The Great Apostasy: Did this Mormon-taught Event Really Happen?
By E.S. “Taz” Bright
Religion, faith, beliefs…all these tend to evoke strong, deep emotions and have caused many debates and arguments through the ages. However, I think it is time we rise above the senseless, immature arguing and step into the arena of real, mature, positive, productive, adult debate. In that spirit I would like to pose a question, however, let’s give a little background first.
In Mormon scripture, the heading/introduction of 1 Nephi 13 states that Nephi saw certain things in a vision, including “the loss of many plain and precious parts of the Bible” which is the reason for “the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of latter-day scripture...”
Joseph Smith claims that God the Father and Jesus appeared to him in the woods one day and told him not to join any of the churches of the time because they were “all corrupt”. This is stated not only in Mormon scripture but also in Mormon pamphlets, etc. The fact that the LDS religion teaches this is not something the LDS organization denies. It is pretty much common knowledge. The Mormon scripture says that Nephi had this vision/prediction between 600 and 592 B.C.
Before we go any further I would like you to picture a time line in your head- a straight line from left to right across a poster board or on a sheet of paper. Let’s say a small vertical line at the far left of that timeline represents when the Old Testament was written. Imagine another small vertical line in the very middle which represents the time of Christ’s crucifixion and closely after that another vertical line represents the death of the last Apostle. Now, with that visual let’s continue.
LDS teachings are saying that the Bible we read from today is missing many plain and precious parts. It would make sense that we look into history and archeology to see if there is any evidence to support this historical event. Is there a time into which we can look back and see there was a definite, concrete, real, verifiable “corruption”? The answer is NO. In fact when we look into archeology we see something very opposite.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been dated to be thousands of years old. They are on display in the Holy land for all to see if they choose to make the journey. The scrolls are hundreds of copies of different parts of the Bible, preserved by God Himself to show that He is powerful enough to preserve His word through all time.
I understand that the LDS side of the debate may state that the Dead Sea Scrolls are not really the original of the Bible. However, when we compare the Dead Sea Scrolls with our modern day Bibles, they say the exact same thing. That is concrete proof that the words written in the Bibles we use today were written thousands of years ago and they have survived intact for so very long.
So my main questions for LDS members are this:
1. Did the Great Apostasy really happen?
2. If so, when?
3. Where is the historical/archeological proof of the Great Apostasy?
4. If the Dead Sea Scrolls are not the ancient copies of the Bible, then what are they?
Note: This is not an "attack" on the Mormon religion at all. It is a little history followed by a few simple questions. At no point did I use negative words to describe the LDS people or the organization. So, if you feel attacked please do not reply to this article. Feel free to ignore it and move on. This is a chance for adult debate and discussion- nothing more. God Bless and let the discussion begin!!