As my contribution to your home centered study
of 1 and 2 Thessalonians this week, I theorize about what happened to
early Christianity after the death of the apostles. As leadership in the
early Church transitioned from apostles to local bishops, the
priesthood keys bestowed on Peter(Matthew 16:19) and the apostles (Matthew 18:18)
were lost. The primary evidence of the apostasy is modern revelation.
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery claimed to have received visits from
heavenly messengers and we are challenged to prayerfully seek after
their own spiritual witness of claims regarding authority. An
examination of ancient history can at best demonstrate plausibility and
not proof of the apostasy. Those expecting the latter-day church is a
carbon copy of an ancient church organization will be disappointed.