We hear it over and over again. “We never put down other churches. That’s not Christian.” Or, a variant on this theme is, “You have strengthened my testimony, because you are persecuting the Church!” Often LDS people interpret any disagreement with their beliefs as “persecution” or “bashing,” and claim that their Church would never do that!
Yet, in reality, disagreement and refutation is not persecution. If it is, then Paul was “persecuting” the Judaizers in Galatia when he wrote such a strong letter denouncing their beliefs (the book of Galatians). Christians are to stand for the truth, and “refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). In fact, it is an act of love to speak the truth (see our on-site e-tract, Why Do You Do This?).
But there is another reason LDS people should not cry “Foul!” when encountering strong disagreement with LDS beliefs. It’s a matter of simple consistency. As the following quotations show, Mormon leaders, and even Mormon scripture, denounce the Christian faith! Why is it fair for Joseph Smith to say all other churches are “corrupt,” yet Christians cannot reply by saying Joseph Smith was in error?
“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the Church of the Lamb of God and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore whoso belongeth not to the church of the lamb of God belongeth to that great church; which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” (The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10)
“Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Documentary History of the Church, Introduction, xl)
“I was answered that I must join none of them (Christian Churches), for they were all wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).
“…orthodox Christian views of God are Pagan rather than Christian.” (Mormon Doctrine of Deity by B.H. Roberts, p.116)
“…the God whom the ‘Christians’ worship is a being of their own creation…” (Apostle Charles W. Penrose, JD 23:243)
“The Christian world, so called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God.” (Brigham Young, JD 8:171)
“We may very properly say that the sectarian world do not know anything correctly, so far as pertains to salvation. Ask them where heaven is?- where they are going to when they die?-where Paradise is! -and there is not a priest in the world that can answer your questions. Ask them what kind of a being our Heavenly Father is, and they cannot tell you so much as Balaam’s ass told him. They are more ignorant than children.” (Brigham Young, JD 5:229).
“The Christian world, I discovered, was like the captain and crew of a vessel on the ocean without a compass, and tossed to and fro whithersoever the wind listed to blow them. When the light came to me, I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness.” (Brigham Young, JD 5:73).
“What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute best.” (John Taylor, JD 13:225)
“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (John Taylor, JI) 13:225)
“Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.177)
“I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” (Joseph Smith, DHC 1:6)
“I spoke of the impropriety of turning away from the truth, and going after a people so destitute of righteousness as the Methodists.” (Joseph Smith, DHC 2:319)
“…brother Joseph B. Nobles once told a Methodist priest, after hearing him describe his god, that the god they worshiped was the “Mormon’s” Devil-a being without a body, whereas our God has a body, parts and passions.” (Brigham Young, JD 5:331)
“…brother Heber C. Kimball was beset by a number of Baptist priests who had been attending a conference. He read them all down out of the New Testament….With regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world.” (Brigham Young, JD 8:199).
“The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church, is the great corrupt, ecclesiastical power, represented by great Babylon….” (Orson Pratt, Orson Pratt, Writings of an Apostle, “Divine Authenticity,” no.6, p.84).
“…all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels.” (The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith Jr., editor, vol.1, no.4, p.60)
“And any person who shall be so wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent of the unholy and impious act.” (Orson Pratt, OP-WA, “The Kingdom of God,” no.2, p.6)
“…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who recieves baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands will highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt people.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, pg. 255)
“…the great apostate church as the anti-christ…This great antichrist…is the church of the devil.” (Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine p.40)
“Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the “whore of Babylon” whom the lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness.” (Pratt, The Seer, p.255)
“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth.” (Brigham Young, JD 6:176)
“Evil spirits control much of the so-called religious worship in the world; for instance, the great creeds of Christendom were formulated so as to conform to their whispered promptings.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.246)
“After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christiandom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common orgin. They belong to Babylon.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, p.324)
Finally, note the views of Mormon Prophet Brigham Young regarding the Christian view of Jesus Christ:
“You may hear the divines of the day extol the character of the Saviour, undertake to exhibit his true character before the people, and give an account of his origin…I have frequently thought of mules, which you know are half horse and half ass, when reflecting upon the representations made by those divines. I have heard sectarian priests undertake to tell the character of the Son of God, and they make him half of one species and half of another, and I could not avoid thinking at once of the mule, which is the most hateful creature that ever was made, I believe. You will excuse me, but I have thus thought many a time” (Journal of Discourses 4:217).