Does Joseph Smith Jr. play a role in our salvation?
- Joseph Fielding Smith said: [There is] " no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith . If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth...no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God " ( Doctrines of Salvation , vol. 1, p.190).
- Brigham Young stated: "no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith ...every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith , junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are" ( Journal of Discourses , vol. 7, p.289).
- Brigham Young also declared, "he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ" ( Journal of Discourses , vol. 9, p.312).
- President George Q. Cannon said: "If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him [Joseph Smith]; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him [Joseph Smith]" (as quoted in 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142).
Can salvation can come only through the LDS Church ?
- Mormon scriptures claim that the LDS church is "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" ( Doctrine and Covenants , 1:30).
- Joseph Smith stated: "This [the LDS] Church...is the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" ( Doctrine and Covenants 1:30).
- President Ezra Taft Benson said: "This is not just another Church. This is not just one of a family of Christian churches . This is the Church and kingdom of God , the only true Church upon the face of the earth..." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.164-165).
- Bruce McConkie stated: " If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints " ( Mormon Doctrine , p.670).
- Marion Romney (LDS First Presidency) said, "This Church is the ensign on the mountain spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. It is the way, the truth, and the life " (Conference Report, April, 1961, pg. 119).
Statements by Mormon Leaders about Christian churches (made by many of the LDS Prophet-Presidents):
- Joseph Smith stated that God told him: "they [other churches] were all wrong ; and the Personage who addressed me said that their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt " (from Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith-History 1:19).
- Joseph Smith continues: "for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible " (from Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith-History 1:12). "What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world" ( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , p.270).
- Questions put to Joseph Smith: "'Do you believe the Bible?' [Smith:]'If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does , for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do '. When asked 'Will everybody be damned, but Mormons'? [Smith replied] 'Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness." ( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , p. 119).
- Brigham Young stated this repeatedly: "When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness " ( Journal of Discourses 5:73); "The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God" ( Journal of Discourses 8:171); "With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world" ( Journal of Discourses 8:199); "And who is there that acknowledges [God's] hand? ...You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" ( Journal of Discourses , vol. 6, p.24); "Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity" ( Journal of Discourses 10:230).
- Orson Pratt proclaimed: "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon ' whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them , unless they repent" ( The Seer , p. 255).
- Pratt also said: "This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now" ( Journal of Discourses , vol.18, p.44) and: "But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be ...But there has been a long apostasy , during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance" ( Journal of Discourses , 18:172).
- President John Taylor stated: "Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century." ( Journal of Discourses , vol. 6, p.167); "Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom ." ( Journal of Discourses , 10:127).
- James Talmage said: "A self-suggesting interpretation of history indicates that there has been a great departure from the way of salvation as laid down by the Savior, a universal apostasy from the Church of Christ ". ( A Study of the Articles of Faith , p.182).
- President Joseph Fielding Smith said: "Doctrines were corrupted, authority lost, and a false order of religion took the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ , just as it had been the case in former dispensations, and the people were left in spiritual darkness." ( Doctrines of Salvation , p.266). "For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness , until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation ...Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the 'Christian' churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men" ( Doctrines of Salvation , vol. 3, p.282).
- More recent statements by apostle Bruce McConkie are also very clear: "Apostasy was universal...And this darkness still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel" ( Doctrines of Salvation , vol 3, p.265); "Thus the signs of the times include the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom and in the religious world in general" (The Millennial Messiah, p.403); "a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom" ( Mormon Doctrine , p.132); "virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit" ( Mormon Doctrine , p.269); "Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era." ( Mormon Doctrine , p.316).
- President George Q. Cannon said: "After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon . The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom , though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon " (Gospel Truth, p.324).
- President Wilford Woodruff stated: "the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord , and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called" ( Journal of Discourses , vol. 2, p.196).