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WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR AUTHORITY?

      When Christ was asked the question, He responded with questions, turning the issue back on the questioners.

So here are some issues to be faced and questions for LDS to consider in response to this question.

1-2   Relationship Issues
3-12   Priesthood Issues
13-31 Church Revelations and History Issues
32-39 Apostasy and Restoration Issues
40-43 Misc. Issues
44-47 Getting Personal

RELATIONSHIP ISSUES

1. Authority to do anything for God must start with a relationship to God. Under the new covenant (based on the gospel of grace) one must put faith in Christ and the shed blood as that which by grace, saves and justifies a person. Inherent in the word grace is the concept of a gift given freely to one unworthy of it, without it having been earned/deserved (the only requirement being faith). The gift of my salvation was paid for IN FULL by Christ and thus by my faith I received spiritual life and Christ indwelling in me in spirit form as John 1:12 states (among other passages). This is my authority. The Spirit resident in me is the Spirit of the one who said in Matt. 28:18-20, "All power (authority) is given unto me...go ye therefore and teach.... and lo, I am with you always...." When you have the one in you who has all authority, what else do you need?

I question LDS authority in that they have changed the inherent meaning of the word grace, and are therefore not indwelt by Christ, but are under a curse as spelled out in Galatians 1:6-9 Eph. 2:8-10 indicates we are saved "by grace through faith", but if LDS grace is only what you get after you do all you can do (II Nephi 25:23) rather than a free gift that is undeserved (Eph. 2:8-10), then LDS are not getting what the Bible is offering. Thus ...how can LDS have authority if they have not received Biblical salvation? Only the saved ones have the Spirit of God in them. If you don't have that, you have nothing.

2. My only claim is that God called me to WARN LDS of Spiritual danger.  Logically, for me not to do it would be a sin. It would be a violation of the golden rule to do unto others as you would that they do unto you if LDS really ARE in spiritual danger. If you are in physical danger (watch out for the bridge out on the darkened road ahead) and I know it and you don't... I am a sicko if I choose NOT to warn you, right? So I'd say the issue of my authority to warn is over-stressed.

 PRIESTHOOD ISSUES

3. LDS equate priesthood and authority. I will not quibble with that.  Let's talk about priesthood. First, we need to ask, "What valid NEW COVENANT priesthoods are to exist?"   The priesthood I claim to hold is described in I Peter 2:5-9 and Revelation 1:5-6. It is called a royal priesthood and is said to belong to all who are washed from our sins in his own blood. I Peter 2:9 is similar in wording to Deut. 26:18-19 and Exodus19:6, which words were not addressed to an elite priesthood of a single tribe, but to the nation of Israel as a whole; thus the application to us (all believers in Christ) makes sense.

4. LDS tie authority to an Aaronic priesthood. They say one must be called of God, as was Aaron (as Hebrews states). But in studying how Aaron was called and how the Aaronic priesthood began, we would ask why the LDS have not followed the pattern. The priesthood was limited to blood descendents of Aaron (Ex. 28:1, 43, 29:9, Lev. 6:19-23).

5. And in Lev. 21 we learn that there were PHYSICAL limitations for Aaronic priests. Some were: blind, lame, flat noses, broken bones, dwarfs, bad eyes, crooked backs. Joseph Smith had a part of a leg bone removed when he was younger (see Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith and His Progenitors for Many Generations, p. 65), thus he was NOT QUALIFIED to hold the Aaronic priesthood.  So why did he hold that office?

6. Note also that the ordination ceremony described in Exodus 29 is not followed by LDS.  Why?

7. But the greater issue with the Aaronic priesthood is that it is an OLD covenant priesthood. We have passed into the new covenant time period (Heb.8:7-8). Is it to continue? Read Hebrews 7:11-12. It says "For the priesthood being CHANGED, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." See also Heb. 8:6, and 13, and the statement in 7:18 of the former covenant being disannulled. The priesthood was tied to the law-covenant, yet we are told we are not under law but under grace (Rom. 6:14).   The new testament passages that list offices do not mention any such priesthood offices.  Why?

8. What was the job of priests? The old covenant priests were serving as an example of heavenly things (Heb. 8:5), and they offered gifts and sacrifices to God (Heb. 8:4, 10:11), but their sacrifices only covered up the sins, they did not take them away. The new covenant change was that CHRIST'S once for all sacrifice was the fulfillment of what their sacrifices typified and foreshadowed (10:1). Thus once the picture is replaced by the real thing, you no longer need the picture. The statement in Hebrews 10:18 (no more sacrifices) was the simple equivalent of saying (directed to the Aaronic Priests) "you're fired."

9. Hebrews 7 indicates that the old covenant priests, being many, were replaced with a SINGLE HIGH PRIEST from another tribe, a priest after the order of Melchizedek. This priest had no WRITTEN record of his birth, death, or descendents, and thus Christ fits the symbol because He is eternal. Heb. 7:23 speaks of the former priests not continuing, but dying, but Jesus created a better testament (covenant) by becoming a HIGH priest who would never die and never need to have a successor.  So why are there multiple Melchizedek priests in the LDS system?

10. Regarding the Melchizedek High Priesthood, Heb. 7:24 speaks of an UNCHANGEABLE priesthood. That means basically one that is not TRANSFERRED to anyone else. So the many Aaronic priests, whose sacrifices symbolized the coming Christ's sacrifice, were replaced by the one ever-living Melchizedek-type priest, Christ. When we get to the summary statement in Heb. 8...it is that we have A high priest (Christ) in heaven (not MANY Melchizedek priests). See also 10:21...  A priest now, not many priests. I challenge any LDS person to find any place in the New Testament that allows for an  Aaronic Priesthood or a Melchizedek Priesthood of many priests in this new covenant era who did what those Priests did in the old testament…  Instead, it indicates that the former covenant is replaced by the new one (Heb. 8:5-13).  Is this not a case of covenant confusion?

11. IF... Aaronic Priests (or Melchizedek Priests) were needed in this covenant era, why is there no Bible record of the ordination or appointment or confirmation of even ONE such priest, and no new covenant statement of any change in requirements for being in either priesthood? I further believe that because Christ never dies and never needs to pass His HIGH priesthood on to anyone because only one person was ever high priest in Israel. He entered the holy of holies on the day of atonement to offer a sacrifice (Heb. 9:7, 25). I believe it is blasphemous for LDS to usurp the title of Melchizedek Priest and allow MANY to hold the office of high priest. Christ is the ONLY one to hold that title. Heb. 7:28 says that although the law made men (PLURAL, over time period) priests, now the new oath (covenant) which existed since the law covenant ended, makes the SON (singular) consecrated to this ministry forevermore (period). Think about it. It makes sense. Heb. 10:14 says that He offered ONE sacrifice for ALL sins for ALL time and by that one sacrifice we are perfected FOREVER. Those high priests did offerings over and over, year after year, but since Christ took care of all sins for all time in one sacrifice, they are no longer to offer sacrifices. Jesus fulfilled all that. The foregoing evidence is in itself sufficient in my opinion to put a major question mark on LDS authority. But there is far more....

12. Regarding the Melchizedek priesthood... church records are sadly lacking in details like the date and who did the restoration and how and where. The one record (which is questionable because one church leader said there was no record of the event) is by Heber Kimball (J. of D, 6:29) where it is much like a repeat of the other incident... Peter comes, grants authority, says for him to baptize Cowdery, and then Cowdery baptizes Joseph and ordains him. Did Peter have the office of Melchizedek priest? There is no evidence that he did.

REVELATION AND HISTORY ISSUES

13.   Smith was not qualified to be a prophet according to the Book of Commandments chapter 4, verse 2. It stated originally that Smith had the gift to translate the Book of Mormon, but he should PRETEND TO NO OTHER GIFT, because none would be given. Of course this info was too damning, so they had to change it when reprinting it in the D&C later. Look it up. Very interesting. This revelation states that he did not have the gift of prophecy, which makes him a false prophet.

14.    This Book of Commandments revelation (4:2) also shows Smith's so-called “inspired” revision  of the Bible was NOT inspired of GOD. He had a lot of nerve, didn't he?   "Pretend to no other gift."

15.  I have had on line for years at my site a list of Smith’s false prophecies.  No one has been able to show they are not false prophecies.   A false prophet has no authority from God.  Click here read my article on Smith's false prophecies.    How do LDS answer this MAJOR charge against Smith?

16. The whole concept of the two priesthoods was not a part of the original church. In the booklet written by one of the 3 witnesses (if you listen to PART of their story, you should listen to ALL of it!), David Whitmer, he states that in the beginning the church only had the office of ELDER in it (ref. A Witness to All Believers in Christ, p. 64), but when Sidney Rigdon came along, he talked Smith into adding the priesthoods. You can see evidence of this change by looking at the Book of Commandments and comparing the early chapters to the early chapters of the Doctrine & Covenants. THE PASSAGES ABOUT THE PRIESTHOOD WERE ADDED LATER, which fact Whitmer states in his booklet. Specifics: Compare D & C 27:12 to the equivalent passage... the whole discourse on the priesthood is missing from Book of Commandment chapter 28. So which was inspired -- the earlier or the later? 

17. That's not all that has been changed of the revelations by a long shot. But a doctrinally significant change was made in the Articles of Faith. At first the fourth article indicated that the only things required for salvation were Faith in the Lord, Repentance, Baptism and Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. But that left out temple work, didn't it? So after Smith died church leaders revised the article so that these four items are not simply THE ORDINANCES, but rather, We believe that the FIRST PRINCIPLES AND ordinances of the gospel are: (the 4). This allowed for the addition of all the temple rites. So who was right? More on this below.

18. The Melchizedek Priesthood, we are told in History of the Church, 1:175-176, was FIRST conferred on someone in the church in June 1831. So the church existed without any higher priesthood for over a year. If it can exist without it... why suggest we cannot? Did the baby church really exist without any Priesthood (authority)?

19-25.   Let's look at the direct story of alleged restoration of authority. It is found in Joseph Smith 2:68-73. The sequence of events is this: 1. A messenger says he has conferred the Priesthood of Aaron on Smith and Cowdery. 2. Then he says to them to go be baptized; for Smith to baptize Cowdery and then Cowdery to baptize Smith. 3. Then Smith lays hands on Cowdery's head to ordain him to the priesthood. 4, Cowdery ordains Smith by laying on hands. 5. After baptism, Holy Ghost fell on Cowdery; after Smith's baptism, Holy Ghost falls on him. They prophesied.  Do you see anything wrong with this picture? I do.

A. When the angel said, "I confer the priesthood of Aaron" to the two... they were as yet unbaptized men. It is my understanding that you do not consider one qualified to have any church office UNTIL they are baptized. Is it not stated that the baptism was for the remission of sin? Did the angel choose to confer a priesthood on men who were unforgiven sinners?

B. The two went and baptized one another. At that point had EITHER of them been baptized by someone who had authority to baptize them? How then, could they have any authority to baptize someone else? Why didn't the angel (John the BAPTIZER) baptize one of them? (An angel wrestled with Jacob, so baptism should be do-able.)

C. Was the angel's conferring of the priesthood invalid or valid? If it was valid, why did they redo the conferring of the priesthood on one another? If it was invalid, why did the angel do it? If it was invalid, then they had no authority to baptize one another after he SAID they had it.

D. The LDS believe the power to lay on hands for one to receive the Holy Ghost is given only to one who has received it by laying on of hands from one who had the authority to confer it... Yet we find that John the Baptist, who is the alleged agent in this story, was filled with the Holy Ghost before he was born. Did he fit the LDS pattern? He did not even say he was conferring the Holy Ghost on them. It came without anyone laying on hands... unless you prefer to believe Smith and Cowdery gave it to one another. If Smith and Cowdery received the gift of the Holy Ghost without anyone laying hands on them.... who is to say that believers outside the LDS church cannot receive the Spirit in the same way?

E. Are LDS consistent in this authority-receiving sequence? Mosiah 18:12-18 speaks of Alma baptizing a man named Helam and also Baptizing HIMSELF at the same time...claiming only that he had authority from Almighty God to do so. If HE can make such a claim, why do LDS dispute Bible believers who claim the same authority?

F. The text here says they received the Holy Ghost and went out and baptized 203 others. Did this man have any priesthood? Would he have received it before being self-baptized? Were his 203 baptisms therefore invalid? Was his later ordination of men to the priesthood valid? You want to talk about authority? It would appear the most correct book on earth does not teach the proper (current view of) sequence or importance of authority.

G.  Going back to John the Baptist's visit...he tells Smith and Cowdery that the Aaronic priesthood did not have the power of laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost. But in the book Mormon Doctrine, by McConkie, page 761, we read that by baptism people are born of water AND OF THE SPIRIT.  If they had the power to baptize one another, they should have triggered the coming of the Spirit, which event did occur... so why did the messenger say that that power was NOT theirs?

26.. In a publication called the "Messenger and Advocate" (Vol. 1, pg. 13) the readers are told they are going to be given a full history of the rise of the church, "that our narrative may be correct". In this account the story does not agree with the foregoing story in J. S. chapter 2!!!   What is going on?

1. In this 1834 account, Cowdery does not identify the angel as John the Baptist.
2. In this account there is no mention of the two priesthoods!
3. Also, there's no mention of the baptism and ordination of each other, baptism by immersion, or the keys of Aaron.
4. The message of the angel was for a different purpose: "that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering."

27. There is also a THIRD account of this restoration of authority. It is found in the History of the Church, Vol. VI,  pp. 249-250 (unless LDS have come out with a new edition and changed what was in the older one.) In THIS account he says he was in the woods, but he makes NO MENTION of Cowdery. The messenger (not identified) laid hands on him to ordain him to the Aaronic priesthood. But there is no mention of the other events mentioned that followed as stated in J. S. chapter 2. Which account are we to believe? There you have it... the star witnesses apparently have shot one another down.

28. Look at III Nephi 11:19-28. Can one without authority baptize others? This man is baptizing others before he has been baptized. Your church should censure this man in the story as a phony without proper authority!!! Can anyone tell me for sure what the sequence is supposed to be? If he can do it, can I?

29. It gets worse. Check Alma 36:23 to see that Alma is born of God and filled with the Holy Ghost without being baptized and without having hands laid on him by any proper authority. What is the explanation for this?

30. Another line of thought: LDS leaders indicate that the first vision is a foundation of the church (and thus, its authority). Not only are there conflicting stories of it, which do not agree on the date, place, persons, message, and more in your church historical writings, but I note that Smith said everyone persecuted him because of that vision. But when I study the testimony of Smith's friends and neighbors I find they were critical of his gold-digging and golden-Bible, but there was not a word about any vision. (E. D. Howe's book) In view of the fact that the first published stories of the vision were printed many years after the fact, even though much other information was being published about the church, I'd say there probably was no first vision.... there goes your foundation.  Response?

31. Apostolic authority. LDS feel the absence of apostles after the first ones died indicates that the church lost its authority. I would first remind them that the Book of Mormon churches existed without apostolic authority. Secondly, one must follow through the logic of this lost authority theory. The existing 12 in the book of Acts undoubtedly had all the authority and power and presence and guidance they needed. What happened that not a ONE of them got the message that they needed to appoint a successor to himself before his life came to an end. Are we to think that Christ couldn't communicate that to these hand-picked men? Or that their death caught the Omniscient One by surprise? If the "system" could go rancid that rapidly, what hope is there for any "restored" apostles? The fact is that we read that in EVERY CHURCH leaders were appointed (see Titus 1:5). Why couldn't God get through to any one of these 12 men when they were appointing leaders WHICH OFFICE most desperately needed filling? Can you not see how demeaning this is to the Lord to suggest He slipped up here and let the church die of a lack of authority? But the truth is...every church got its needed leaders (a rose by any other name...). In other words the Head of the Church (Christ) WAS still taking care of business. Could it be that it was His INTENTION to allow the office that was for the FOUNDATION stage of the church to end when the church came into its floors-and-walls stage?

APOSTASY AND RESTORATION ISSUES

32. I am aware that LDS put great stock in the concept of their being a restored church with (therefore) restored authority. That is an improvable theory from several standpoints. First, you must prove there was a TOTAL apostasy. I say total, because a partial apostasy would diminish the size of the church, but not necessitate its restoration. While the New Testament speaks of SOME turning from the faith, no passage states there would be a total apostasy. This is a MAJOR omission. LDS cite Amos 8:11 to me to suggest we need prophets today, but in context the verse is saying that God would not judge Israel without first giving them a warning through His prophets. NOW....think about it. What could be a more significant event in all the history of Christ's church (beyond the resurrection) than the total apostasy of it? Would it come without a warning? I think not. God would not be that merciful to Israel, yet fail to warn the church; is He not the same yesterday, today, and forever in His character?

33. Where is the warning of the coming total apostasy? Don't quote II Thess. 2:3 to me because in context that speaks of an apostasy that occurs in connection with the return of Christ, when the man of sin is destroyed by Christ's coming (see vs. 8). That is a future event. The fact that LDS use this as a proof text is a problem in itself. They are taking scriptures out of context. Don't cite verses to me that speak of a partial apostasy... and don't cite verses to me that speak of the apostasy of Israel, because the two entities are not the same, as Romans 11:25 indicates. Don't cite verses in Revelation that speak of the future period of the antichrist (3 and one half years). So what verses does that leave? I've asked that question of  many LDS and have yet to hear a single one that qualifies (in context) as a warning of a TOTAL apostasy of the CHURCH in its early years of existence.

34. Not only is such a warning absent, the scriptures indicate the opposite... that the Church/Kingdom of Christ would not come to an end...see Matthew 16:18, (I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it) Daniel 2:44 and Luke 1:33(Christ's kingdom will have no end to it), and Eph. 3:21 (glory unto Christ through His church throughout all ages). Consider also the Matthew 13 parables of the kingdom. An enemy invades the field and plants tares. Does the owner say...dig it out and start over later? No, he does not! The good and bad grow together until the harvest (yet future). The other parable speaks of the kingdom being like a tree that grows larger and larger... does that sound like total apostasy?

35. Logic dictates as well that Christ has more ability than LDS suggest, i.e., that he got the church going but couldn't KEEP it going. The Bible characterizes Christ as almighty, and as the bridegroom or husband of the church. Yet we are to believe that Christ ABANDONED her? Did he not have the POWER to correct her? Did ALL the members (hundreds of thousands by the suggested time of alleged apostasy) turn away in concert from their faultless bridegroom? And did Christ not for a full 1700 years have the intelligence to figure out how to restore the church? The theory is a real insult to Christ. Christ is called the NOURISHER of the church in Eph. 5:29. Yet LDS would have us believe Christ STARVED it of precisely what it needed to thrive? (truth, guidance, authority, discipline, correction?)

36. See Acts 3:21. It says that the heavens must receive Christ until the restitution of all things. LDS have cited that verse to me as indication that a restoration would be needed. But cross-reference Acts. 1:6 to see that the anticipated restoration was of the JEWISH KINGDOM. Further, the text says it was a restoration prophesied by ALL the prophets (time frame dictates Old Covenant prophets). A study of the old testament reveals a consistent set of prophecies of a coming King and Kingdom age for the nation of Israel. Why are LDS taking this verse out of context to prove the need for a restoration of the CHURCH. It makes sense that the audience of Acts would not be the proper ones to be speaking to about a restoration of the church because it had just had its spectacular, glorious birth! If ANY of the LDS leaders had genuine God-given authority they would have blown the whistle on this verse having been twisted out of context and used to try to prove their theory long ago.

37. But there is an even bigger problem. Check your scriptures... D & C 7, and III Nephi 28:6-32. There we read of 3 or 4 authorized disciples or apostles who companied with Christ and were specially commissioned by Him and given special protection against Satan and the promise they would not die, and were told they would bring men to Christ until Christ returned. That would mean they were on the earth at the very time Joseph Smith was saying there was no true church around...that all the churches were false, their professors corrupt, and their doctrines abominable. HOW COULD THIS BE? If Smith could get his church started and up to 10 million in less than 200 years...what size of church should these 3 or 4 ever-living authorized men been able to build in 1700 plus years? We are left with only about 3 choices: Christ lied to those men. (I don't buy that for a nanosecond.), the Book of Mormon lied, or Joseph Smith lied.  If either of the latter two choices is true....there goes the foundation of the LDS church. If there was some other church in existence that was actually authorized by God when Smith was talking about his first vision... this puts him in the position of an ENEMY of Christ's true church. Where does that leave  Mormonism?

38.  Are we to believe Christ failed TWICE to keep his church going (total apostasy of the church as begun by the ever-living apostles?) If it happened twice, could it have happened again? What would make this 1800s restoration any more apostasy-proof than the earlier ones? Christ couldn't keep it going? This is certainly not the Christ that I worship.

39. IF a restoration were necessary, how should it occur? We have a pattern given to us in the Old Testament. In II Kings 22, when an apostate priest found the law writings, the people simply humbled themselves and prayed, and were forgiven. Pretty simple, huh?

MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES

 40. The first vision condemns the doctrines of all other churches as being abominable in God's sight but if one studies the Campbellite doctrine of salvation one will find that it is that one is saved by repentance, faith, baptism and the laying on of hands. DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR?? Folks, you can't have it both ways. Either Smith lied about the doctrines being abominable, or your church in its early years had an abominable doctrine of salvation. Some restoration.

41. Now...a word about women's authority.... and the blacks. Brigham Young said that the curse of God would remain on blacks and "they can never hold the priesthood or share in it until all the other descendents of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof." I (being a woman) am a descendent of Adam. Neither I any other women in the world are yet entitled to the LDS priesthood (of course I'm not seeking it either)...so this prophecy indicates that the granting of the priesthood to the blacks was a mistake... By what AUTHORITY was this man operating (Kimball)??? It would appear that it is Young versus Kimball.... either way, you lose because you have one authority contradicting another. If you think the statement (the word all) should not include women... check out II Nephi 26:33, Galatians 3:28 and Philippians 4:3. Women are included in the ambassadors category spelled out in II Cor. 5:17-21.

42. In 1954 Apostle Mark Peterson, in an address at BYU said that "Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot receive the Priesthood..." He got this from Brigham Young (J. OF D. 10:110) While you may smile and say that a newer revelation replaced that, the problem is that before the 1978 revelation, there are records of Negroes holding the priesthood. So the authority stream was muddied considerably. (Documentation available on request.) Unauthorized priests?  Sounds like it.

43. When I first investigated the LDS church (in the 70's) and prayed for God to show me if there was anything to it.... He brought to my mind Isaiah 8:20, which says we are to look to the law and the testimony (the existing revelation, meaning the Old Testament first books) and if they (so-called prophets) do not speak according to the revelation, it is because there is no light in them.  I'd say that equates to no authority. So I compared the teachings of Mormonism to the Bible and I found there was disagreement. The teachings of Mormonism are not according to the Bible. Click here to see the list of disagreements  (check the charts at the end of the article).  Response?

GETTING PERSONAL

44.  Here’s another facet to consider.  D & C 121:35-40 indicates that if a priest sins in ANY DEGREE, the Spirit and the priesthood are withdrawn from him! Now... would someone always KNOW if the Spirit had withdrawn? What if they choose to pass on authority without realizing (or knowing) that they do not have it? In an authority chain going back to Smith of perhaps 10 or 20 persons.... can you be SURE that every one of them HAD the authority they thought they had?

45. In one period of history there may have been such a problem. In Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2, pages 332-333, we learn that Brigham Young for many years required REbaptism for ALL the LDS members who entered Salt Lake Valley. This baptism was for remission of SINS. Every one of these folks who may have conferred authority on someone before the rebaptism may have done so as a sinner, according to Young's action. Think it through... to sin in ANY DEGREE forfeits the priesthood. Can ANYONE claiming authority guarantee that they have not sinned in ANY degree at any time prior to conferring authority? If there was a problem back in the beginning of the church, that false authority line could affect literally a million or more people.... but WHICH million? Couple that with the fact that there was a point when about half of the apostles of the church apostatized... and you have a REAL problem. How long had they been in apostasy before leaving? How many did they lay hands on when in (silent, or growing) apostasy?

46. By their fruits ye shall know them.  While I could tell lots of stories of people in my world who are LDS and also hypocrites, I will not do so.  But I would say a hypocrite disqualifies himself as God's messenger/authority. Smith was a hypocrite in that after he issued the word of wisdom (1833), he was still using and making available alcohol in a bar he had built in his home (in 1842), until his wife made him remove it. (The Saints' Herald, Jan. 22, 1935, page 110, relating information given by Smith's son.) Further, in 1843 he had an ordinance passed allowing HIM (as Mayor) to sell liquor. History of the church, Vol. 6, page 111 (unless newer editions have changed this). See also J of D 11:140.  Also, Brigham Young built a distillery. (J of D 10, p. 206)

47. When we have a question, we look to a spiritual authority for answers.  The LDS leaders are supposedly “seers”…men whose vision SHOULD enable them to give answers.  But with the Mark Hofmann document counterfeiting years ago they could not see the truth.  Therefore the leaders paid him thousands and thousands of dollars to buy bogus documents.    Further, the Tanners have been printing materials questioning every facet of Mormonism for about 45 years.  The LDS church’s position on this has been basically a SILENCE (plus a law-suit that failed).  So much for authoritative answers.  If what the Tanners say is true, the church is false.  If the church was of God, why haven't the leaders (hearing from God)  been able to put to silence the “lies” of the Tanners.

48. NOW...lest I leave you with just the negative reasons ...why LDS do NOT have authority, let me give a bit more personalized take on why I DO have authority to witness to you folks and share the scriptures. I do not operate as a loner. I am born again, indwelt by the Spirit, a member of a local church, and my pastor and church family are both aware of my ministry and sanction it and pray for me and have in the past sent me (i.e. commissioned me) to go on short trips to Utah to minister. I am submitted to the authority of my pastor as spiritual guide based on the words in Heb. 13:17. I have the royal priesthood. All Christians have been given spiritual gifts and are to use them to minister. The one who has all authority is in me. He has promised never to leave nor forsake me. Thus my authority is unshakeable, unlike the LDS soap-bubble of pretended authority. This is the ministry God has called me to, and I will fulfill it....fact is that part of the reason I am to do what I do is to fulfill God's MERCY extended to you, by warning you folks before your final judgment....in accordance with Amos 8:11. The true church never died of a total apostasy. LDS are not the restored church but a counterfeit, and will stand before God to be judged as ones who have opposed Christ's true church and in effect call him a liar in his promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His beloved church. That church consists of all in whom the Spirit of God dwells, regardless of label for it is a spiritual entity and its unity consists in all believers being indwelt by the same Spirit.   Acts 2:47  indicates that those who are saved are added to that membership list by the Lord. I am a member of the body of Christ. He tells me in Eph. 2:6 that I am seated in the heavenlies. I'm told I can boldly access the throne of God (Heb. 4:16), and as one who is IN Christ (see Ephesians 1), I don't know how anyone can get any closer to His position of supreme authority than that. It is enough for me.