Modern Revelation : A Guide to Research about the Apostasy
Early Christians in Disarray : Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy
Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies ; Brigham Young University
Whatever is taught about the apostasy should be checked against the four standard works. As researchers explore new approaches and digest primary historical source materials from the early years of the Christian era, the scriptures are an important guide, helping scholars to formulate promising questions for investigation and directing students in understanding the complex story of what has gone wrong (and also what has gone right) in the history of Christianity. According to scripture, especially the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, what were the causes of the apostasy? What were its characteristics? What were its consequences? The answers to these scriptural questions are not simple. For that reason, stereotypes and oversimplifications are not particularly helpful, as a close reading of key passages will demonstrate. In order to understand what the scriptures say about the unfolding of the apostasy, this paper focuses, in particular, on what the relevant passages in 1 Nephi 13 and Doctrine and Covenants sections 64 and 86 teach about the apostasy.