The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil
and the Fall Thereof
as found in the
Books of Nephi, Revelation and Isaiah
II. The Origin of Evil (The War in Heaven)
Babylon is the scriptural symbol of wickedness, degradation, idolatry, immorality, and the love of wealth. Spiritual Babylon has been on the earth from the time of Adam, as Satan convinced Cain that he could murder and get gain, saying that "surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands" (Moses 5:33) This wickedness of enmity and greed has plagued mankind throughout history, and has become as a "great whore" that "sitteth upon the waters," thriving among all the nations and peoples of the earth. The progress of Babylon is seen in Revelation's Chapter Seventeen as all the "kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Rev. 17:2). "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of The earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." (Rev. 18:3).
It is a mistake to declare that Babylon is a particular church, religion or organized entity. From the scriptures it appears that the wickedness of Babylon is economic and founded upon the love of money, and the desire for wealth. Babylon gains power as the love of man waxes cold throughout the nations and cultures of the world, and the "norm" becomes, in the words of Cain, "am I my brother's keeper."
The restoration of the Gospel is the greatest threat to the secret oaths and combinations of Satan and the philosophies of Babylon. The gospel and especially the Book of Mormon teach the "equality" in temporal things, instructing that mankind should take "no thought of what you shall eat, or drink . . ." realizing that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the kingdom of heaven. This Babylon or "the church of the devil" is the same "great and Abominable Church" of the Book of Mormon and the "great and spacious building" seen in the vision of Lehi. Babylon is built upon the foundation of enmity and pride seeking ones own welfare first, filled with the envy of others, and seeking, not to keep up with the Jones', but, to become the Jones'. Zion is based upon the principles of charity, living the law of consecration, loving your neighbor as yourself, and not pursuing wealth through the codes of competition, trying to be better than those around you. The opposite of Babylon is giving your excess as required by the law of tithing (D&C 119) having all things in common in the gospel of love, filled with charity, the "pure love of Christ,"
With an economic disaster, and a world wide monetary collapse, Babylon can and will fall. In order for Zion to flourish through the millennium a people must exist "with one mind and one heart" and have "no poor among them." In Chapter Eighteen of Revelation, the merchants of the earth that weep and mourn over the fall of Babylon because they were "made rich by her." Third Nephi shows that it took massive natural disasters to destroy both the governmental, a economic systems, in order to introduce the gospel to a prepared people, and in Fourth Nephi records a millennial type of existence where there existed no sin, and, no "ites". Again, it must be remembered that the Book of Mormon is the pattern of the last days.
The scriptures contain a number of chapters that discuss Babylon, (Isaiah 13, 14; Jeremiah 50, 51; Revelation 17, 18.) the church of the devil, or the great and abominable church (1 Nephi 13, 14, 22.). At first glance these concepts or organizations, might not seem to be the same entity. However, with careful study and a parallel comparison, it becomes evident that these titles are one and the same, and represent to some extent, an attitude in the heart and mind of mankind. Placing the chapters that will be discussed and outlined, into topics and parallel columns, will display that each of these visions, are not exactly the same, but, will supplement the other, filling in the gaps that might exist between one, prophetic vision , and the next. The chapters mentioned above (excluding Jeremiah 50, 51) will be organized in parallel columns, with headings representing the corresponding ideas found in each of the chapters. Before, topically dividing and comparing these chapters about "Babylon, the great and abominable church of the devil" there should be some discussion of evil, its' origin, and purpose.