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Do today’s Christian churches lack divine authority?  — Section 58

Is divinely-bestowed priesthood power to be found among today’s Christian churches?

Representative of a Christian church:
I do not understand why your church and its leaders state that other Christian churches do not hold or contain God-given authority and power, and why you teach that the baptisms performed in our churches are invalid.  We as leaders of our various churches have been trained, we have attended ministry schools for many years, and we have been trained for our professions and careers as ministers.  We teach that salvation will come through the ‘Cross of Christ’.

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 
Christ taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  Paul clarified the exactness of truth when he said that apostles and prophets were necessary to bring people to a “unity of the faith and to a knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man.”  With over 800 different Christian churches, there is no unity or oneness, and with the various creeds we find confusion as to the true knowledge of the Son of God and his ways.  Christ gave the power and authority to the apostles (Luke 9:1) and it was they who controlled and passed it onto others (see Titus 1:5-6 and 1 Timothy 3:1-5).  Their duty was to receive revelation from the Lord and guide the people.  They warned against “false teachers” who had a “form of godliness”, but who denied “the power thereof.”  Even in the time of the apostles of the Lord, unauthorized servants appeared and their baptisms were not recognized (Acts 19:1-6) nor were their attempted miracles (Acts 19:13-17).  Paul warned against those who took assumed power unto themselves when he said, “No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Hebrews 5:4)  Aaron was called by Moses, a prophet with divine authority (Exodus 28:1).  It is possible for a minister to be zealous in his or her labors, but divine authority is necessary for his or her ordinances and ceremonies to be sanctioned by God.  It is a narrow path that leads unto ‘life’.  With the divine authority having been lost with the ultimate deaths of Christ’s apostles, a restoration of true power was needed.  As we have established here today, God has restored his church and his power to the earth.  We have demonstrated this fact through scripture.  God always works through prophets (see Amos 3:7) and we declare that although you and your churches has done much good, there has been an absence of true, divine power and authority in your efforts.  Our message to the world is that we have the truth and either we are right or you are right.  We read in the Book of Mormon that Nephi “thought he saw God”.  Ministers of other faiths have asked, “Didn’t Nephi KNOW if he saw God or not?”  However, in Revelations 22:8-9, Paul mistook the angel for the Son of God and fell at his feet to worship him.  Others have asked why we have named our church the “Church of Jesus Christ”, yet we read “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)  Yes, the church is referred to as the Church of God in six or seven instances in the Bible, but Hebrews 12:22-24 carried the name “Church of the first born”.  Ephesians 3:21 calls the church the “Church of Jesus Christ”, yet Christ said, “I will build my church” and he is the cornerstone and the church bears his name today.  We have been asked about the fact that women speak in the church, seemingly opposed to the teaching in 1 Corinthians 14:34, yet many seem to forget that the churches in those days had personal problems from within and at the church in Corinth there apparently were some issues dealing with women.  The women might have been out of line and Paul pointed that out.  Acts 2:17-18 tells us that in the last days “…your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” and how can they prophesy if they can’t or don’t speak in the church?  It says, “I will pour out in those days of my spirit upon my handmaidens” and when they get that spirit, they should definitely open their mouths and testify of truth.  We witness that the Church we represent is true, and we love being members of Christ’s latter-day church.

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