Good Will Among Nauvoo Faiths

by Rocky Hulse

In the Mormon Church publication, Church News, Week Ending November 7, 2009, on page 15 is an article titled: “Good will among Nauvoo faiths.” Let me quote the first two paragraphs:

“On the bluff above Historic Nauvoo stand two tall steeples. On one has a statue of the Angel Moroni. On the other is a cross. The first, of course, is the steeple of the Nauvoo Temple; the second, just a couple hundred yards north, is Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Some may see the irony in this juxtaposition, but in Nauvoo the closeness has become symbolic of a fine friendship between people who love Jesus Christ and seek to follow His teachings. The friendship also extends to members of Christ Lutheran Church, a block to the south, and to the congregation that attends the First Presbyterian Church a few blocks to the east. It extends across town to the United Methodist Church and certainly to the members of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”

The article discusses the Interfaith Symposium held on October 22, where the following question was discussed: “Popes, Prophets, Priests, Pastors and People: Where Does the Church Get Its Earthly Authority and Why Does It Matter?” The third paragraph goes on to explain which denomination leader made their presentation. The next three paragraphs talk about how the Mormons interact with the other denominations in Nauvoo. The article ends with the following statement: “But more important than the presentations themselves were the smiles and the chatter over refreshments.”

The Mormon Church never misses an opportunity to shamelessly promote themselves in spite of the facts. What facts? Despite the “Good will” the Mormon Church is so trying convey to the uneducated, what does the Mormon Church teach about all of Christianity and what does it teach about the denominations mentioned in the article?

Day one, hour one, minute one, second one of Mormonism is Joseph Smith’s “First Vision.” Joseph Smith says he didn’t know which church to join so he went into a grove of trees near his home in Western New York and knelt down and prayed about this question. He says God the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ (in Mormonism these are two distinct individual men) appeared to him and what happened and what they said are now canonized in Mormon scripture. Joseph says Jesus said this:  “19. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’”  (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:19, 1977)

So the very first point of Mormonism is that all of Christianity is false and their creeds (doctrine) is an abomination is Jesus’ sight. The article in the Church News was written by Dean Hughes: Public Affairs Missionary. So other than this universal condemnation of all of Christianity given by Joseph Smith, what do Mormon leaders say about the other denominations in Nauvoo:

Catholic - Church of the Devil: “There are two scriptural senses in which the titles church of the devil and great and abominable church are used:  1. All churches or organizations of whatever name or nature—whether political, philosophical, educational, economic, social, fraternal, civic, or religious—which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God; and 2. The Roman Catholic Church specifically—singled out, set apart, described, and designated as being “most abominable above all other churches.” (1 Ne. 13:5).” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, pg 129).

Lutheran: This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt, describing the Lutherans as the “harlot daughter of the Catholics”: “29. In the meantime another harlot daughter of the Catholics--the Lutherans, formed another canon, and rejected many books that the English daughter did not.” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.40).

Methodist and Presbyterian: This is a quote from Mormon Apostle Hyrum M. Smith at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle, October 7, 1916, during Conference: “It would be just as consistent for the Latter-day Saints, who have come out of the Protestant churches or the Catholic church, or for the children of men and women who came out of the Presbyterian church or the Baptist, or the Methodist, or the Congregationalist, to take sides with those corrupt and apostate churches in their contentions and their quarrels among themselves…. We have forsaken the corrupt religions of the world, and we have foresworn all allegiance to these false churches.” (Conference Report, October 1916, pg. 41).

Community of Christ (RLDS) – This quote is from Mormon Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie: “Some of the most unstable and contentious men of the day—Zenas H. Gurley, Jason W. Briggs, and William Marks—became the organizers of this Reorganite Church. This so-called Reorganized Church, now the largest apostate faction claiming origin in the revelations given Joseph Smith, actually gained so few of the members of the original Church organized by the Prophet that it is almost a misnomer to describe the new organization as a faction of the original.” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 565-566, 1958.

My job is to present the facts. The Mormon Church really hates it when the facts get in the way of the false image they are foisting upon Nauvoo and the world.