1 Nephi 14: 10:
“And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.”
There are and always have been two churches only. One is true. Its members belong to the Lamb of God. The Lamb, and their Father.
Either you belong to the elect family of Christ, the Church of the Firstborn, or you don’t. All other religions and philosophies are false. Read again the description of those who are saved. (See What’s in a name?) There are only “two,” and one of them is not the Catholic Church, nor the Presbyterian Church, nor the Lutheran Church, nor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, the ordinances received through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected for those who belong to “the church of the Lamb of God,” but there is not a complete overlap of the “church of the Lamb of God” and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Therefore, based on what Nephi says above, unless we are part of that body of believers whose Father is Christ, and who posses a covenant from Him that they will be His, we belong to the whore of all the earth, a church of abominations. Those who are believers are they who He has declared to His Father “. . . having been true and faithful in all things.”
The other and all-inclusive great church is comprised of all philosophies, all belief systems, all unbelief systems, all rationalizations, all theories and vanities that distract people from repenting and following Christ. These vary from very good things that are uplifting, and possess even great portions of truth, to the degrading and perverse. This all-inclusive church is a “whore” because she is completely indiscriminate and open for all to have her acceptance and affection. She welcomes you. The only requirement being that you have false beliefs.
She will make you rich, or she will make you covet riches. If she gives them to you it is to corrupt you. If she withholds them from you, it is so you will lust and envy what you do not have.
Look at her list of trade goods, given in the description of her fall by John the Revelator:
“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” (Rev. 18: 11-13.)
The final two on the list are the reason for the other items. The earlier ones lead inevitably to slavery and loss of the souls of men. The devil, who founded her, is not interested in anything other than slavery and the loss of your soul.
The great illusion of a whore is to imagine she likes you. To imagine she cares for you. To imagine she desires what you desire and is cooperating with you because she finds you attractive, appealing, and that you fulfill her longing. It is a lie, an illusion and a fraud. Her bodily diseases are less virulent than her contamination of the soul. Empty, false, vain and foolish thoughts occupy the imagination of those who have intercourse with the great whore. She prefers the lie, relies on it. You would not be her customer if not for the lies.
What an amazing congruence of sexual images and religious failing have been given to us by Nephi and John the Revelator. How apt! How perfect! Imagining something that is degrading and debilitating to be sacred. It is a work of a god or a devil. And of course it is for us to decide between them.
The whore does have her allures, doesn’t she? How many of us are in her embrace, speaking of love and Jesus and the joy of the Saints, while remaining wretched, poor, foolish and lost? She offers you vanity as a religion. “Vanity” because it is vain, or without any effect to save, i.e., without power. Only a form of godliness, nothing real.
Such powerful deception as is implied in these verses demands our attention. It ought to force us forward to seek and obtain a more sure word of prophecy, so we know our God and covenant directly with Him. It should make us refuse all the imitations, all the deceptions, all those who pretend to speak truth, and instead demand that true messengers be sent from whom we can be taught further light and knowledge.
There’s the rub, isn’t it? How to tell the one from the other? A concealed and veiled resurrected Christ laid aside all glory and walked with two of His disciples for approximately seven miles on the day of His resurrection. After His departure, the one asked the other: “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24: 32.) Undoubtedly the reason they already knew it was Him was because truth has power that vanity does not. Therefore, it appears that before our eyes are opened, we must determine truth first. I’ve written about this in the Appendix to Eighteen Verses.
Interesting cause and effect. Interesting the Lord would open the scriptures to touch their hearts. What a powerful pattern the Lord has given for those who follow Him.