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==="The Great [[Apostasy]]" and Apostolic Succession===
Like many Restorationist heresies, Mormons believe that the [[Orthodox Church|Church]] entered an age of
opprobrium several years after its founding.<ref>Mormons tend to follow the Western error that posits Roman Catholicism, rather than Eastern Orthodoxy, as the most ancient of contemporary Christian faiths. Many are suprised to learn that Orthodoxy even exists! However, learning of Orthodoxy's existence and claims does not alter their beliefs in the slightest. </ref> In doing so, say they, it lost all right to perform sacraments, consecrate priests, or otherwise act in God's name. And from that moment until 1830, say the Mormons, there was no true Church anywhere on the earth. While Mormons offer no specific date for this alleged catastrophe, they tend to believe that it had occurred by the era of St. [[Constantine the Great]] and the [[First Ecumenical Council]] in A.D. 325. The Orthodox Church, which traces her unbroken succession to the Apostles themselves and alone teaches the fullness of their doctrine, is ''ergo'' in apostasy (with all other non-LDS churches) according to the Mormons.
Mormons point to New Testament scriptures<ref>I Timothy 4:1, II Timothy 3:1-5, Acts 20:28-31, among others.</ref> that they assert as speaking of a complete apostasy of the entire Church, as proof of their claims. While Orthodox Christians would agree that these passages did indeed speak of apostates to come--such as [[Arius]], [[Nestorius]] and [[Paul of Samosata]], for instance--they emphatically reject the Mormon interpretation (advanced to varying degrees by nearly all Protestants) that the entire Apostolic Church would fall into heresy. In St. Matthew 16:18, our Lord clearly states that the "gates of
hell shall not prevail" against the Church He had founded--a Church which the Mormons agree existed, but which they claim to have been subsequently "lost", in violation of our Lord's words. Mormons believe ardently in the necessity of Apostolic Succession, which they refer to as "Priesthood succession" or "Priesthood lineage." However, since they recognize no valid church between the alleged "Great Apostasy" and the establishment of their own in 1830, they trace ''their'' succession to one of four "exalted beings, "<ref>The Mormons claim these beings to have been St. John the Baptist, and the Holy Apostles SS Peter, James and John. </ref> who purportedly visited Joseph Smith on two separate occasions in the 1820's , just prior to their church's founding.
===Gethsamene and Golgotha===