The prophesied Restoration

Nope. You simply don't know what it is. No surprise.

It's specifically identified as to what it is:

Mark 1:1-5---King James Version
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Your idea of the gospel seems to run contrary to that claim, but there it is, and it's the Biblical testimony.

As I have maintained all along--the critics here have precious little in common with the testimony of the Biblical NT. They label what they believe as "Christianity"--but it's a Christianity far removed from the true Christianity of the Biblical NT.
 
It's specifically identified as to what it is:

Mark 1:1-5---King James Version
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Your idea of the gospel seems to run contrary to that claim, but there it is, and it's the Biblical testimony.

As I have maintained all along--the critics here have precious little in common with the testimony of the Biblical NT. They label what they believe as "Christianity"--but it's a Christianity far removed from the true Christianity of the Biblical NT.
I have reviewed this OP and nobody has provided a serious response. I would like to do so without prejudice or bias. If I may restate your OP into a logical position it would be thus:

1) Assumption: A great falling away occurred in the religion of Jesus Christ.
a) You use the example of the Reformation to support the assumption that some form of Reformation or Restoration was needed to correct for a general apostasy in the church. Right? it is self evident that a Reformation PRESUMES a prior apostasy! Therefore, Protestants must concede that a falling away or apostasy occurred requiring a Reformation or Restoration.​
Although LDS agrees with Protestants on this point, LDS rejects the claim of Protestants to have restored the church to its original condition in the Reformation. Therefore, the need for Joseph Smith who according to him actually restores the original church. Therein is the core of your position.​
Obviously Catholics would never agree to this line of thinking because they would never consider themselves the cause of the apostasy that subsequently required a Reformation. Catholics instead blame the gnostic christians for the apostasy which the Catholics claim to have remedied, that is, by allegedly returning the religion of Jesus Christ to orthodoxy. This is all documented in history.​
The Assumption begs the question, What did Joseph Smith restore that the Reformation lacked?

Your answer is the second part of the OP.

2) That Joseph Smith restored water baptism to its original form.
a) You appear to place water baptism as a key piece of evidence for what has been restored. Apparently, water baptism is an important leg upon which you build your alleged restoration of the Gospel.​
My response in brief for the sake of brevity.

I) An apostasy did indeed occur in the religion of Jesus Christ. But it was not the gnostic Christians but the Catholics aka, christian orthodoxy who led the church into apostasy. Hard to believe isn’t it because it goes against everything both Protestants and Catholics have taught. But here is the facts: The Dead Sea Scrolls prove without a doubt that the Jewish-Christian community calling themselves The Way existed up to 200 BC, —I repeat, BEFORE CHRIST (BC), practicing the Lord’s Supper and water baptism AND, get this, holding gnostic tenets as their beliefs! Therefore, suggesting that Catholicism apostasized from the original Jewish-Christian community!

If true, then it begs the question, what did Joseph Smith restore that is aligned with the beliefs of the earliest gnostic Jewish-Christians existing up to 200 BC?

THAT IS THE QUESTION that LDS needs to answer. All this other debate is meaningless if the original Jewish-christians held gnostic beliefs. Because any reformation or restoration SHOULD be returning the church of Jesus Christ to its original character.

I repeat, Does the LDS restoration return the church to its original character? Arguably not. Instead LDS is merely another sect of Christian orthodoxy promoting myths and superstitions; and arguably attempting to appear more Christian over time. IOW, moving away from what made it appear distinct in the first place.
 
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I have reviewed this OP and nobody has provided a serious response.

Thank you for the response. I agree--there has been no serious response--which, for me--- is no surprise.

I would like to do so without prejudice or bias. If I may restate your OP into a logical position it would be thus:

1) Assumption: A great falling away occurred in the religion of Jesus Christ.
a) You use the example of the Reformation to support the assumption that some form of Reformation or Restoration was needed to correct for a general apostasy in the church. Right? it is self evident that a Reformation PRESUMES a prior apostasy! Therefore, Protestants must concede that a falling away or apostasy occurred requiring a Reformation or Restoration.​

I believe that to be true, as whole new denominations arose--with a different theology--and the gospel does not need to be "Reformed"--it can only be restored, if there is an apostasy. And that take a heavenly manifestation.

That poses a problem for the Reformation--as a heavenly revelation must be shown--and that just can't be done with the Reformers. They claimed no such heavenly appearances--as was experienced in the NT church, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Although LDS agrees with Protestants on this point, LDS rejects the claim of Protestants to have restored the church to its original condition in the Reformation. Therefore, the need for Joseph Smith who according to him actually restores the original church. Therein is the core of your position.​

Correct, but it does not restore the "original church", per se, but the doctrines of Jesus Christ, which constituted His church--and the heavenly authority to administer His gospel.

Obviously Catholics would never agree to this line of thinking because they would never consider themselves the cause of the apostasy that subsequently required a Reformation. Catholics instead blame the gnostic christians for the apostasy which the Catholics claim to have remedied, that is, by allegedly returning the religion of Jesus Christ to orthodoxy. This is all documented in history.​
The Assumption begs the question, What did Joseph Smith restore that the Reformation lacked?

His gospel, and the authority to administer it. Faith alone theology isn't His gospel.

Your answer is the second part of the OP.

2) That Joseph Smith restored water baptism to its original form.
a) You appear to place water baptism as a key piece of evidence for what has been restored. Apparently, water baptism is an important leg upon which you build your alleged restoration of the Gospel.​

Not only water baptism--but the authority to administer it, and the corresponding gospel principles which accompanies Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, water baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and continuing revelation.

My response in brief for the sake of brevity.

I) An apostasy did indeed occur in the religion of Jesus Christ. But it was not the gnostic Christians but the Catholics aka, christian orthodoxy who led the church into apostasy. Hard to believe isn’t it because it goes against everything both Protestants and Catholics have taught. But here is the facts: The Dead Sea Scrolls prove without a doubt that the Jewish-Christian community calling themselves The Way existed up to 200 BC, —I repeat, BEFORE CHRIST (BC), practicing the Lord’s Supper and water baptism AND, get this, holding gnostic tenets as their beliefs! Therefore, suggesting that Catholicism apostasized from the original Jewish-Christian community!

If true, then it begs the question, what did Joseph Smith restore that is aligned with the beliefs of the earliest gnostic Jewish-Christians existing up to 200 BC?

Why should that be an item, as the LDS don't claim they restored the gnostic religion?

THAT IS THE QUESTION that LDS needs to answer. All this other debate is meaningless if the original Jewish-christians held gnostic beliefs. Because any reformation or restoration SHOULD be returning the church of Jesus Christ to its original character.

And what does that have to do with the Gnostics?

I repeat, Does the LDS restoration return the church to its original character?

Yes--in the fact it restores the gospel, and the authority to administer it.

Arguably not. Instead LDS is merely another sect of Christian orthodoxy promoting myths and superstitions; and arguably attempting to appear more Christian over time. IOW, moving away from what made it appear distinct in the first place.

I'm not sure how straw man constructions addresses the issue of restoration.
 
Thank you for the response. I agree--there has been no serious response--which, for me--- is no surprise.



I believe that to be true, as whole new denominations arose--with a different theology--and the gospel does not need to be "Reformed"--it can only be restored, if there is an apostasy. And that take a heavenly manifestation.

That poses a problem for the Reformation--as a heavenly revelation must be shown--and that just can't be done with the Reformers. They claimed no such heavenly appearances--as was experienced in the NT church, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



Correct, but it does not restore the "original church", per se, but the doctrines of Jesus Christ, which constituted His church--and the heavenly authority to administer His gospel.



His gospel, and the authority to administer it. Faith alone theology isn't His gospel.

Not only water baptism--but the authority to administer it, and the corresponding gospel principles which accompanies Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, water baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and continuing revelation.
Let us boil this claim down to its logical conclusion that the ONLY thing JS restored was HIS ”authority”, because ALL the other things you mentioned have existed in the Christian church from up to 200 BC.

You cannot claim JS restored water baptism, faith, repentance, Holy Spirit gifts, and revelation when none of these things are absent in the christian church.

Instead, what you are claiming is JS is the only “authority” because, quite conveniently, he claims to be so. If that claim is false then nothing else changes according to your logic: faith, repentance, holy spirit, baptism, etc.

Do you see the weakness in your whole argument? It rests entirely, —I repeat entirely rests on whether JS is the only authority allowed, otherwise nothing else changes.

IOW, there is nothing restored except the alleged “authority“ claimed by JS himself.

Why should that be an item, as the LDS don't claim they restored the gnostic religion?
Exactly! The LDS do not restore anything the earliest Jewish-Christians believed, as far as you know. LDS claims mere “authority” has been restored and nothing else. Everything else remains essentially the same: baptism, repentance, gifts of the holy spirit, etc.

IOW, if an apostasy occurred (which you agree too) and if the earliest Jewish-Christians held gnostic tenets THEN Joseph Smith should have been restoring those tenets via revelation, gift of the Holy Spirit, etc, since you allege his authority to “restore” them.

Instead we have him deciphering an Egyptian scroll that turned out to be an Egyptian funeral rite having nothing to do with he said it did. Ooops, my bad! is the least we should expect from him if he were alive today. Which leaves you with an imperfect authority who restored nothing.

Certainly, There is more to a restoration than what you claim?

And what does that have to do with the Gnostics?
Because you spend all your time talking about water baptism being unique to LDS implying its unique importance in some alleged restoration even though water baptism never went away. Both catholics and Protestants continued baptizing from the second century CE.

You are arguing about nothing because nothing changed except for the alleged (imperfect) authority claimed by JS.

Simply, nothing has been restored.

Yes--in the fact it restores the gospel, and the authority to administer it.
What Gospel has been restored by JS except that he is the only authority to claim the Gospel has been restored by him. Just like water baptism, repentance, gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc., what about the Gospel was actually restored other than JS’ authority to restore it?

It is all circular logic. JS’s authority is to restore what never changed except his authority to restore it.

I'm not sure how straw man constructions addresses the issue of restoration.
What I am saying is that a TRUE “restoration” or ”reformation” of the Gospel after an apostasy occurred, conceded by everyone in Christendom, to include Catholics, and Protestants; —a restoration MAY BE in the realm of POSSIBILITY now that the GREATEST archaeological discovery in the entire HISTORY of the Jewsih nation has occurred in our life times, that is, the DISCOVERY of the original texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls from the earliest Jewish-Christians.

Your babbling on and on about water baptism and authority as some restoration when the true, actual, significant, historical, archaeological, RESTORATION is sitting in Jewish museums and universities being poured over by scholars from around the world.

If one takes everything from JS except his claim of an eminent restoration of the Gospel, then arguably he got that one claim correct!

But he was not the only one to do so. Other mystics were saying the same thing around the same time. There was a spiritual phenomena occurring in the western world around that time.
 
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Let us boil this claim down to its logical conclusion that the ONLY thing JS restored was HIS ”authority”, because ALL the other things you mentioned have existed in the Christian church from up to 200 BC.

You cannot claim JS restored water baptism, faith, repentance, Holy Spirit gifts, and revelation when none of these things are absent in the christian church.

Instead, what you are claiming is JS is the only “authority” because, quite conveniently, he claims to be so. If that claim is false then nothing else changes according to your logic: faith, repentance, holy spirit, baptism, etc.

Do you see the weakness in your whole argument? It rests entirely, —I repeat entirely rests on whether JS is the only authority allowed, otherwise nothing else changes.

IOW, there is nothing restored except the alleged “authority“ claimed by JS himself.


Exactly! The LDS do not restore anything the earliest Jewish-Christians believed, as far as you know. LDS claims mere “authority” has been restored and nothing else. Everything else remains essentially the same: baptism, repentance, gifts of the holy spirit, etc.

IOW, if an apostasy occurred (which you agree too) and if the earliest Jewish-Christians held gnostic tenets THEN Joseph Smith should have been restoring those tenets via revelation, gift of the Holy Spirit, etc, since you allege his authority to “restore” them.

Instead we have him deciphering an Egyptian scroll that turned out to be an Egyptian funeral rite having nothing to do with he said it did. Ooops, my bad! is the least we should expect from him if he were alive today. Which leaves you with an imperfect authority who restored nothing.

Certainly, There is more to a restoration than what you claim?


Because you spend all your time talking about water baptism being unique to LDS implying its unique importance in some alleged restoration even though water baptism never went away. Both catholics and Protestants continued baptizing from the second century CE.

You are arguing about nothing because nothing changed except for the alleged (imperfect) authority claimed by JS.

Simply, nothing has been restored.


What Gospel has been restored by JS except that he is the only authority to claim the Gospel has been restored by him. Just like water baptism, repentance, gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc., what about the Gospel was actually restored other than JS’ authority to restore it?

It is all circular logic. JS’s authority is to restore what never changed except his authority to restore it.


What I am saying is that a TRUE “restoration” or ”reformation” of the Gospel after an apostasy occurred, conceded by everyone in Christendom, to include Catholics, and Protestants; —a restoration MAY BE in the realm of POSSIBILITY now that the GREATEST archaeological discovery in the entire HISTORY of the Jewsih nation has occurred in our life times, that is, the DISCOVERY of the original texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls from the earliest Jewish-Christians.

Your babbling on and on about water baptism and authority as some restoration when the true, actual, significant, historical, archaeological, RESTORATION is sitting in Jewish museums and universities being poured over by scholars from around the world.

If one takes everything from JS except his claim of an eminent restoration of the Gospel, then arguably he got that one claim correct!

But he was not the only one to do so. Other mystics were saying the same thing around the same time. There was a spiritual phenomena occurring in the western world around that time.

Hi Docphin---you seem to have your mind made up concerning these things, and you have the right to your opinions.

I see it differently, and that is my experience. That you consider the Book of Acts fictitious would put us on different roads on some matters--but if you ever find any church which could provide this kind of revelation--please let me know:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
 
Hi Docphin---you seem to have your mind made up concerning these things, and you have the right to your opinions.

I see it differently, and that is my experience. That you consider the Book of Acts fictitious would put us on different roads on some matters--but if you ever find any church which could provide this kind of revelation--please let me know:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
I am not here to poo poo your “scriptures” but why is it that Joseph Smith presents nothing new? He literally borrows, (plagiarizes?) common tropes from Jewish literature and claims them for himself. I mean seriously, what NEW information is contained in the words above? What NEW. Information has he provided us? It is the same old language, metaphors, tropes REHASHED and you fall over ready to die for him. Certainly, a true prophet would have something NEW to add to what everyone has been reading for three thousand years? Right? Why is it JS debrades old moldy cheese and presents it as his own, as if he has had some revelation? Please tell me what has been revealed NEW from the above reference you provided and seem so impressed by? Really!
 
I am not here to poo poo your “scriptures” but why is it that Joseph Smith presents nothing new? He literally borrows, (plagiarizes?) common tropes from Jewish literature and claims them for himself. I mean seriously, what NEW information is contained in the words above? What NEW. Information has he provided us? It is the same old language, metaphors, tropes REHASHED and you fall over ready to die for him. Certainly, a true prophet would have something NEW to add to what everyone has been reading for three thousand years? Right? Why is it JS debrades old moldy cheese and presents it as his own, as if he has had some revelation? Please tell me what has been revealed NEW from the above reference you provided and seem so impressed by? Really!

What experience do you have to match the heavenly revelations and visitations the NT had--and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed?

If it isn't new, or is common--then you won't have any problem with coming up with numerous examples of such heavenly visitations, with witnesses.
 
I would like to do so without prejudice or bias.
LOL. That's a good one.
You use the example of the Reformation to support the assumption that some form of Reformation or Restoration was needed to correct for a general apostasy in the church. Right? it is self evident that a Reformation PRESUMES a prior apostasy! Therefore, Protestants must concede that a falling away or apostasy occurred requiring a Reformation or Restoration.
What protestants concede or not is up to them. The reformation movement which started around 1400 is proof that Protestants knew something wasn't right, many things possibly. Hence the need for a reformation. Whether or not you accept that is up to you, but those are the historical facts.

Your argument becomes interesting in your claim that you offer it without bias and your very first claim is very biased as it is looking through the lens that whatever the decision your protestant forefathers made, it wasn't based on the idea that the Catholics were wrong. That would mean, if it was, that they believed there was an apostasy. So, you give us the evidence of apostasy and then claim that it wasn't because of apostasy. Do u see the bias? Probably not.
Although LDS agrees with Protestants on this point
That's a confusing statement.
Obviously Catholics would never agree to this line of thinking because they would never consider themselves the cause of the apostasy
No one is accusing them of causing the apostasy. The Catholic religion doesn't appear in history as a church until around 325AD. The apostasy was complete by 70AD with the destruction of the temple. No formal Christian church operating as the New Testament church that Christ established could be found anywhere. With the death of the apostles the church died. All that was left was a cornerstone with no foundation.
Catholics instead blame the gnostic christians for the apostasy which the Catholics claim to have remedied, that is, by allegedly returning the religion of Jesus Christ to orthodoxy. This is all documented in history.
The claims of organizations are all documented in history, that doesn't make them true or correct. One thing is painfully obvious, where are the apostles? Without them, where does anyone get the authority to claim orthodoxy? What we find in history is documents of attempts to explain away the obvious - the gaping hole where on the foundation of the church was to be laid.

History aside was the church built on a foundation of prophets and apostles? Yes or no? If we are to believe the Bible - without resorting to your biased excuses - we have to say, yes.

Now, I know that Heb 1:1-2 are used as the basis (or biased excuse making) for dismissing the need for apostles and prophets, all the while, ignoring that it was an apostle who wrote it and not one of the original apostles at that. There is no formal dissolving of the apostleship, that quorum anywhere in the Bible or in history. They were simply killed, murdered - exactly as Jesus said they would be.

Now, regardless of all the biased excuse making that history has recorded for us, one glaring fact stands out. When Jesus Christ established his church there were 12 apostles. At some point in history, very early on in history, there were no more apostles. The Catholic Church doesn't have any and none of the Protestant churches have any. That is the basis for an apostasy. None of the churches that came out of the early church had in them apostles and Prophets. None of them. That is a fact of unbiased history. The question that remains is, is the Bible correct when an apostle made the statement that the church is founded upon profits and apostles? If that is the foundation of the church, then when those apostles disappeared, the church was in full apostasy. All churches formed after that time cannot claim authority and cannot claim to be the reformed Church or the restored Church of Jesus Christ.
The Assumption begs the question, What did Joseph Smith restore that the Reformation lacked?
I believe a better question would be what did the reformation produce and that even remotely looked like the church Jesus Christ established? All of the early Reformation were just imitations of the Catholic Church with a piece here or a piece there removed or altered to fix a certain disagreement.

I think you are assuming that the Catholic church had it right at some point and then apostasized but that isn't our claim. The Catholic church had it wrong and all of its little children which rolled out of the Catholic Church couldn't put Humpty back together again with all the king's horses and All the King's Men. Sadly that was one broken egg that could not be reformed.

The other problem I see here is that you are assuming that Joseph Smith did something. The church is not Joseph Smith's invention. He didn't study the Bible and decide to organize a church that more closely resembles the early church than any church that existed around him. That would have made him a genius and I admit that he very well might have been but it wasn't a genius of his own making. What was restored through Joseph Smith was the authority to administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ. None of the churches after the apostasy when the apostles were killed had the authority to administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were all imitations. Unfortunately, they imitated a broken Church.
 
2) That Joseph Smith restored water baptism to its original form.
That's clearly not true. Most churches in the Reformation including the Catholic Church used to water baptism. In fact if you look, historically, at the Catholic Church, water baptism was horrendously enforced. They claimed that if you didn't get it your offspring or anyone who didn't receive a water baptism was damned forever. They terrorized parents to have their babies christened as early as possible in order to avoid damnation, as if baptism itself was the saving ordinance. And, believe it or not, as recently as the seventies that idea was still prevalent in many churches.

So, no, that's not something that Joseph fixed with the restoration. The baptists were way ahead of him in that point (even though, I don't think they push the idea of being baptized as they did in their founding days).
a) You appear to place water baptism as a key piece of evidence for what has been restored.
If that's what you believe the appears about you couldn't be more wrong. I've already expressed my views on the reason why this is wrong. Baptism was held by nearly every Christian religion in the days that Joseph Smith lived. Certainly wasn't an ordinance that Joseph Smith "restored".
then it begs the question, what did Joseph Smith restore
A question you have already asked and have failed miserably to answer.
that is aligned with the beliefs of the earliest gnostic Jewish-Christians existing up to 200 BC?
Why would you think that he was aligning his church with the earliest Gnostic views? Where have we ever argued that that was his attempt? Nothing could be further from the truth. You seem to be looking for answers in chaos. There are none. Look elsewhere.
THAT IS THE QUESTION that LDS needs to answer.
No, it's not. I don't even know where you get the idea that that question would ever even need to be posed. The church that Jesus Christ founded did not exist and 200 BC. There were no apostles or prophets and 200 BC.
All this other debate is meaningless if the original Jewish-christians held gnostic beliefs.
Well it's not. And therefore it is meaningless as you say.
Because any reformation or restoration SHOULD be returning the church of Jesus Christ to its original character.
That would be true. But that church didn't exist in the second century BC.
Does the LDS restoration return the church to its original character? Arguably not.
Instead of arguing the point, you offer your opinion. And I'm guessing that you're basing your opinion on the Gnostic teachings that fell out of the apostasy before the Catholic church was formed.

The same thing that has or is occurring today occurred after 70 AD. The church splintered. It went in many different directions and grasped on any piece of interesting doctrine in order to build a religion out of it. There were some Churches who believed in ordinances for the Dead and there were some ideas that sexual attraction even to your own spouse was wicked and evil and there were those who believed in celibacy was a way of committing one's life to Christ and to the church. There are lots of ideas that seem to materialize out of nowhere and churches were built based on those weird ideas. But none of them had apostles and prophets. You need to go back to the time before the apostasy occurred and then compare the restoration of the Gospel to that. We have a pretty good example from the scriptures. When you find a church that has apostles and Prophets as the foundation of that church than you are one step closer to finding the only true Church of Jesus Christ. If they don't have apostles and prophets than they are not the Church of Jesus Christ.

But again, it isn't some formal structure of the church that Joseph Smith restored. Anybody can say they have 12 apostles (which begs the question why no one has ever done it). It wasn't the form of the church that Joseph Smith restored or the simple practice of baptism. No, it was the authority to administer the gospel. Authority from God. Even the very fact that God himself appeared to Joseph Smith. That makes a difference. No other Church has, that I know of, made that claim. Much less made the claim that both the Father and the Son appeared to him. And then rather than simply saying that God himself laid his hands upon his head, or any other way - maybe even just vocally exclaimed the authority - rather than doing that, the people who last held the authority on the Earth brought it and gave it to him rather than God giving it to him, all acting under the direction of God. John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ restoring baptism or the authority of the Levitical priesthood to baptize. Peter, James, and John, restoring the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood. Then Moses the keys to the gathering of Israel, then Elijah the keys of turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. The list of dignitaries that appeared and delivered their keys to the prophet Joseph Smith goes on. All the keys of all the dispensations were delivered to Joseph Smith to usher in the last dispensation before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. That authority vested in Joseph Smith is what was restored to the Earth and what was promised to be restored to the Earth from the very beginning.

If you want to argue the point, then do so. I think you'd lose that argument.
 
What experience do you have to match the heavenly revelations and visitations the NT had--and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed?

If it isn't new, or is common--then you won't have any problem with coming up with numerous examples of such heavenly visitations, with witnesses.
Have you conceded that Joseph Smith restored nothing other than his authority to restore his authority? You still have not told me what he restored other than his authority.

* You mentioned baptism, repentance, gifts of the Holy Spirit, revelation, but all of those are found in the christian church to varying degrees, therefore, nothing new or restored there, except done with a bit more flare, eg., in a dedicated room of a temple with giant bull statues overseeing the event.

* You provided a reference from D&C that is meant to inspire the troops, but there is nothing new there either. It is rehashed tropes from Jewish literature.

* LDS claim that JS restored the Gospel yet Christians have always believed in a Gospel or Good News, therefore, what is different about your Good News, except that JS restored his authority to restate what has already been stated?

I am trying to demonstrate that you guys are making much more of his alleged accomplishments than there really are. Even your Book of Mormon sounds very familiar to the Bible. I even heard that two-thirds of the names in the BofMormon are found in the Bible. If that is true, JS could not even be bothered to invent new names in retelling his story. Maybe that was his intent, that is, to make it sound and feel as much like the Bible as he could but of his own hand.

There is a case to be made that LDS is nothing more than a sect of christian orthodoxy. Whether that be good or bad depends upon how much one wants LDS to be considered christian or not. Obviously, orthodoxy says no, but I bet a lot of Mormons would like to be considered christians. Human nature wants to follow the crowd.
 
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Have you conceded that Joseph Smith restored nothing other than his authority to restore his authority? You still have not told me what he restored other than his authority.

* You mentioned baptism, repentance, gifts of the Holy Spirit, revelation, but all of those are found in the christian church to varying degrees, therefore, nothing new or restored there, except done with a bit more flare, eg., in a dedicated room of a temple with giant bull statues overseeing the event.

* You provided a reference from D&C that is meant to inspire the troops, but there is nothing new there either. It is rehashed tropes from Jewish literature.

When you can give us a church, other than the first century NT church--- which has experienced such heavenly visitations as this--with witnesses--then you can make your point. Until then--your claims fall short, IMO:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
 
LOL. That's a good one.

What protestants concede or not is up to them. The reformation movement which started around 1400 is proof that Protestants knew something wasn't right, many things possibly. Hence the need for a reformation. Whether or not you accept that is up to you, but those are the historical facts.
You restated my argument in agreement then ended with asking me to accept those facts. News flash! Those were my facts that you restated and agreed with. Talk about hijacking somebody else's words for oneself and turning them against the person who wrote them!

You and the other poster need to talk because it seems he has a better understanding of the issues. You are all over the place. Therefore, a rational discussion is impossible when you appear confused.

Your argument becomes interesting in your claim that you offer it without bias and your very first claim is very biased as it is looking through the lens that whatever the decision your protestant forefathers made, it wasn't based on the idea that the Catholics were wrong. That would mean, if it was, that they believed there was an apostasy. So, you give us the evidence of apostasy and then claim that it wasn't because of apostasy. Do u see the bias? Probably not.

That's a confusing statement.

No one is accusing them of causing the apostasy. The Catholic religion doesn't appear in history as a church until around 325AD. The apostasy was complete by 70AD with the destruction of the temple. No formal Christian church operating as the New Testament church that Christ established could be found anywhere. With the death of the apostles the church died. All that was left was a cornerstone with no foundation.

The claims of organizations are all documented in history, that doesn't make them true or correct. One thing is painfully obvious, where are the apostles? Without them, where does anyone get the authority to claim orthodoxy? What we find in history is documents of attempts to explain away the obvious - the gaping hole where on the foundation of the church was to be laid.

History aside was the church built on a foundation of prophets and apostles? Yes or no? If we are to believe the Bible - without resorting to your biased excuses - we have to say, yes.

Now, I know that Heb 1:1-2 are used as the basis (or biased excuse making) for dismissing the need for apostles and prophets, all the while, ignoring that it was an apostle who wrote it and not one of the original apostles at that. There is no formal dissolving of the apostleship, that quorum anywhere in the Bible or in history. They were simply killed, murdered - exactly as Jesus said they would be.

Now, regardless of all the biased excuse making that history has recorded for us, one glaring fact stands out. When Jesus Christ established his church there were 12 apostles. At some point in history, very early on in history, there were no more apostles. The Catholic Church doesn't have any and none of the Protestant churches have any. That is the basis for an apostasy. None of the churches that came out of the early church had in them apostles and Prophets. None of them. That is a fact of unbiased history. The question that remains is, is the Bible correct when an apostle made the statement that the church is founded upon profits and apostles? If that is the foundation of the church, then when those apostles disappeared, the church was in full apostasy. All churches formed after that time cannot claim authority and cannot claim to be the reformed Church or the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

I believe a better question would be what did the reformation produce and that even remotely looked like the church Jesus Christ established? All of the early Reformation were just imitations of the Catholic Church with a piece here or a piece there removed or altered to fix a certain disagreement.

I think you are assuming that the Catholic church had it right at some point and then apostasized but that isn't our claim. The Catholic church had it wrong and all of its little children which rolled out of the Catholic Church couldn't put Humpty back together again with all the king's horses and All the King's Men. Sadly that was one broken egg that could not be reformed.

The other problem I see here is that you are assuming that Joseph Smith did something. The church is not Joseph Smith's invention. He didn't study the Bible and decide to organize a church that more closely resembles the early church than any church that existed around him. That would have made him a genius and I admit that he very well might have been but it wasn't a genius of his own making. What was restored through Joseph Smith was the authority to administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ. None of the churches after the apostasy when the apostles were killed had the authority to administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were all imitations. Unfortunately, they imitated a broken Church.
 
It's specifically identified as to what it is:

Mark 1:1-5---King James Version
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Your idea of the gospel seems to run contrary to that claim, but there it is, and it's the Biblical testimony.

As I have maintained all along--the critics here have precious little in common with the testimony of the Biblical NT. They label what they believe as "Christianity"--but it's a Christianity far removed from the true Christianity of the Biblical NT.

Anyone care to engage this?
 
When you can give us a church, other than the first century NT church--- which has experienced such heavenly visitations as this--with witnesses--then you can make your point. Until then--your claims fall short, IMO:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
Am I to conclude that you concede JS restored nothing but his authority?

And that your sole, entire bowing before him is due to his alleged supernatural encounter with an angel in New York?

Is this ^^^ the sum total of your position?
 
It's specifically identified as to what it is:

Mark 1:1-5---King James Version
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Your idea of the gospel seems to run contrary to that claim, but there it is, and it's the Biblical testimony.

As I have maintained all along--the critics here have precious little in common with the testimony of the Biblical NT. They label what they believe as "Christianity"--but it's a Christianity far removed from the true Christianity of the Biblical NT.

Anyone care to engage this?
Are you seriously claiming that repentance and baptism is a unique message of the LDS which christianity lacks? Are you even hearing yourself?
 
Are you seriously claiming that repentance and baptism is a unique message of the LDS which christianity lacks? Are you even hearing yourself?

I'm claiming the scriptures testify repentance and water baptism was preached as the very beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Mark 1:1-5---King James Version
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Which is where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin their principle and ordinances of the gospel, having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Am I to conclude that you concede JS restored nothing but his authority?

I'm claiming your testimony here isn't true, unless you can provide us with examples of what other church has experienced the heavenly revelations The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed, with witnesses:

docphin5 said: You provided a reference from D&C that is meant to inspire the troops, but there is nothing new there either. It is rehashed tropes from Jewish literature.

In effect:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

Where do we find that isn't new? What other church are you claiming has experienced such heavenly revelation? And--if you can't provide us with any other example--then it is new, and unique, to God's church.
 
I'm claiming the scriptures testify repentance and water baptism was preached as the very beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Mark 1:1-5---King James Version
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Which is where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin their principle and ordinances of the gospel, having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
All of christendom believes in repentance and baptism so you have nothing unique or different to offer. Why should anyone be a Mormon over any other sect of christianity who believe the same thing? Repentance and baptism.

Let me guess, because Joseph Smith said so.

Where did Joseph Smith’s authority come from?

Answer: because he claimed authority for himself granted to him allegedly by a supernatural appearance of an angel who, according to JS (no big surprise), told him he can say repentance and baptism are restored merely because he says so. Never mind that repentance was still being taught as it always had been.

You guys have not critically thought this through.

Let’s review: Your ancestors jumped on JS’s bandwagon and never sought independent verification of his claims. Never critically considered his claims. Now you have considered his claims, found them wanting, and hope to join christians as the newest cousin added to the family without abandoning JS.
 
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I'm claiming your testimony here isn't true, unless you can provide us with examples of what other church has experienced the heavenly revelations The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed, with witnesses:



In effect:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

Where do we find that isn't new?
Every single verse written above is either word for word from the Bible or an allusion to a verse in the Bible. You should know this if you have ever read the Bible. For example, (v4)

“I am the first and the last” is in the book of Isaiah, Gospels, and the book of revelations.​
IOW, NOT unique or new. Same trope used in the Bible over and over and claimed by JS as his own to justify his authority that has been restored by himself.

I could go through each and every verse above and demonstrate its corollary in the Bible. JS was not even creative, he merely claimed other works as his own.

You ask, Really?

Really!

What other church are you claiming has experienced such heavenly revelation?
What revelation? There is no new information revealed.

And--if you can't provide us with any other example--then it is new, and unique, to God's church.
It is not new if I can demonstrate from the Bible the same or similar words and ideas. You have blinders on. You see what you want to see.
 
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All of christendom believes in repentance and baptism so you have nothing unique or different to offer.

As you can see--the critics here are arguing against the fact repentance and water baptism is even part of the gospel.

My point is repentance and water baptism was the very beginning of the gospel, as Mark 1 testifies to.

Why should anyone be a Mormon over any other sect of christianity who believe the same thing? Repentance and baptism.

They don't believe the same thing concerning repentance and water baptism, what it is, or what it's for.

Where did Joseph Smith’s authority come from?

From here:

D&C 110
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come,
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

Or to the numerous other appearances of heavenly beings.
 
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