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“But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be. They say, ‘We have built chapels unto the name of the Lord; we call our Churches Christian Churches, they are called the Church of Christ, St. John’s Church, St. Paul’s Church, St. Peter’s Church, and after others of the ancient Apostles;’ and one who had never studied the pattern which God has given of the Christian Church would almost really believe that they are Christian Churches. But there has been a long apostacy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written – ‘Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots.’ This kind of a church has existed in great abundance, for as John the Revelator says, she was to have her dominion upon many waters, and she was to make all nations drunken with the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

Orson Pratt – 26 March 1876, Journal of Discourses – Volume 18 (Liverpool, England: Joseph F. Smith, 1877), 172.