Within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, there is a very special leadership position. The people who hold these positions are called apostles. Apostles are responsible for many tasks in the Church, including assisting in the development and growth of the Church worldwide.
Who are the Apostles?
The term apostle comes from Greek, and is translated to mean, “One sent forth.” The Church uses the title ‘apostle’ to signify a person who’s chosen to be a special witness of Jesus Christ.
Scripture dictates that there are to be 15 apostles appointed within the Church (Doctrine and Covenants 107:22-24).
Three of the apostles make up the First Presidency of the Church (Doctrine and Covenants 107:22). This includes the president of the Church, who is also referred to as the prophet. The other two members of the First Presidency include the first counselor and the second counselor.
The remaining 12 apostles create the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Along with the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is tasked with representing Christ to all people, in all nations.
Who can be a New Apostle?
To be an appointed as an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ, you will, of course, need to be a member of the Church. Often times, the new apostle is a member of the Quorum of the Seventy when they are sustained. However, the Church has announced that any person who is part of the general membership of the Church, and who holds the priesthood, can be called to be an apostle.
How are New Apostles Chosen?
Once an apostle is called, and he accepts that call, it is understood to be a lifetime calling. Inevitably each apostle will pass away. Recently, Elder Robert D. Hales, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away. The loss of an apostle can be very upsetting to members of the Church, as the apostles are very beloved. However, these times can also be exciting, as there will be a new apostle called.
When a new apostle is needed, the president of the Church will be inspired by God to know who the right person is. At this point, the president will meet with the chosen person to interview him. If the chosen person accepts and is willing to become a new apostle, he will need to be sustained by the members of the Church. After being sustained, the (almost) new apostle will be ordained, or appointed, by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This is done through a priesthood blessing, where those who are performing the blessing will lay their hands upon the head of the person being blessed.
Apostles are a very important part of the Church. They are able to receive inspiration for the members of the Church, and they travel the world in an effort to share this inspiration and spread the gospel. Go to the Church website to read the words of all the apostles.