Monday, February 14, 2011

We Believe: Prophets and Apostles

Article of Faith #6: We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We believe that when Christ organized His church on the Earth, He built it upon a foundation of apostles and prophets (see Ephesians 2:20).  He did so, as Paul taught, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:12-14)."  The
role of apostles and prophets were to teach the people and to keep the gospel pure; that all who believed in Christ would be following the Savior's doctrine.  Christ also called seventy other men to help preach the gospel (see Luke 10:1).  He gave unto them the authority to help teach the doctrines and to be of service to the Twelve Apostles.

We believe that this organization is the same organization Christ's church has had since the beginning of the time.  We know that Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and many others were called as prophets to teach the people during their times.  We read of how Moses called seventy men to help him watch over the children of Israel (see Numbers 11:16-17, 24-25).  

We believe that now the same organization has been restored.  Joseph Smith, Jr., was called as the first prophet of these last days.  As the Restoration of the Gospel continued, the quorum of the Twelve Apostles was again established as well as the quorums of the Seventy.  The church is led on a local level by Stake Presidents, Bishops, and the Presidents of different organizations in each congregation.  Through both the local organizations and the general or world-wide organization, we can receive the guidance and support we need in our lives.

One of the greatest things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is its organization.  I marvel that it was organized in such a way that it can support and maintain the church as it is now, but that it can grow to accommodate a growing church.  I know that it is inspired of God and not just the thought of men.  I know that Jesus Christ is at the head of His church and guides it through the living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.

To see the current General Authorities of the Church, click here

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