqued my interest very much!  Thanks! :D 

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4 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Do you believe if some of these devout non-LDS Christians turn out to anti-Mormons that they will still be considered to be members of the church of the Lamb of God?

A person can't be both, and someone who actively fights against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and intentionally misrepresents our doctrines or history to others (which is how I would define an anti-Mormon) would definitely not be considered a member of the church of the Lamb of God (in my opinion).  It's like what Bluebell said....  

4 hours ago, bluebell said:

And there are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who belong to the church of the devil.  As Stephen Robinson said, it's not who has your records, but who has your heart.

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