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Source:Nibley:CW03:Ch14:6:Necessity of restoration
Necessity of restoration
Necessity of restoration
Today it is admitted throughout the whole Christian world, and moreso every day, that "a plurality of churches contradicts the fundamental nature of a religion that claims that absolute truth which alone is commensurate with the character of a revealed religion."6 The true revealed church can only be one; but reformers take many directions, and there is not a single church in the Christian world which is not the product of many reforms—and the largest of these churches has undergone the most numerous and the most thorough reforms of all. And now a new reform is proposed by which the many should become one: all the Protestants should amalgamate on the one hand, and on the other the Eastern and Western churches should again become one. This illustrates the impossibility of restoring a divinely established system to its state of pristine divinity once men have spoiled it, for the oneness of the church is original to it, and essential; it is not a thing contrived or achieved by ecumenical movements and fusions. It is not a unity that men work out in recognition of its logical necessity. It is a thing which is given to men with the church itself, by divine direction. If "a plurality of churches contradicts . . . that absolute truth which alone is commensurate with the character of a revealed religion," such a plurality is none the less implicit in the proposition that reformers as such have the authority to act in the name of the Lord, for if the recognition of evils, the urge to correct them, and the guidance of the Bible can authorize one man to step forth and change the church, they can also authorize another, and there is no end to the doctrines and factions that result. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the product, as are all the other churches in Christendom, of reformation or of counter-reformation; it is the product of direct revelation only. Changes there must be, but they can come in only one way—through a prophet of God.
- Hugh W. Nibley, The World and the Prophets, 3rd edition, (Vol. 3 of Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by John W. Welch, Gary P. Gillum, and Don E. Norton (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1987), Chapter 13, references silently removed—consult original for citations.