Taught in this weeks Gospel Doctrine lesson, is the belief that “The prophet will never lead us astray”. “While serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Ezra Taft Benson taught, “Keep your eye on the Prophet, for the Lord will never permit his Prophet to lead this Church astray” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 37: “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” p. 218).
But what if President Benson was a false prophet when he made this declaration? Wouldn’t his false promise “lead you astray“?
Over ten years ago LDS prophets and apostles wrote down their testimony in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which included the LDS prophet Thomas S. Monson. When I first read it, I discovered something that could only be meant to intentionally “lead astray” its readers.
These LDS apostles quoted Ephesians 2:20 but took out part of the passage and replaced it with “…”. My suspicion gets raised when I see a Bible passage quoted with missing words. It’s amazing how easy it is to change the intended meaning of a passage by leaving certain words out. My purpose for writing this post is to warn you of the danger you are in. It is my hearts desire to share my Jesus with you! But to do this I must compare His truths with the false teachings of Mormon prophets.
First off, lets establish why “…” is used in a quote. In general, the purpose of using “…” is to shorten a quotation by removing words that are not pertinent to your discussion. But, if someone uses “…” to substantially change the meaning of a quotation, then they are being deliberately deceptive!
In their testimony, LDS Apostles state: “We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).
Here is the entire passage as it appears in the Bible: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”
Now, take a closer look at how this passage appears in the testimony of LDS Apostles. What “phrase” has been removed from the quotation? Actually, only one little word was left out—the word “the“! One must ask the question “Why was this word taken out of the passage?” Does this deletion shorten the quotation? Obviously it doesn’t; in fact the word “the” takes exactly the same amount of space as the “…” it was replaced with!
If using “…” doesn’t shorten the passage, then what could have been the purpose for removing this word? The leaders of the LDS church had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes the meaning! In fact, the majority of times that Ephesians 2:20 is used in official LDS literature, this word is taken out.
There is a huge difference between the intended meaning of this passage and the way LDS leaders have changed it. If God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of “…” apostles and prophets” the emphasis is placed on the office of apostles and prophets. Doing this gives credence to the LDS teaching that God’s Church must continue being led by current “living” prophets and apostles. However, if God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” then the emphasis is placed upon a specific group of Apostles and Prophets, namely the New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets.
The word “foundation” helps clarify that God did not intend for His Church to continue being led by apostles and prophets. Just think about the meaning of the word. When building any house, how many times is a foundation laid? Only once! The truth found in this New Testament passage is that Jesus is the chief cornerstone in the foundation of God’s house. The New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets are the “foundation“ of God’s house! The founding work of these Apostles and Prophets is what they taught and can be found in God’s word. The rest of God’s house, His Church, is built upon this foundation. (The Apostle Peter talks about remembering the words of these prophets and apostles, in 2 Peter 3:1-2.)
Gospel Principles claims: “Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the worlds perils alone.” (Chapter 9: “Prophets of God” p. 39)
Christians certainly don’t live in darkness and face the worlds perils alone! Jesus promised “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) Every Christian knows this personally because Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit all dwell inside the heart of every believer:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:10-19
Hebrews 1:1-2a gives us additional insight as to why God’s Church isn’t led by modern day prophets: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,”. This Savior who loves you warned you to take heed so no one would deceive you:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many… Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt 24:4-5; 11; 23-24)
Every time I read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” I turn to God in thankfulness for being rescued from these false prophets! While the Lord did not choose these LDS leaders as His prophets, I especially thank God for the prophets He did call. It is their words, inspired by the Holy Ghost who taught me God’s truth. I beg you to test your prophets and apostles. Compare their words with those of the Prophets and Apostles who ARE the foundation of God’s Church!