The Apostasy at the End of Days

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by Mike Clark © 2020

Note that this article is written in accordance with my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member. The contents of the article are my own work, and does not necessarily represent the view of the Church.


The website was created as a kind of Q&A site where people can ask questions and be answered by those are interested to answer. There are a lot of rather disingenuous questions about the topic of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The following is one such that I answered. To see my answer on Quora itself, follow this link:

The Question

Did you know that the Bible says that toward the end of times there will be false religions like Latter Day Saints?

My Answer

The Book of Revelation in the Bible referred to the churches in Asia, and had warnings against apostasy to say about every one of them.

The point is, the church organization that existed by the time John the Revelator wrote down the words of the Apocalypse of John (another name for the Book of Revelation), did not include the Catholic or the Orthodox churches, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Lutherans, or any of those others. They quite simply didn’t exist yet.

So it should be apparent that if there were to be false religions as the Lord in Matthew 24:24 indicates:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

…any of the post-John Christian churches that grew up could in fact be false religions, in the terms of Matthew 24:24. And you can’t even use the Nicene Creed to distinguish true from false, because that creed was developed by a council of bishops and others who lived hundreds of years after John. How could you know whether they themselves did not constitute a false religion? Merely because they are accepted as authoritative? And by whom? And I would remind you that if there would be false prophets there would be true prophets, as well.

For it was happening even while the original Twelve were working among the people. Paul himself told the elders of the church at Ephesus some dire news (Acts 20:29–30):

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Later Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonia that the second coming of the Lord would not come until an apostasy occurred:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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;

Now I ask you, which apostate church existed when Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin began the Protestant Reformation? The Catholic and Orthodox Churches, of course. And if those churches were apostate or false, how could the Protestants claim to be otherwise? For they were mere offshoots from the same poisoned tree. I grant you that they were sincere, believing in the rightness of their causes, and I admire their devotion. But did they possess divine authority to restore the Church of Christ from what they called apostate and fallen? They never claimed it, to the best of my understanding; they just did what they felt was needed to break away from what they saw as the errors of the prevailing church. But how could they correct those errors if they didn’t know what the actual errors were? They had been taught all their lives something other than the full truth — by their own rebellion admitting that the full truth was not in their previous church — and how were they to receive that truth if they didn’t know what it was?

When the Apostle Peter healed the lame man at the Temple, he saw that those who witnessed it marveled at the miracle. But he told them that he himself was not the source of the miracle, but the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they had had crucified. He admonished them as follows (Acts 2:19–21):

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Here Peter tells us that the Lord’s return would not occur before a time of “restitution of all things.” And how can something be restored, save it be lost or taken away first? And when was that loss to have taken place? Possible answers include during the Protestant Reformation, but also earlier, before the Catholic and Orthodox churches even existed.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proclaimed that it is the “restitution of all things.” The Prophet Joseph Smith received a manifestation of the Father and the Son calling him to be the agent of that restoration. And while one might want to be skeptical about the claim (it is rather extraordinary, after all), evidence is provided for the test. As they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

That evidence is the Book of Mormon. The story of its being brought forth is a story of direct divine intervention, and if it truly is what it says it is, then it testifies as to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being the “restitution of all things” that was prophesized as the precursor of the second coming of our Lord for the second time.

What is the source of wisdom? Try this (James 1:5):

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.

The Book of Mormon itself contains its own test, in the form of a promise (Moroni 10:4,5):

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

But merely asking flippantly or without sincerity will not suffice, for James also writes (James 1:6,7):

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.


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