There are patterns that reveal a person’s state of apostasy. When we recognize these patterns, we can identify our condition and then reverse it’s effects. I get different responses from different people when evaluating the conditions of apostasy. The positive responses come from those who know they’re ignorant and want to make their ways right. But the negative responses come from people who would rather justify their state of apostasy, with exceptions to the rules.
The pattern of apostasy isn’t stated emphatically step by step, but can be easily seen if you were to analyze different apostasies in our scriptural history. This would be a good scripture exercise if you are ambitious. Take a look at the following civilizations in the scriptures:
- the children of Israel in the time of Moses, 1200 BC,
- the Deuteronomists in the time that Lehi fled Jerusalem, 620 BC,
- the early Christians after Christ ascended 110 AD,
- and the early saints during the time of Joseph Smith 1840 AD
Each of these civilizations went through the same pattern of apostasy. Once you can see this pattern in history, you might be able to recognize that we are still in this pattern of apostasy in our day. Here is the pattern:
- Godhead: we fail to recognize the role of father and mother. The mother role in the Godhead is dropped. Even Christ is seen as unwed. Christ had to get baptized to obey all the laws of God, but did he not have to multiply and replenish the earth, as was commanded of Adam and Eve? The word “Elohim” is plural, meaning Gods. And rightly so, because to become a God you must be one as husband and wife.
- Temple: Every time temple ordinances are given to offer men an eternal covenant, men change the ordinances to fit their comfort level. God’s words never change. When men change God’s words, they are not His words any longer. Joseph Smith’s original ordinances were done one couple at a time, and it included a ceremony with a sword. Brigham Young changed it to be a group ordinance. In the 1920’s they stopped giving men their second endowments. In 1990, because of the bad press of anti-mormon literature, and the discomfort of members the endowment was changed, to remove penalties for breaking covenants. And recently things have been changed again. Just like the ancient Jewish temple, our temples have been reduced to sacrificial temples only. They do not include the greater endowments offered the saints in Nauvoo, described as the ascension ordinances depicted in the second facsimile of Abraham. These are the changes that we know of.
- Scriptures: In ancient times as well as modern times, scriptural changes are common. The law of Moses, as we know it today, was not what Moses established, but what the Deuteronomists re-wrote in the records. They tossed 96 different books that we know of, and one of them included the Book of Enoch. Then they replaced the Book of Enoch with Deuteronomy. The Nicean creed is another example of the changing of scriptures. In 1920 Heber J Grant and a small council of men decided to take out all of the lectures on faith from the D&C. The lectures on faith was considered the “Doctrines” of the Doctrines and Covenants, so all we have now is the Covenants, and that too has been changed. Recently (this year) the church has changed the footnote for John 14:16a, that once taught the “other comforter” as Jesus Christ, the second comforter. Now it teaches that the other comforter is the Holy Ghost.
- Strong-Man: In each generation of apostasy all the responsibility was placed in a strong-man, who claimed to never be able to lead men astray, who receives revelation on everyones behalf, and who will lead men to salvation. Moses was held up as that strong-man by the children of Israel, and they were cursed to wander for forty years in the wilderness because of it. The Jews wanted Christ to be a military leader strong-man, Christ fled, and the Jews killed Him. Joseph Smith sought to sanctify the saints and get them all to see Christ in Nauvoo, but they sought commercial success on the Mississippi. In our day, although the children of Israel were cursed for wanting someone else to represent them in the presence of Christ, we teach the primary children to “Follow the Prophet” and that he won’t lead you astray. This is an example of a strong-man mentality.
- Salvation is in the Law: Each apostasy then places salvation in the laws, and removes the necessity for Christ’s presence altogether. A temple recommend becomes proof of salvation, tithing too. A ceremonial ordinance in the temple becomes a representation of salvation as well. As long as we have all the checks marked off, we are considered true and faithful in all things.
- Commentary: Since the saints have no connection the scriptures any longer, they listen to commentaries and trust their opinions of what the scriptures say. At this point we find sales-pitches that are very convincing. We also find “name-dropping” as a form of credibility. We quote men, who herd another man say, that they heard the prophet state, …now whatever you say next is considered to be scripture. Since the lay saint is disconnected to the words of Christ themselves, they suffer from following wrong belief (unbelief).
- Offices: The final step in apostasy is a praise of the offices of men. An office holds authority and salvation. Deuteronomists, Pharisees and Saducees, the gadianton robbers, Catholic Priests, politicians, government employees, Capitalists, Conservatives and Liberals all utilize positions as power. But Christ stated that the least should be the greatest and the greatest should be the least among you.
The first thing we ruin is the Godhead. It goes downhill from there. The final step is placing power in the offices. If we want to reverse this, we must remove the glory of offices, remove the emphasis on commentary’s (even if they are past prophets and apostles), don’t seek salvation in the laws but in Christ instead, listen to the prophets, but look to Christ and not follow the flesh of a strong-man, read the scriptures and find the correct translations, seek the greater endowment and know the Godhead.
Don’t get mad at me because I wrote it. I’m just the messenger. These steps can be reversed. We must get back to what is right, that is God’s ways. I’ve read these patterns in the scriptures. You can too. It is the study of the scriptures that reveal these truths. When the saints fail to read them for themselves, they are under condemnation and are cursed to repeat the same mistakes. To avoid the repetition of problems, Saints must reverse that condemnation as it is stated in D&C 84:55-60-ish.
Conclusion: Figure out where you are. Then make your way back to being right by studying the words of Christ. Get your mind right, then your actions will follow. Christ is there to do the heavy lifting if we will put our trust in His arm. The words of Christ will tell you all things what you should do!