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!