Why are there 15 apostles?

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Letfreedumbring
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Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Letfreedumbring »

This is a question I think I have had for a long time without a sufficient answer.

Yes I understand Hinckey led the way as the 16th apostle in the first presidency while Elder Maxwell filled his vacancy in the 12. Additionally, McKay had as many as 5 counsellors and the quorums of the 70 have more than 70 members in them and now the church has so many The Quorum of the 70s we name them 1st, 2nd, 3rd until a fast moving screen of text is needed to name all on screen during general conference. But where is this even doctrinal as per the scriptures?

In the new testament we have Jesus and the 12 apostles. Jesus was the son of God who the twelve witnessed his life, death and resurrection. In Hebrews 3:1 we find Him being called an Apostle but only as the object of their (twelves apostles') confession. The twelve were called as witnesses to his divinity. Surely the 12 apostles today are hopefully not witnessing to the divinity of RMN.

Even the Book of Mormon we could say maybe the Nephite 12 disciples provide an example of there being 24 apostles including the original twelve, but this is not the case as they were virtual apostles (or ministers) and deferred to the authority of the original twelve. (See 1 Nephi 12:8, looking for the word 'apostle' that describes anyone else other than the original twelve in Jerusalem)

https://www.ldsscriptureteachings.org/2 ... -apostles/

The primitive church even still appeared to function with the twelve after Christ's death and there were no scriptures that said they needed to call a prophet over them, let alone a prophet and two more apostles. Furthermore, does this latter day church structure even exist in the Book of Mormon?
Last edited by Letfreedumbring on November 21st, 2022, 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Red Pill
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by The Red Pill »

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.

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cab
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by cab »

Or why did there end up being 1000s of 70s?

I’ve found some answers here.

Part 1

Part 2

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Subcomandante
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Subcomandante »

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. It was useful in Joseph's day because the stake leadership literally lived in the same place where the President of the Church did. Now the 70s live all over the world and they have their meetings, and the 12 have their meetings as well as the FP.

Nothing would get done.

endlessismyname
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Posts: 2100

Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by endlessismyname »

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. It was useful in Joseph's day because the stake leadership literally lived in the same place where the President of the Church did. Now the 70s live all over the world and they have their meetings, and the 12 have their meetings as well as the FP.

Nothing would get done.
Cuz communication across long distances is so hard, these days, guyz…

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

Being an apostle isn't required to be a counselor in the First Presidency (there have historically been some who were high priests, but not for a long time).

Having 15 apostles is a practice and a tradition. The really important thing, a la D&C 107, is that the Quorum of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostels, and the 1st Quorum of the Seventy are equal in authority, being able to overrule with unanimity if upper quorums are not unanimous. That could be important if there is ever something divisive that the Brethren are not united on.

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Subcomandante
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Subcomandante »

endlessismyname wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:45 am
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. It was useful in Joseph's day because the stake leadership literally lived in the same place where the President of the Church did. Now the 70s live all over the world and they have their meetings, and the 12 have their meetings as well as the FP.

Nothing would get done.
Cuz communication across long distances is so hard, these days, guyz…
3,500 plus stakes across 24 time zones...with many not able to speak English, and hundreds of languages spoken. Your quote only belies your ignorance on the situation. The only thing that would result would be chaos.

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The Red Pill
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by The Red Pill »

cab wrote: November 21st, 2022, 6:46 am Or why did there end up being 1000s of 70s?

I’ve found some answers here.

Part 1

Part 2
This is an excellent two part series. I don't agree with RFM on many things, but he nails it on this presentation. Every member should watch this to understand Brigham's chicanery.

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cab
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by cab »

The Red Pill wrote: November 21st, 2022, 9:11 am
cab wrote: November 21st, 2022, 6:46 am Or why did there end up being 1000s of 70s?

I’ve found some answers here.

Part 1

Part 2
This is an excellent two part series. I don't agree with RFM on many things, but he nails it on this presentation. Every member should watch this to understand Brigham's chicanery.

Yep. RFM misses on many points. And he’s lost his faith, which was once strong…. But this presentation is fairly objective and well sourced.
Last edited by cab on November 21st, 2022, 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Red Pill
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by The Red Pill »

Rubicon wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:58 am Being an apostle isn't required to be a counselor in the First Presidency (there have historically been some who were high priests, but not for a long time).

Having 15 apostles is a practice and a tradition. The really important thing, a la D&C 107, is that the Quorum of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostels, and the 1st Quorum of the Seventy are equal in authority, being able to overrule with unanimity if upper quorums are not unanimous. That could be important if there is ever something divisive that the Brethren are not united on.
Or...just for the sake of a hypothetical situation...oh like say...a bioweapon unleashed on humanity, with the ultimate intention of coercing the population into a deadly-jab that...well...killed people.

In this kind of situation, hypothetical of course, Joseph Smith's flat power structure would necessitate much more Independent thought and discussion...before reckless and rash decisions would be "urged" on the flock...just saying...

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marc
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by marc »

The Red Pill wrote: November 21st, 2022, 9:11 amThis is an excellent two part series. I don't agree with RFM on many things, but he nails it on this presentation. Every member should watch this to understand Brigham's chicanery.
We all get some things wrong. It's a good reminder that we are all growing line upon line, precept upon precept, light cleaving to light, etc.

So many people are going to be rattled soon enough. I just hope they don't throw out the baby (Jesus Christ) with the bath water (leave church). It's clear to me that people are bound more to traditions and policies and men rather than God.

Just as the proverbial frog becomes slowly boiled to death in water, so is the Lord allowing the inverse to happen. By this I mean, He is allowing things to be revealed a little at a time to allow people to awaken by degrees and adjust their trajectory. This is much more desirable than to crash and burn because they become too shaken to continue.

endlessismyname
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by endlessismyname »

Subcomandante wrote: November 21st, 2022, 9:02 am
endlessismyname wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:45 am
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. It was useful in Joseph's day because the stake leadership literally lived in the same place where the President of the Church did. Now the 70s live all over the world and they have their meetings, and the 12 have their meetings as well as the FP.

Nothing would get done.
Cuz communication across long distances is so hard, these days, guyz…
3,500 plus stakes across 24 time zones...with many not able to speak English, and hundreds of languages spoken. Your quote only belies your ignorance on the situation. The only thing that would result would be chaos.
I literally work everyday with organizations orders of magnitude larger than this, that have all these same challenges, and make it work. Don’t lecture me about ignorance, Sub. It’s a bad look for someone with your track record on “the big issues”.

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TheChristian
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by TheChristian »

Subcomandante wrote: November 21st, 2022, 9:02 am
endlessismyname wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:45 am
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. It was useful in Joseph's day because the stake leadership literally lived in the same place where the President of the Church did. Now the 70s live all over the world and they have their meetings, and the 12 have their meetings as well as the FP.

Nothing would get done.
Cuz communication across long distances is so hard, these days, guyz…
3,500 plus stakes across 24 time zones...with many not able to speak English, and hundreds of languages spoken. Your quote only belies your ignorance on the situation. The only thing that would result would be chaos.


How would you account for the harmony and fluidity, the lack of chaos in the untold thousands of charismatic movements that are springing up spontaneously all over the earth?
They have no earthly central head, no group of wealthy, learned men leading them, no vast heirarchial structure led also by wealthy learned men, yet there is harmony, love, joy and peace amongst them attended by all the New testament Signs, wonders , miracles and graces of God in their midst?

Oft such movements consist of poor, uneducated men and women whoms only wealth is their faith.........
The Fruits are all in evidence, they are the major helpers of the poor and oppressed of this earth, quietly behind the scenes setting up foodbanks, homeless shelters, christian prison fellowships, orphanages, refuges, day centres and so much more.......

Could this be due to men allowing the Spirit of God to take the lead?

James the brother of our Lord Jesus said..
"God chose poor men whoms only wealth was their faith"

Bronco73idi
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Bronco73idi »

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.
I have never particularly desired any man to testify publicly that I am a Prophet; nevertheless, if any man feels joy in doing this, he shall be blest in it. I have never said that I am not a Prophet; but, if I am not, one thing is certain, I have been very profitable to this people. In the providence of God he has placed me to take charge of his flock, and they have been abundantly blessed under my administration. I did not desire to be their shepherd; but the great Shepherd of all the sheep placed me in this position, and there is no man on earth can truthfully say aught against the dealings of the leaders of this people with the Latter-day Saints. [Journal of Discourses 10:339]

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Shawn Henry
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Shawn Henry »

"I have been very profitable to this people."

This is Brigham code for, this people have been very profitable to me, considering their donations made him a multimillionaire.

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Shawn Henry
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Shawn Henry »

Rubicon wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:58 am Being an apostle isn't required to be a counselor in the First Presidency (there have historically been some who were high priests, but not for a long time).
That's because a High Preist was just that, someone who had the High Priesthood. An Apostle was an Elder and an Elder was only an appendage to the High Preisthood.

The Lord never called members of the 12 into the First Presidency, he always kept those quorums separate. They had entirely different responsibilities, including the 12 having no authority at all in the Stakes of Zion.

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tribrac
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by tribrac »

...because 16 was too many.

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Shawn Henry
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Shawn Henry »

The Red Pill wrote: November 21st, 2022, 9:11 am This is an excellent two part series. I don't agree with RFM on many things, but he nails it on this presentation. Every member should watch this to understand Brigham's chicanery.
I agree, this is a must listen to article. It's hands down my favorite of anything he's done.

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

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.

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cab
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by cab »

Shawn Henry wrote: November 21st, 2022, 11:46 am
The Red Pill wrote: November 21st, 2022, 9:11 am This is an excellent two part series. I don't agree with RFM on many things, but he nails it on this presentation. Every member should watch this to understand Brigham's chicanery.
I agree, this is a must listen to article. It's hands down my favorite of anything he's done.

I think you’ll like this as much or more…He wrote this article years before he was RFM and submitted it to the Journal of Book of Mormon studies…. Unfortunately he has since thrown the baby out with the bath water…. but this article was SPOT ON…

Volluz, Corbin T. (1994) “Cry Redemption: The Plan of Redemption as Taught in the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Vol. 3 : No. 1, Article 10. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/vol3/iss1/10/

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Shawn Henry
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Shawn Henry »

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.

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

Shawn Henry wrote: November 22nd, 2022, 11:38 am
"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.
Thanks for those reminders!

That makes at least 14 apostles from the earliest times, so maybe 15 apostles today isn't a bad thing.

Rubicon
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by Rubicon »

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).

blitzinstripes
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by blitzinstripes »

Because it's a better business model for the corporation.

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FrankOne
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Re: Why are there 15 apostles?

Post by FrankOne »

Rubicon wrote: November 21st, 2022, 7:58 am Being an apostle isn't required to be a counselor in the First Presidency (there have historically been some who were high priests, but not for a long time).

Having 15 apostles is a practice and a tradition. The really important thing, a la D&C 107, is that the Quorum of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostels, and the 1st Quorum of the Seventy are equal in authority, being able to overrule with unanimity if upper quorums are not unanimous. That could be important if there is ever something divisive that the Brethren are not united on.
could happen.

apostolic schism coming? Political upheaval? Sounds about right for this day and age.

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