Is the “Testimony” of LDS Apostles deceitful?

Today marks the ninth anniversary of “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It’s featured on the home page at lds.org. This testimony was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. When I first read it, I discovered something that could only be meant to intentionally deceive its readers. These LDS Apostles quoted Ephesians 2:20 but left out part of the passage and replaced it with “…”. My suspicion gets raised when I see a quoted Bible passage with missing words. It’s amazing how easy it is to change the intended meaning 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 Savior with you! 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 the word ‘the‘ 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 Apostles had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes the meaning of the passage! 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” then the emphasis is placed upon the “office” of apostles and prophets. Doing this gives credence to the LDS teaching that God’s Church must continue being led by “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. 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,”

Every time I read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” I turn to God in thankfulness for being rescued from false teachings! Please, test your prophets and apostles. Compare their words with those of the Prophets and Apostles who are the foundation of God’s Church!

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13 Comments

  1. jessicasheley said,

    January 1, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Wow. Very insightful, discerning catch! Thank you so much for pointing this out. Excellent points!

  2. January 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    […] Word” of God Latter Day Saint Woman’s post today [here] reminds me of the importance of meditating on “every word” of God (Lu 4:4). […]

  3. Darrell said,

    January 2, 2009 at 8:48 am

    That is a great observation!! Thank you so much!

    Darrell

  4. locohilton said,

    January 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    This is just silly

  5. sdrogers said,

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Interesting catch.

    One question.

    Does Greek even use the word “and?”

  6. sdrogers said,

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I mean “the.”

    Doh.

    Seth R.

  7. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Seth,

    Great question: “Does Greek even use the word “the?

    The answer is yes! The Greek definitely has “the” before the words “apostles and prophets”. In the Greek, it looks like “twv”.

    I have a software program that provides the original languages, but to make sure I understood this passage correctly, I asked an expert in the Greek language. He had eight years in college studying the original Biblical languages. As well, he has an additional 28 years of reading the Bible in its original language in his personal studies.

    Thanks for your respectful comment.

  8. daveymike said,

    January 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I had a discussion on this topic with a senior missionary couple who visited me Friday to invite me back to church. They are a sweet old couple from Idaho who quoted that Ephesians verse and said it was only logical that if there were apostles in Jesus’ church then there should be apostles in His church today.

    I attempted to explain the specific and intentionally discrete nature of apostleship (not in those words, of course). For example, I pointed out that the requirements for being an apostle include being a witness to the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 15:8). LDS Apostles today talk of inspiration and revelatory experiences through the Holy Ghost, but why do they not declare publicly to be eyewitnesses of Christ (Luke 1:1-4)? If they are special witnesses of Christ would not their experience be unique to them–that is, a personal (special) vision of Christ?

  9. sdrogers said,

    January 4, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Thanks.

  10. dallinb said,

    January 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I appreciate the comments made. May our approach to salvation and the questions pertaining to it be out of earnest hope for eternal life with God (John 17:3) and not to disprove others faith! Be mindful of the gnats and camels. (Matt 23:24)
    My understanding ‘daveymike’ of an Apostle is “one sent forth” or “an especial witness of the Lord.”
    WikiPedia states, “In Christianity, an apostle (Ancient Greek: “someone sent out”, e.g. with a message) is one sent by Jesus by the Great Commission.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles)

    If you will listen closely you will hear them on sacred and more personal occasion identify their personal witness – this will not be as “pearls before swine.” To testify of Christ on the level and extent they do, have done and will do is a Great Commission.

    Joseph Smith taught, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. (History of the Church, 3:30).”

    I know their witness is true and that we not they will be held accountable (individually) before God based on their testimony – held in unity with those of the ancient church of Jesus Christ. What is singular and special is their authority in which they speak.

    Whether their testimony is true is for you to determine through prayer not in the punctuation of their written word. If word-order and punctuation were the test of truth the Bible would be out long ago…

    I know God loves us and wants for us to exercise faith to come closer to Him. This is the what I get from this sacred testimony from these modern ‘Apostles’. The world is helped not hurt from such a standard and witness.

  11. royaltonmd said,

    January 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    To be totally clear, the modern apostles are especial witnesses of the Name of Christ to all the world. They are witnesses to His character, attributes, nature, and reality.

    What of Christs words to Peter “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    What were those keys? What would need to be bound on earth? Sure seems like Christ was giving some power to Peter necessary for leading the church. How do you explain this statement from Christ?

  12. dallinb said,

    January 21, 2009 at 8:47 am

    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!

    This is true if we live in the times of the ancient apostles and prophets. I believe in a living God who speaks through a ‘living mouthpiece’ or prophet.
    Noah’s commands to build an ark will not assist us in our modern day flood of immorality.

    I appreciate Paul’s teachings in Hebrews 1:1-2 “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,” Jesus Christ was the prophet and restorer of truth which John the Baptist said he would come to do.

    The context of Hebrews was written between 40 and 50 AD and “last days” refers to a recent account. While we live in the “last days” today this not to confuse or fuse the last 2000 years into “these last days.”

    Unless you can attest that the Catholic church has an unbroken chain of authority. This also means that the Pope today is authoritatively connected to Peter (who is believed to be the first pope) and therefore the Catholics are inherently the successors of the Church of Christ in the former or ancient days.

    Luther, Zwingli and Calvin were reformers who saw flaws in the Catholic Church (refer to reformers at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12700b.htm#II).

    This FOUNDATION requires the special witness of Apostles and Prophets who (with Authority) testify of Christ’s “character, attributes, nature, and reality.”

    Jesus Christ himself IS the Chief Cornerstone. A cornerstone that is essential for the whole foundation to be fortified and able to be built upon. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_(engineering)) Without living witnesses we are left unaware of who we have faith in and worship. A God who in the 4th and 5th Centuries AD were determined to be without body, parts or passions. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm#IIB)

    The Testimony of The Living Christ is not intended to deceive unless we allow ourselves to be deceived. I believe in a need for prophets who speak to God declaring His will for us today. Living Prophets of a Living God not past/dead prophets of a forgotten or absent God.

    http://www.carm.org/church/apostacy.htm (denomination unknown)

  13. dallinb said,

    January 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

    If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as revealed and established through Joseph Smith and the revelations is NOT true then another church will come prior to Jesus Christ’s second coming that will present, affirm, establish, and manifest the same authority, witness, covenants/promises, and form that this church now bears.

    Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

    You remember what Peter said. He and John had come to the temple and had entered by the gate beautiful, where they saw a man begging who had been crippled from birth. Peter healed the man, attracting a great crowd. Peter, being the great advocate that he was, took advantage of this opportunity, called the people to repentance, and told them that the same Christ whom they had rejected would come again. His second coming, however, would not take place “until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). (http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6083&x=67&y=7)


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