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Chapter Four:

                   Is There a True Church?
                                            If so, ...Which one?

This investigation is a look at modern day Christianity and where it came from. There are too many Christian religions out there, all of which are teaching conflicting doctrine, to say that all are true. After all, how could the true Jesus Christ be the author of conflicting doctrine? From the beginning of time, man’s most basic desire has been to know more about the God that created him. The problem is, when we decide we want to know more about Him, when we decide we want to know which way to believe, suddenly we are faced with the same dilemma that Joseph Smith was faced with. That being; which of the many beliefs do we believe in? That is an extremely significant question. Like getting in the car and heading to a distant destination, what good does it do to take the wrong road? Even if the wrong road will get you close to where you want to be?

                           Because close isn’t good enough,
           everyone of us knows that if you want to reach your destination,
                                          sooner or later, you have to get on the right road.

The same is true with religion. Many can get you close, but only one can get you there. Surely if there is a true Jesus Christ, there would have to be a true church. So the question remains, which one is true? All Christian religions teach good Christian principles! But beyond the good Christian principles, everyone of them are different! ...Why?

“Every process of nature is orderly. Chance, disorder, chaos are ruled out of
the physical universe. The phenomena of nature are products of law. In man’s
search for truth, no exception to this process has been found.”
                                 John A. Widtsoe

That’s a statement we can all agree on, except when it comes to religion. The Christian world, with it’s multi-different religions and their multi-different teachings, openly accept the idea of disorder  and chaos. To a non-Christian, the God of modern Christianity is a God who isn’t sure what to teach the people. Yet, He doesn’t appear that way to a Christian! We just accept all the conflicting doctrines, taught from the same God. Think about that for a minute and think about this.

Christians world wide, want to believe ...that they can believe as they want!
                                 ...Does that really make sense to you?

We have a friend whose name is Connie. When she was twelve years old, her family lived in Amarillo, Texas. One Sunday, their Pastor was calling the congregation to repentance. He was warning them that their behavior, their activity during the week, was unacceptable in the sight of the Lord and that they were expected to be Christians throughout the week, and not just on Sunday. The Pastor’s sermon had a great effect on Connie’s parents because they too believed in what he was saying. But the sermon had a rather negative effect on many of the members, and the Church Deacons, had a meeting during the week. Next Sunday, their Pastor was gone and a new one was in his sted. The new Pastor praised them and told the congregation how well they were doing. So tell me, is modern day Christianity being taught to please God? Or to please the people? Is there a singular true church or not? To anyone who investigates Christianity, it’s a total mass of confusion.

           What you come up with after an in-depth investigation,
                   is that the only common denominator that all Christian religions have,
                                                                      is their belief in Jesus Christ!

Some Christians believe that is enough. They believe that as long as you have faith in Christ and
accept Him as your Savior, that is the end of it. That is the true Church of Jesus Christ! Well, if that is true, then how can anything beyond that belief be anything but nonsense and a waste of our time? Surely that would have to be a true statement, because beyond that belief, we are obviously allowed to believe what we want to believe! If that’s not true, then there would have to be one true religion. What other possibilities are there? So the big question is, which Church is true?

If you want to understand Christianity, you have to start with where it came from. It is rooted in the Bible and yet the Bible is a religious history of the Jews. And even though Judaism is older than Christianity, today’s Judaism is about the same age as Christianity. How so? Because it made many changes after Christ. The God of The Old Testament is “Jehovah.” (Exodus 6:3) But after Christ’s time on earth, the Jews stopped calling God, Jehovah. “The original pronunciation of this name has probably been lost, as the Jews, in reading, never mentioned it, but substituted one of the other names of God, usually Adonai” (Bible Dictionary, KJV.) And though the words Christ or Christianity are not found in The Old Testament, (4000 years of religious history), I do not know of a Bible Dictionary or Christian religion that does not believe that Christ and Jehovah are one in the same. What we think of as Christianity began with the New Testament and it has a Biblical history of about 70 years. The Jews believe that Judaism is the true religion. We Christians, who believe in the Jewish Bible, believe that Christianity is the true religion. So now what? Are there two true religions? If two, then why not ten or twenty? Obviously, some people think there are. But to the logic minded thinker that’s impossible. Either there is one true church, or they are all false. So let’s begin this investigation by looking at where Christianity came from. It begins with the Jews.

The Jews...

The Jews are the other branch of the olive tree. The Jews don’t believe in Christ as a Savior. They believe that He was the son of Joseph and Mary, brother of James, Joses, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:55-56 for Christ’s family reference) Some Jews believe Christ was a prophet or a great teacher. In Beth Moshe’s book, Judaism’s Truth Answers the Missionaries, p.117, she writes in bold capital letters, “Jesus seemed to believe he was the Messiah.” I’m not trying to bash the Jews, they simply don’t believe that Jesus was “The Christ,” and they don’t believe that He was their Savior. In that regard, they are really no different than the other non-Christian religions. The Old Testament begins with the prophet, Moses, about 1600 BC. In Exodus, the second book of the Old Testament, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. This was the law by which the Jews were to live and govern themselves. For the most part, the Ten Commandments begin, “Thou shalt not... Thou shalt not...” When Christ began His ministry, He made some significant changes. Christ introduced a higher law. Instead of focusing so much on what you could not do, Christ introduced what a person should do. In regard to personal behavior, He exchanged mandatory compliance for voluntary compliance.
Instead of following the law because you had to, Christ wanted people to follow the law because they chose to. But even though He exchanged mandatory compliance for voluntary compliance, He did not remove consequence for non-compliance. That’s an important point, because most people subconsciously at least, think He did.

The Sermon on the mount (Matt. 4&5) was one of Christ’s greatest instructional sermons that was recorded for us. In that sermon, Christ set in motion things like the “Beatitudes” as described in Matthew, “Blessed are they... Blessed are they...” See the difference? (See Matthew 5:2-12) Because Christ taught new things, He angered the Jews. He angered them further by telling them He was the Son of God. Not only did the Jews not believe Christ was the Son of God, they did not believe He was the Messiah. Their Messiah had to come with the power and glory of the God in the Old Testament. That’s why they had him crucified. (See Matthew 27:19-25)

“Have thou nothing to do with that just man:
for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”
                        Pilate’s wife, to Pilate

“Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all
say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?
But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could
prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands
before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Then answered all the people, and said, his Blood be on us, and on our children.”

Jesus Christ was and is the Messiah the Jews were looking for. The book of Isaiah is the twenty-third book in the Bible. Isaiah lived about 750 years before Christ. Isaiah’s writings (especially chapter fifty-three) were studied and read in Jewish synagogues before Christ’s mission on earth. (Were being the key word) In Isaiah chapter fifty-three, there are thirty-three prophecies about the Jewish Messiah.

              Thirty-three prophecies that were fulfilled with Christ. ...Count them.

After Christ’s crucifixion in 33 AD, the Jews lived under Roman rule until about 66 AD, where they tried to overthrow their Roman rulers. The Roman government became so outraged that in 70AD, they totally destroyed Jerusalem, leaving only the west wall of the temple (which is now called the Wailing Wall). The Jews scattered from Jerusalem, seemingly never to have a country again that they could call their own. Small amounts of Jews, from time to time, tried to reestablish Jerusalem, but with no lasting success. When Joseph Smith received his first visit from Moroni on September 21, 1823, Moroni quoted part of the eleventh chapter of Isaiah to him.

“And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the
second time to recover the remnant of his people...and gather together the
dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11:11-13

In 1832, Joseph Smith gave Orson Hyde a blessing. Orson Hyde was a descendant of the Tribe of Judah. This is part of that blessing:

“In due time thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the land of thy fathers, and be a watchman
unto the house of Israel; and by thy hand shall the Most High do a work, which shall
prepare the way and greatly facilitate the gathering together of that people.”

In 1840, Orson Hyde, under the direction of the Lord, was sent by Joseph Smith to the land that was once called Israel to dedicate and set apart the land for the literal gathering of Israel. It took place on Sunday morning, the 24th of October, 1841. Orson Hyde sat on the Mount of Olives, pondering and praying about the things he should say, writing them down as they came to him. This is part of his prayer:

“Grant therefore, O Lord, in the name of thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
to remove the barrenness and sterility of this land, and let springs of living water
break forth to water it’s thirsty soil...Incline them to gather in upon this land according to
thy word. Let them come down like clouds and like doves to their windows. Let the large
ships of the nations bring them from the distant isles; and let kings become their nursing
fathers, and queens with motherly fondness wipe the tear of sorrow from their eye.”

The land that had been little more than a worthless dust-bowl, had now been dedicated for the literal gathering place of Israel. (HC V1 p43-46) Did it work?

“Only two decades ago there were not more than fifteen or twenty thousand Jews in
Jerusalem. At that time no houses were to be found outside the city. Since then many
changes have taken place and the Hebrew population, mainly on account of the increase
of the Jewish immigration from Russia, now stands at between sixty and seventy thousand. Whole streets of houses have been built outside the walls on the site of the ancient
suburban districts, which for hundreds of years have remained deserted.”
                           The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1896

But like all things for the Lord, it did not go unchallenged by the adversary. The Jews had gone
through terrible times at the hands of the Christians during the crusades and during the Spanish
Inquisition which lasted into the 1800's. But then things began changing for the Jews. Europe began to enter the industrial age. Modernization began to take over. Life for the Jews began to take a different course. Many Jews had now become comfortable and successful in Europe and were no longer a despised and hated people as they were in the past. They began to prosper in Europe as well as in America. There arose a “New age of Reason.” A new “Reform of Judaism.” Jews began to pull away in droves from the idea that they were to return to the land once called Israel. In 1818 in Hamburg, Germany, a much shorter Jewish prayer book was written. It was called the Hamburg Temple Prayer Book. In it, almost all the references to the long-awaited restoration of Zion were gone. In 1824, reformers in Charleston, South Carolina, made similar changes in the synagogue ritual. The new prayer book seemed to cast the fate for the literal gathering of Israel. (Encyclopedia Britannica V22 p424-425 and Encyclopedia Judaica. V14 p23-24)

“Reform did not achieve it’s greatest success until it was imported into the United
States along with the massive German-Jewish immigration of the 1840's and coalesced
with earlier American trends toward reform...By 1880 almost all of the 200 synagogues in
the United States had become Reform...In 1885 the Reform philosophy was given it’s most
comprehensive formulation in the so-called ‘Pittsburgh Platform,’ drawn up by a conference
of Reform rabbis...Talmud was to be considered merely as religious literature,
and not as legislation.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, V22 p425)

The Pittsburgh Platform, 1895

“We recognize in the Mosaic legislation a system of training the Jewish people for it’s mission during it’s national life in Palestine, and today we accept as binding only it’s moral laws, and maintain only such ceremonies as elevate to the views and habits of modern civilization...We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws of any concerning the Jewish state...” (Encyclopedia Judaica, v14 p26) “Reform Judaism introduced confirmation for boys and girls in place of the traditional Bar Mitzvah, gave up belief in a personal Messiah, and insisted that the lands of Jewish residence, not the land of Israel, were home.” (Encyclopedia Americana V16 p197)

The Lord’s great work will not be frustrated. In the Book of Mormon it states that the Jews, “Shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth.” (2nd Nephi 10:8) Orson Hyde dedicated the land once called Jerusalem for the literal gathering of the Jews in 1841. Over the next few years, the British and French were slowly getting tired of having to send their ships around the tip of Africa to get to the Orient. They began looking at a narrow strip of land just south of old Israel where they could cut a channel and save almost 8000 sea miles to the Orient. The Turks wouldn’t let them have the land but did let them build a canal through it. In 1859, during the time the United States was beginning “America’s bloodiest war,” the Civil War, the French began construction on the Suez Canal. They completed it in 1869. Now the British and French had a vested interest in the Holy Land.

In early 1900, a few “Traditional” or “Orthodox Jews” began migrating to Jerusalem. The land
belonged to the Turks of the Ottoman Empire at the time. The little Jewish communities were called Kabutsons. Over the next twelve years the Turks began a series of raids against the small
communities. The raids ended at the outbreak of WWI as the Turks now found themselves too busy to concern themselves with the Jews on their far western border. At the outbreak of the war, Turkey made a very costly decision. ...They joined the side of the Germans!

WWI began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28th, 1914, in the town of Sarajevo, Bosnia. On November 11th, 1918, Germany surrendered and on June 28th, 1919, the combatants of the “War to end all wars”, came the “Treaty of Versailles” at Versailles, France. At Versailles, new countries out of old empires were created. Besides some border changes on old countries, nine new countries appeared on the European map. But for our concerns here, the most important was the Ottoman Empire. From that break up and it’s surrounding area came Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Hejaz. The Suez Canal had already fallen under the control of the British. Most important of all, was the loss of Palestine by the Turks. It became a British mandate and received the protection of the Crown. (History of the 20th Century, p.60-129)

                    The land once known as Israel,
                                        was now in the possession of the British Government.

In the “Balfour Declaration” of 1917, the British pledged to facilitate the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People.” (The Volume Library, V2 p1547) Britain allowed the Jews to immigrate to Palestine, a land that the Jews referred to as Israel, but only in limited amounts so as to appease the Arab countries. Twenty years later, in 1937, the more traditional believing Jews presented to the world a statement known as the Columbus Platform.

The Columbus Platform, 1937

“The Torah, both written and oral, enshrines Israel’s ever growing consciousness of God and
of the moral law...It defined Judaism as the ‘soul of which Israel is the body,’and recognized ‘in
the group-loyalty of the Jews who have become estranged from our religious tradition a bond
which still unites them with us’ and affirmed the ‘obligation of all Jewry to aid in Palestine’s up
building as a Jewish homeland by endeavoring to make it not only a haven of refuge for the
oppressed but also a center of Jewish culture and spiritual life.” (Encycl. Judaica, V14 p26)

But the Zionist movement was still weak and not supported by the majority of the Jewish people.  Two years after the Columbus Platform, on September 1st, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and WWII began. On May 7th, 1945 Germany surrendered. During the war, over six million Jews died horrible deaths at the hands of the German soldiers.

“Without screaming or weeping these people undressed, stood around in family groups,
kissed each other, and said farewells... An old woman with snow-white hair was holding
a one-year-old child in her arms and singing to it and tickling it. The child was
cooing with delight. The parents were looking on with tears in their eyes.”
                           German engineer Herman Graebe, describing
                         the scene at an execution pit in the Ukraine.

Millions more died horrible deaths at the hands of the Russians. At the end of WWII, the Jews took such a beating, such a loss of life, that the Reform Judaism movement subsided and the traditional Judaism beliefs came forward. The yearning for a homeland, as it had never been before, suddenly became the focus of the Jewish people. Suddenly it was ...Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

“Palestine needs a people, Israel needs a country.
Give the country without a people to the people without a country.”
                                     Israel Zangwill

The British had control of Jerusalem since the Treaty of Versailles. Out of frustration, the Jewish
citizens and soldiers, spear-headed by David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, turned their anger toward Britain. Unable to suppress the assaults against the British Army and unable to stop the massive flow of Jews into Jerusalem, Britian conceded and on May 15th 1948, less than three years after WWII ended, Israel became a country once again for the first time since 70 AD. Since that time there has never been in the history of the world, the unstoppable fervor of the Jewish people worldwide, to move to, send money to, or to build up Jerusalem as there is now.

Oh Jerusalem, Oh Jerusalem! The homeland of our Lord and Savior!

Where the British left off in helping Israel, the Americans took over. The Middle East countries who hate Israel and who would drive the Israelis into the Mediterranean Sea, if they just had the chance, is a combined land area equaling the continental United States minus California, Oregon and the State of Washington. I live in Maricopa County. With a land mass of 7,848 square miles, the country of Israel is about 1500 square miles smaller than Maricopa County. If it were not for the British who took Israel away from the Turks after WWI and the United States taking over the guardianship of the land of Israel after WWII, fulfilling the pleas of Orson Hyde’s dedicatory prayer, Israel as we know it today, would have never appeared on the map in 1948. If it were not for the United States today, still fulfilling Orson Hyde’s prayer of 1841, Israel would not be able to survive!

          The Israelis are fierce. They bark, they growl, they even bite!
                              But they are still just a Chihuahua in a big dog world!
            Orson Hyde asked the Lord to, “Let Kings become their nursing fathers.”
                       If America wasn’t the big dog standing behind the little dog,
                                       baring it’s teeth and keeping all the other dogs at bay,
                                                 ...the little dog would cease to exist.

Was the holocaust in Germany integral in driving the Jewish people back to the idea of a homeland called Jerusalem? I think it was! Was it necessary? I don’t know! It’s anyone’s guess! But I do know that the fervor to rebuild Jerusalem came after the holocaust. Not before. I also know that the Lord’s plan will not be frustrated and the prophesies of the prophets will come true.

“And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the
countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with
a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.” Ezekiel, 20:34

And someday, “...That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”
Isaiah, 45:23

And in that day, “ shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall
answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” Zechariah 13:6

The Early Christians...

Authors Note:  Because I do not wish to offend any of the great and wonderful members of other religions; because I have many dear friends who are extremely valiant in their service to the Lord and to His sheep, I have edited this section one more time.  I did that 3 times before publishing this book, I am doing it again now;  here on the site, after this book was published.  There are lots of really great people of all faiths who love the Lord every bit as much as I do and serve Him as much as I do and maybe more.  So much of the commentary was taken out but the quotes and the facts were left in for you to draw your own conclusion.

Thank you for understanding.  sj

Phase one of this investigation about modern day Christianity begins with the Holy Scriptures that comprise our modern day Old Testament. They constitute the religious history of God’s dealings with the Jews. Therefore, the logical first step in our investigation would have to begin with the Jews. Phase two of this investigation begins with Christ’s birth, His teachings to us and His mission on earth which comprise the New Testament. Therefore, the next logical step in our investigation would be the world history of the Christianity that brought us to where we are today.

Like the historical background information given about the Jews, this investigation deals with the first 1500 hundred years of the church that rose up after Christ’s death. Why? Because to understand modern day Christianity, you have to know something of the roots of modern day Christianity. It begins with Christ when the Bible makes a transition into Christianity. There is very little history about Christianity between 70AD and 325AD, which was when the Roman Government made it a state religion. So keep in mind that this back-ground investigation is far more than a look at the new Christianity Constantine started, it is a look at the ancestry of all Christianity prior to 1830. Because until 1830, every new Christian religion could trace their roots to this new Church. Therefore, this is the next logical step in our investigation; our trail of evidence to modern day Christianity. Please remember I have no intent to insult any religion or anyone’s religious beliefs. But in an investigation, arriving at the truth has to be paramount.

In our search for Christ's church, it is a fair and accurate statement to say that that church would have certain earmarks. Certain procedures, policies and behaviors.

                  And what but the evidence itself,
                                 could prove whether or not a church fell in that category?

As you read through this, please keep in mind that there is no one alive today who is responsible for the actions of the members of their church of yesteryear. That is a very significant point. My intent in doing this background investigation, is to find those earmarks. If an investigation of Christianity were to begin, it would have to begin with the oldest Christian religion. Regardless of the name the oldest Christian church bore, it couldn’t start anywhere else.

Early in my career, I responded to a suicide call near Arizona Ave. and Guadalupe, with a deputy by the name of Keith. The male victim had taken a six inch .357 magnum revolver and parted his skull with it. Keith, a salty veteran, was the primary investigator. I was his back up. When Keith and I arrived, we were met by the victim’s wife. She pointed down the hall and said, “He’s down there.” As Keith and I walked into the bedroom, the man was lying on the floor, face down. The revolver was near his right hand. It looked like an open and shut suicide to me. However, not saying anything to me, Keith looked around the room for a few minutes and then he walked over to a chair and just sat down and studied the scene in his head. He wouldn’t talk to me as he thought. He just sat there, for what seemed like a long time and re-created the scene in his mind, making sure all the evidence coincided with the conclusion. By looking at the wound on the man’s head, Keith even determined where the bullet should be and then located it in the wall.

To make a long story short, he never let his emotions get involved with his investigation of the facts. Nor did he let what the victim’s wife told us influence his investigation. He remained objective and let the facts tell their own tale as to what happened. Facts in themselves, don’t and won’t, convert anyone. But facts are essential in an impartial investigation and they are necessary to the person such as myself, who is ruled as much by facts as he is by his emotions. So please remember the point of this story as we continue. Be objective and let the facts tell their own tale. ...Okay? ...Let’s begin.

The oldest Christian religion is the Catholic religion. The Church began forming shortly after Christ and the Apostles were killed. They believe that the Apostle Peter became the first Bishop of Rome. The Romans began to persecute the Church until the year 313 when Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion. It became the official Catholic Church in probably about 325 AD at the Council of Nicaea. 

It is a fair and accurate statement to say that the teachings of any Christian religion are their own
evidence as to whether or not that Christian religion teaches what Christ taught. It’s also a fair and accurate statement to say that if a Christian religion teaches something other than what Christ taught, then one of the following seven things has occurred.

One:       That church is wrong in it’s teachings.
Two:       Christ changed His original teachings and came up with new teachings and methods.
Three:    Man changed Christ’s original teachings and came up with new teachings and
Four:      The true teachings were lost along the way and throughout the years.
Five:      Those precepts and teachings are missing or were left out of the Bible.
Six:        Christ did not fully restore His teachings during His time here on earth and is
               continuing to reveal more to us through revelation.
Seven:   A combination of the above has occurred.

What other possibilities could there be? So think about those seven possibilities as we continue our investigation. In investigating the new Church, the Christians at the Council of Nicaea introduced some unique teachings. Unique prior to the 325AD, that is.

“I have saved more souls from Hell than St. Peter
            has converted to Christianity by his preaching.”
            John Tetzel, seller of indulgences

“The world forsaking the lively power of God’s spiritual Word, was altogether led and blinded
with outward ceremonies and human traditions; in these was all hope of obtaining salvation fully
fixed; insomuch that scarcely any other thing was seen in the temples or churches, taught or
spoken of in sermons, or finally intended or gone about in their life, but only heaping up of certain shadowy ceremonies upon ceremonies; neither was there any end of this their heaping.”
                                      John Foxe

These are just a few examples of the differences.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking
lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry,
and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” I Tim. 4:1-3

Please understand that when I investigate, I lay my feelings aside and try to be logical. 

“...Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto
his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”Genesis 2:18 & 24

One of the things I found most interesting of all was that the new Church decided to restrict the
reading of scriptures by the individual! 

“A severe and intolerable law was enacted...the Church of Rome persisted obstinately in affirming...that the scriptures were not composed for the use of the multitude, but only for that of the spiritual teachers, and so, ordered these divine records to be taken from the people in all places.” (The Great Apostasy by James E. Talmage and Mosheim, Eccl. History ch. 1.)

“The simple and unlearned people, being far from all knowledge
of the holy scripture, thought it quite enough for them to know
only those things which were delivered them by their pastors.”
                                 John Foxe

The Roman Arena...

In July of ‘96, I was watching a program on the History Channel called, The Truth About the Roman Arena. It was narrated by Roger Mudd. “The game” of watching people killing each other began about 50 BC. The last game was in 459 AD. Constantine organized the new Christian religion in 313 AD. It became official in about 325 AD. Per Roger Mudd, for the History Channel program, “The list of crimes punishable by death in the Arena (Circus Maximus) increased under Christian leadership. As many as 5000 gladiators (prisoners forced to fight in the Arena) would fight and die per day, for the amusement of the Roman people.”

The History Channel program went on to point out that the reason the games ended in 459 AD was that the Roman government was beginning to fall apart and was having trouble getting the quantity of animals they needed to make the games more and more fascinating for the viewing public. As many as 5000 animals, people or a combination of both were killed on “game” days. I found it interesting that the games were ended because the Roman Government was beginning to fall apart and they were having difficulty in acquiring enough animals and people to make it more exciting and not because the Church had them stopped!

The fall of the Roman Empire brought an end to the events in the Roman Arena. But it did not bring an end to the work of death. These type of events continued from the Diaspora in 70 AD (dispersion of the Jews) through the birth of the new Church through the Roman Arena, the Spanish Inquisition and through the Crusades totaling about a 1700 year period.  

After the fall of the Roman empire, the Jews slowly became the focus of “Christian” hatred. As the influence of the clergy widened, the Church gained power. Persecutions became common. Sermons often impelled the citizens of a community to burn down synagogues and homes.

“It became an annual custom in Beziers, in the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Monday, when the priests described the sufferings of Jesus, to pelt the Jews with mud and stones whenever they appeared. In Toulouse the Count in the city had the right to slap the face of the Jewish leader on Good the beginning of the twelfth century...the practice was commuted for a heavy money-payment.” (A History of The Jews, p186-187 by Abram L. Sachar Ph.D and President of Brandeis University) Throughout the eleventh century, hatred continued to rise and the church leaders and the state itself, aided in the persecution toward the Jews. When Hilderbrand became Pope Gregory VII, in 1078, he issued a law “forbidding Christian kingdoms to employ Jews in any public capacity.”

“We admonish Your Highness that you must cease to suffer the Jews to rule
over the Christians and exercise authority over them. For to allow the Christians to
be subordinated to the Jews, and to subject them to their judgement, is the same
as oppressing God’s Church and exalting Satan’s Synagogue. To wish to
please Christ’s enemies means to treat Christ himself with contumely.”
                                  Pope Gregory the VII
                            To Alphonso the X

The Spanish Inquisition...

Before the Spanish Inquisition started, the Vatican started an “Anti-Jewish” legislation which
prohibited Jews from holding any positions in the state where they would be higher than the
Christians. Jews were forbidden to shave their beards or wear anything but the coarsest clothing. Jews were not allowed to own real estate and they had to live in certain areas and the Jews were forbidden to bear arms. (The Spanish Inquisition, by Henry Kamen, p19)

“They forced strange clothing upon us. They kept us from trade, farming and the crafts.
They compelled us to grow our beards and our hair long. Instead of silken apparel, we were
obligated to wear wretched cloths which drew contempt upon us. Unshaved,
we appeared like mourners. Starvation stared everyone in the face.”
                                 Unknown. (Quoted in Neuman, II, 264)

Though used against the Moors too, the Inquisition was a weapon used by the new Church to impose their ideology on primarily Jewish people. On July 18th, 1290, by order of King Edward I, there passed an expulsion order expelling the Jews from England. Later on March 31st, 1492, an expulsion order was issued by the Church monarchs in Granada, expelling all Jews from Spain. As time went on, the expulsion was expanded throughout Europe. (Henry Kamen, p7)

Before and after the expulsion order of 1492, many Spanish Jews suffered greatly. On March 5th, 1391, Archbishop Ferran Martinez led his congregation, on Ash Wednesday, to the Jewish Quarter of the city. There, the Christian congregation, led by Archbishop Martinez, raped, murdered and stole from the Jews. So successful was Martinez that on June 6th, 1391, he led another angry mob into the Jewish quarter and killed thousands. This trend continued from city to city. After a few months, not a single professing Jew was left alive in Barcelona. Entire communities of Jews were killed. An estimated 50,000. (Cecil Roth, The Spanish Inquisition, p22.)

Faced with the alternatives of apostasy or death, a large number of Jews chose to apostatize. Many Jews were baptized with knives held to their throats. Those who would not accept the new Christian faith were killed. “In Barcelona alone, thousands of Jews saved their lives by accepting baptism.” The Jews became so terrified of the Christians that sometimes whole congregations led by their Rabbi came to be baptized. In Aragon and Castile over 200,000 Jews were baptized. On March 18, 1478, the inquisition moved into high gear. It was learned that Jews who were being baptized were still practicing Judaism in the privacy of their homes. An “Edict of Grace” was issued, demanding Jews turn themselves in. All their property was confiscated, their families were turned out into the street and the prisoner was taken to the dungeons. Trials were set, but often the person had to wait three to four years in the dungeon until his court date. His family was charged money for the time their loved one spent in prison. There is an account of a woman who was released from prison in  1703. Her heirs were still paying off their debt to the Church for her imprisonment 169 years later. One man was found innocent after being held in chains in the dungeon for fourteen years.

“It is now a year since I have been in this prison, and in all this time
you have not deigned to publish the names of witnesses in my case,
nor have I been given any opportunity of a full defense.”
                     Luis de Leon, March 7th, 1573 to the prison inquisitor.
                Imprisoned: four years, eight months, nineteen days.

Those who had to be interviewed before their trial, were taken to the torture chambers. In 1496, Pope Alexander VI wrote to his head Inquisitor Thomas De Torquemada and said that, he “...cherished him in the very bowels of affection for his immense labors in the exaltation of the faith.”

The Inquisition began to spread further. The Holy Office soon extended their range to include
Lutherans and Protestants. In the spring of 1558 Pope Paul IV was informed of a group of
Protestants and he issued a brief, instructing the Inquisitor General to spare no efforts, “But to
exterminate the evil forthwith.” Then the Pope, fearful of losing yet another kingdom, ordered that the suspects be given “capital punishment,” even after their confession.

The Inquisition began spreading even further to anyone believing anything other than the new
Christian faith. In the Netherlands, the Church condemned 3,000,000 to death. (18,600 were actually killed.) In the Netherlands the Church burned men alive, buried women alive and were successful in driving another 60,000 into exile. In the Arab countries, many times Arabs were forced to turn over their children between the ages of 3 to 15 years, so that they could be raised in the new faith. The Church began holding huge entertainment events out of the executions. They invited Kings and Queens to witness the burnings and said the “event was in their honor.” The Spanish Inquisition started in 1478 and ended in 1834, by order of the King, not the Pope. (All this information and more can be found in the two books titled, The Spanish Inquisition. One by Roth, one by Kamen.)

“Peoples to come, nations who will one day enter the bosom of the Church,
future generations--will you in time believe that there once existed in the
Catholic Church a tribunal called the Holy Inquisition?”
                                              Ruiz Padron, in the Cortes of Cadiz, 1813

Many Christians will agree that the Spanish Inquisition was a terrible thing, but they don’t give it
much more thought than that. I don’t know why! Because there are two obvious question here.
“Would the leaders of the true church of Jesus Christ have had anything to do with the ‘Spanish
Inquisition?” And secondly, “Would the true church of Jesus Christ be involved with anything like the ‘Spanish Inquisition?” Many Christians, perhaps even most, don’t consider history when they are looking for the truth or when they are looking for a religion to believe in. Most feel the Inquisition was just an isolated incident. Well, you decide for yourself. It lasted for 356 years and involved 43 popes in a row.

Authors Note:  Please Remember: this is not me saying these things, ...everything you have read and will read is from world history.  I got from reading books by credible historians at the Public Library.  My own commentary has been removed.

The Crusades...

The crusades were a series of wars that were fought between the end of the 1000's and into the
middle of the 1400's. They were instigated by the Christians of Western Europe in an effort to gain control of the Holy Land. The majority and intensity of the crusades took place from 1095 to 1291. But Christian instigated battles against the Muslims continued for another 150 years. “It was not until 1453, when Constantinople (Istanbul Turkey) was captured by the Ottoman Turks, that it became clear that the Christians could make no further effective effort against Islam.” However, in an attempt to further the Christian cause, the monks of the Moissac Abbey in southern France, used the aid of a forged document, purported to have come from Pope Sergius IV. At the time of the document by the monks, the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem had been rebuilt but that known fact had been purposely left out.

“Let all Christians know that news has come from the east to the seat of the apostles that the
church of the Holy Sepulcher has been destroyed from roof to foundations at the impious hands
of the pagans...Therefore let this Christian intention be known...with the Lord’s help we intend to kill all these enemies and to restore the Redeemer’s Holy Sepulcher.” (Jerusalem, the Eternal
City. P.295. By David Galbraith, Kelly Ogden and Andrew Skinner.)

“...we visited France and strongly urged the princes and people of that land
to work for the liberation of the Eastern Church. At the council of Auvergne,
we enjoined on them this undertaking for the remission of all their sins...”
                                  Pope Urban

Probably one of the most powerful popes of medieval times was Pope Urban II. He came up with the idea of an armed crusade to the holy land. He gave a rallying public address that encouraged all listeners, all Christian listeners to march to the holy land and to take it from the Turks.

“Come forward to the defense of Christ, O ye who have carried on feuds, come to
the war against the infidels. O ye who have been thieves, become soldiers. Fight a just
war...Set forth, then upon the way to the holy Sepulcher; wrest that land from the evil race,
and keep it for yourself. That land which floweth with milk and honey, Jerusalem.”
                                            Pope Urban II

“During all this time of Pope John XXIII there were three Popes reigning
reason whereof a General Council was holden at Constance in AD 1414, being called by
Sigismund the Emperor, and Pope John XXIII. These three Popes were John, whom the Italians set up; Gregory, whom the Frenchmen set up; Benedict, whom the Spaniards placed.
In this schismatical ambitious conflict everyone defended his Pope.”
                                  John Foxe

Toward the end of 1095, Urban II went before the large council of clergy and Nobels that were at Clermont, France and urged them that Christians everywhere unite and begin a military campaign to attack, conquer, and take the Holy Land from the Muslims. “At that time Peter the Hermit, who was also known as Peter of Amiens, returned from the East and told of the hardships endured by the Christians of Jerusalem. Urban II welcomed him and made him a ‘leader of propaganda.” The movement was designed to encourage Christians to take part in the holy war against the Muslims. (The Volume Library V1 p762) The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem on June 7th, 1099.

“The buildings of the holy city are of stone, and you will find nowhere finer or more
solid construction. In Jerusalem are all manner of learned men and doctors, and for this
reason the heart of every man of intelligence yearns toward her.”
                                 Al-Maqdisi. Moslem geographer
                                     and native to Jerusalem at the time

About a year before the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem had fallen under the power of the Egyptian Fatimid Caliphate and was now defended by a large, well trained Egyptian army. The rumors of the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem long before the Crusaders themselves. The news of the soon approaching Crusaders caused the Egyptians to heavily fortify. Equipment, supplies, men and arms were stockpiled within the city. The outlaying communities abandoned their homes and gathered within the city walls. The estimated population of the city of Jerusalem was over 40,000. The Crusader’s numbered 40,000 as well. There were over 12,000 infantry and 1,500 mounted knights. After five days of preparation, on June 12th they began their attack. On July 14th, 1099, the Crusaders managed to break through the wall. One by one, all the strongholds of the Muslims fell and the Crusaders burst into the city.

“The Crusaders, drunk with victory, conducted a massacre in the city such as has
seldom been paralleled in the history of war; the troops ran amok through the streets,
stabbing and slaying everyone they encountered. It is said that rivers of blood flowed through
the narrow lanes, covering the horses’ hocks. The Jewish community, gathered in the
central synagogue, were shut in by the Crusaders and burnt alive.”
(The Crusaders in the Holy Land, p36-40 by Meron Benvenisti)

“It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of slain without horror;
everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with
the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of the headless bodies and mutilated
limbs strewn in all directions that roused horror in all who looked upon them. Still more
dreadful it was to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head
to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them.”
                              William of Tyre

In 1208 Pope Innocent III proclaimed the Albigensian Crusade. In 1212 was The Children’s Crusade where thousands of French children who sought ships to take them to the Holy Land, were eventually sold into slavery. Thousands died of exposure, disease and hunger and few ever reached their homes. (The Volume Library, V1 p762-763)

“The Church did fall into all kinds of extreme tyranny; whereas the poverty and
simplicity of Christ were changed into cruelty and abomination of life.”
                              John Foxe

“I do not know if it was because of a judgement of God or because of some delusion
in their minds, but the pilgrims rose in a spirit of cruelty against the Jews...They inflicted
a most cruel slaughter on them...Count Emich was the enemy of all the Jews, may his bones
be crushed to pieces in millstones of iron. He was known as a man who had no mercy on
the old, or on young women, who took not pity on babies or sucklings or the sick,
who pulverized God’s people like the dust in threshing, who slew their
young men with the sword and cut open their pregnant women.”
                                   Albert of Aachen, German chronicler, about 1100

It wasn’t until Martin Luther, a German monk and priest, was sent on a mission to Rome in 1510 and returned “indignant at the worldliness of the Church” did the reformation begin. Martin Luther’s greatest objection was “the sale of indulgences.” Thus began the Protestant reformation (1517). Martin Luther was excommunicated in 1520 by Pope Leo X for his “95 Theses” (objections to prevailing church practices). He nailed them to the church door in Wittenburg. (The Volume Library, V2 p1705 and p1932)

The activity of our Christian predecessors continues...

History tells us that the Spanish soldiers that came over to America under the leadership of Cortes (Cortez) and others, bore the sword and banner of their Spanish government and their European form Christianity. At the time Dr. Jack D. Forbes wrote his book called Apache, Navaho, (Navajo) and Spaniard, he was a Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California. On page 39, Forbes says, “Since the Pope had given the King of Spain almost complete control over the Catholic Church in the Americas and all tithes were collected and all expenses met by the Crown, the missions were definitely a royal institution.”

“You must explain to the natives of the land that there is only one
God in heaven, and the emperor on earth to rule and govern it,
whose subjects they must all become and whom they must serve.”
                            Orders of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza
                    to Fray Marcos, November, 1538

Some historians feel the Spaniards may have killed, or were responsible for the deaths of more
American Indians than Hitler killed Jews in World War II.

“Inasmuch as we have declared war on them without quarter, you will punish those of fighting
age as you deem best, as a warning to everyone in this kingdom. All of those you execute you will expose to public view...If you should want to show lenience after they have been arrested, you should seek all possible means to make the Indians believe that you are doing so at the request of the friar with your forces. In this manner they will recognize the friars as their benefactors and protectors and come to love and esteem them, and to fear us.”
                      Orders of, Juan de Onate, to
                                Vicente de Zaldivar. January, 1599

In the 90's Christians were involved in crises like the one that took place in Bosnia, where the “Christians Serbs” were attacking the “Ethnic Albanian Muslims.” That crisis was NOT a church function of any religion but a fair question to ask is; who were those Christians involved in that “ethnic cleansing” ...and why?

By now, you may be thinking,

“What is the writer’s intent in telling me these things?” My intent is simple. I am an investigator and I am looking for the evidence of Christ's church. That church would have certain earmarks, past and present, that would readily identify it as being consistent or inconsistent with the way Christ would have done things. Yes, they were just humans and all humans make mistakes. Even Moses made mistakes. And although no church is responsible for the actions of it’s members, every church is responsible for the actions of it’s leaders. And if it is the true church, then it’s leaders would be in direct communiqué with Christ and therefore, would do things consistent with the way Christ would have done them. This is an extremely significant evidentiary fact that cannot be overlooked or explained away.

Think about this... A police officer will work several hit and run accidents in his career. I worked one a few years ago that occurred in the 2600 block of E. University late at night. The victim vehicle had been damaged to the point it could not move. The suspect vehicle had fled the scene. In the roadway was an array of pieces and parts from both cars. The first thing I had to do was to try and separate those parts into groups. Those belonging to the victim vehicle and those belonging to the suspect vehicle. I then took height measurements of impact points from the suspect vehicle onto the victim vehicle and I collected paint transfers from the suspect vehicle. My victim vehicle was red. The paint transfers from the suspect vehicle told me the suspect vehicle was dark blue. After I did all this I figured the suspect vehicle was too badly damaged to have gotten very far. During a cruise through the adjoining neighborhood I found another vehicle part in the road. Soon I found another and another. Like the story of Hansel and Gretel, I followed the trail of parts to a smashed up blue vehicle in a driveway. At the scene I had collected about a half dozen parts or so. Even though the color seemed the same to the eye, I collected paint samples of the suspect vehicle to be analyzed in the lab for positive identification to my paint transfers I collected from the red vehicle. I then matched the parts I had collected at the scene to the vehicle. One by one, the pieces were held into place and photographed where they fit into the suspect vehicle. All perfect matches. When I was done, I had a bullet proof case for court. No matter what anybody said in court, I could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was the one in a million cars out there that hit my victim that night.

The point is this... Each crime, each contact, incident or occurrence, each failed part in a truck, piece of equipment, airplane or space shuttle, etc., leaves behind trace evidence. Items of evidentiary value that will lead the detective or investigator back to it’s source. Just like the parts I fit into the blue hit and run vehicle. Either the parts I collected will fit the vehicle I’m looking for or they won’t. Those parts I collected will either prove that the vehicle I found was in fact that one in a million vehicle or they will prove that it was not. There is absolutely no middle ground on that issue.

Christ’s church would be the same.
Either the teachings of a religion would match His teachings or they wouldn’t.
Mashing some parts to make them fit, doesn’t count. The parts have to fit.
If they don’t fit, then regardless what the people say; ...well...

The Breaking Away and the Rising of Multiple Religions

The investigator has to look at all the evidence and all the evidence has to be compatible to the
hypothesis formed by the investigator. Unexplainable evidence is not evidence that you disregard because it does not fit your hypothesis. Unexplainable evidence is evidence that you have the wrong hypothesis. Or, it’s evidence that you do not have the whole picture yet. But the more evidence you can match up to your hypothesis, the more your evidence proves you are on the right track. The less the evidence matches up with your hypothesis, the more proof you have that you are on the wrong track. ...It’s really that simple.

With the Reformation, more Christian Religions began to appear.

              Church of England 1534                                 Calvinism 1536
              Lutheranism 1517                                           Radical Sects circa 1520
              Presbyterian 1560                                           Lutherans 1526
              Anabaptists 1521                                            Quakers 1647
              Mennonites 1683                                            Baptists 1609
              Church of the Brethren 1719                           Methodist Episcopal 1784
              Methodism 1739 Protestant                            Episcopal 1789
              Methodist Protestant, U.S. 1830                     Free Will Baptist 1727
              Methodist Church 1939                                  Disciples of Christ 1810
              Christian Reformed 1857                                United Presbyterian 1858
              Lutheran Syn. Con. Of Am 1878                    Southern Baptist 1845
              Northern Baptist 1845                                    Adventist Movement 1833
              Unitarian 1825                                                Seventh Day Adventist 1863
              Presbyterian in U.S. 1869                               Christian Reformed . 1857
              Methodist Episcopal of S. 1844                      Col. Methodist Epis. U.S. 1870
              Methodist Church U.S. 1939                          Evangelical United Brethren 1944
              United Lutheran in Am. 1918                          Church of Christ 1906
              National Baptist Con. USA 1915                    Cong., Christian 1931
                   (Christian Religions, A Comparative Chart. V2, by Rex Bennett)

People say, “I can’t believe in a religion that is so new! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has only been around since 1830!” Well, look at these starting dates. Anti-Mormons argue, “There is no evidence that there was a religious fervor going on during Joseph Smith’s day as Joseph Smith claimed!” Look again at those starting dates. 

In the book, Eerdmans Handbook to Christianity In America, by Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch, George M. Marsden, David F. Wells, and John D. Woodbridge, they have devoted three chapters in their book that discuss, in part, the religious excitement of the day in early America. Those three chapters being: The Church in an Age of Revolution, The Swelling Tide of Revivalism, and An Age of Experiment and Reform. “...but these were merely the foretaste of the extensive revivals after 1800 that Americans would come to call ‘the Second Great Awakening” (Christianity In America, p173) 

Think about this. Sometimes, the best way to understand how a crime was committed, is to figure out how you would commit the crime. If you were Satan, would you try and convince the children of man that Christ does not exist? That certainly would be your ultimate goal, but that attempt alone would be foolish. It would have only limited success as only a few of the would be followers would accept that teaching. With not a high probability of success with that tactic, the only other real way to derail Christ would be to mislead the children of man, therefore, leading them away from the true teachings of Christ. How better to do that, than to create confusion? How better to create confusion than to introduce multiple beliefs, coupled with the belief that Christ has no true church?

           What do we have today? Confusion? Multiple beliefs?
                         What is the given answer for the confusion and multiple beliefs?
                                                             Christ has no true church!

People sometimes ask, “Well, if there is one true church and if this is it, then why did God wait so long to restore it? Why didn’t he restore it sooner?” Like when? There was no such thing as religious freedom until the early 1800's. Not even in America! Karen Zeinert wrote a book called, “The Salem Witchcraft Trials.” On p.29 she says, “Once a government was established, [in the new America] the Puritan leaders concentrated on keeping settlers faithful...those disagreeing with this way of life including Quakers...were not welcome.” Their bazaar beliefs and wild accusations resulted in nineteen people being killed in the Salem witch hunts of 1692. Similar incidents occurred in other early American communities. All in the name of Christianity! Plain and simply put, there was much religious intolerance. Many communities broke up and friends became enemies over religion. America didn’t even become a country until 1782. Even then, it wasn’t fully recognized by other countries until after the battle of 1812, where we defeated the British at sea. Until then, European countries pirated our ships and looked at us as land that could be taken by the serious taker. It was only after the battle of 1812, (1815) that we gained world status as a real country.

Joseph Smith was born in 1805. He received his first vision in 1820, just five years after the end of the Battle of 1812, five years after our world recognition as a real country. It was only ten years after that, that the Church was restored. And if you will remember, there was not much religious tolerance then either. A lot of early members of the Church were killed, burned out of their homes and driven across several different states, finally to settle in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1847.

So, you tell me! When could have the Lord restored His Church earlier
and the followers have had a chance to survive?

If you study history, you will see that there simply wasn’t a better time to place the true church back on the earth. It came at a time when many new churches with many new beliefs were started. It came at a time when the idea of religious tolerance began to become more accepted.

Blaine and Brenton Yorgason wrote a fictional book about a true story. The book is called, The
Greatest Quest
. It’s about five friends who start on a quest to find the true church of Jesus Christ. In searching through the Bible, they developed a list of teachings, ordinances, beliefs and practices the true church would have. Time separates them but they all continue their search. One by one, and all on their own, all but one who was killed in war, found their way to one particular church and joined it. The Church? ...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“If you were to look at a set of blueprints for a building, it would identify all the details of
one specific structure...There may be others that are very similar, but because of the individual
detail required for a particular location, a specific set of plans will fit only one building...Down
through the ages, Christ’s words have been interpreted many different ways by many different
people. As a result, hundreds of churches have been started, to teach the different interpretations of Christ’s Gospel...Just as an architect’s plans for a building are specific, and are exactly right for only one structure, so also are God’s plans for His true church...a careful reading of  the Bible will clearly identify specific characteristics of Christ’s true church.”
                                       Henry L. Whiffen

At the end of Yorgason’s book, he has:

                      10 pages that list:
                      42 points or precepts that the Bible shows God taught.
                     182 Bible scriptural references that shows God taught those 42 precepts.

The big question is, “Guess which church teaches all 42 precepts?” ...There is one. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some Christian religions believe in baptism by sprinkling, some by immersion, some do not believe it’s needed at all. Some baptize infants. Some won’t and on and on go the differences. ...Think, ...Could Christ really be the author of all this confusion?

             How can one’s mind accept the fact that Christ is so organized
                          and precise throughout the world, the solar system, the universe
                                        and yet is so unorganized in His teachings to us?

Think about it! Unless Christ was wrong the first time, His church today would have to have the same beliefs and structure as it did before. And, it would have to profess to the world to be the true Church of Jesus Christ. One that does not profess that, is saying by it’s very omission, that it’s not the true church of Jesus Christ! ...How could that not be true?

From Martin Luther on, more and more new Christian religions sprang up. They were all started by a man, or group of men, who admittedly took issue with the current teachings of the day. Therefore they decided to break away from the old church and began teaching religion the way they believed it should be taught. Only a few claimed they were directed by God to do so. Every new Christian religion started that way ...except one. There is only one church in the entire world, one religion of any kind, that the founder said it began with a vision from God The Father and His Son Jesus Christ. A church where the founder said he saw and talked with Jesus Christ and His angels. A founder who said he was given the keys of the kingdom and that he did as he was directed to do. A founder who brought the world the Book of Mormon, a second testament of the divinity of Jesus Christ. There is no other church in the world that can say that. Not one, except The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That in itself is a most interesting phenomena not easily explained.

The Teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the true church of Jesus Christ. Listen as I explain why. I think you’ll find it most interesting! First I need to tell you that we do not use the term "saints" as the rest of the Christian world does. We do not believe that we are "saints" as in "saints of sainthood." The word "saints" was used in the Bible to indicate the followers and believers of Christ. So we use it in the same manner. We are the members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Or in other words, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Followers and Believers. Each week we attend Church. We are taught from lesson manuals that are compiled by our leaders in Salt Lake City, Utah, the headquarters for our Church. Let me give you some examples from our "Gospel Principles" manual. Just pieces from a few lessons. As you read, listen with your mind and with your heart.

NOTE:   Some of the following information is from the LDS, Gospel Principles Manual. The
               fact that I quoted from this manual is not to say that the LDS Church agrees or disagrees with any of the opinions of this writer. My sole intent in quoting from this manual is to show you exactly what we are being taught. The paragraphs are short excerpts of the subject matter of that lesson. "The Best Evidence Rule" in court says, "Supply the document for trial!" Like the other things quoted in this book, these things are quoted for their evidentiary value only. If I tell you what we are taught, if I tell you what we believe, then there can be doubt. You could accuse me of lying. But if I show you what we are taught, if I show you what we believe, then there can be no doubt.


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