Mormonism boldly asserts that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was lost from the earth for more than a thousand years until God appeared to Joseph Smith and appointed him the Prophet of the Restoration.

Joseph Smith's announcement to the world of the Restoration of the Gospel is, as the great Mormon scholar B. H. Roberts said, "a most startling announcement." It is, Roberts continues in the introduction to Mormonism's official History of the Church, "a tremendous arraignment of [accusation against] all Christendom."

Roberts, who was appointed by the Mormon Church to write the 100-page introduction to the History, recognized what the Church has always recognized: the Mormon Church's claim to be the "Church of the Restoration" means there is no legitimate Christian body on the face of the earth outside of Mormonism. That may seem to be an over-obvious statement. However it is the foundational claim of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, in America's atmosphere of "diversity," Church officials sometimes hesitate to articulate this fact clearly.

If Joseph Smith really did see God in the Palmyra Grove, and if God told him all the existing churches were wrong, their creeds abominable, and their adherents corrupt—then all Christians should renounced their allegiance to their particular denominational affiliation and become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Mormonism is wrong in its belief that God restored the Church through Joseph Smith, then Mormons need to recognize that their organization is founded in a fatal error and look for a legitimate expression of Christian faith.

•B. R. Roberts Introduction to
The History of the Church
•Mormon Doctrine of Apostasy

•Does the Bible Predict the Apostasy?