Subject: Why the Mormon Church hates the Catholic
Date: Feb 19 12:03 2004
Author: Deconstructor

On a thread regarding Mel Gibson's view of Mormonism, a poster calling himself "Anthony" said:

"I am new to this site, so pardon me for possibly a stupid question, but what does the Book of Mormon say about the Catholic Church? Any specific excerpts about the Catholic Church found in the Book of Mormon would be appreciated. Thanks."

Here's my reply:

There's a couple of things to consider before examining the Book of Mormon and what it says about the Catholic Church:

1. Starting with the First Vision, Mormonism teaches that all churches except the Mormon Church are an abomination in the sight of God.

Joseph Smith History 1:18-20:

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join."

"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.” He again forbade me to join with any of them;..."

2. The Doctine and Covenants also has Jesus Christ condemning ALL other churches, and especially the "great and abominable church".

D&C 1:30-31
"And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually— For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;"

D&C 38:10-11:
"Verily I say unto you, ye are clean, but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased; For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—"

D&C 29:21:
"And the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, who spoke of these things, which have not come to pass but surely must, as I live, for abominations shall not reign."

D&C 88:94:
"And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it."

3. The Church has a history of identifying the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church.

"The present Christian world exists and continues by division. The MYSTERY of Babylon the great, is mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, and it needs no prophetic vision, to unravel such mysteries. The old church is the mother, and the protestants are the lewd daughters. Alas! alas! what doctrine, what principle, or what scheme, in all, what prayers, what devotion, or what faith, `since the fathers have fallen asleep,' has opened the heavens; has brought men into the presence of God; and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to an innumerable company of angels? The answer is, not any: `There is none in all christendom that doeth good; no, not one.'
- Apostle John Taylor, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.811

"Babylon, literally understood, is the gay world; spiritual wickedness, the golden city, and the glory of the world, The priests of Egypt, who received a portion gratis from Pharaoh; the priests of Baal, and the Pharisees, and Sadducees, with their "long robes," among the Jews, are equally included in their mother's family, with the Roman Catholics, Protestants, and all that have not had the keys of the kingdom and power thereof, according to the ordinances of God."
- Prophet John Taylor, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.939

"Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the "whore of Babylon" whom the Lord denounces... as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. And any person who shall be so wicked 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 of the unholy and impious act. If any penitent believer desires to obtain forgiveness of sins through baptism, let him beware of having any thing to do with the churches of apostate Christendom, lest he perish in the awful plagues and judgments, denounced against them. The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints. Before the restoration of the church of Christ to the earth in the year 1830, there have been no people on the earth for many generations possessing authority from God to minister gospel ordinances. We again repeat. Beware of the hypocritical false teachers and imposters of Babylon!
- Apostle Orson Pratt The Seer, Vol.2, No.4, p.255

"A great portion of the oriental country has been preserved from the grossest idolatry, wickedness, confusion, bloodshed, murders, cruelty, and errors in religion that have overspread the rest of the world, under the name of Christianity, or mystery of iniquity. An open defiance of God is no mystery; open drunkenness, and revelling debauchery, and all manner of wickedness and immorality professed by sinners who profess to be nothing else, are no mystery; they do not deceive anybody; but when all manner of wickedness, idolatry, drunkenness, and corruption is cloaked under a sacred name, under an outward sanctity and holiness, and under as high and dignified an appellation as Christian, it is a mystery of iniquity; and that has overspread a great portion of the world, and has borne rule until the present day, sometimes under the name of Roman universality, sometimes under the name of the Greek Church, and at other times under various classes and names."

"Many that were honest have been deceived by this mystery of iniquity, who have esteemed things to be sacred, which were abominably corrupt; and corrupt superstitions have been revered because of the great names and sanctified professions that were attached to them. If such institutions actually professed wickedness, they would go for what they were worth; but when a thing professes to be holy, and takes the name of Christ as its founder, and the holy Prophets and Apostles, to carry out all manner of oppression, all manner of idolatry and idol worship, all manner of priestcraft and kingcraft, and more or less instigating division among nations and governments, all to carry out bloodshed, cruelty, the rack, the inquisition, and holding of men in bondage, ruling them with a red of iron, it is a mystery of iniquity calculated to deceive millions."

"But returning to the general corruption that has prevailed nationally, politically, and religiously, under the name of Christianity, leaving out Christ and his Apostles, I do think there has been no idolatry in the world, under any form or system, that could surpass it. It is the mystery of iniquity, the great whore of all the earth. It has brought the whole earth under a lasting curse, having departed from the laws of God, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant, in consequence of which the earth is destined to be burned, and few men left."
- Apostle Parley P. Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p.41

"How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostacy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations."

"She is termed, in other places, by the same prophet, "The whore of all the earth," making the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Some three centuries ago there came out sortie excellent men, named Martin Lather, John Calvin and many others that might be mentioned, who protested against the wickedness and abominations of the Church wherein they had been educated, and of which they had been members. Because of their protestations against the mother Church they were called Protestants. They pronounced her the whore of all the earth; they declared that she had no authority, that she had none of the blessings and gifts which characterized the ancient Christians. They came out and established other Churches... But among all these Churches where are the characteristics of Zion? We hunt for them in vain."
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses Vol. 14, p.346

"Thrones shall be cast down, and the Ancient of Days shall sit, and the body of the fourth beast (or Babylon) shall be given to the devouring flame, and then shall the remnant of the heathen know that the Lord is God, for they shall see and hear of his judgments, which he shall execute upon the corrupt powers of the earth under the name of modern Christianity, scripturally called "Babylon the Great"—"The whore of all the earth," with whom the nations for centuries have committed fornication, and have drank out of her filthy cup. O Babylon! thou hast decked thyself with costly ornaments! Thou has clothed thyself with the most gaudy apparel! Thy seminaries of learning, and thy theological institutions have been multiplied far and wide. Thy priests are polished with all the refinements of a profound and extensive education. Thy costly and magnificent churches have been erected in great numbers throughout all thy borders. The merchants of the earth have made themselves rich through the abundance of thy luxuries. The learned—the great—the mighty—the kings of the earth, have glorified themselves in thy grand and superb palaces. Thou hast indeed enrobed thyself in the royal splendors of a queen. Thine external appearance has excited the admiration of all nations. But internally thou art rotten with the filth of thy whoredoms."
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Essential Orson Pratt, p.109

"The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church is the great corrupt ecclesiastic power, represented by great Babylon which has made all nations drunk with her wickedness, and she must fall, after she has been warned with the sound of the everlasting gospel. Her overthrow will be by a series of the most terrible judgments which will quickly succeed each other, and sweep over the nations where she has her dominion, and at last she will be utterly burned by fire, for thus hath the Lord spoken. Great, and fearful, and most terrible judgments are decreed upon these corrupt powers, the nations of modern Christendom; for strong is the Lord God who shall execute His fierce wrath upon them, and He will not cease until He has made a full end, and until their names be blotted out from under heaven."
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.84 - p.85

In that context, here's what the Book of Mormon says:

1 Nephi 13:5-6:
And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.

1 Nephi 13:8:
And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.

1 Nephi 13:26:
And after they [the prophecies and testimonies of the Bible] go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

1 Nephi 13:28:
Wherefore, thou seest that after the book [the Bible] hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

1 Nephi 13:34:
...the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb [Bible] which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb.."

1 Nephi 14:3:
And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children,, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, said the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.

1 Nephi 14:9:
And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.

1 Nephi 14:10-11:
And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

1 Nephi 14:12:
And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters [oceans]; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

1 Nephi 14:13:
And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.

1 Nephi 14:15-16:
And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—

1 Nephi 14:17:
And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel.

1 Nephi 22:13:
And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood.

1 Nephi 22:14:
And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it.

2 Nephi 6:12:
And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfill his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written things.

2 Nephi 10:16:
Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.

2 Nephi 28:18:
But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.

The Book of Mormon uses different terms for different things:

The Great and Abominable Church
The Whore of All the Earth
Baylon The Great
The Harlot
The Church of the Devil

There are some verses in the Book of Mormon that talk in broad terms and others that speak of a specific church.

"Babylon the Great" and "The Church of the Devil" are broad terms to mean "not of the church of God." That's clearly what 1 Nephi 14:9 is saying. But look at the other scriptures and you'll see they are referring to a SPECIFIC church:

- In the Book of Mormon, there are many references to "a church which is most abominable above all other churches."

- This church had a history of an Inquisition similar to the Roman Catholic Church in that it "slayeth the Saints of God, yea and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron and bringeth them down into captivity" (1 Ne. 13:5).

- The people involved with this depraved organization wore finery similar to priestly vestments; their church structures were ornate; and women in their church, like nineteenth-century Catholic nuns, were accused of sexual misconduct. Smith's Nephi reported in the Book of Mormon that he "saw gold, silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots" (1 Ne. 13).

- Smith went on to assert that this abominable church "whose foundation is the Devil" and who is "the whore of all the earth" would pervert the scriptures entrusted to people by God, i.e. the Bible.

- A book was to come from the Jews which would contain the gospel. The writer claimed this book (The Bible) eventually would fall into the "hands of the Great and abominable church" after which are "many plain and precious things taken away from the Book" (1 Ne. 13:26-29).

- The Book of Mormon also predicted the sale of indulgences. "Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say, come unto me and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins" (Morm. 8:32)

These are SPECIFIC references to the Catholic Church.

So the Book of Mormon talks in specific terms about the Catholic Church (The whore and the abominable church) and in broad terms (Great Babylon and the Church of the Devil).

The Mormon Church also has a long and consistent history of bashing Christians and Christianity. See:

Subject: Catholicism in America
Date: Feb 19 12:21
Author: She God

Not that it matters, but how much did Joseph Smith really even know about Catholicism? To my knowledge he never visited a Catholic church, and there really weren't that many Catholics in New England at that time.

Does anybody have any quotes where he actually mentions Catholicism by name?

The majority of Catholics came into this country toward the latter half of the 19th Century and first part of the 20th Century.

These quotes from early church leaders about Catholicism being the "whore of all the earth" are really disturbing, but I'm curious what fueled this bigotry, when there would have been few Catholics along their route to the Rocky Mtns....

Subject: Catholicism in Nineteenth Century America
Date: Feb 19 12:43
Author: link

"Josiah Strong in his widely read book Our Country listed immigration as one of seven perils facing America, the others being Romanism, Mormonism, intemperance, socialism, wealth, and the city."

Subject: Re: Anti-Catholicism in Nineteenth Century America
Date: Feb 19 13:35
Author: She Godless

Interesting link, thanks for sharing. But at the time JS *wrote* the Book of Mormon, there really weren't that many Catholics in America, right (less than 30,000)?

So, was there indeed massive anti-Catholic sentiment at that time? Where did it come from?

I'd really be interested in knowing where early Mormons derived their anti-Catholic bigotry (something I'm dealing with in my personal life right now that I think spills over from my TBM days).

Perhaps anti-Catholicism was being taught by the Protestant preachers of JS' day, and so it seeped into Mormonism???? Just a guess.

Subject: Protestantism is by its very nature and definition anti-Catholic
Date: Feb 19 13:41
Author: link

so your theory makes sense.

You're probably right there weren't too many Catholics around in Joseph Smith's neighborhood.

She Godless wrote:
> Perhaps anti-Catholicism was being taught by the Protestant preachers of JS' day, and so it seeped into Mormonism???? Just a guess.

Subject: I was ALWAYS taught that the "great and abominable" church was the Catholic church.
Date: Feb 19 13:57
Author: Moablo

My brother was taught this in the MTC [Missionary Training Center] in the 1960's and was told that the pope was the leader of the church of the devil.

The denial of these teachings is just another of the disgusting lies the LDS cult has reverted to. It's one thing to say they don't believe it now and admit prophets were wrong, but to deny they ever taught that is inexcusable. The lying, the denying, the half truths, the withholding of information, the changing of history are all reasons why the LDS cult cannot possibly be true and could never be called God's church.

Subject: Me too, there was never any question about it . Catholic church = Whore of Babylon n/t
Subject: Pardon my ignorance regarding the Catholic church.
Date: Feb 19 22:41
Author: OU812

When did it originate? I thought it was supposed to have originated with Peter after the death of Jesus. Wouldn't this have been long after Lehi's family left the old world? So how could Nephi write of it on the plates?

The answer: We are expected to believe that JS translated the words of Nephi who wrote of churches not in existence (through prophecy).

So, which is more likely? Nephi recorded prophecy about God's feelings about the Catholic church hundreds of years before it even existed and Smith dutifully translated it from an unknown language or Smith had an overactive imagination?

Subject: I had always been taught that the RCC was the "Whore of Babylon"
Date: Feb 19 22:50
Author: activejackmormon

The catholic church was the church that fell away from Christianity in the mindset I was taught. The catholic church represented the apostate church that adopted heathen practices from the Romans and other ancient religions.

Protestants recognized this and tried to reform the existing church but to no avail. The motives of men such as Martin Luther were honorable in Mormon eyes, though Henry VIII's break with catholicism wasn't necessarily all that admired.

To show the ethnocentricity of Mormonism, I never heard much about where the Greek and Russian Orthodox Church's fit into the scheme of thing even though you could argue that they were just as much the heirs to the "true Christian religion" as the Catholic Church. I assume this was because Yankee New England was influenced by protestant catholic discord in England more than they were with any Greek Orthodox matters. In the 1600's when Mormonism's puritan ancestors arrived in New England, issues relating to catholicism were still fresh in their minds with Bloody Mary of the Tudor dynasty and the various catholic monarchs of the Stuart dynasty.

Subject: Re: Why the Mormon Church hates the Catholic
Date: Feb 20 01:06
Author: shinytoes

This was a very interesting post and I thank you for sharing it, deconstructor.

This is a topic that interests me as a nevermo/lapsed catholic. In the mid-80's I was told by a serious TBM classmate the line about the Roman Catholic church being the 'whore of the earth' and he also added (possibly his own prophesy? who knows, maybe he's a Profit-in-the-making..) that in due time the LDS church would completely overtake the RCC and that this would happen sooner rather than later. I merely chalked both statements up to his being a freak-in-general, nothing specific to his church beliefs. So, a data point here, as a nonmember being told directly by a member, within 20 years ago, that this was at least a belief that had been passed onto him. (Only in not so nice language, of course).

Even though it's not "official," how does this [weird? idiotic? paranoid? what word am I looking for here?] belief still get passed along? Perhaps not in a church meeting, but among family members or among missionaries? I'm very curious to know how it continues to perpetuate itself.

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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