"Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test"
(Mormon President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 46, 1873)
Peter tells us that some things are hard to understand and warns us to be on our guard and not to be led into error, we are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ (2Pet 3:16-18).
This web site will compare LDS Church teachings to the Bible using the Catholic Church teachings to interpret the Bible. Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, and for correction (2Tim 3:16,17). This web site has received the Fidelity Green Light Award for its Excellence in Catholic Fidelity fromCatholicCulture.org. The bible links on this site will link to the KJV since this is the principal Bible of the Mormon Church. This is a personal web site and is the result of my comparison of the Mormon religion with the Bible. If you have any comments or questions please contact me, Johnny, at email@example.com .
In latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1Tim 4:1). Many false prophets shall rise, they shall deceivemany, they shall shew great signs and wonders, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt 24:11,24). Many false prophets are gone into the world, we are not to believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God (1John 4:1). The Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Our heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13). The Spirit will bear witness, because the Spirit is truth (1John 5:1,6). God generously gives wisdom to all who ask him(James 1:5). We are to test everything and retain what is good (1Thes 5:21).
The intent of this web site is to be a resource for Catholics
The intent of this web site is to be a resource for Catholics so that they can "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" and "correct" Mormons using the scripture (Jude 1:3; 2Tim 3:16,17). As disciples of Christ we are to "stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" so that no man can deceive us (2Thes 2:15). The disciples of Christ continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42). Christ disciples are not beguiled with enticing words and traditions of men but walk in the faith received from Jesus (
Paul went into the synagogue and debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the
- Official Catholic Church Teachings -- New American Bible -- Catechism Search
- Official Mormon Church Teachings -- Mormon Scriptures --- Mormon Search
11. Mormonism: It is up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation. (Mormon teaching manual Chapter 3)
Catholicism: Man's merit is due to God’s grace and secondly to man's collaboration (CCC2025)
15. Mormonism: The teachings of present churches are "an abomination in his sight" (Mormon teaching manual Chapter 17)
Catholicism: The early apostolic church affirmed the conversion of the bread into Christ's body (CCC1375)
24. Mormonism: After Final Judgment their are three kingdoms of glory and outer darkness (Mormon manual Chapter 46)
Catholicism: All the Just, having the glory of God, will be in the Father's presence (CCC769)
Joseph Smith revealed that the Lord told him not to join any Christian sect because they were all wrong and their creeds were an abomination. They were corrupt and their hearts are far from the Lord. They deny the power thereof. (Joseph Smith--History 1:18,19).
A Christian is one who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and that he died for our sins, and rose from the grave. A Christian believes that we have the hope of eternal life through faith in His life, death and resurrection. A Christian is baptized with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. These teachings put Mormons outside the Christian faith because Mormons do not believe these things. Mormons believe that there are many gods, but the ancient faith of Isreal and of Christians professes "Hear O Isreal: The lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might" (Dueteronomy 6: 4-5) Christians do not recognize the Book of Mormon as a text inspired by God. There are other differences that would cause one to say that Mormons are not Christians, they are Mormons. These truths are said not in condemnation, but simply stated as truth. All Christians, Mormons, Muslims, and all humanity are dependent upon the grace and mercy of God (From ETWN, a Catholic TV station). The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence. The confession of God's oneness has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant. God is unique; there is only one God (CCC200).
Acts 11:26 - They assembled themselves with the church. Disciples were called Christians.
The Mormon Church teaches baptism by a person having the proper authority is the only acceptable way of being baptized. (Gospel Principles Chapter 20). Christians-those poor, miserable priests brother Brigham was speaking about-some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth. You may get a Methodist priest to pour water on you, or sprinkle it on you, and baptize you face foremost, or lay you down the other way, and whatever mode you please, and you will be damned with your priest. (Mormon Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, 5:89).
The Catholic Church does not recognize a Mormon baptism as valid because, although Mormons and Catholics use the same words, those words have completely unrelated meanings for each religion. The Mormon’s very concept of God is infinitely different from that of Christians—even though they call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (Mormon Baptism is not valid) (From Catholic Answers) (Mormon Marriage). In case of necessity, any person can baptize with the required intention (CCC1256).
Matt.28:19 - baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mormon Scriptures reveal that many Gods created (Abr 4) -- (Abr5). The Mormon Church teaches that the Godhead consist of three separate Gods and that Elohim and Jehovah are two distinct Gods. (Mormon Bible Dictionary Godhead). The Mormon Church teaches the Godhead are unified in purpose (Gospel Principals Chapter 7).
Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity. There exists but one God. . . he is the Father, God, the Creator. He made all things by himself, that is, by his Word and by his Wisdom", "by the Son and the Spirit" who, so to speak, are "his hands" (CCC292). The term "person" designates the distinction among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (CCC252). The divine persons are really distinct from one another. God is one but not solitary (CCC254). The Father is the source of the whole divinity (CCC245). We do not divide the Godhead, since the Father is its "source and origin," the Son is eternally begotten by him and the Holy Spirit proceeds from him (CCC2789). The Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one (Athanasian Creed). The orthodox position holds three Persons who are one Being in the Godhead. Modalism asserts that there is only one Person in the Godhead. (From Catholic Answers).
- Isa 44:24 - stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.
- Gen 1:26 - God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
- Acts 17:24,29 - God that made the world and all things ... the Godhead
- John 1:1,3 - In the beginning was the Word. All things were made by him.
- Prov 8:12-27 - I wisdom. When he prepared the heavens, I was there.
The Mormon Church teaches that Jesus was the first spirit born to heavenly parents. Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents. (Gospel Principals Chapter 2).
The apostles confess Jesus to be the Word (CCC2241). The term "the Word" (Greek logos) combines God's dynamic, creative word (Genesis), personified preexistent Wisdom as the instrument of God's creative activity (Proverbs), and the ultimate intelligibility of reality (Hellenistic philosophy). The term "with God" connotes communication with another. The term "was God" signifies predication rather than identification (John 1:1). The incarnate Word is the new mode of God's presence among his people (John 1:14). The Logos is thus "only Son" and God but not Father/God (John 1:18). Son of God: this title is used in the Old Testament. Son of God also points to Jesus' divinity (John 1:49). Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, God from God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father (Nicene Creed). The Son was neither made nor created; he was begotten from the Father alone (Athanasian Creed / Trinitarian Creed). All living beings were created in the beginning by the word of God (CCC291). Every spiritual soul is created immediately by God, it is immortal. (CCC366). The human person is a being at once corporeal and spiritual [Gen 2:7]. (CCC362). Angels were created through him [
- John 1:1,14 - The Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was made flesh.
- John 1:18 - The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father. The Son of God.
- 1John 1:1,2 - The Word of life was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.
- 2Mac 7:28 - God made them of things that were not; and so was mankind made likewise.
- Col 1:16,17 - all things were created by him. He is before all things, and by him all things consist.
- Psalm 89:27 - I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth
- 1Tim 2:13 - For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
- Zech 12:1 - formeth the spirit of man within him
- Luke 1:15 - he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb
- Gen 2:7 - man became a living soul
- Acts 17:24,29- God that made the world and all things. We are the offspring of God.
- Malachi 2:10 - one father, one God created us
- 1Cor 8:6 - One God, the Father, of whom are all things. one Lord Jesus, by whom are all things
- Psalm 149:2,5 - the LORD commanded and the angels were created
- Job 33:4 - The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
- there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word (Ignatius, Magnesians 8 (105-115AD))
- He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God (Justin Martyr 155AD)
- I do not mean that there are two Gods (Hippolytus 210AD)
- The Logos is God, being the substance of God (Hippolytus 220AD)
The Incarnation of God's Son reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God (CCC262). The Son consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity. He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary. The two natures were preserved as they came together (CCC467). The Son is "consubstantial" with the Father, that is, one only God with him (CCC242). In Christ's humanity "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" [2 Cor 5:19] (CCC433). The Son acts as God's servant. Jesus reveals he will enter his glory (CCC555). Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son of God made man. He came from God (CCC423). Jesus Christ possesses two natures, one divine and the other human, not confused, but united in the one person of God's Son (CCC481). Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit (CCC482). The divine identity of Jesus' person ... his affirmations, "Before Abraham was, I AM", and even "I and the Father are one" [Jn 8:58; 10:30] (CCC590).
- 1Tim 3:16 - God was manifest in the flesh
- John 10:30,38 - I and my Father are one. The Father is in me, and I in him.
- 2Cor 5:19 - God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself
- John 20:17 - Jesus saith, my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
- Col 2:9 - in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead body
Moses saw God's glory (CCC555). God is neither man nor woman: he is God. By calling God "Father" indicates that God is the first origin of everything(CCC239). God transcends all creatures. We are not to confuse our image of God with our human representations. God is not image-bound (CCC42). God fashioned man with his own hands [that is, the Son and the Holy Spirit] and impressed his own form on the flesh he had fashioned, in such a way that even what was visible might bear the divine form (CCC704). The second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. (CCC359). It is in Christ, "the image of the invisible God," [Col 1:15; 2 Cor 4:4] that man has been created "in the image and likeness" of the Creator. (CCC1701). The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body (CCC365).
The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly "I AM", the Son of God and God himself (CCC653). Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that "I AM"" [Jn 8:28] (CCC211). Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection (CCC659). Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: "By 'the Father's right hand' we understand the glory and honour of divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified" (CCC663). In the encounter with the risen Jesus, this title becomes adoration: "My Lord and my God!" [Jn 20:28,21:7] (CCC448).
- Eph 4:6 - One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
- Jeremiah 23:24 - I fill heaven and earth saith the LORD
- 1Kings 8 - the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee
- Pss.139:8 - If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
- Acts 7:55-59 - Stephen saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
- Exod.33:18-23 - My glory passeth by. See my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
- Exod 24:17 - The sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire.
- Dan 7:13 - I saw visions. One like the Son of man came to the Ancient of days.
- Ezek 1 - I saw visions of God. The likeness as the appearance of a man. The brightness round about, the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD
- Acts 7:55-59 - Stephen called upon God and said Jesus
- John 20:28 - Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
- Exod 23:20-22 - I send an Angel, obey his voice, for my name is in him.
- Isa 63:9 - the angel of his presence
- Luke 22:69 - Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
We do not confess three Gods, but one God (divine nature) in three persons (CCC253). God's oneness has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Testament(CCC200). The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity (CCC232). The Most Holy Trinity: there is only one God (divinity), the almighty Father, his only Son and the Holy Spirit (CCC233). The Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church's living faith, principally by means of Baptism (CCC249). The Trinity is truth contained in divine revelation (CCC88). During the first centuries the Church clarified her Trinitarian faith, both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it (CCC250). The sons of God: the angels (Deut 32:8). The heavenly assembly (Psalm 82:1). These heavenly spirits are members of God's court. (Psalm 89:7,28). Abraham's ancestors were polytheists (Joshua 24:15).
- Mark 12:29,32 - The Lord our God is one Lord. The truth: for there is one God.
- 1Cor 8:4-6 - There is none other God but one. One God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ.
- Exod 6:2-7 - I appeared unto Abraham. God Almighty, JEHOVAH, I am the LORD your God.
- Acts 3:13 - The God of Abraham glorified his Son Jesus
- Deut 32:3,6,48 - The LORD thy Father. The LORD our God spake unto Moses.
- 1Cor 8:4-6 - There be that are called gods.
- Deut 10:17 - the LORD your God is God of gods
- Psalm 86:8-12 - Among the gods there is none like unto thee. Thou art God alone. O Lord my God.
- 2Cor 4:4 - the god (Satan) of this world
- Acts 19:27 - the great goddess Diana
- A Triad is preached by Scripture, neither Old Testament nor New preaches three Gods (Dionysius 262 AD)
- there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word (Ignatius, Magnesians 8 (105-115AD))
- I do not mean that there are two Gods (Hippolytus 210AD)
- For both are one--that is, God (Clement of Alexandria 202AD)
- The Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the Son (Athenagoras 177 AD)
- No division of substance, but merely an extension. Christ is Spirit of Spirit ... the two are one (Tertullian 197AD)
- The Logos is God, being the substance of God (Hippolytus 220AD)
- He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God (Justin Martyr 155AD)
The Mormon Church teaches the Godhead are unified in purpose (Mormon teaching manual Chapter 7). Joseph Smith taught we got to learn how to be Gods the same as all Gods have done before us (Joseph Smith's King Follett Sermon).
The three divine persons act together as one (CCC648). The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence. The confession of God's oneness has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant. God is unique; there is only one God (CCC200). The term "substance" (rendered also at times by "essence" or "nature") to designate the divine being in its unity (CCC252). We are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity (CCC260). It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe brings about the communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ (CCC813). We are members of his Body, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature. Those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized (CCC1988). Men can receive divine sonship (become gods) by entering into communion with the Word. Men can partake of the divine nature (become God or divinized) (CCC460).
- 2Pet 1:4 - ye might be partakers of the divine nature
- John 10:35 - he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came
- 1Cor 6:15-19 - Your bodies are the members of Christ. Two shall be one flesh. He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
- Eph 5:30 - we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
- John 1:1,12 - as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.
- John 14:23 - we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
- Phil 2:13 - it is God which worketh in you to do his good pleasure.
Joseph Smith revealed that Christian creeds are an abomination. (Joseph Smith--History 1:18,19).
Creeds summarize the faith that Christians profess (CCC187). This synthesis of faith was gathered from all the Scriptures, to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety. From the beginning, the apostolic Church expressed her faith in brief formulae normative for all [Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 15:3-5] (CCC186). The Christian Creed - the profession of our faith in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and in God's creative, saving, and sanctifying action - culminates in the proclamation of the resurrection of the dead on the last day and in life everlasting (CCC988). Christ revealed the Trinity to us. Just before ascending He told them: "Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). There are three distinct Persons, who have one and the same divine nature (From The Basic Catholic Catechism).
Athanasian Creed / Trinitarian Creed - This is the catholic faith: That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity ... the person of the Father is a distinct person ...the divinity (the Godhead) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one ... their glory equal, their majesty coeternal .. there are not three gods; there is but one God ... catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods ... The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone. The Son was neither made nor created; he was begotten from the Father alone ... God's Son, is both God and human ... equal to the Father as regards divinity, less than the Father as regards humanity ... Christ is one by God's taking humanity to himself ... Christ is one by the unity of his person ...the one Christ is both God and human ... This is the catholic faith: one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
Nicene Creed - Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father.
Apostle's Creed - I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth
For many years people lived in spiritual darkness. Some recognized that there was no revelation and no true authority and that the church that Christ organized did not exist on the earth. (Gospel Principles Chapter 17).
God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Church. The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit remains present and active in the Church (CCC79). Revelation is complete but it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for the Christian faith to gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries (CCC66). Divine assistance is given to the successors of the apostles when they propose a teaching that leads to better understanding (CCC892). Catholics believe all that is contained in the written word of God, sacred tradition, and what the Church proposes for belief asdivinely revealed (CCC182). Today's Catholic Church has a prophetic office that proclaims to men (CCC2036). The living teaching office of the Catholic Church alone is entrusted with the task of giving authentic interpretation of the Word of God its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ(CCC85). Peter was considered the final authority at the meeting of the disciples in Jerusalem about A.D. 41 (Catholic Answers).
- Acts 15:1-35 - The Jerusalem "Council" clarified
The dogma of the Trinity (CCC251). A dogma is truth contained in divine revelation proposed by the Church's living Magisterium (CCC88). The light ofdivine Revelation clarifies (CCC387). Revelation gives us the certainty of faith (CCC390). The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, which can never be known unless it is revealed by God. The Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone (CCC237). Jesus the Saviour God himself (Jn 5:16-18). God made man (Jn 1:14) (CCC594).
- 1Tim 3:16 - the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh
Closure to public revelation doesn’t mean there isn’t progress in the understanding of what has been entrusted to the Church. Central doctrines, such as the Trinity, were not always understood or as clearly expounded in the Church’s early days as the way they are now. Understanding grew and deepened over time. It is important that we read Scripture within the framework of the Church’s constant tradition, as handed down from the apostles in the Catholic Church (From Catholic Answers).
The Book of Mormon reveals "infant baptism is an evil abomination" (Moroni 8) and Adam's fall was a great blessing to all of us (2Nephi 2:22-26) (Gospel Principles Chapter 6). The Mormon Church teaches original sin is a "false doctrine" and "'it is solemn mockery' to baptize little children" and "those who believe such a false concept are 'in the bonds of iniquity' and if cut off while in the thought shall be thrust down to hell" (LDS Ensign, Apr. 1977, 3: The Salvation of Little Children). Elders Packer ("Little Children") and Jensen ("Little Children and the Gospel").
The apostle Paul said Adam sinned. The fall was not “a great blessing to all of us” as the Mormon Church teaches. Because of the fall death and condemnation came upon all. The fall was not “a necessary step in the plan of life” as the Mormon Church teaches. The fall was a step away from the tree of life. The Book of Mormon reveals great blessings came from the fall. The Bible reveals great sin came from the fall. (The Book of Mormon and Adam’s Fall). All men are implicated in Adam's sin (CCC402). With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God's mercy and to pray for their salvation (CCC1283).
A testimony of the Book of Mormon comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. Ask God if these things are not true; he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10)
My testimony is that the Catholic Church is Christ's Church on earth: I am a convert to the Catholic Church. I was born and raised in a Latter-Day Saints family. I was active in church and eventually taught seminary. As I read and studied to prepare my lessons for the seminary class I was teaching, gaps and inconsistencies began to appear in my Mormon theology. Mormon teachings were often in direct conflict with the Bible. The holes in Mormonism became caverns. My doubts grew when I compared the historical and archaeological evidence with the records of Mormonism. A good friend invited me to go with him to his RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) class. Our God is a God of truth; all of his acts are open, plain, and pure. His Church will teach that there is one God in three divine Persons. His Church will teach that he is present in the consecrated bread and wine at the sacrifice of the Mass. I believe he wants us to pray often for his guidance and help. I believe in the power of the rosary. I believe the pope is the vicar of Christ on earth. I know Jesus lives, loves us, and desires us to follow him within his Church. (From Catholic Answers)
A Mormon's testimony proves nothing to me: Why should I accept your testimony if you won't accept mine? Does my testimony prove that I'm right? Does my testimony convince you? I have a testimony contrary to yours, we both have prayed and studied, and we've both come up with contrary testimonies. One of us must be wrong. Catholics testify that Jesus is God and that Jesus is distinct from the Father, but he's not a separate god because there is only one God. Mormons testify Jesus is a separate god from God the Father as I am a person separate and distinct from you. (From Catholic Answers)
Mormons ignore God's interpretation of the stick of Joseph: In Ezekiel 37, Mormons neglect the plain sense of the words and ignore their true interpretation, given by God-in the very same chapter. The text makes clear, this is a prophecy of national reunification, not about the appearance of hidden scriptures. The Hebrew term translated as "stick" (aits) is never used anywhere in the Old Testament to mean "book," "scroll," "writing" or anything similar. It is variously translated as "wood" or "branch," "timber," or "tree." Needless to say, the Book of Mormon was allegedly written on metal plates, not scrolls or sticks. Only Mormonism can manage to mistake "timber" for "scrolls" and "nations" for "metal plates." (From Catholic Answers)
Proving Inspiration: Some say, "Seek the help of the Holy Spirit. Some will say that they are "convicted" that it is the word of God, they get a positive "feeling" that it is inspired, and that’s that. But this reduces their acceptance of the Bible to the influence of their culture, habit, or any number of other emotional or psychological factors. The Catholic method of proving the Bible to be inspired is this: The Bible is initially approached as any other ancient work. It is not, at first, presumed to be inspired. This means that we can be sure we have an authentic text, and we can work from it with confidence. Next we take a look at what the Bible, considered merely as a history. We have thus taken the material and purely historically concluded that Jesus founded the Catholic Church. This Catholic Church tells us the Bible is inspired. Note that this is not a circular argument. What we have is really a spiral argument. The advantages of the Catholic approach are two: First, the inspiration is really proved, not just "felt." (From Catholic Answers)
Mormon Scripture reveals that God the Father has a tangible body of flesh and that He cannot dwell in a man's heart. (D&C 130:3,22,23)
Mormons error when they say God the Father has a body: Mormon's argue that man is made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27). In doing this, they profoundly misunderstand Scripture. In John 4:24 Jesus teaches us: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." This means God has no body, because a spirit is, by nature, an incorporeal being. As Jesus tells us elsewhere, "a spirit has not flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). There is a big difference between being a spirit and having a spirit. Jesus says that the Father is a spirit, not that the Father has a spirit; this means that he lacks a body entirely. The Church Fathers, of course, agreed, and loudly declared the fact that God is an unchangeable, immaterial spirit who has an entirely simple ("incomposite") nature—that is, a nature containing no parts. "What of Christ’s body?" you may ask. It is true that Jesus, who is God, assumed an earthly body when he was born of the Blessed Virgin, and that this body, now glorified, continues to exist. But since the Lord only took on human flesh in these "last days," and since God has always existed, without beginning or end, we must still conclude that having a body is not part of God’s unchangeable nature: he exists in eternity as pure spirit, even though he chose for the Son to also take on a human nature in addition to his bodiless, timeless, divine nature. (From Catholic Answers).
Mormon Church teaches after Final Judgment their are three kingdoms of glory and outer darkness (Mormon manual Chapter 46)
Mormons say three levels of heaven, Bible says one heaven: In Mormon theology, heaven has three possible levels (and some sub levels in there, as well). While there is a hell in Mormonism, it is reserved for Satan, the fallen angels and apostate Mormons. The Bible is clear that, for the dead, there are only two final destinations: heaven or hell (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). Scripture teaches that the wicked will spend eternity in hell, a place of eternal torment (cf. Revelations 20:12-15; 21:8). (From Envoy magazine). There are only two eternal possibilities after death: heaven (eternal life) or hell (eternal death). Some destined for heaven must first experience a place or state called purgatory, where one goes through a final stage of sanctification before entering heaven (From Catholic Answers). When we die we receive our reward and when Jesus returns the Last judgment occurs (From Catholic Answers). Before the resurrection their was a spirit prison or a third place, distinct from heaven and hell because heaven was not yet opened to anyone. At his death Jesus' announced the good news or Gospel "now is come salvation" to the spirits who had died before him and were being held in prison (1 Pet 3:19; CCC632) (From Catholic Answers). Between death and glory there is a purification. The doctrine of purgatory, or the final purification, has been part of the true faith since before the time of Christ (From Catholic Answers). At death, the blessedness of Heaven or immediate damnation (CCC1022). All the Just, having the glory of God, will be in the Father's presence (CCC769).
Mormon Church teaches our exaltation depends on marriage (Mormon teaching manual Chapter 38)
Marriage and being single come from the Lord (CCC1620). Marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away [Mk 12:25; 1 Cor 7:31](CCC1619). Jesus was clear in teaching that we will not be married in the next life [Matt. 22:30]. We retain our identities, we will continue to know and love those we were close to in earthly life. (From Catholic Answers). Any valid marriage between two baptized people is a sacramental marriage and, once consummated, cannot be dissolved (From Catholic Anwers). Jesus pointed out that marriage is an institution intended to serve only this present life. There will be no need for marriage in eternity. It does not mean that a husband and wife will not have a special relationship in eternity (Catholic Answers). When two people marry, there arises between them a "bond" of marriage. This marriage bond prevents either spouse from marrying someone else so long as the other spouse is alive. The familiar wedding phrase "till death do us part", only the death of one spouse can free the other from the bond of marriage (Catholic Answers). The decision to remain celibate is freely chosen by seminarians, and it is not the Church that is forbidding them to marry. (Catholic Answers).
- Gen 2:24,25; 3:6 - In the beginning, Adam and Eve were joined by God as husband and wife, the two as one flesh
- 1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5 - a bishop had to be the husband of one wife
The Mormon Church teaches baptism in behalf of the dead (Mormon teaching manual Chapter 16)
Paul does not endorse the practice of Baptism for the Dead: Proxy baptism for the dead is not necessary. God can simply let whomever he wants into heaven, whether they have water baptism or not. God is not bound by the sacraments he himself instituted. It is certain that Paul was not referring to orthodox Christians baptizing the dead. There is no other evidence in the Bible or in the early Church Fathers’ writings of baptism being practiced on the living in place of the dead. Some practiced a kind of "baptism for the dead" but the practice was not accepted or mainstream. (From Catholic Answers). Concerning baptism for the dead. ... (1 Corinthians 15:29) ... was practiced later by some heretical sects. (From Catholic Encyclopedia)
In the Old Testament God tolerated polygamy: Scripture indicates that for a time God did tolerate this practice during the Old Testament. However, it was portrayed even then as a negative thing. As time progressed, the problems with polygamy became more and more obvious, and it stopped being practiced. The clincher came in the time of Christ, when Jesus indicated that marriage was to be restored to the state God had intended in Genesis 2. God’s plan was for Adam and Eve to be together, certainly not for Adam to be married to Eve and Barbara at the same time. (From Catholic Answers). The destruction of Christian marriage(Vatican on Mormon Polygamy).
Joseph Smith taught we got to learn how to be Gods the same as all Gods have done before us (Joseph Smith's King Follett Sermon).
The Mormon concept of deification must be rejected: God is God both outside of creation and within creation; human beings can at best be joined to God and thereby become God within the confines of creation, but even here, they will not usurp the unique identity that the sole God has. Human beings will never lose their attributes as creatures, they will never be the Creator or the creative and boundless power of the Creator. Human beings will forever posses the human form and the human nature; thus, they will be limited to the confines of the created universe and never be omnipresent as the unique God is. (From Kerry S. Robichaux).
The doctrine of theosis or deification in the Mormon Church differs significantly from that of orthodox Christian theology (note, not only Eastern Orthodox). In Mormonism it is usually referred to as exaltation or eternal life. Exaltation is to become, through the sacrifice of Christ, a co-inheritor with Jesus in all that the Father possesses. As children of God we are enabled to become one with God as Jesus is one with God, inheriting their divinity and perfection, eternally acting under their guiding influence and authority. While the primary focus of Mormonism is on salvation through the atonement of Jesus Christ, exaltation goes beyond mere salvation. All mankind will be saved from death through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but only those who are sufficiently obedient because of their faith, who receive specific saving ordinances, and who accept the atonement of Jesus Christ before the judgment will be exalted. In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic theology, theosis, meaning divinization (or deification or, to become god), is the call to man to become holy and seek union with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in the resurrection. (From wikipedia)
The Mormon Church teaches baptism by immersion is the only acceptable way of being baptized. (Gospel Principles Chapter 20).
Immersion and pouring are both modes of baptism. The sacramental practice of Christians in the apostolic age included both pouring and immersion. The meaning of baptism is broad enough to include "pouring. Those baptized with the Holy Spirit are not "immersed" in the Spirit (From Catholic Answers). The early church baptized infants and poured (From StayCatholic). Baptism for the gift of the Holy Spirit (CCC1226). Man's merit is due to God’s grace and secondly to man's collaboration (CCC2025). The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. (CCC1252). To make sure that the apostolic traditionwould be passed down after the deaths of the apostles, Paul told Timothy, "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). (From Catholic Answers).
The Mormon Church teaches after the Savior ascended into heaven, men changed the ordinances and doctrines that he and his Apostles had established. Because of apostasy, there was no direct revelation from God. The true Church was no longer on the earth. The Mormon Church teaches the Savior promised to restore his Church in the latter days. About 1700 years after Christ the time had arrived for the Church of Jesus Christ to be restored to the earth. (Gospel Principles Chapter 17). During the sacrament, we partake of bread and water. We do this in remembrance of his flesh and his blood, which he gave as a sacrifice for us (Gospel Principles Chapter 23).
I found that the early Church leaders believed in infant baptismal regeneration, bishops, apostolic succession, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a sacrificing priesthood, prayers for the dead, and a special role for the bishop of Rome. All this could be found centuries prior to Constantine. (Catholic Answers). In reading the Early Fathers we see a Church with bishops in authority over priests and deacons. We see a church that baptized infants and believed in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We see a Church that believed in the primacy of Rome, the intercession of the saints in heaven and the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Thus we are lead to the inescapable conclusion that the early Church was the Catholic Church. (From StayCatholic.com)
Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever;... he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and... abides in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:51, 54, 56) (CCC1406). The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" [Jn 6:53] (CCC1384). The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" [Jn 6:60]. "Will you also go away?": [Jn 6:67] the Lord's question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has "the words of eternal life" [Jn 6:68] and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself (CCC1336). Beforehand, during the Last Supper, he both symbolized this offering and made it really present: "This is my body which is given for you" (Lk 22:19) (CCC621). This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present (CCC1374). Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" [Jn 6:56]. Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me" [Jn 6:57] (CCC1391).
You ask how the bread becomes the Body of Christ: the Holy Spirit comes upon them and accomplishes what surpasses every word and thought. Let it be enough for you to understand that it is by the Holy Spirit, just as it was of the Holy Virgin and by the Holy Spirit that the Lord, through and in himself, took flesh (CCC1106). It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares: It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered. And St. Ambrose says about this conversion: Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed (CCC1375). That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie'"(CCC1381). Transubstantiation for beginners (From Catholic Answers). The Eucharist and Christ's Real Presence (From the Real Presence).
From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God'. The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship "All generations will call me blessed" [Lk 1:48]. The Church rightly honors the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. This very special devotion differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word. The rosary is an "epitome of the whole Gospel" (CCC971). The Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus [Mk 3:31-35; 6:3; 1 Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19]. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary" [Mt 13:55; 28:1; Mt 27:56]. They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression [Gen 13:8; 14:16; 29:15] (CCC500). Taken up to heaven continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. The Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix (CCC969). The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana, [Jn 2:1-12] the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast (CCC2618). Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners [Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1; 1 Tim 2:5-8]. He is "able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" [Heb 7:25]. The Holy Spirit "himself intercedes for us... and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" [Rom 8:26-27] (CCC2634). Since Abraham, intercession - asking on behalf of another has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God's mercy. In intercession, he who prays looks "not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others," even to the point of praying for those who do him harm [Phil 2:4; Acts 7:60; Lk 23:28, 34] (CCC2635). "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. They do not cease tointercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus.... So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped" [1 Tim 2:5] (CCC959).
The Mormon Church teaches one by one, the Apostles were killed. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine, and soon the destruction of the Church was complete. The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy. (Gospel Principles Chapter 16).
The Mormon "great apostasy" doctrine is a myth: If Mormons want their claim of a complete apostasy to be taken seriously, they must display clearly biblical and historical evidence supporting it. There never has been--nor will there ever be--a complete apostasy. Jesus Christ promised that his Church, established on the solid rock of Peter, will remain forever. We have his Word on it. Mormons misconstrue the biblical passages which do refer to a "great apostasy" from the Christian Church. They read into the text a complete apostasy. Scripture mentions an apostasy in Matthew 24:4-12; Mark 13:21-23; Luke 21:7-8; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-7, 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1-3; and Jude 17-19. Most of these verses say "many" will fall away, and not one mentions a completeapostasy of the Church. (From Catholic Answers). Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial in the form of a religious deception;apostasy from the truth. (CCC675). The Church, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth", faithfully guards "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints". (CCC171). In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. Apostolic preaching was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time (CCC77). The promised restoration begins with John the Baptist (CCC720).The Roman Emperor Constantine convoked the first general (or "ecumenical") council of the Catholic Church, that of Nicaea. The Council of Constantinople was not, in fact, called or planned as an ecumenical council, nor was the bishop of Rome, the pope, even represented at it. Only subsequently, when it received papal approbation, did the Council come to be recognized as ecumenical. It represents a classic example of what in modern times has been called the "development of doctrine" in the Church. (Catholic Answers). The Church took advantage of the opportunities afforded by Constantine (Catholic Answers). Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in A.D. 313 (Catholic Answers). Constantine presiding over the Council of Nicaea in 325 (Catholic Answers). Christ never guaranteed that the choice would be perfect. (From Catholic Answers).
- 1Tim 4:1 - in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils
- Matt 24:11,24 - Many false prophets shall rise, they shall deceive many, they shall show great signs and wonders, they shall deceive the very elect
- 2Thes 2:3 -Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first
- Matt 7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing
- 2Pet 2:1 - false prophets shall bring in damnable heresies
- 1John 4:1 - Many false prophets are gone into the world, we are not to believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God
- 1Tim 3:15 - the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Martyrdom of Polycarp,16:2(A.D. 155) - [A]ll the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished.
The Mormon Church teaches one by one, the Apostles were killed. Because of the persecution, surviving Apostles could not meet to choose and ordain men to replace those who were dead. Eventually, local priesthood leaders were the only ones who had authority to direct the scattered branches of the Church. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. (Gospel Principles Chapter 16). For many years people lived in spiritual darkness. Some recognized that there was no revelation and no true authority and that the church that Christ organized did not exist on the earth. (Gospel Principles Chapter 17). Clement of Rome, Ignatius, and Polycarp present a united picture of three great bishops vigorously alert against factions. (Ensign August 1976).
The Apostles took care to appoint successors to pass on authority (CCC860). Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry (CCC1577). In order that the mission entrusted to the apostles be continued after their death, they consigned, by will and testament their immediate collaborators the duty of completing and consolidating the work they had begun, urging them to tend to the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit had appointed them to shepherd the Church of God. They accordingly designated such men and then made the ruling that likewise on their death other proven men should take over their ministry [Acts 20:28] (CCC861). Peter came to Rome and ended there his pontificate. The Bishops of Rome who came after Peter held his official position in the Church. In 97 AD serious dissensions troubled the Church of Corinth. The Roman Bishop, Clement, wrote an authoritative letter to restore peace. The Apostle John was still living at Ephesus, he did not interfer with Corinth. (From Catholic Encyclopedia). Clement, was ordained by Peter, Clement writes with firm authority (From Catholic Answers). Peter went to Rome (From Catholic Answers).
- Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, (A.D. 98) - And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.
Pope Clement I (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63 [A.D. 80]). "Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy"
Clement of Alexandria, Who is the rich man that shall be saved? (A.D. 210) - And that you may still be more confident, that repenting thus truly there remains for you a sure hope of salvation, listen to a tale? Which is not a tale but a narrative, handed down and committed to the custody of memory, about the Apostle John. For when, on the tyrant's death, he returned to Ephesus from the isle of Patmos, he went away, being invited, to the contiguous territories of the nations, here to appoint bishops, there to set in order whole Churches, there to ordain such as were marked out by the Spirit.
Jesus gave Peter the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. [Mt 16:18-19; Jn 21:15-17] The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head. This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope (CCC881). The "power of the keys" designates authority to govern the Church. The power to "bind and loose" connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. (CCC553). Peter will remain the unshakeable rock of the Church. Peter's mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse (CCC552). A man becomes head of the Church because he is elected bishop of Rome. The pope does not get his powers from those who elect him; he gets them from his position as bishop of Rome and head of the Church. It is our Lord who gives the powers to the man, the cardinals choose. The papacy is not handed on by one bishop of Rome to another through the laying on of hands. As a pope does not receive his office from his predecessor. A man is pope because the Church recognizes him as bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter. (From Catholic Answers). Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). (From Catholic Answers). Peter was in Rome (From Catholic Answers).
- Matt 16:19 - Jesus give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven
List of Popes (From Catholic Encyclopedia)
- Peter (32-67)
- Linus (67-76)
- Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
- Clement I (88-97)
Ignatius of Antioch : Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110] "Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father"
Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189]) - The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus
Tertullian : Demurrer Against the Heretics 32:2 (200 A.D). "[T]his is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrneans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John, like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter"
Bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ (CCC862). The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth (CCC936). Each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care, as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church(CCC1560). Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. (From Catholic Encyclopedia). From the beginning of the second century we find only three titles: bishops, priests, and deacons. The bishop has a general power of governing and teaching; this power is substantially identical with the general authority of the Apostles. Bishops do not the personal prerogatives of the Apostles such as the Apostles preached and travelled as if they were not bound by territorial limits. (From Catholic Encyclopedia) Apostle means one who is sent forth. In a Christian sense, everyone who had received a mission from God, or Christ, to man could be called "Apostle". In the Epistle to the Hebrews the name is applied even to Christ. The word Apostle also denotes some inferior disciples under the direction of the Apostles. Since the authority with which the Lord endowed the Apostles was given them for the entire Church, it is natural that this authority should endure after their death, in other words, pass to successors established by the Apostles. (From Catholic Encyclopedia) The letters of Ignatius are clear about the role which the bishop, or "overseer," held in the early Church (From Catholic Answers). The conferral of the sacrament of holy orders produces three ranks of clergy: bishops, priests, and deacons. The early Church Fathers bear witness to all three ranks. (From Catholic Answers). The term for bishop, episcopos ("overseer"), was also fluid in meaning.(From Catholic Answers).
- Acts 20:28,38 - elders made overseers of the church by the Holy Ghost.
- Tit 1:7 - A bishop is the steward of God. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught.
- 1Tim 3:1,5,10,15 - Office of bishop and deacon.
Ignatius, To the Trallians, (A.D. 110) - "For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ Of God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counsellors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as ... Anencletus and Clement to Peter?"
Pope Clement I (Letter to the Corinthians 42:4–5, 44:1–3 [A.D. 80]) - "Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts,testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry"
Holy Orders is the sacrament of the apostolic ministry, it is for the bishops as the successors of the apostles to hand on the "gift of the Spirit," the "apostolic line." Validly ordained bishops, i.e., those who are in the line of apostolic succession, validly confer the three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders (CCC1576). Ordination integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons. It confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a "sacred power" which can come only from Christ himself through his Church. The laying on of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer, constitutes the visible sign of this ordination (CCC1538). The ordained minister is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself. The priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ (CCC1548). They receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person. (CCC1120). The apostles were endowed by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them, and by the imposition of hands they passed on to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit, which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration [Acts 1:8; 24; Jn 20:22-23; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6-7] (CCC1556). Apostolicity is the surest indication of the true Church of Christ. The history of the Catholic Church from St. Peter to the present Head of the Church, is an evident proof of its Apostolicity, for no break can be shown in the line of succession. Apostolicity is not found in any other Church. Apostolic succession must be both material and formal; the material consisting in the actual succession in the Church; the formal adding the element of authority in the transmission of power. No one can give a power which he does not possess. (From Catholic Encyclopedia). Today's Catholic Church has a prophetic office that proclaims to men(CCC2036). The New Testament teaches the concept of apostolic succession (From Catholic Answers). Apostles stopped being commissioned in the first century, and so apostolic succession continues with the bishops, the successors of the apostles (From Catholic Answers). The Roman Catholic Church descended from the original Christian Church in an unbroken lineage (From Catholic Answers). Melchizedek priesthood prefigured the one priesthood of Christ (CCC1544). The priesthood of Aaron prefigured the ordained ministry of the New Covenant (CCC1541). The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the "common priesthood of the faithful" (CCC1591).
- 1Tim 4:14 - the gift that is in thee, given with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
- Tit 1:5-9 - Paul appointed Titus as a bishop. Paul tells the Bishop Titus to ordain other elders.
- 1Pet.5:1,5 - The apostle Peter said I am also an elder. Submit yourselves unto the elder.
- Acts 14:14,23 - The apostles Paul and Barnabas ordained elders
Ignatius of Antioch,Epistle to the Smyrneans, (A.D. 110) - "See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out[through their office] the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."