17 Points of the One True Church

Theo1689

Well-known member
Once upon a time there was a faith-promoting story in the LDS church. It was brought up in Sacrament meeting, and LDS missionaries in the '70's (and maybe '80's) used to carry around cards with the "17 Points" as an aid to try to make converts. The story goes as follows:

"Five young men went to hear Einstein speak, and he commented about faith in God. That prompted the men to get together to study the Bible to figure out waht the true church must teach. They came up with '17 True Points', and were all set to search for the church that met that criteria. But World War II happened, and one of the men died(*). Many years later, they meet up together, and discover that they had all joined the LDS church."

I find a number of things problematic about these "17 Points" (none of which, in context, point to the LDS church to the exclusion of any other church):
  • They don't seem to be an accurate list of what true Mormons would come up with, to highlight their church as "distinctive";
  • They don't seem to be an accurate list of what critics of Mormonism would come up with as being important;
  • They don't seem to be an accurate list of what neutral and unbiased readers of the Bible would come up with;
  • They demonstrate at the "young men" were very POOR at properly understanding Scripture (either that, or hopelessly biased);

For instance, a non-Mormon like myself would include a list that included foundational truths:
  • monotheism, only one true god/deity exists (30+ x);
  • salvation by grace, "not by works" (15-20 x);
  • God is our "Creator", not our "progenitor";
  • the purpose of the Law is to convict us of sin and lead us to Christ;

For instance, if I was a Mormon, my list of "points" would include:
  • spending eternity with your family;
  • becoming gods over our own worlds;

And if I was an unbiased reader of the Bible, I would tend to include teaches that were taught over and over again in the Bible (eg. monotheism, men are corrupt sinners, mankind was created by God, salvation is by grace, through faith, not by works), and would NOT include things that we mentioned only ONCE, in passing, describing what OTHERS do (eg. "baptism for the dead").


As for being poor and pathetic interpreters of Scripture, there are some blatant misinterpretations in the "17 Points":

11. The true church must teach that God and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bone. (Luke 23:36-39, Acts 1:9-11, Heb. 1:1-3

The three "proof-texts" given, are all about Jesus, and NOT about "God" (ie. the Father) at all. At best, Heb. 1:1-3 mentions Jesus sitting "at the right hand" of God. Bur Mormons don't seem to understand that the phrase is a euphemism for "authority", not some "anatomy lesson". Further, how can you draw a conclusion about the nature of God all the while IGNORING relevant passages such as John 4:24 ("God is Spirit"), and Job 9:32, Num. 23:19, 1 Sam. 15:29 ("God is not a man")? The "young men" were obviously NOT interested in an objective summary of what the Bible ACTUALLY taught.​

6. The true church must have no paid ministry (1 Cor 9:16-18; Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)

The first citation is INCREDIBLY disingenuous, since what came immediately prior (1 Cor. 9:1-12) is Paul arguing for the RIGHT for ministers to be paid. And not only does he make the argument, but he appeals to SCRIPTURE to support paid ministry ("you shall not muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain", Deut. 25:4, 1 Tim. 5:18, which also leads to further support, Luke 10:7). 1 Cor. 9 and Acts 20 refer ONLY to Paul, and his choice to waive his right to be paid. But that does NOT make the right go away.​
And John 10:11ff isn't even about paid ministry, but ony teaches that some are only MOTIVATED by wages. A true minister of God deserves to be paid for his efforts, for his motivation is not "filthy lucre", it is the protection and care of the flock.​


Suffice it to say that if these "young men" tried to write a paper defending their position on the "17 points", they would have gotten a failing grade. It's a twisting of Scripture on the level of Satan.


(*) When I wrote, "one of the men died", I immediately wanted to follow it with, "And now they're buried together on the countryside." Let me know if you know the reference.
 
17 Points of the One True Church



1 The one true church must teach that only ONE god exists (Deut. 4:35,39, Deut. 32:39, 1 Kings 8:60, Isa. 43:10, Isa. 44:6,8, Isa. 45:5,21,22, Isa. 46:9, Mark 12:32, 1 Cor. 8:4, etc.

2 The one true church must teach that salvation is “not by works” (Eph. 2:8-9, Tit. 3:5, 2 Tim. 1:9, Rom. 4:1-5, Rom. 11:5,6. etc. etc.)

3 The one true church must teach that the time of “prophets” has ended, and we are now under the leadership of Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1-2).

4 The one true church must teach that church elders must be married, with children, older and mature, and demonstrate an ability to teach (Tit. 1:5-8, 1 TIm. 3:2)

5 The one true church must teach that church deacons must be married, with children, older and mature (1 Tim. 3:12)

6 The one true church must teach that God is invisible (Col. 1:15, 1 Tim. 1:17, Heb. 11:27)

7 The one true church must teach that God is spirit (John 4:24).

8 The one true church must teach that God is not a man (Job 9:32, Num. 23:19, 1 Sam. 15:29).

9 The one true church must teach that humankind are CREATIONS of God, not “children” of God (Gen. 1:27, Gen. 5:1, Isa. 64:8, Mal. 2:10).

10 The one true church must teach that redeemed saints BECOME children of God through ADOPTION (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:5, Eph. 1:5).

11 The one true church must pray to Jesus Christ (Acts 7:59, John 20:28).

12 The one true church must be willing to financially support those devoted to ministry (Luke 10:2-7, 1 Cor. 9:7-14, 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

13 The one true church must compare all new claims of revelation with the Bible and reject whatever disagrees ((Gal. 1:8, 1 Thess. 5:21, Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 3:16).

14 The one true church is that which was established by Jesus, has never been overcome, but has existed on the Earth throughout all generations since Jesus (Matt. 16:18, Eph. 3:21).

15 The one true church must not make the issue of what we eat or drink a requirement of the gospel (Mark 7:18-20, Rom. 14:14-18, Col. 2:13-17).

16 The one true church must teach that God has been God from all eternity (Ps. 90:2, Mal. 3:6, James 1:17).

17 The true church must teach that God does not have a physical body (John 4:24, Luke 24:39, 1 Kings 8:27, John 1:18, 1 Tim. 1:17).
 
17 Points of the One True Church

1 The one true church must teach that only ONE god exists (Deut. 4:35,39, Deut. 32:39, 1 Kings 8:60, Isa. 43:10, Isa. 44:6,8, Isa. 45:5,21,22, Isa. 46:9, Mark 12:32, 1 Cor. 8:4, etc.

2 The one true church must teach that salvation is “not by works” (Eph. 2:8-9, Tit. 3:5, 2 Tim. 1:9, Rom. 4:1-5, Rom. 11:5,6. etc. etc.)

Wow.
Thank you for posting this, Elijah!

The first time I saw it, I simply skimmed through it, and thought it was the original LDS "17 Points".

But upon re-reading it later, I see it is a "revision" of the
17 Points", which far more accurately represents what the Bible teaches. In fact, so many of them are my talking poinst (especially the first two), that I thought I might have originally written it, and was going to ask you if you wrote it, or whether you saved something I posted in the past.

3 The one true church must teach that the time of “prophets” has ended, and we are now under the leadership of Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1-2).

4 The one true church must teach that church elders must be married, with children, older and mature, and demonstrate an ability to teach (Tit. 1:5-8, 1 TIm. 3:2)

5 The one true church must teach that church deacons must be married, with children, older and mature (1 Tim. 3:12)

6 The one true church must teach that God is invisible (Col. 1:15, 1 Tim. 1:17, Heb. 11:27)

7 The one true church must teach that God is spirit (John 4:24).

8 The one true church must teach that God is not a man (Job 9:32, Num. 23:19, 1 Sam. 15:29).

9 The one true church must teach that humankind are CREATIONS of God, not “children” of God (Gen. 1:27, Gen. 5:1, Isa. 64:8, Mal. 2:10).

10 The one true church must teach that redeemed saints BECOME children of God through ADOPTION (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:5, Eph. 1:5).

11 The one true church must pray to Jesus Christ (Acts 7:59, John 20:28).

12 The one true church must be willing to financially support those devoted to ministry (Luke 10:2-7, 1 Cor. 9:7-14, 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

Yeah, #12 doesn't really sound like the wording I would use, although I certainly agree with the sentiment.

13 The one true church must compare all new claims of revelation with the Bible and reject whatever disagrees ((Gal. 1:8, 1 Thess. 5:21, Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 3:16).

14 The one true church is that which was established by Jesus, has never been overcome, but has existed on the Earth throughout all generations since Jesus (Matt. 16:18, Eph. 3:21).

15 The one true church must not make the issue of what we eat or drink a requirement of the gospel (Mark 7:18-20, Rom. 14:14-18, Col. 2:13-17).

I don't know whether I would have included #15 in the "17 Points", although in light of the Word of Wisdom, I might have added it.

16 The one true church must teach that God has been God from all eternity (Ps. 90:2, Mal. 3:6, James 1:17).

17 The true church must teach that God does not have a physical body (John 4:24, Luke 24:39, 1 Kings 8:27, John 1:18, 1 Tim. 1:17).

If I didn't write this, then I have a doppleganger out there somewhere, which is really weird.

But either way, thanks for posting this!
 
/

6. The true church must have no paid ministry (1 Cor 9:16-18; Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)

The first citation is INCREDIBLY disingenuous, since what came immediately prior (1 Cor. 9:1-12) is Paul arguing for the RIGHT for ministers to be paid. And not only does he make the argument, but he appeals to SCRIPTURE to support paid ministry ("you shall not muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain", Deut. 25:4, 1 Tim. 5:18, which also leads to further support, Luke 10:7). 1 Cor. 9 and Acts 20 refer ONLY to Paul, and his choice to waive his right to be paid. But that does NOT make the right go away.
And John 10:11ff isn't even about paid ministry, but ony teaches that some are only MOTIVATED by wages. A true minister of God deserves to be paid for his efforts, for his motivation is not "filthy lucre", it is the protection and care of the flock.​
.
as Paul say
"let those that preach another Gospel be accursed"
==============================
.
Have you never read
Lk.4:27
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet;
and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian
.

=====================================
.
Naaman the Leper
2 Kings 5:1
Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria,
was a great man with his master, and honourable,
because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria:
he was also a mighty man in valour,
but he was a leper.​
.
-------Posters------
You should be familiar with the story,
and a key point,
if not; wellllll........
as Christ saith
Matt.24:11
And many false prophets shall rise,
and shall deceive many
.
.

Then (Naaman) went he down,
and dipped himself seven times in Jordan,
according to the saying of (Elisha) the man of God:
and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child,
and he was clean.

15 And he (Naaman) returned to (Elisha) the man of God,
he and all his company, and came, and stood before him:
and he (Naaman) said,
Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
but in Israel: now therefore,
I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant
.

16 But he (Elisha) said,
As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand,
I will receive none
.

17 And Naaman said,
Shall there not then, I pray thee,
be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth
?​
.
and you will find those Two Mules in Moses
.
for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering
nor sacrifice unto other gods,
but unto the Lord.

In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant,
that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon
to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand,
and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon:
when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon,
the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing
.

19 And he (Elisha) said unto him,
Go in peace.
So he departed from him a little way.​

Oh, Oh; up jumps the devil, so to speak

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God,
said,
Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian,
in not receiving at his hands that which he brought:
but, as the Lord liveth,
I will run after him, and take somewhat of him
.

So Gehazi followed after Naaman.
And when Naaman saw him running after him,
he lighted down from the chariot to meet him,
and said, Is all well?

And he said,
All is well. My master hath sent me, saying,
Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim
two young men of the sons of the prophets:
give them, I pray thee,
a talent of silver, and two changes of garments
.

23 And Naaman said,
Be content, take two talents.
And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags,
with two changes of garments,
and laid them upon two of his servants;
and they bare them before him.

24 And when he (Gehazi) came to the tower,
he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house:
and he let the men go, and they departed.

25 But he went in, and stood before his master.
And Elisha said unto him,
Whence comest thou, Gehazi?

And he said,
Thy servant went no whither.

26 And he said unto him,
Went not mine heart with thee,
when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee?
Is it a time to receive money,
and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards,
and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?

27
The leprosy therefore of Naaman
shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.
And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.​
.
as Paul say
"let those that preach another Gospel be accursed"

//
 
/

6. The true church must have no paid ministry (1 Cor 9:16-18; Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)
The first citation is INCREDIBLY disingenuous, since what came immediately prior (1 Cor. 9:1-12) is Paul arguing for the RIGHT for ministers to be paid. And not only does he make the argument, but he appeals to SCRIPTURE to support paid ministry ("you shall not muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain", Deut. 25:4, 1 Tim. 5:18, which also leads to further support, Luke 10:7). 1 Cor. 9 and Acts 20 refer ONLY to Paul, and his choice to waive his right to be paid. But that does NOT make the right go away.​
And John 10:11ff isn't even about paid ministry, but ony teaches that some are only MOTIVATED by wages. A true minister of God deserves to be paid for his efforts, for his motivation is not "filthy lucre", it is the protection and care of the flock.​
.
as Paul say
"let those that preach another Gospel be accursed"
==============================
.
Have you never read
Lk.4:27
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet;
and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian
.

=====================================
.
Naaman the Leper
2 Kings 5:1​
Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria,​
was a great man with his master, and honourable,​
because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria:​
he was also a mighty man in valour,​
but he was a leper.​
.
-------Posters------
You should be familiar with the story,
and a key point,
if not; wellllll........
as Christ saith
Matt.24:11
And many false prophets shall rise,
and shall deceive many
.
.
Then (Naaman) went he down,​
and dipped himself seven times in Jordan,​
according to the saying of (Elisha) the man of God:​
and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child,​
and he was clean.​
15 And he (Naaman) returned to (Elisha) the man of God,​
he and all his company, and came, and stood before him:​
and he (Naaman) said,​
Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
but in Israel: now therefore,
I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.​
16 But he (Elisha) said,​
As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand,
I will receive none.
17 And Naaman said,​
Shall there not then, I pray thee,
be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth?​
.
and you will find those Two Mules in Moses
.
for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering
nor sacrifice unto other gods,
but unto the Lord.
In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant,
that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon
to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand,
and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon:
when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon,
the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing.​
19 And he (Elisha) said unto him,​
Go in peace.
So he departed from him a little way.​

Oh, Oh; up jumps the devil, so to speak

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God,​
said,​
Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian,
in not receiving at his hands that which he brought:
but, as the Lord liveth,
I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.​
So Gehazi followed after Naaman.​
And when Naaman saw him running after him,​
he lighted down from the chariot to meet him,​
and said, Is all well?​
And he said,​
All is well. My master hath sent me, saying,
Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim
two young men of the sons of the prophets:
give them, I pray thee,
a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.​
23 And Naaman said,​
Be content, take two talents.​
And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags,​
with two changes of garments,​
and laid them upon two of his servants;​
and they bare them before him.​
24 And when he (Gehazi) came to the tower,​
he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house:​
and he let the men go, and they departed.​
25 But he went in, and stood before his master.​
And Elisha said unto him,​
Whence comest thou, Gehazi?​
And he said,​
Thy servant went no whither.​
26 And he said unto him,​
Went not mine heart with thee,
when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee?
Is it a time to receive money,
and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards,
and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman
shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.​
And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.​
.
as Paul say
"let those that preach another Gospel be accursed"

//
I agree, if he keeping the building clean, washing the windows, doing the yard work and even preaching on Sundays, he deserves a little help since church volunteers may not be helping out... hmm!
 
But the Mormon cult's leaders sure get a heck of a lot of perks:

But the Mormon cult's leaders sure get a heck of a lot of perks:

They are not paid from the tithing donation or any other donations.... your analysis is without context, truthful context...
 
That’s only the salary. The perks they get add up to a lot more. Free college tuition for all of their kids, etc.
That also does not come from tithing or donations... you seem to want to prove something, well then document it and its source...

  • the Church has no professional ministry — one does not "go into" the priesthood in Mormonism as a form of employment. The Church believes that "a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof."No one can enter Church ecclesiastical government or administration as a career.
  • those few Church leaders who receive a living allowance, have already served for many years in unpaid volunteer positions of Church leadership, from which they derived no financial gain, and from which they could have had little expectation of making their livelihood by being elevated to high positions in Church administration.
  • the Book of Mormon makes provision for Church leaders to be supported by donations if they are in a position of financial need: "all their priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support, in all cases save it were in sickness, or in much want; and doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God."
  • the Doctrine and Covenants makes provisions for Chuch leaders to be supported by donations (see D&C 42꞉71-73).
  • General Authorities previously sat on the boards of Church-owned businesses. This practice was discontinued in 1996.
fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Paid_and_unpaid_Church_leaders
 
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That also does not come from tithing or donations... you seem to want to prove something, well then document it and its source...

  • the Church has no professional ministry — one does not "go into" the priesthood in Mormonism as a form of employment. The Church believes that "a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof."No one can enter Church ecclesiastical government or administration as a career.
  • those few Church leaders who receive a living allowance, have already served for many years in unpaid volunteer positions of Church leadership, from which they derived no financial gain, and from which they could have had little expectation of making their livelihood by being elevated to high positions in Church administration.
  • the Book of Mormon makes provision for Church leaders to be supported by donations if they are in a position of financial need: "all their priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support, in all cases save it were in sickness, or in much want; and doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God."
  • the Doctrine and Covenants makes provisions for Chuch leaders to be supported by donations (see D&C 42꞉71-73).
  • General Authorities previously sat on the boards of Church-owned businesses. This practice was discontinued in 1996.
fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Paid_and_unpaid_Church_leaders
 
Yes, they get a modest stipend... compared to other large corporations their pay is very small for what they do...
Thank you for admitting mormonism is a large corporation. The leaders get nice salaries, plus college tuition for their kids and many other perks.
 
Yes, they get a modest stipend... compared to other large corporations their pay is very small for what they do...
"Modest"? You call what they get "modest"? Plus, free college tuition for their kids?

But thanks for admitting indirectly that the LDS church IS a "large corporation." :)That is why a former non-Mormon on this board used to refer to your church as the LD$ church.
 
"Modest"? You call what they get "modest"? Plus, free college tuition for their kids?

But thanks for admitting indirectly that the LDS church IS a "large corporation." :)That is why a former non-Mormon on this board used to refer to your church as the LD$ church.
Yes, and I am so proud of their forward thinking and being able to finance all our Temples (340) and Chapels, Office Buildings, landscaping, maintenance, etc. etc and still put in investment 150 billion of our tithing.... good job LDS Leaders.
 
"Modest"? You call what they get "modest"? Plus, free college tuition for their kids?

But thanks for admitting indirectly that the LDS church IS a "large corporation." :)That is why a former non-Mormon on this board used to refer to your church as the LD$ church.
Modest is the key word for leaders still serving into their nineties.... So folks, the question they can't answer is, where does the rest of the 150 billion dollars go.... are they getting super rich, do they take any of the 150 billion dollars.... and you can't answer that because you know they don't touch it for personal gain....
 
Yes, and I am so proud of their forward thinking and being able to finance all our Temples (340)
"Pride goes before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction...." "If you boast about anything, boast in Christ Jesus our Lord."...

What did Jesus say about accumulating treasures on earth instead of in heaven....? Apparently, your church is more interested in the former, rather than the latter.

Aren't local Mormons expected to foot part of the bill when temples are built in their area? I know that that the local Mormons had to foot half the bill to build the temple in Washington, DC, back in the early 70's.

Also, aren't "missionaries" in your church going out on their two-year mission expected to pay their own way for most of those 2 years?
and Chapels, Office Buildings, landscaping, maintenance, etc. etc and still put in investment 150 billion of our tithing.... good job LDS Leaders.
Oh, now you agree it is $150 billion....except your church broke the law and had to pay a fine for hiding the true nature of its investments and who handled them:

 
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"Pride goes before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction...." "If you boast about anything, boast in Christ Jesus our Lord."...

Have you not boasted to me of your Church and religion.... yes you have...


Aren't local Mormons expected to foot part of the bill when temples are built in their area? I know that that the local Mormons had to foot half the bill to build the temple in Washington, DC, back in the early 70's.

Not anymore! and yes we use to help in many ways, I have even worked with my Dad in Construction of our Meetinghouse Chapel...
The pioneers volunteered to build many of the first Temples.... all good people.


Also, aren't "missionaries" in your church going out on their two-year mission expected to pay their own way for most of those 2 years?

If they can and right now I'm helping a young man by sending him money monthly and also helping his mother at home.... It's called loving your neighbor and you don't need a church or a religion to live by that standard....



Oh, now you agree it is $150 billion....except your church broke the law and had to pay a fine for hiding the true nature of its investments and who handled them:

 
Source where they the GA get tuition for their kids.... nice try...
GA’s and also mission presidents. From the Handbook for mission presidents…

  • Undergraduate tuition at an accredited college or university that offers two- or four-year degrees. Tuition is waived at Church-owned schools. Tuition at other schools is reimbursed after the classes have been successfully completed. The tuition reimbursement will not exceed the equivalent of current tuition at Brigham Young University, regardless of the actual tuition cost. Students must meet the same standards for enrollment as others; the Missionary Department does not facilitate acceptance into Church-owned schools.
Mission President Handbook, page 80.

 
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