Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 13, 1962

The Mormon System - A Cure For Religious Division

Robert H. West

In virtually every one of their home studies, LDS missionaries allege that a "living prophet" is necessary to end the state of religious confusion found in the world today. Pausing only long enough to note the similarity to the Roman Catholics and their "infallible pope," we proceed to show that, first, the lack of a "living prophet" was not the cause of division; and, second, that having one today is no cure for it.

It is true that a "falling away" of the church is predicted in the New Testament. But because of this apostasy was, as we learn from 1 Tim. 4:1, a departure from "the faith," and not the death of the apostles and prophets as the Mormons claim. As long as man was obeying the faith (Acts 6:7) continuing in it (Col. 1:23), and contending for it (Jude 3), there was unity. There will be religious unity today by the same means. We have the same "faith" or gospel that they had then. If we obey it, continue in it, and contend for it as they did, we will be united. But, if we "depart" from it, there is religious division. The function of the apostles and prophets was to "deliver" the faith. It was up to those who received it to keep the faith and maintain unity. So the absence of a living prophet is not the cause of division.

The presence of a living prophet is no guarantee of religious unity either. There was religious division in the first century while more than one apostle and prophet were living. See 1 Cor. 1:10-13 and notice the division then in existence. In the 12th chapter of this book we learn that there were "prophets" among the Corinthians. But there was still division in spite of "living prophets." There are at least five distinct religious groups today claiming to believe the Book of Mormon and to have a "living prophet." But they are all divided from the other. These facts lead irresistibly to the conclusion that a living prophet is not the answer to religious division.

Far from being the answer, we allege that this claim of having a "living prophet" is one of the leading causes of religious division. Seventh-Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses and others also claim, to one extent or the other, to have as their foundation stone a living prophet(ess). The communicants of these sects are as zealous and sincere as the Mormons in claiming they have the answer to religious division. Yet, religious division still prevails.

The Mormon system is far from being a cure for the ailments of the religious world.

— 2424 McCarran, North Las Vegas, Nevada