Mormons are very interested in church history. However, what they think of as church history is very different from what church history means to a traditional, Biblical Christian. As a transitioning Mormon, it can be important and enriching to explore the history of the Christian faith.
Mormons Have a Very Limited Knowledge of Christian History.
As a Mormon, you may have believed that, when it came to church history, nothing really happened between the time of Jesus Christ and the time of Joseph Smith. Because of the Great Apostasy, everything in Christian history between Jesus and Joseph was negative or of no consequence. The LDS idea of Christian history is corrupt people tampering with the Bible. Mormonism has a very limited perspective on Christian history.
Christianity Possesses a Very Rich History.
Discovering the true history of the larger Christian movement is exciting. The truth is that God has been powerfully at work throughout the centuries and in many cultures and countries – all the way back to the time of Jesus.
Church History Renders the Great Apostasy Void.
An understanding of the history of God’s work through his people throughout time puts the whole idea of the Great Apostasy to rest. Knowing about history makes it hard to sustain the idea that the Gospel was removed from the earth until Joseph Smith’s time. Even though Europe may have experienced the “Dark Ages”, the rest of the world was thriving. The Gospel was always moving forward even outside of Europe. Church scholars, leaders, authors, and missionaries were active in even the darkest times. Coming out of Mormonism, it is exciting to learn this and fill in the blanks of history.
Resources of Church History for Former Mormons.
If you are transitioning out of Mormonism and would like to learn more about the history of Christianity, there are resources for you.
- You can take the “Perspectives” course. It is offered all around the country. If you cannot find a live version, the online equivalent is always available. Check out the link down below.
- You can search for biographies of Christian missionaries that accomplished great things for the Lord around the world.
- You can study traditional history and keep your eyes open to how God has been at work throughout time. For instance, the Vikings conquered and took Christians captive. As a result, the Vikings came to know Jesus and spread Christianity as they conquered other peoples.
Here are the links to a few resources you can explore to find out more about this rich, diverse history of Christianity that you may have never known.
[Related: Christian History – Your New Heritage]
[Related: The Perspectives Course]
[Related: The Christian History Institute]