My blog on the Come Follow Me: JSH 1:1-26 is now available.
What is the Great Apostasy? Apostasy is defined as the abandoning of what one believed in. It comes from the Greek words: apo -“away” and stasis – “a standing.” In other words, to stand away from what one once stood by. An apostate is someone who does more than just stops going to church. It is someone who once strongly believed in a cause, then vehemently opposes it and fights for its destruction. Noted apostates in the Bible include: Cain (Genesis 4:1-16); the people in Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8); Tower of Babel (Genesis 11); Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19); Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16:1-35); fallen Israel (Isaiah 1, 3, etc.); Hymenaus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:19, 20); Anti-Christs (1 John 2) and wicked Judah (Matthew 24).
The idea behind the Great Apostasy is a “falling away” of not just a nation, but the entire earth from accepting the fulness of the gospel. They accept portions of it, but reject key points of Celestial law and covenant. In the Book of Mormon, the Nephite covenant with God was constantly at the forefront. If they obeyed and followed God, they would prosper in the land. However, if the Nephite nation forsake the covenant, they would be cast out of God’s presence.