I have heard many people speak of America as “Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots” as mentioned in Revelation chapter 18. Is there an official LDS position on this topic? Has the Church said anything to enlighten us as to who or what is considered “the Mother of Harlots”? Whenever someone starts a discussion, I am not sure whether or not I should agree with them or not, although their arguments ARE compelling.
Babylon over the many years has referred to many civilizations. Babylon’s origin begins with a mighty leader and hunter Nimrod, “a mighty one in the earth,” and was one of the oldest cities in the land of Shinar.
The title and symbol of “Babylon” was passed down unto other cities. The reign of Nebuchadnezzar and his capital being one of them. Another city, nation, under the banner of Babylon would have been Rome, and according to our Bible Dictionary Revelations Chapter 18 (some verses) probably denotes Rome, or even apostate Jerusalem.
In the Church’s “Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual” it is highlighted that Satan’s kingdom has been referred to by many names: “Babylon, the great and abominable church, the mother of harlots, the church of the devil, and the kingdom of the devil.”
The Church has not given any specifics, some leaders however, have given specifics which have not been affirmed, even compelling ones. The Church has given further insight as to the desires of “the mother of abominations.” We are informed that Babylon will be any organization that gathers loyalty to principles and teachings which God hates. There are some loyalties, principles, and teachings of organizations which would carry the title of Babylon:
- It persecutes, tortures, and slays the Saints of God. (See 1 Ne. 13:5.)
- It seeks wealth and luxury. (See 1 Ne. 13:7–8.)
- It is characterized by sexual immorality. (See 1 Ne. 13:7.)
- It has excised plain and precious things from the scriptures. (See 1 Ne. 13:26–29.)
- It has dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. (See 1 Ne. 14:11.)
- Its fate is to be consumed by a world war, when the nations it incites against the Saints war among themselves until the great and abominable church itself is destroyed. (See 1 Ne. 22:13–14.)
Despite the obvious principles, teachings, and loyalties of “Babylon,” “the Mother of Harlots,” there are many (even the elect) who are accepting the culture of the enemy of righteousness. In this past General Conference, Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer duly noted,
“As I watch the current world moving away from God, I think this building is growing in size. Many find themselves today wandering the halls of the great and spacious building, not realizing that they are actually becoming part of its culture. They often succumb to the temptations and the messages. We eventually find them mocking or chiming in with those who criticize or mock”
Unfortunately, even today, we witness some of God’s elect which are currently chiming in and mocking the Church of the Firstborn.
Babylon is any organization, or individual, that is not yielding to the enticing of the Holy Spirit. I would assume then Ryan, that the real question would be, “Are we adapting/changing such that we are no longer foreigners and strangers with the Saints (The Church of the Firstborn), or are we by small and simple steps adapting to the culture of Babylon and walking its great halls (being lead by a flaxen cord)”? A decision we all must make every single day. Are we Saint, or are we Abomination? The choice is ours.