The belief that true Christianity lost its authority after the death of Christ’s apostles, which made it necessary for God to restore the true church through Joseph Smith and the founding of the LDS Church in 1830. Without this, there is no reason for the Mormon Church to exist. The History of the Church declares,“Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (1:XL). A church manual reports, “Explain that after Jesus Christ was crucified, His Apostles presided over the Church. But soon persecution, divisions, and apostasy increased. Within a few decades, there was a falling away from the Church, as the Apostles had prophesied (Acts 20:28-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3-4). This falling away is known as the Great Apostasy” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 1999, pp. 11-12). Fifteenth President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The Prophet Joseph was told that the other sects were wrong. These are not my words. Those are the Lord’s words. But they are hard words for those of other faiths” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inspirational Thoughts, Ensign, June 2004, p. 3).
For more information, see The Great Apostasy.
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