JOEL - The phrase "great and abominable church," which appears in a vision received by the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi in the sixth century B.C. (1 Ne. 13:6), refers to the church of the devil and is understood
by Latter-day Saints to be equivalent to the "great whore that sitteth upon many waters" described in
Revelation 17:1. This "whore of all the earth" is identified by Nephi's brother Jacob as all those who are
against God and who fight against Zion, in all periods of time (2 Ne. 10:16).
In the past many Protestant religions have linked this "church of the Devil" to the Catholic faith. However to our understanding, it is not meant to identify any particular church or organization. The "Great and Abominable Church", also known as "Babylon" and the "great harlot" (Rev. 17:5), is used to signify all churches or any other type of organization or cause, which are designed to take men on a course away from God and salvation. Characteristics of pride, greed, and covenant abandonment are associated with this church in sharp contrast to the church of God. This church will eventually fall when the Savior begins His Millenial reign (Rev. 18)..
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