Journal of Discourses 13:125; “Jesus made his appearance on the earth in the meridian of time, and he established his kingdom on the earth. But to fulfill ancient prophecies the Lord suffered that kingdom to be uprooted; in other words, the kingdoms of this world made war against the kingdom of God, established eighteen centuries ago, and they prevailed against it, and the kingdom ceased to exist. The great beast that John saw made war with it and prevailed against it, and human institutions, without prophets or inspired men, usurped the place of the ancient kingdom of God.” – Apostle Orson Pratt
Matthew 16:18; “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
I have to be honest and say that I use Matthew 16:18 quite often and the one thing I feel we (I’m at the top of that list) need to give more credence to is what it says in verse sixteen and not just eighteen.
Jesus who is God incarnate is the sole reason the body of Christ exists today. Sinful man would not have been able to keep the church afloat without His power. The body of Christ is in existence today because He resides inside each believer and this is how the gates of hell have not prevailed!
Without His omnipresence, His omnipotence, and most certainly His omniscience nothing on this earth could function, let alone His Kingdom.
Nowhere in Pratt’s ramblings did he give a biblical reference of the ancient prophecies declaring God’s kingdom would be uprooted. His only reasoning comes from Joseph Smith’s “revelations”.
Matthew 16:16 is one of my personal favorites, thus my remorse in not using it more often.
When I was being baptized for dead people in the Ogden temple I questioned my bishop about an awful spiritual experience I had gone through during the baptisms. He told me it was God so I countered his opinion and the next day my classmates announced I was worshipping a different God than they were.
I walked home from church that day wondering about Matthew 16:16. I wasn’t sure what the word Christ meant, but sensed it had something to do with power. I relied on that verse to get me through the rest of the time I lived in Utah. Telling Jesus in my prayers I didn’t understand what it meant, but I knew I wanted more of Him in my life provided comfort during those dark years.