2nd President Brigham Young
“The people called Christians are shrouded in ignorance, and
read the Scriptures with darkened understandings” (Brigham
Young, October 8, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:333).
“Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are
called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament
defines Christianity” (Brigham Young, July 8, 1863, Journal
of Discourses, 10:230).
“If you should have visits here from those professing to be Christians,
and they intimate a desire to preach to you, by all means
invite them to do so. Accord to every reputable person who may
visit you, and who may wish to occupy the stands of your meeting
houses to preach to you, the privilege of doing so, no matter
whether he be a Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Baptist,
Free-will Baptist, Methodist, or whatever he may be; and if he
wishes to speak to your children let him do so. Of course you have
the power to correct whatever false teachings or impressions, if
any, your children may hear or receive. I say to parents, place your
children, as far as you have an opportunity to do so, in a position
or situation to learn everything in the world that is worth learning.
You will probably have what is called a Christian Church here;
they will not admit that we are Christians, but they cannot think
us further from the plan of salvation as revealed from heaven than
we know them to be, so we are even on that ground, as far as it
goes. But, as I was saying, you may have professing Christians come
here to take up their residences in your midst; and I want to say to
parents and children, that, so far as the Christian nations are concerned,
I will take America, for instance, and on the score of morals-honesty,
integrity, truthfulness and virtue, you will find people
by hundreds of thousands just as good as any Latter-day Saints, as
far as they know. They are the ones we are after. The Lord told us
to go and preach the Gospel without purse and scrip. What for?
To hunt up the honest ones who are now mixed up with all the
nations of the earth and gather them together; and we have done
so, as far as we have had the opportunity and privilege” (Brigham
Young, June 3, 1871, Journal of Discourses 14:195,196).
3rd President John Taylor
“CHRISTIANITY WILL BEAR HONEST INVESTIGATION.—We
call ourselves Christians, that is, we Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians,
Congregationalists, Episcopalians and Mormons, we all call
ourselves Christians. Well, perhaps we are, and then, perhaps we
are not” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, pp. 75).
“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing; yet
these very men assume the right and power to tell others what they
shall not believe in. Why so far as the things of God are concerned,
they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things
of God” (John Taylor, May 6, 1870, Journal of Discourses 13:225).
6th President Joseph F. Smith
“…for I contend that the Latter-day Saints are the only good and
true Christians, that I know anything about in the world. There
are a good many people who profess to be Christians, but they are
not founded on the foundation that Jesus Christ himself has laid”
(Joseph F. Smith, November 2, 1891, [Stake conference message],
Collected Discourses, 2:305. Ellipsis mine).
10th President Joseph Fielding Smith
“However, true Christianity, so far as the latter days are concerned,
is very young, less than one hundred years of age, for it has only
been since the year 1830 that the Church of Jesus Christ has been
organized in the earth, and the gospel restored, containing the
gifts and the blessings and the graces that existed in the Church
in primitive days, and that Church with its doctrines of the gospel
of Christ, shall grow” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Reports,
April 1924, p. 41).
“Every Latter-day Saint knows that following the death of the apostles,
Paul’s prophecy was fulfilled, for there were many ‘grievous
wolves’ that entered the flock, and men arose ‘speaking perverse
things,’ so that the doctrines were changed and the true Church
of Jesus Christ ceased to be on the earth. For this reason there
had to come a restoration of the Church and a new revelation and
bestowal of divine authority. The Church of Jesus Christ and the
Holy Scriptures are, therefore, not responsible for the changed
doctrines and unscientific teachings of those times, when uninspired
ecclesiastics controlled the thinking of the people” (Joseph
Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, pp. 467).
15th President Gordon B. Hinckley
“We can respect other religions, and must do so. We must recognize the great good they accomplish. We must teach our children to be tolerant and friendly toward those not of our faith. We are not out to injure other churches. We are not out to hurt other churches. We do not argue with other churches. We do not debate with other churches. We simply say to those who may be of other faiths or of no faith, ‘You bring with you such truth as you have, and let us see if we can add to it’” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 277).
“I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of religion;
I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so; but no
thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called—I call it a false
Christianity, untrue to its name—satisfies the wants of humanity at
the present time. It is not a religion that satisfies. It comes short
in almost every particular. It is devoid of all the powers that characterized
it and gave it force in the early days. You look in vain
for those features that distinguished it, and that gave it power in
the earth and that made it the foe of Paganism and false religions
existing in those days, and which gave it the wonderful success it
achieved. It is destitute of these features. It is divided, split into
hundreds of sects, without power, having a form of godliness, but
lacking the power thereof. It cannot stand; it cannot prevail. Monstrous
as its power is, great as its growth is, co-extensive with the
world it may be said, it nevertheless is destined to tumble with
Babylon the great. It must go down. It has not the elements of
strength. And the great cause of its weakness is, that God is not
with it. God’s power does not accompany it” (George Q. Cannon,
July 15, 1883, Journal of Discourses 24:185).
“The false and corrupt institutions, and still more corrupt practices
of ‘Christendom,’ have had a downward tendency in the
generations of man for many centuries. …The overthrow of those
ancient degenerate races is a type of that which now awaits the
nations call ‘Christian,’ or in other words, ‘the great whore that
sitteth upon many waters” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology,
1978, p. 106. Ellipsis mine).
“O man! be no longer deceived by solemn mockeries of things
sacred, or by great and holy names applied to corrupt and degenerate
systems. When the miracles and gifts of the divine Spirit
ceased from among men, Christianity ceased, the Christian ministry
ceased, the Church of Christ ceased. That ministry which sets
aside modern inspiration, revelation, prophecy, angels, visions,
healings, etc., is not ordained of God, but is anti-christian in spirit.
In short, it is that spirit of priestcraft and kingcraft by which
the world, for many ages, has been ruled as with a rod of iron.
The sooner the present generation lose all reverence and respect
for modern ‘Christianity’ with all its powerless forms and solemn
mockeries, the sooner they will be prepared to receive the kingdom
of God” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1978,
“The sooner the present generation loses all reverence and respect
for modern ‘Christianity,’ with all its powerless forms and
solemn mockeries, the sooner they will be prepared to receive the
kingdom of God” (Parley P. Pratt, The Key to the Science of Theology,
1978, p. 68).
“Jesus made his appearance on the earth in the meridian of time,
and he established his kingdom on the earth. But to fulfill ancient
prophecies the Lord suffered that kingdom to be uprooted;
in other words, the kingdoms of this world made war against the
kingdom of God, established eighteen centuries ago, and they
prevailed against it, and the kingdom ceased to exist. The great
beast that John saw made war with it and prevailed against it, and
human institutions, without prophets or inspired men, usurped
the place of the ancient kingdom of God” (Orson Pratt, April 10,
1870, Journal of Discourses 13:125).
“That portion of the world in which so-called Christianity prevails
— as distinguished from heathen or Mohammedan lands — is
called Christendom. The term also applies to the whole body of
supposed Christian believers; as now constituted this body is properly
termed apostate Christendom” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon
Doctrine, 1966, p. 131).
“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have
abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ
whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal
uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy
Spirit” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 269).
“From the beginning of history the great masses of men have worshiped
false gods. Those who believe the creeds of Christendom
profess to worship an incomprehensible, unknowable, immaterial
essence that fills the immensity of space and is everywhere and
nowhere in particular present. Heathen and pagan peoples in all
ages have worshiped idols; the liberal Athenian philosophers paid
homage to what they called, ‘The Unknown God.’ (Acts 17:22-31.)
There are those who set their whole hearts on learning, money,
power, and the like, until these things become in effect their god.
There is no salvation in the worship of false gods. For such false
worship the Lord imposed the death penalty in ancient Israel.
(Deut. 13:6-11.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966,
“The whole Christian world, in the days of the Prophet, believed
falsely that God was a mystical spirit essence that filled the immensity
of space and was everywhere and nowhere in particular
present — all of which proved only that they were all heretics,
that the apostasy was universal. Heresy is false doctrine… There
is no salvation in a false doctrine” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon
Doctrine, 1966, p. 352. Ellipsis mine).
“Modern Christians, as part of their various creeds and doctrines,
have inherited many myths, legends, and traditions from their ancestors
— all of which views they falsely assume are part of true
religion… Indeed, it would be difficult to assemble a greater number
of myths into one philosophical system than are now found in
the philosophies of modern Christendom. Except for its ethical
teachings, so-called Christianity does not come much nearer the
truth in many respects than did the Lamanite legends uncovered
by Cortez and his followers, or than the Greek, Roman, or Norse
mythology. A myth is a myth whether it parades under Biblical
names or openly acclaims itself to be the figment of someone’s
imagination.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 525.
“Is it any wonder that the Lord of heaven, as he stood by his Father’s
side on that glorious day in 1820, speaking of all the churches
in all Christendom, told young Joseph ‘that all their creeds were
an abomination in his sight’” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised
Messiah: The First Coming of Christ, p. 117).
“False creeds make false churches. There is no salvation in believing
a lie. Every informed, inspired, and discerning person is
revolted by the absurdities and scripture-defying pronouncements
in the creeds of Christendom, whose chief function is to define
and set forth the nature and kind of Being that God is” (Bruce
R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary 1:30.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many beliefs
in common with other Christian churches. But we have differences,
and those differences explain why we send missionaries to
other Christians” (Dallin Oaks, “Apostasy and Restoration,” Ensign
(Conference Edition), May 1995, p. 84).
“Some ask, ‘Aren’t there many of other faiths who love Christ?’ Of
course there are! However, as members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, having a witness of His reality not only
from the Bible but also from the Book of Mormon; knowing His
priesthood has been restored to the earth; having made sacred
covenants to follow Him and received the gift of the Holy Ghost;
having been endowed with power in His holy temple; and being
part of preparing for His glorious return to the earth, we cannot
compare what we are to be with those who have not yet received
these truths” (Neil L. Andersen, “Never Leave Him,” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November 2010, p. 41).
“Many in the Christian world are sincere, and their false doctrinal
conclusions are not their own fault” (Old Testament Student Manual
1 Kings-Malachi Religion 302, 2003, p. 166).
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not see itself
as one Christian denomination among many, but rather as
God’s latter-day restoration of the fulness of Christian faith and
practice. Thus, from its earliest days LDS Christians sought to
distinguish themselves from Christians of other traditions. Other
forms of Christianity, while bearing much truth and doing much
good under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are viewed as incomplete,
lacking the authority of the priesthood of God, the temple
ordinances, the comprehensive understanding of the Plan of Salvation,
and the nonparadoxical understanding of the Godhead.
Therefore, the designation ‘saint’ reflects attachment to the New
Testament church, and also designates a difference from Catholic,
Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity in the current dispensation”
(Encyclopedia of Mormonism 1:270).
“Latter-day Saints hold that Christians in the broadest sense are
those who base their beliefs on the teachings of Jesus and who
have a personal relationship with him. Within that definition they
recognize Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Latterday
Saint Christians, with the understanding that Latter-day Saint
Christianity is the restored fulness of Christ’s gospel” (Encyclopedia
of Mormonism 1:271).
“I think the evangelicals have engendered a suspicion about Mormonism.
They sincerely believe we’re wrong, just as we sincerely
believe they’re wrong” (Jim McConkie, PBS Religion and Ethics
Newsweekly, April 22, 2007).
“We claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God and the only true Church on the earth. It is called the Church of Jesus Christ because He stands at the head; it is His Church, and all these things are possible because of His atoning sacrifice. We believe that these distinguishing features can be found in no other place or organization on this earth. As good and sincere as other religions and churches are, none of them have the authority to provide the ordinances of salvation that are available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President, “Do I Believe?” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2016, p. 88).