Mormons proclaim an apostasy from the first century church and therefore a need for restoring what was lost; things like priesthood, church, a prophet, apostles, polygamy, endowments, sealings, the Word of Wisdom and temple marriage.
LDS apostle Dr. Talmage, in his The Great Apostasy book had this to say:
As one of the effective causes leading to the apostasy of the Primitive Church we have specified: Unauthorized additions to the ceremonies of the Church, and the Introduction of vital changes in essential ordinances. (James E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy, Deseret Book, 1968, p. 113. Emphasis his.)
“Unauthorized additions” would apply to Joseph Smith and his “revelations” in the Doctrine & Covenants that went beyond what the Book of Mormon said. Jesus warned him not to:
I will bring to light my gospel (Book of Mormon)…yea, the only doctrine which is in me. (D&C 10:62, dated Summer 1829)
Whoso among you shall do more or less than (‘my gospel’ as found in the Book of Mormon)…the gates of HELL are ready open to receive them. (3 Nephi 18:13)
The gospel in the Book of Mormon is simple; Mormonism is not. In fact, Joseph’s gospel bears little resemblance to the gospel in the Book of Mormon as several LDS professors have admitted:
It has often been pointed out, however, that those beliefs most commonly associated with Mormonism are nowhere to be found in that text. Those expecting an exposition of peculiarly Mormon doctrine will be disappointed. (Terryl L. Givens, By the Hand of Mormon, Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 186)
Despite the effort that went into the translation, Joseph Smith did not make the book the foundation of the church. (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, 1984, p. 142)
Thus, the evidence of apostasy identified by Dr. Talmage from the original church can apply likewise to the original church started by Joseph:
The ridicule heaped upon the early Church by the pagans on account of the simplicity of Christian worship has already received mention. The cause of reproach was none the less emphasized by Judaistic critics, to whom ritual and ceremony, formalism and prescribed rites, figured as essentials of religion. Very early in its history, the Church manifested a tendency to supplant the pristine simplicity of its worship by elaborate ceremonies, patterned after Judaistic ritual and heathen idolatries. (James E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy, Deseret Book, 1968, p. 113)
You wonder if Talmage realized he was describing the inclinations of Joseph Smith and what started as a simple Book of Mormon fellowship became a Super Doctrine & Covenants Church? Dr. Talmage drew particular attention to changes made in the second and third century Church to the sacraments:
- Baptism (p. 116)
- Communion (p. 119)
The red flags of apostasy for Dr. Talmage are in fact the same red flags for Book of Mormon believers. Book of Mormon believers take note that the Book of Mormon says not to baptize children, yet Joseph Smith made a revelation mandating the baptism of all children when eight.
Communion, according to the Book of Mormon is only for the baptized, yet Mormons give it to infants, investigators and the comatose.
According to Dr. Talmage, the Mormon Church has slipped into an apostate state, which was prophesied of:
Wo be unto him that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner (original sin & child baptism) for they shall perish except they repent behold I speak with boldness having authority from God (Moroni 8:16)