Why are there 15 apostles?

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FrankOne
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by FrankOne »

Rubicon wrote: November 22nd, 2022, 2:01 pm I wonder how a GA would answer questions about this in Q&A? e.g., "There have been members of the First Presidency in the past who weren't apostles. Is our current practice of having 15 apostles today just a custom? Could the President of the Church choose a high priest or an elder as a counselor and not have him ordained to the office of apostle?"

I think most would chastize about inappropriate questions and refuse to answer (or even give an opinion).
Oaks : , "it's wrong to criticize leaders, even when they are wrong".


Oaks would just give a smirk as he does in these types of situations. He's hilarious.
You peasants know nothing!

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

Shawn Henry wrote: November 22nd, 2022, 11:38 am
Rubicon wrote: November 22nd, 2022, 7:54 am Joseph Smith never held the office of apostle, did he?

It's also interesting that Joseph Smith directed the Three Witnesses to choose and ordain the Twelve Apostles, and they themselves weren't ordained apostles.
"Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ,"
..."Wherefore it behooveth me that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery mine apostle;"

To Joseph and Oliver, the Lord said: "whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name"

There was also a revelation to Jospeh and "six Elders" where the Lord called them apostles.
"And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends"

We just don't who these 6 were, but it is highly likely that David Whitmer was there and perhaps Martin Harris.

This is why Oliver was fully qualified to give the 12 their charge and tell them their ordination was not complete until they had seen Christ themselves as Oliver already had and would again in the Kirtland temple. Unfortunately, we have no record of the 12 ever saying that they accomplished this task and completed their ordination. Many are called, but few are chosen.
I've been asked in my stakes to help people with CES letter concerns quite a bit, and one guy's top concern was that the Brethren haven't seen Christ. How can you be a special witness without that? He actually backed down and retreated from several concerns I consider to be a lot more difficult, but that was his sticking point. I told him that, in my opinion, this is a requirement people impose, but that isn't necessarily so. I showed him where Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and Heber C. Kimball had said point blank that they hadn't, but then others like Joseph F. Smith had (we both had our laptops). I told him that I believe that some have and others haven't --- just like some "civilian" people have, and most others haven't seen Christ. The special witness part is by virtue of the keys (the Spirit testifying of their words case by case to people, by virtue of their calling). Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, so that is more important than even a personal appearance (without the Spirit, the appearance doesn't matter. You could rationalize the appearance away without the Spirit testifying).

I agree that seeking the fulfillment if Oliver's charge is important, and I don't think that most apostles take that seriously (caught up in corporatism). But I also don't believe that that negates their status as special witnesses by virtue of their office and keys.

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Shawn Henry
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

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Rubicon wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 7:59 am The special witness part is by virtue of the keys (the Spirit testifying of their words case by case to people, by virtue of their calling). Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, so that is more important than even a personal appearance (without the Spirit, the appearance doesn't matter. You could rationalize the appearance away without the Spirit testifying).

I agree that seeking the fulfillment if Oliver's charge is important, and I don't think that most apostles take that seriously (caught up in corporatism). But I also don't believe that that negates their status as special witnesses by virtue of their office and keys.
You're saying the calling alone makes the witness special and I can't say that I see that. A calling merits some respect, but the calling alone doesn't bestow a witness upon a person.

Letfreedumbring
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Letfreedumbring »

Rubicon presents an honest response. I can appreciate that. I think for many that having seen Christ is a sticking point considering they have been taught in the past through allusions from these witnesses themselves an air of having seen more than they have and outright declarations made in official manuals and general conference.

If having a living prophet or apostles is what distinguishes the church from all others, then it should be understandable that this is the critical point. Do we or do we not have these special witnesses? Underlying this most basic question is the assumption of the standard use of the word - a witness is someone having witnessed something. The apostles during the Savior's time were special witnesses of Christ as they literally saw him. So maybe the question that should be asked is if they haven't seen Christ what are they witnesses of?

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Dusty Wanderer
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Dusty Wanderer »

Subcomandante wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:06 am
The Red Pill wrote: November 20th, 2022, 10:55 pm Joseph Smith's restoration under God's direction gave us the following quorums all being EQUAL in authority:
1. First Presidency
2. 12 apostles
3. The 70
4. Stake leadership

The apostles and 70 had NO authority in stakes of Zion, and were meant to travel in the mission field. That was their jurisdiction.

Conversely, the First Presidency and Stake leadership had authority in existing stakes of Zion, but not in the mission field.

It was a flat leadership structure, with no quorum more powerful than the other (checks and balances).

When scripture was approved, it had to be approved by EACH quorum separately...then voted on by the members as well.

The apostles would have ZERO say in filling a vacancy in the First Presidency.

Brigham changed all of this through tomfoolery and created a top down power structure with the apostles usurping power never intended. This still exists to this day.
Such an organization in today's church would be super chaotic. ...

Nothing would get done.
Perhaps that would be the opposite of chaos. It would be very difficult to push any new policy or program through at the whim of a single man. It could curb institution-wide knee-jerk reactions suited to the politics, trends and culture of the day. It would also allow for stakes to run policy tailored to the specific needs of their regions/locale, rather than trying to make a general, one-size-doesn't-fit-all policy fit across the globe.

That sounds like allowing the Spirit to operate according to the differences of administration (D&C 46:15). That sounds more like order to me.

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

Letfreedumbring wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 2:34 pm Rubicon presents an honest response. I can appreciate that. I think for many that having seen Christ is a sticking point considering they have been taught in the past through allusions from these witnesses themselves an air of having seen more than they have and outright declarations made in official manuals and general conference.

If having a living prophet or apostles is what distinguishes the church from all others, then it should be understandable that this is the critical point. Do we or do we not have these special witnesses? Underlying this most basic question is the assumption of the standard use of the word - a witness is someone having witnessed something. The apostles during the Savior's time were special witnesses of Christ as they literally saw him. So maybe the question that should be asked is if they haven't seen Christ what are they witnesses of?
I agree that damage has been done by the purposely vague, intending to imply without saying, "through experiences too sacred to share, I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior" statements. I also know that Jesus is the Savior through personal experience, such that if I were to lose my faith that the scriptures are true (that the BoM and PoGP people really existed and that the events really happened), I would still be unable to deny that God exists and that the atonement is real. I have felt the burden for my sins lifted off of me --- and in a way that transcends auto-suggestion or wishful thinking (which I also have experience with. The atonement is real, and I cannot deny that).

For me, I have an iron-strong testimony of the power of the priesthood. I and my family have experienced miracles that cannot be explained away, and this priesthood authority comes directly through these apostles --- whether or not they have had a personal appearance from Jesus. This aspect of their special witness also cannot be explained away to me.

I think a bigger problem for people losing their faith in the apostles is that they don't see such fruits in their own lives and experience. Then, believing that there haven't been and aren't any personal visitations becomes devastating.

A sidenote on Oliver's charge to the apostles: most who have received the Second Anointing also haven't consummated it. They are instructed to seek for their own personal visitation as part of that. Unfortunately, it functions as more of a "silver watch for years of service" for many people because of nepotism and cronyism, and I don't personally believe that it puts one on a better footing than a simple person who lives the gospel --- but is never invited to experience the ordinance. Especially as it is treated and used today.

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

Shawn Henry wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 1:52 pm
You're saying the calling alone makes the witness special and I can't say that I see that. A calling merits some respect, but the calling alone doesn't bestow a witness upon a person.
No, but it impacts the witness as received and perceived by others. Mileage may vary, of course. Void where prohibited. See store for details. Not available in all 50 states. Batteries not included. :)

I still think it's much more important for us unwashed masses to seek our own witnesses than it is for all apostles to have theirs.

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Cruiserdude
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Cruiserdude »

Rubicon wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 4:51 pm
Shawn Henry wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 1:52 pm
You're saying the calling alone makes the witness special and I can't say that I see that. A calling merits some respect, but the calling alone doesn't bestow a witness upon a person.


I still think it's much more important for us unwashed masses to seek our own witnesses than it is for all apostles to have theirs.
IT ABSOLUTELY IS MORE IMPORTANT!!!!

4Joshua8
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by 4Joshua8 »

Shawn Henry wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 1:52 pm
Rubicon wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 7:59 am The special witness part is by virtue of the keys (the Spirit testifying of their words case by case to people, by virtue of their calling). Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, so that is more important than even a personal appearance (without the Spirit, the appearance doesn't matter. You could rationalize the appearance away without the Spirit testifying).

I agree that seeking the fulfillment if Oliver's charge is important, and I don't think that most apostles take that seriously (caught up in corporatism). But I also don't believe that that negates their status as special witnesses by virtue of their office and keys.
You're saying the calling alone makes the witness special and I can't say that I see that. A calling merits some respect, but the calling alone doesn't bestow a witness upon a person.
Yes, being a special witness means having witnessed something special, out of the ordinary.

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BeNotDeceived
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by BeNotDeceived »

4Joshua8 wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 5:07 pm
Shawn Henry wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 1:52 pm
Rubicon wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 7:59 am The special witness part is by virtue of the keys (the Spirit testifying of their words case by case to people, by virtue of their calling). Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, so that is more important than even a personal appearance (without the Spirit, the appearance doesn't matter. You could rationalize the appearance away without the Spirit testifying).

I agree that seeking the fulfillment if Oliver's charge is important, and I don't think that most apostles take that seriously (caught up in corporatism). But I also don't believe that that negates their status as special witnesses by virtue of their office and keys.
You're saying the calling alone makes the witness special and I can't say that I see that. A calling merits some respect, but the calling alone doesn't bestow a witness upon a person.
Yes, being a special witness means having witnessed something special, out of the ordinary.
What if you witness something on film after the fact?

Letfreedumbring
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Letfreedumbring »

BeNotDeceived wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 5:24 pm
Yes, being a special witness means having witnessed something special, out of the ordinary.

What if you witness something on film after the fact?
If you witnessed it on film, it is nothing special.

The witness would need to be honest: Lastly, I share with you my witness of the post production work of BYU Motion Picture studios.
Last edited by Letfreedumbring on November 24th, 2022, 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BeNotDeceived
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by BeNotDeceived »

Letfreedumbring wrote: November 24th, 2022, 12:46 am
BeNotDeceived wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 5:24 pm
Yes, being a special witness means having witnessed something special, out of the ordinary.

What if you witness something on film after the fact?
If you witnessed it on film, it is nothing special.

The witness would need to be honest: Lastly, I share with you my witness of the post production work of BYU Motion Picture studios which has come forth in the fulness of its reel.
What happened during PP?

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Shawn Henry
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Shawn Henry »

Rubicon wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 4:51 pm I still think it's much more important for us unwashed masses to seek our own witnesses than it is for all apostles to have theirs.
I couldn't agree more with that.

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Robin Hood
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Robin Hood »

Because 16 is too many.

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