“Many Churches Among the Gentiles”

Bryan Richards

Nephi describes the Gentile churches saying, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning. How similar are the words of the Savior to Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof? (JS-H 1:19) See also Isa 29:13.

Joseph Smith described the envyings and strifes of the religions of his day, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions (JS-H 1:6).