Joseph Was Told That He Was to Join None of the Churches of His Day

Joseph Smith—History 1:18–19

18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

Elder James E. Talmage said:

“When we say that the Lord is not pleased with those churches, we do not mean that He is not pleased with the members thereof. . . . The church as such may be wholly corrupt because of the false claims that are being made for it, and yet within that church as members there may be people who are doing their best.”

(In Conference Report, Oct. 1928, 120.)