Young Women (organization)
The Young Women is a youth organization and an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The purpose of the Young Women organization is to help each young woman "be worthy to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple." The first official youth association of the church—the Young Gentlemen's and Young Ladies' Relief Society—was formally organized by Nauvoo, youth on the advice of church founder Joseph Smith in March 1843. The group had held several informal meetings since late January of that year under the supervision of apostle Heber C. Kimball; the Young Women organization of the church was founded by LDS Church president Brigham Young in 1869 as the Young Ladies' Department of the Cooperative Retrenchment Association. At the organization's founding, Young set out his vision for the young women of the church: I desire them to retrench from extravagance in dress, in eating and in speech; the time has come when the sisters must agree... to set an example worthy of imitation before the people of the world....
There is need for the young daughters of Israel to get a living testimony of the truth.... We are about to organize a retrenchment Association, which I want you all to join, I want you to vote to retrench in... everything, not good and beautiful, not to make yourselves unhappy, but to live so you may be happy in this life and in the life to come. From 1869 to 1880, the new Young Women organization functioned at the local ward level, without a general presidency. In 1871, the organization was renamed YL for short. In 1877, the organization's name was again changed to the Young Ladies' National Mutual Improvement Association as a companion organization to the church's Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, founded in 1875. On June 19, 1880, the first general presidency of the YLNMIA with church-wide authority was organized under the direction of LDS Church president John Taylor, with Elmina Shepard Taylor as the first general president. In 1904, the name of the YLNMIA was shorted to the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association and in 1934 it was changed to the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association, or YWMIA.
In 1972, the YWMIA and the YMMIA were combined into a new organization called Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women. This organization was short-lived and the Young Women organization was separated from the Young Men organization and given its current name in 1974. Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women was the name of an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1972 and 1974, it was formed by consolidating the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association into one organization. Leadership of the auxiliary was shared between the presiding bishopric and the general presidency of the Young Women; the combined organization was short-lived, in 1974 the organization was again divided into the renamed Young Men and the Young Women. In each local congregation of the LDS Church, all females ages 11 to 17 are members of the Young Women; the organization is headed in each congregation by an adult woman who holds the position of Young Women President.
The president is assisted by two counselors, who are adult women. The presidency may ask an adult woman to be the secretary to the presidency. In most congregations, the young women are sub-divided into three aged-based classes which were given official nicknames by the church in the 1950s; these nicknames may be used to refer to the members of it. When a young woman reaches the age of 18, has completed secondary school, she is encouraged to join the Relief Society, the church's women's organization. Beginning in 2019, the church changed the timing of a young woman's movement through the organization in the groups shown below; the young woman had joined, or transitioned to, the classes when they turned 12, 14, 16, respectively. They now transition, at the beginning of the year in which they turn the ages noted; the information below is does not reflect overlapping ages, but presumes the more traditional change for the Mia Maid and Laurel classes. A Beehive is a 11–13 year old participant in the Young Women organization.
The name beehive was first used in the LDS Church's organization for young women in 1913, when a "Beehive Girls" program was organized. In 1920, the YLMIA operated the Beehive House, one of the former residences of Brigham Young, as a dormitory for young girls. In 1943, the beehive was adopted as the class symbol for the youngest class of young women in the church. In 1950, the youngest class was given the name of Beehives; the symbol of the Beehives is a stylized beehive. The Beehive purpose statement is: For the early pioneers of the Church, the beehive was a symbol of harmony and work; when the young women of the Church were first organized as a group, they were known as Beehives. As a member of a Beehive class today, a young woman strengthens her faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and learns to work with others in harmony and cooperation; this is a time for her to stand for truth and righteousness and "arise and shine forth". The adult second counselor in the Young Women presidency assists the Beehive class.
A Mia Maid is a 14- to 15-year-old participant in the Young Women organization. The term derives from a former name of the church's program for yo
Young Men (organization)
The Young Men is a youth organization and an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The purpose of the organization is to assist the Aaronic priesthood organization in promoting the growth and development of male Latter-day Saints ages 12 to 18; the first official youth association of the church—the Young Gentlemen’s and Young Ladies’ Relief Society—was formally organized by Nauvoo, youth on the advice of church founder Joseph Smith in March 1843. The group had held several informal meetings since late January of that year under the supervision of apostle Heber C. Kimball. In 1854, apostle Lorenzo Snow organized the Polysophical Society and encouraged young Latter-day Saints to join. In 1875, LDS Church president Brigham Young organized the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and intended that it act as a male equivalent of the Young Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Association, renamed the Young Ladies' National Mutual Improvement Association in 1877; the purpose was to "help young men develop their gifts, to stand up and speak, to bear testimony".
A central committee of the YMMIA, led by Junius F. Wells, was formed in 1876 to oversee the organization, conduct missionary work, issue general instructions. A YMMIA general superintendency was formed by LDS Church president John Taylor in 1880. In 1901, the YMMIA was divided into senior classes. In 1911, the church followed the pattern developed by the Boy Scouts of America and created the YMMIA Scouts; the organization was integrated into the Boy Scouts of America on May 21, 1913. In the 1970s, the YMMIA was merged with the church's Aaronic priesthood organization and the church's organization for young women and renamed the Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women. In June 1974, this consolidation was reversed: an independent Young Women organization was restored and the name of the Young Men organization was changed to Aaronic Priesthood. In 1974, the church eliminated the YMMIA General Presidency, placing the organization under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric; the organization's name was changed to Young Men in May 1977 and a general presidency was reinstated.
Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women was the name of an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1972 and 1974. It was formed by consolidating the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association into one organization. Leadership of the auxiliary was shared between the presiding bishopric and the general presidency of the Young Women; the combined organization was short-lived, in 1974 the organization was again divided into the renamed Young Men and the Young Women. In the LDS Church, the basic organization for males ages 12 through 18 is the Aaronic priesthood; the Young Men organization serves as an auxiliary to this priesthood. The Young Men program is designed to assist in achieving the purposes of the Aaronic priesthood, which are to help each young male Latter-day Saint to: Become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live its teachings. In each local congregation of the church, males ages 12 to 18 are assigned to the Aaronic priesthood and the Young Men organization.
The Aaronic priesthood is led by his counselors. The Young Men organization in each congregation, under the direction of the bishopric or branch presidency, is led by an adult man, called the Young Men President; the president is assisted by two adult men who serve as counselors and may ask an adult man to be the secretary to the presidency. In the Aaronic priesthood, the young men are sub-divided into three aged-based priesthood offices, which serve as classes on Sunday: Deacon Teacher Priest When a young man reaches the age of 18, he is encouraged to begin attending the elders quorum. In certain instances, such as when a young man turns 18 but is still in secondary school, an 18-year-old will be encouraged to continue to attend the priests quorum and the activities of the Young Men organization; each age group will hold a separate class for instruction during Sunday meetings after all adult and youth holders of the priesthood meet together for a brief opening prayer and hymn. The teachers and deacons classes have a quorum president drawn from the members of the class, who in turn may choose two counselors and a secretary to assist him.
The bishop or branch president is the president of the priests quorum and may choose two young men to assist him in this role, along with another young man to serve as secretary. The adult president of the Young Men organization assists the priests quorum, while the first and second counselors assist the teachers and deacons quorums, respectively. Additional adult men may be asked to assist with other activities. Local Young Men organizations are supervised by a stake Young Men presidency, which consists to three adult men; the stake Young Men presidency will be assisted by a member of the stake high council and are supervised by a member of the stake presidency. On a church-wide level, the Aaronic priesthood is supervised by the Presiding Bishopric and the local units and stake organization of the Youn
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church, considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Adherents referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or, less formally, "Mormons", view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion. LDS theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ, though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ from mainstream Christianity.
The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation received by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, other works believed to be written by ancient prophets; because of some of the doctrinal differences, Catholic and several Protestant churches consider the Church to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity. Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that the church president is a modern-day "prophet and revelator" and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president. Individual members of the church believe that they can receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives; the president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations.
Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Male members, beginning in January of the year they reach age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women are not ordained to the priesthood but do occupy leadership roles in some church auxiliary organizations. Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that proselytizes and conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health and Sabbath observance, contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing; the church teaches about sacred ordinances through which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, the sacrament, priesthood ordination and celestial marriage —all of which are of great significance to church members. The history of the LDS Church is divided into three broad time periods: the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, in common with all Latter Day Saint movement churches.
The LDS Church called the Church of Christ, was formally organized by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830, in western New York. Smith changed the name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after he stated he had received a revelation to do so. Initial converts were drawn to the church in part because of the newly published Book of Mormon, a self-described chronicle of indigenous American prophets that Smith said he had translated from golden plates. Smith intended to establish the New Jerusalem in North America, called Zion. In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland and began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, where he planned to move the church headquarters. However, in 1833, Missouri settlers brutally expelled the Latter Day Saints from Jackson County, the church was unable via a paramilitary expedition to recover the land; the church flourished in Kirtland as Smith published new revelations and the church built the Kirtland Temple, culminating in a dedication of the building similar to the day of Pentecost.
The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections. Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, but tensions soon escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be "exterminated or driven from the State." In 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, which became the church's new headquarters. Nauvoo grew as missionaries sent to Europe and elsewhere gained new converts who flooded into Nauvoo. Meanwhile, Smith introduced polygamy to his closest associates, he established ceremonies, which he stated the Lord had revealed to him, to allow righteous people to become gods in the afterlife, a secular institution to govern the Millennial kingdom. He introduced the church to a full accounting of his First Vision, in which two heavenly "personages" (God the Father and his
James E. Talmage
James Edward Talmage was an English chemist and religious leader who served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1911 until his death. Talmage was born and raised in Hungerford, England on September 21, 1862, he was baptized into the LDS Church at age 10 on 15 June 1873. He moved with his family to Provo, Utah Territory, in 1876. In Provo, he studied the Normal Course at Brigham Young Academy, with Karl G. Maeser as one of his teachers. In 1881, Talmage received a collegiate diploma from BYA's Scientific Department, the first such diploma to be issued, his early predilection was for the sciences, in 1882 and 1883 he took selected courses in chemistry and geology at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Talmage was not a contender for a degree at Lehigh University, yet during his one year there he was able to pass every examination that a four-year course required, he in 1883 started advanced work at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Talmage served on the Provo City Council in 1888 and 1889. Talmage married Merry May Booth on 14 June 1888. Booth was a native of Alpine and the daughter of immigrants from Lancashire, she started studies at the normal school connected with BYA in 1885, when she was 16. It was there she met Talmage, one of her instructors. While at BYA, Booth was secretary of the Polysophical Society. After completing her course of normal study, May took a job as a teacher in Utah. A few months Talmage undertook a project to study the waters of the Great Salt Lake; the Talmages had eight children. Among their children was John Talmage, who wrote a biography of his father. Another of their children, Sterling B. Talmage, followed his father's interests and became a geologist. Talmage studied geology at Lehigh University and Johns Hopkins University, he received a B. S. degree from Lehigh University in 1891 and a Ph. D. from Illinois Wesleyan University for nonresident work in 1896. In the spring of 1884, while at Johns Hopkins, Talmage journaled about laboratory experiments involving the ingestion of hashish, reporting that interviews with users conducted by himself and two colleagues yielded different accounts of the experience.
Talmage noted that the ill effects of opium were unpleasant and had been well-documented, "ut the ill effects are reported low in the Haschich or Hemp administration. Thus, on three occasions, 22 March, 5 April, 6 April 1884, Talmage ingested increasing doses, he was an Associate of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain, or Victoria Institute. Talmage taught science at BYA both before and after he went to study in the eastern United States, he was the president of Latter-day Saints' University until 1894 and was president of the University of Deseret from 1894 to 1897. From 1897 to 1907, Talmage was a professor of geology at the University of Utah. In 1909, Talmage was serving as the director of the Deseret Museum, he went to Detroit, Michigan, in November of that year to participate in diggings connected with the Scotford-Soper-Savage relics craze. Talmage would go on to denounce these findings as a forgery in the September 1911 edition of the Deseret Museum Bulletin in an article entitled, "The Michigan Relics: A Story of Forgery and Deception".
Talmage's paternal grandfather was the first in his family to join the LDS Church. Though the church was small and unknown at the time of his birth in 1862, Talmage was born as a third-generation member of the church. For various reasons, Talmage was not baptized until he was ten years of age instead of the traditional eight years age, when most Latter-day Saint children are baptized. Before he was baptized, he became ill and his father believed the illness came as a result of him not being baptized at the proper age. Talmage's father made a promise with the Lord that if his son would recover, his father would make sure Talmage was baptized as soon as possible. Talmage recovered and was soon baptized on June 15, 1873. Talmage was the author of several religious books, including The Articles of Faith, The Great Apostasy, The House of the Lord, Jesus the Christ; these volumes remain in print and are still read in the LDS Church. Other books include treatises on the origins of the Book of Mormon, a dictionary of the Book of Mormon, a brief history of the church.
Talmage wrote the book Jesus the Christ by request of the church's First Presidency in 1905. They requested he compile his lectures about the life of Jesus Christ into a book that would be available to church members and other readers. At that time, Talmage had many responsibilities with his church callings, his family, his profession that kept him from starting the book but nearly ten years following an
Missionary (LDS Church)
Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints —widely known as Mormon missionaries—are volunteer representatives of the LDS Church who engage variously in proselytizing, church service, humanitarian aid, community service. Mormon missionaries may serve on a full- or part-time basis, depending on the assignment, are organized geographically into missions; the mission assignment could be to any one of the 421 missions organized worldwide. The LDS Church is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, reporting that it had more than 70,000 full-time missionaries worldwide at the end of 2016. Most full-time LDS missionaries are single young men and women in their late teens and early twenties and older couples no longer with children in their home. Missionaries are assigned to serve far from their homes, including in other countries. Many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment. Missions last two years for males, 18 months for females, 1 to 3 years for older couples.
The LDS Church encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men. All Mormon missionaries do not receive a salary for their work. Many Latter-day Saints save money during their teenage years to cover their mission expenses. Throughout the church's history, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions. LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball said, "Every young man should fill a mission". Completing a mission is described as a rite of passage for a young Latter-day Saint; the phrase "the best two years of my life" is a common cliché among returned missionaries when describing their experience. Although Gordon B. Hinckley had suggested that a mission is not to be a rite of passage, this cultural aspect remains. With the usual starting age of 18–20, a mission provides a clear event or marker for the traditional age of adulthood, but is not necessary for continuance in church membership. Young men between the ages of 18 and 25 who meet standards of worthiness are encouraged to consider a two-year, full-time proselytizing mission.
This expectation is based in part on the New Testament passage "Go ye therefore, teach all nations". The minimum age had been age 19 in most countries until October 6, 2012, when Church President Thomas S. Monson announced that all male missionaries, regardless of nation, could serve from age 18. Prior to the announcement, some countries held that male missionaries may be 18 years old because of educational or military requirements, it was announced that young women may serve beginning at age 19 instead of 21. In 2007 30% of all 19-year-old LDS men became Mormon missionaries. In cases where an immediate family member dies, the missionary has the choice to travel home for the funeral or to remain on the mission. Missionaries can be sent home for violating mission rules, missionaries choose to go home for health or various other reasons. However, the vast majority of missionaries serve eighteen-month terms; as of 2007, 80% of all Mormon missionaries were young, single men, 13% were young single women and 7% retired couples.
Women who would like to serve a mission must meet the same standards of worthiness and be at least 19 years old. Women serve as missionaries for 18 months. Married retired couples, on the other hand, are encouraged to serve missions, but their length of service may vary from 6 to 36 months depending on their circumstances and means. Any single retired person may be called to serve in what is known as senior missionary service. In the last two decades, the LDS Church has stepped up its call for senior couple missionaries. All missionaries must meet certain minimum standards of worthiness. Among the standards that a prospective missionary must demonstrate adherence to are: regular attendance at church meetings, regular personal prayer, regular study of the scriptures, adherence to the law of chastity, adherence to the Word of Wisdom, payment of tithing, spiritual diligence and testimony of God. In addition to spiritual preparedness, church bishops are instructed to ensure that prospective missionaries are physically and capable of full-time missionary work.
In the same speech where he called for "every young man" to fill a mission, Kimball added, "we realize that while all men should, all men are not prepared to teach the gospel abroad." Apart from general issues of worthiness and ability, there are a number of specific situations that will disqualify a person from becoming a full-time missionary for the LDS Church. Those excluded include those. Additionally, members who have submitted to, encouraged, paid for, or arranged for an abortion are excluded from missionary service, as are members who have fathered or borne a child out of wedlock. From
B. H. Roberts
Brigham Henry Roberts was a Mormon leader and politician. He published a popular six-volume history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wrote Studies of the Book of Mormon—published posthumously—which discussed the validity of the Book of Mormon as an ancient record. Roberts was denied a seat as a member of United States Congress because of his practice of polygamy. Roberts was born in Warrington, England, the son of Benjamin Roberts, an alcoholic blacksmith and ship plater, Ann Everington, a seamstress. In the year of his birth both parents converted to the LDS Church. Benjamin Roberts abandoned his family. Roberts wrote, "My childhood was a nightmare. In Nebraska they joined a wagon train and proceeded to walk—for much of the way barefoot—to Salt Lake City, where they were met by their mother, who had preceded them. In 1867, Roberts was baptized into the LDS Church by Seth Dustin, who two years became his stepfather. Dustin deserted his family, "after several reappearances, he disappeared completely."
Ann Dustin was granted a divorce in 1884. Upon coming to Utah Territory, Roberts settled in Bountiful, which he always from on considered his home. Roberts participated in the gambling and drinking typical of that time and place, but Roberts learned to read and, after a series of menial jobs, was apprenticed to a blacksmith while attending school. He became a "voracious reader, devouring books of history, philosophy," the Book of Mormon and other Mormon religious texts. In 1878, Roberts married Sarah Louisa Smith, in the same year he graduated first in his class from University of Deseret, the normal school precursor of the University of Utah, he and Sarah had seven children. After graduation Roberts was ordained a seventy in his local church branch and taught school to support his family; the LDS Church sent him on a mission to Iowa and Nebraska, "but because the cold weather was hard on his health, he was transferred to Tennessee in December of 1880." There he rose to prominence as the president of the Tennessee Conference of the Southern States Mission.
On August 10, 1884, a mob in the small community of Cane Creek murdered two Mormon missionaries and two members of the Mormon congregation. At some personal risk, Roberts disguised himself as a tramp and recovered the bodies of the two missionaries for their families in Utah Territory. During a brief return to Utah, Roberts took a second wife, Celia Dibble, by whom he had eight children. From 1889 to 1894, Celia was exiled in Manassa, Colorado, to protect her husband from prosecution for unlawful cohabitation. In December 1886, while serving as associate editor of the Salt Lake Herald, Roberts was arrested on the charge of unlawful cohabitation, he that night left on a mission to England. In England, Roberts served as assistant editor of the LDS Church publication the Millennial Star and completed his first book, the much reprinted The Gospel: An Exposition of Its First Principles. Returning to Salt Lake City in 1888, as full-time editor of The Contributor, he was chosen as one of the seven presidents of the First Council of the Seventy, the third-highest governing body in the LDS Church.
"Tiring of evading federal authorities," Roberts surrendered in April 1889 and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful cohabitation. He was imprisoned in the Utah Territorial Prison for five months. Following his release, he moved his families to Colorado and married a third wife, Dr. Margaret Curtis Shipp, either shortly before or shortly after Wilford Woodruff, president of the LDS Church, issued the 1890 Manifesto that prohibited solemnization of new plural marriages. Roberts was pardoned in 1894 by U. S. President Grover Cleveland, he resigned as an editor of the Salt Lake Herald in 1896, giving his reason that the position that the paper had taken on the recent "Manifesto" was apt to place him in a false light. During the transitional period following 1890, the LDS Church disbanded its People's Party, "and the Saints were encouraged to align themselves with the national parties." Roberts became a fervent Democrat and was elected Davis County Delegate to the Utah State Constitutional Convention in 1894.
Roberts proved a vocal member of the Convention in his opposition to women's suffrage. In 1895, Roberts was the losing Democratic candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives, Roberts believed LDS Church leaders, who were predominantly Republicans, "had unfairly influenced the election by publicly reprimanding him and fellow Democrat Moses Thatcher for running for office without express permission of the Church." The LDS Church issued the "Political Manifesto of 1895," which forbade church officers from running for public office without the approval of the Church. Both Roberts and Thatcher refused to agree to the Political Manifesto and were suspended from their ecclesiastical offices. Roberts, believing such a requirement was a basic infringement of his civil rights, capitulated just hours before
The Great Apostasy is a concept within Christianity, identifiable at least from the time of Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation, to describe a perception that the early apostolic Church has fallen away from the original faith founded by Jesus and promulgated through his twelve Apostles. Protestants used the term to describe the perceived fallen state of traditional Christianity the Roman Catholic Church, because they claim it changed the doctrines of the early church and allowed traditional Greco-Roman culture into the church on its own perception of authority; because it made these changes using claims of tradition and not from scripture, the Church -- in the opinion of those adhering to this concept -- has fallen into apostasy. A major thread of this perception is the suggestion that, to attract and convert people to Christianity, the church in Rome incorporated pagan beliefs and practices within the Christian religion Graeco-Roman rituals and festivals. For example, Easter has been described as a pagan substitute for the Jewish Passover, although neither Jesus nor his Apostles enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival.
The term is derived from the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in which the Apostle Paul informs the Christians of Thessalonica that a great apostasy must occur before the return of Christ, when "the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction". The Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches have interpreted this chapter as referring to a future falling-away, during the reign of the Antichrist at the end of times; some modern scholars believe that the Church in the early stages picked up pagan oral teachings from Palestinian and Hellenistic sources, which formed the basis of a secret oral tradition, which in the 4th century came to be called the disciplina arcani. Mainstream theologians believe it contained liturgical details and certain other pagan traditions which remain a part of some branches of mainstream Christianity. Important esoteric influences on the church were the Christian theologians Clement of Alexandria and Origen, the main figures of the Catechetical School of Alexandria.
Protestants and evangelical Christians have formally taught that the Bishop of Rome, along with the Catholic Church abused the original teachings and practices of the primitive or original Christian Church. They hold that it brought in pagan festivals and rites, as well as the worship of Mary, as well as doctrines such as Purgatory and Hell which were not of the Early Church, they teach that the Papacy became corrupted as it strove to attain great dominion and authority, both civil and ecclesiastical. For example, they say, it reinstated the pagan ceremonies and obligations of the Collegium Pontificum and the position of Pontifex Maximus and created Christian religious orders to replace the ancient Roman ones such as the Vestal Virgins and the flamines, it brought into the Church the ancient pagan festivals and made them'Holy Days', allowed the celebration of the Pasch or Passover to continue till the following Sunday, the day of the ancient pagan day of Easter so Christians could celebrate the Spring Equinox festival as they had done before.
It used Easter as a tool to bring more pagans into the church, but instead of having them shed their pagan ways and ceremonies, it allowed them into the Church. Catholics as well as the Reformers pointed to the office of the Papacy as responsible for the fallen state of the church as they considered the conduct of those in power had grown so spiritually or morally corrupt to the point that it was called the Antichrist power by those within as well as outside of the church. Following the Protestant Reformation, the denominations spawned from the Reformation have considered their own teachings to be restorative in nature, returning to the basic tenets of Biblical Christianity and sola scriptura; these views are taught in the modern descendant denominations and these doctrinal stances account for their continuing separation from the Catholic Church. Although Protestant Christianity, as a whole, rejects the overall concept that the original church was thrown into complete anarchy and chaos through Catholicism, it does assert that there was gross abuse of Biblical authority and a wandering from clear Biblical teachings prior to the Reformation.
Some Christian groups see themselves as uniquely restoring original Christendom. Such groups use the term "Great Apostasy" in a sweeping way, over all of Christendom, beyond themselves; such groups tend to differ on when the Great Apostasy took place, what the exact errors or changes were. Such groups claim that true Christianity was lost until it was disclosed again in them; the term "Great Apostasy" appears to have been coined in this narrower, technical sense, by "Restorationists". The term may sometimes be used in this sense by other groups claiming their unique position as representing Christianity. Many Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Thomas, John Knox, Cotton Mather, felt the early church had been led into apostasy by the Papacy and identified it as the Antichrist; the reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and others disagreed with the papacy's claim of temporal power over all secular governments and the autocratic character of the papal office and challenged papal authority as it was a corruption from the early church and questioned the Catholic Church’s ab