1 Nephi 13 and 14 - "The Great and Abominable Church... the great whore of all the earth”
These chapters discuss a church that was formed among the gentile (non-Jewish) nations, not long after Jesus departed from the earth. These references clearly describe the establishment and rise of Catholicism. During the days of the Protestant Reformation, and later, during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century, this was a popular sentiment for those protesting the Roman Catholic Church.
So what was it about Catholicism that made it so repulsive to reformers, as to call it “abominable” and a “whore”? Three of the major factors, which influenced this line of thinking, are as follows: 1) Catholicism was built upon institutionalizing religion, with a central hierarchy to which all adherents answered. 2) The church controlled virtually every aspect of life in Continental Europe during the middle ages, and anyone who held beliefs or views considered to be unorthodox, were heretics whom the church constantly sought out to suppress or kill. 3) The church earned revenue through the sale of indulgences—a supposed method of buying one’s way out of purgatory. Essentially, the church hierarchy had set themselves up as the judge of the world, to determine who would and would not be considered worthy of heaven.
The reformation movement (which influenced the founding of the Mormon Church) was built upon the ideas that God alone judged the world, and no man had the authority to cast judgment upon another; that religious worship was intended to be an individual matter, and worship was based on each person’s relationship with God, and not based on conforming to institutions or creeds (remember that Joseph Smith described that “all their creeds were an abomination” to God), or attending assigned services or meetings; and that a religious institution who demanded money from its adherents was wicked, and akin to prostitution. These are the concepts taught in the Book of Mormon, upon which the Mormon Church was founded.
Now look at the church today. It is an institutional religion with a central hierarchy, who believe they are authorized to judge the actions of the people (Mormon bishops are even called “common judges” in the church); and built upon its membership conforming to a formulated creed, and attending meetings in specifically assigned locations. The church controls nearly every aspect of the lives of its members, including telling them where and what time they are required to attend church, what books they should and should not read, and even what kind of clothing they are to wear. Anybody who holds views contrary to any current doctrine of Mormonism will likely be excommunicated for sharing those views with others (thankfully murdering heretics is not longer legal in western democracies). Finally, the Mormon Church offers a way for people to avoid spirit prison (Mormon equivalent of purgatory), by receiving certain ordinances that can only be obtained in temples. But Mormons must first pay a full tithe in order to gain entrance, in the form of a temple recommend. So essentially, Mormons are buying their way out of purgatory, for themselves and their deceased ancestors, and thus have circumvented the system of selling indulgences.
With that said, the Mormon Church has clearly now become the exact thing that its founding leaders despised about religious worship. The Mormon Church IS a “great and abominable church… (and a) whore of all the earth.”
Last week's Deseret News had a full color photo of Archbishop Timothy (Kill the Gay Boys) Dolan of New York on the front cover!
Maybe there's a merger in the future: Mormon + Catholic = Morm-Lics
There are a lot of ironies in the Mormon church. Your post shows one. An irony I see is that Mormons teach against secret combinations, yet the church itself is a secret combination. Also, I find it ironic that the Mormon church has become the fulfillment of Satan's plan in the pre-existence. "Grab that rod of iron! Get on that strait and narrow path of the assembly line! Yes, you can be like Elohim, too!"
What do you call secret combinations? Is that the superspy handshake & etc., in the temple? Are there others?
My mention of secret combos was in reference to the secret temple club, but there might be more...
Like the Mormon plan for world domination???
Thank you - "secret combinations" was one of those terms that could never be properly explained. Do you happen to know how they interpret it today?