My Beliefs

ARE WE RELATED?
Donny Osmond

“As I’ve traveled all over the world, the fact that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused a lot of interesting questions. I’ve received so many letters and e-mails asking things like, What are the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints?”

Debby & Donny Osmond

My Testimony

Listen

…Some want to know how Debbie and I have been able to maintain a strong marriage — over all these years — while living in the world of show business. Others want to know how we dealt with the challenges of raising a close and happy family in such difficult times.

How do we maintain a balance between work, and family life? Well, you know it’s not always easy, but the following pages are my attempt to explain a way of life that helps answer these kinds of questions. It gives me stability in a world, and in a business, that can be uncertain, compromising, and stressful. It’s the pattern that gives me direction in my life. And, I hope that this information will help answer some of your questions.

Questions & Answers

  • How Do Apostles and Prophets Become Such?

    I am an Anglican, (ie Church of England) but enjoy learning about other religions. I admire your strength of faith. I do however, find it difficult to understand the fact that you have living Apostles and Prophets. I am particularly interested in learning how they become such, are they born as an apostle or prophet or is it just a position within your Church that anyone can aspire to?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer this question.

    Before I answer your specific question, allow me to give a little background information.

    It seems that down through human history it has been difficult for people to believe that there are those on the earth who are called to be prophets and apostles and as such receive revelation from God for the benefit of man. However, the scripture states:

    Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
    (Old Testament | Amos 3:7)

    The Apostle Paul wrote: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11 – 12)

    Prophets are not random people on the earth chosen for their looks, goodness and ability, but we believe are foreordained even in the pre-earth spiritual existence to be such as was Jeremiah:

    Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)

    As Jesus organized his Church, he first chose the twelve apostles and prophets and said to them:

    Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit…. (John 15:16)

    After Jesus had been crucified, resurrected and ascended to heaven, and one of the original apostles, Judas, had killed himself, the other eleven prayed and selected another, Mathias, to take his place:

    And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:23 – 26)

    The New Testament names other Apostles including Paul to maintain this quorum of twelve. The only explanation for their being 12 is that they are to stand in judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel:

    And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

    That this quorum of twelve apostles are an important part of the organization of Christ’s Church is clear in the New Testament. Paul in his letter to new converts to the Church he compares apostles and prophets to the foundation of a building:

    Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (Ephesians 2:19 – 21)

    Paul later explained their critical importance along with the other offices of the Church organization:

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 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 4:11 – 14)

    The reason they were so important, is because it was by the divine revelation through them, mentioned above, that the true Church of Jesus Christ is led on the earth by the Lord himself.

    Of course, the scriptures are a composite of the prophets’ writings, by and large ,and even these are not expected to be interpreted any way we deem fits our fancy.

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20 – 21)

    Revelation from God is not as mystical and complicated as might be thought. There are those occasions when heavenly messengers have appeared to prophets and on rare occasions, even the Lord, but generally divine communication comes from the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit who communicates by thought and feeling or even sometimes by audible voice. As the passage above suggests, the Holy Bible exists primarily because of such divine communications.

    How are we to know if an individual is a prophet and that his teachings are from God? especially given that we are warned:

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
    Part of the answer is in the verses that follow the one above:

    Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16 – 20)

    The most reliable means to know for ourselves that one is a true prophet and that what is communicated is true revelation from God is simply by our accessing the same Holy Spirit by which the revelation is received:

    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God…But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (Corinthians 2:9–11, 14)

    If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:15-18, 26-27)

    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (James 1:5-6)

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
    (Matthew 7:7)

    I submit to you that the reason so few recognize and believe in the words of true apostles and prophets is because they fail to genuinely seek, ask and knock in search for the truth.

    In biblical times, the lack of acceptance grew to the prophets being imprisoned, tortured and martyred. Eventually, as the apostles were scattered in their ministries, they were eventually all killed, the was impossible to continue quorum.

    · Judas committed suicide after betraying Christ, 34 A.D.

    · Peter was crucified head down in Rome, 66 A.D.

    · Andrew was bound to death. He preached until his death in 74 A.D.

    · James , son of Zebedee, was beheaded in Jerusalem by the sword. (Acts 12:1-9).

    · John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, 96 A.D. (Rev. 1- 9).

    · Phillip was crucified at Heirapole, Phryga, 52 A.D.

    · Bartholomew was beaten, crucified, then beheaded by the command of a king, 52 AD.

    · Thomas was run through by a lance at Corehandal, East Indies, 52 A.D.

    · Matthew was slain by the sword in the city of Ethiopia about 60 A.D.

    · James son of Alphaeus, was thrown from a pinnacle, then beaten to death, 60 A.D.

    Accurate history shows how the original true Church of Jesus Christ was lost as prophesied by Paul:

    NOW we beseech you, brethren, by [or about] the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, (2 Thessalonians 2:1 – 3)

    History of the dark and middle ages shows that the divine light of revelation was withheld from a wicked world. We claim that is has now been restored to the earth under his direction in preparation of the Second Coming of the Lord as Peter promised:

    Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19 – 21)

    We claim this restoration includes the formation of the quorum of true apostles and prophets of the Lord who direct The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by revelation as in ancient times. True priesthood authority was also divinely restored and by it the duly ordained Apostles and Prophets now direct the work of proclaiming the true gospel to the world as the Lord directed his original apostles and prophets:

    And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

    Even though the numbers of the restored Church is relatively small (about 14 million), it is organized in nearly every country in the earth and is now the 4th largest Church in the US.

    Finally, your specific answer: When a member of the quorum of twelve apostles dies, the remaining members of the quorum fast and pray to unanimously select a replacement in the same way that Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. They are not elected, nor would it be likely that anyone would be called had he aspired to be selected as an apostle. It is a heavy lifetime calling.

    I am personally acquainted with some of the latter day apostles and prophets and I can honestly say that in all of my travels, I have not encountered more righteous and inspired men. They were all prominent in their professions; university presidents, doctors, business leaders who all, while becoming successful in their chosen professions, were dedicated to the Lord’s service. They have all now left their “nets” to become fulltime witnesses of the divinity of the Lord, the reality of his resurrection and the truthfulness of the restored gospel.

    The witness of the spirit gives me pure knowledge that these are true apostles and prophets of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

    You can see photos of the quorum of the twelve apostles and read about each of the apostles at http://www.ldschurchnews.com/leaders/53469/The-Quorum-of-the-Twelve-Apostles.html.

    Please feel free to ask further questions.