I Testify to You That I Know the Mormon Church is True...
Because We are the Only Church that has 12 Living Apostles.
Let's Investigate This Claim...
Apostles of the First Century
The First 12 (the Bible)
When he began his public
ministry in Israel after his baptism, Jesus personally selected his twelve
apostles. After one (Judas Iscariot) betrayed Christ, his office was filled by
another (Acts 1:12-26). The resurrected Jesus appeared to two of his disciples
on the road to Emmaus and explained what was written in all the scriptures
concerning himself (Luke 24:27). After his ascension, the remaining eleven
Apostles met to fill the vacancy. Peter reminded the other ten apostles,
Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his
bishopric let another take (Psalms 69:25 and 109:8). These
scriptures foretell that only Judas would be replaced. There are no biblical
references foretelling or referring to the replacement of any other apostles.
The scripture implies that Judas was different than the other disciples and
needed to be replaced due to his betrayal of Jesus unto death. It is not
recorded that any other apostle ever committed suicide. The Bible appears to be
teaching that Judas' ordination as an Apostle was revoked, and that he was no
longer considered one of them (John 13:27; 17:12).
The biblical requirements for
filling this vacancy are stated in Acts, Chapter One: ...men which have
companied with us...from the baptism of John, unto...he was taken up from
us. Thus, this replacement disciple was to be an eye-witness, with
the other 11, of Jesus' ministry and resurrection. The method they used
allowed God to choose the replacement. The Apostles prayed and asked the Lord
to show them which of the two candidates
had chosen. The lot fell to Matthias, who was ordained and numbered among them
(Acts 1:12-26); the new
total was still 12
One Abnormally Born
The Apostle Paul claimed to be
an apostle (1 Cor. 1:1) (that's why we call him the Apostle Paul). He was
chosen directly by the resurrected Jesus Christ in a vision of blinding light.
He was called on the Road to Damascus by Jesus, in a different manner from the
Twelve (Acts, Chapter 9). Paul had not been with Jesus during his
ministry. This may have been why he did not consider himself to be part of the
original 12 Apostles, but claimed to be an apostle abnormally born (1 Cor.
God gives us an illustration of
only 12 apostles in heaven. After God's final judgment, His heavenly city, the
new Jerusalem, has 12 walls. The names of
12 apostles are written on the foundations of
12 walls (Rev. 21:27). This number matches the number of eye witness apostles
who could testify of Jesus' ministry and resurrection in Israel.
The Second 12 (the Book of Mormon)
The Book of Mormon states that
after Jesus' ascension, he returned to earth and appeared on the American
continent. He personally hand-picked and trained twelve Nephite disciples, and
commissioned them to minister unto the rest of the Nephites (3 Nephi 12:1,
15:11-12). It is clear that, according to the Book of Mormon, these Twelve
Disciples ministered among the Nephites in an ordained apostolic capacity
(3 Ne. 18; 19; 27; 28; Moroni 2:2). In writing about the Book of
Mormon, the Prophet [Joseph Smith] said that it 'tells us that our Savior made
his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection; that he planted the
gospel here in all its fullness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that
, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists; the same order, the same
priesthood, and same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings as were enjoyed
on the eastern continent.' (
History of the Church
, vol. 4, p. 538) (
, p. 47). There is a difference in the Book of Mormon; new disciples were
ordained to replace those who died (4 Nephi 14). According to the Book of
Mormon, Jesus personally chose a
total of 24 apostles
. In Mormon 3:19, they are called, the twelve
whom Jesus chose
in this land, and the other twelve
whom Jesus chose
in the land of Jerusalem.
4 Now Living Will Never Die
According to the Book of
Mormon, Jesus gave
of the Nephite apostles the power over death so that they could bring
the souls of men unto me, while the world shall yet stand. These Nephite
Apostles will never die, but will live until Christ comes in his glory
with the powers of heaven. Only then will they be changed in the
twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality (3 Nephi 28).
According to the Doctrine &
Covenants, John the Beloved,
of the original 12 Apostles, also was allowed to live and tarry until Jesus
comes in glory from heaven (D&C Sect. 7). If these scriptures are true, John
and the three Nephite apostles have been roaming the world winning souls to
Christ to this very day. This guarantees that a minimum of four full-fledged
Apostles have been on the earth since their ordination, continually fulfilling
their extended life-long mission of evangelism. Since these four Apostles
never died (according to the Book of Mormon and the D&C), they can never be
replaced or restored.
Apostles of the Restoration
First 4 Hand-Picked by Revelation
Joseph Smith was apparently
ordained as an apostle by revelation from God, in March of 1829 (D&C 5:6). The
History of the Church
) records that his ordination was apostleship (Vol. 1, p. 65, point 2.).
This made him an apostle before the church was organized in April 1830 (D&C
20). Three other apostles were personally called by revelation of Jesus Christ.
These were the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon: Oliver Cowdery, David
Whitmer, and Martin Harris, who were apparently called to be part of the First
Vol. 2, p. 188).
Another 12 Chosen By 3
Jesus instructed the Three
Witnesses, through a revelation, to choose the first twelve apostles of the
restored church. This was the first time three apostles were ever assigned to
pick twelve more apostles. This was apparently not completed until nearly five
years later, in February of 1835 (D&C 18:37,
History of the Church
Times and Seasons
6:868). It appears that the church was originally reorganized with four
apostles who eventually selected 12 more. When they completed their assigned
the restored total was 16
. The 12 apostles who were hand-picked by the three witnesses were not
hand-picked by Jesus Christ (according to D&C 18:9). The selection of these
man-picked apostles had disastrous results. By 1846, the Three Witnesses had
all left the church, and only six of the original twelve remained in their
office as an apostle (Orson Pratt, one of the remaining six, had been
reinstated after losing his original position through ex-communication). These
twelve were called to go into all the world to preach my gospel to every
creature (D&C 18:28).
According to the Bible, there
can only be twelve eye witness apostles with no further replacements. Also,
Paul was not replaced. The biblical total forever is 12 in one category and
one in the other. According to the Book of Mormon, the true church continually
replaced its apostles who died (4 Nephi). In order to be a true restored Book
of Mormon church, the restoration must have 12 apostles in the Old World and 12
in the New World (
) for a total of
Today, the Mormon church claims
it is the only true church because it has 12 living apostles (at any one time).
Apparently, the Mormon church is forgetting to count the three in the First
Presidency. They also are apparently not counting the three Nephites and John
the Beloved who can never die and therefore can never be replaced. But even if
they were to start counting all these, they appear to be short five apostles,
according to the Book of Mormon. According to the Bible, they appear to have
apostles and far too many
ones. How can the restored church be the true church
with a false number of apostles?
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