When LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard encouraged LDS Church members to “[Share] the Gospel Using the Internet,” he said,
“I love my present calling, which allows me opportunities to share the message of the Restoration of the gospel to the world and to testify that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820. Through Joseph, the gospel that Jesus established in New Testament times was brought back. It had been lost with the deaths of the Apostles of old. I can share with the world the knowledge that priesthood authority, the doctrine, and the ordinances of the New Testament Church are once again on the earth. (Ensign, July 2008)
He was, of course, referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the restoration of the true church established by Jesus Christ in the first century. The LDS book Gospel Principles supports Mr. Ballard’s claims:
“The Church of Jesus Christ today teaches the same principles and performs the same ordinances as were performed in the days of Jesus.” (“Chapter 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today”)
One of our online friends who participates in our conversations here at Mormon Coffee wrote on another thread:
“Mormons believe that this quest for sinless perfection and godhood is the original Christianity of the Apostles. That’s what we really should be spending our time discussing: Is the Mormon religion first century Christianity?”
That’s a good question. According to the LDS Church, it is. According to non-Mormons, it isn’t.
So, is the Mormon religion identical to first century Christianity? Talk about it.