A Mormon Asks: Why did there cease to be apostles?


Hi everyone. My Mormon boyfriend wants to know why we no longer have apostles. Could you please help me answer this? :shrug::confused:


Apostle (Greek: apostolos, “someone sent out”, e.g. with a message or as a delegate). There are three groups of apostles; The Twelve, The Seventy, and Paul.
Jesus sent out the twelve in pairs (Mark 6:7-13, cf. Matthew 10:5-42,Luke 9:1-6), to towns in Galilee.
The Seventy or Seventy-two were also sent out (Luke 10:1-24). Paul was also sent out by the risen Lord (Acts 9:1-22). Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History © 324 records Barnabas, Sosthenes, Joseph Barsabbas, and Matthias as members of the 70. The New Testament records Barnabas (Acts 14:14) and Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1, 2:6) as Apostles. Jesus Christ sent out a total 83 men to spread the Gospel. These 83 men were apostles (sent out). James and Peter were Apostles as well as Bishops.
Only men sent by Christ were Apostles. Only Apostles who had 1) walked the earth with Christ, 2) been in the company of the original twelve, and 3) witnessed the resurrection could be a member of The Twelve. By these requirements described in Acts (2:21-22), we know The Twelve were never to be an on going position in the Church. Paul was never made one of the Twelve because he did not qualify. He was an Apostle but never one of The Twelve.
The Apostle Peter went to Antioch where he started a church. Seven years later he ordained Evodius as Bishop of Antioch and went to Rome. After Evodius died, Ignatius (a student of the Apostle John), was made Bishop of Antioch. The Apostle James of Alphaeus stayed in Jerusalem as the Bishop. When James died, Simeon became Bishop. As those whom Christ sent out died, they were replaced by the Bishops.



It’s not really true that we don’t have apostles. We just don’t call them that - usually. “Apostle” means “one who is sent”, a missionary. We send out missionaries all the time.

When a Mormon uses the word “apostle”, he generally means one of the 12 disciples. These were apostles, as was St. Paul, but they were also special eye-witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. There were only to be 12 of them, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. When Judas killed himself, the remaining 11 chose a replacement, not because there were always supposed to be a set of 12 forever, but because Jesus wanted 12 eye-witnesses to go into the world and bear personal witness to his resurrection and hence his divinity.

Look at Acts 1:20-22 for the requirements to be one of the 12:

“Let another take his [Judas’] bishopric. Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

Each of the 12 must have known Jesus personally and been with him constantly from his baptism until his ascension. No man after Jesus’ generation could possibly meet those requirements, so there cannot be a “quorum of the 12” now, nor was it ever intended that there would be.

What we do have now are the men that the apostles ordained as their successors - the bishops. Bishops have all the authority of the apostles (who were the first bishops) to govern the Church, interpret scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit, and ordain others. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead his Church into all truth (John 16:13). He does that through the councils of bishops in communion with the pope who, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, interpret scripture, define and defend doctrines and set standards of morality and church governance.

The pope is the bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter who was also bishop of Rome. Together with him, the bishops hold the same apostolic authority handed down to them from the 12. We don’t choose to call them apostles out of reverence for the 12, but since they hold the same apostolic authority I suppose we could call them apostles if we wanted to.

But just calling someone an apostle does not make him one. The fact that the Mormons call certain men apostles does not make them real apostles. And as we saw from the Book of Acts, no Mormon qualifies to be a member of the 12.

Hope this helps,

P.S.: Forgive me for asking, but why are you dating a Mormon? As a Catholic, you should only marry a Catholic who will raise your children in the faith, and you should never date anyone you would not marry. As a former Mormon myself, I can tell you that the relationship will go nowhere unless you convert to his religion. You will be put under tremendous pressure to become a Mormon, and if you do not, he will dump you. His family and peers will never accept you as his wife if you are not Mormon. Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. :frowning:


I agree with the previous poster. This relationship could work out okay if he becomes Catholic, but I think you are in a dangerous situation…especially if you are unsure of your own faith.

Spend LOTS of time asking lots of questions in this forum, okay? :thumbsup:


Hi Paul. I am dating a Mormon because I love him. Catholics are not required to marry only Catholics. Catholics can marry non-Catholics as long as they promise to raise their children Catholic and I know that Jason would have no problem with this. Jason is the name of my boyfriend by the way. Jason is honestly not that much convinced of his own religion either. In his own words “I don’t really know what to believe.” Also, his family will accept me because his family are not Mormons. Also, you are not the bearer of bad news. :slight_smile: I have already thought this out before. :thumbsup: But thank you for your concern anyway. :slight_smile:


This made me smile and praise God for the gift of human affection :love: Love is awesome - when we see people who truly love each other, it points us to God.

I hope that you can change this to something like “I have talked with Jason about this and he has said he understands and supports my convictions.” I’m guessing you have already done so and just wrote substantially the same point in a different manner, but just in case you haven’t, please dialogue with him about it.

I’ll pray that he will receive the grace to be open to conversion. It’s great that you are on here trying to help him understand our faith. Good luck to you both, and thanks again for the smile.


Dear Holly,
I have had a great deal of experience in this area. I am a former Mormon (a bishop’s counselor) and a grandfather and have seen many things.

When a man becomes a father for the first time, he is very likely to revert to the faith that he had when he was young. It very often happens that inactive Mormons marry non-Mormons, then when the first child is born they suddenly revert to Mormonism with a vengeance and insist on raising the child Mormon. The same thing happens to women who marry Muslims, by the way.

You are treading on very dangerous ground. Unless Jason sincerely converts to Catholicism before you are married, I advise you to break it off. There are thousands of stories of heartbreak and divorce from Catholics who were naive enough to marry a Mormon, believing that they would be able to “work it out” and raise their children Catholic, only to find that they live in a religiously divided home and every Sunday becomes a battlefield for the souls of the children.

“I love him” is not enough to build a marriage on. You can love any number of men. But for a marriage to work there must also be shared values and a shared faith. As Rab Tevye said. “A bird may love a fish, but where would they build a home together?”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

God love you,


In the bible we are warned against being “unequally yoked.” And this relationship reeks with it. I went through a relationship that was all wrong myself. Both of us were protestants (I converted to Catholicism ten years after the nasty divorce), but we were from different denominations. I had qualms about it, and I truly thought I loved him. And that he loved me. Any ideas of working things out went right out the window.

It was 3 1/2 years of a disaster of a marraige, followed by several years as a single parent. Because I had custody and he had very liberal visitation rights, I kept in contact with him. He used it as a way to keep trying to make me as miserable as possible. He even told my mom that I was harrassing him. Give me a break!

Well, having been there myself, I say stay away from that situation. I wouldn’t wish something like that on my worst enemy.


**Successors of the Apostles **
By Jimmy Akin


I think this is true for all religions. For the most part couples (especially where one or both is indifferent to their own or all religion) will be able to ignore differences. When children come on the scene it changes. When you have kids the traditions you were raised with, that you set aside or scorned now have a deeper meaning and importance. When my husband and I had kids we went back to the church. Had to get them baptized after all. This started a sort of spiral effect for us. Baptism classes involved other couples with babies 1 dad turned out to be someone DH grew up with this chain reacted into more involvement in the parish. Then of course more baptisms leading into further education in the faith. By the time the oldest went through first confession and first communion we’d spent a lot of time talking with each other and our kids about our experiences in the Catholic faith. For us it was easy, we were both Catholic, if lapsed, coming from 2 different back round would be much harder. Especially 2 so far apart as LDS and Catholic.

My kids grew up going to celebrations for baptism, first communion, confirmation and marriage for cousins and aunts and uncles. When they went through these things my husband and I told of our own experience. Hearing the stories of family members builds connections with you, your kids, and extended family. This is why it becomes important.

Holly I hope that there really are no LDS members in Jasons family and that he converted because he was as confused at the time as you imply he is now. But I have to agree with Paul, if he is committed or comes from a strong LDS back round it will not be easy and it will be a serious point of contention.

By the way I wonder why the LDS have too many apostles.


Yes, the LDS have a total of 15 “apostles”.


Holly, since your boyfriend thinks - as do all Mormons - that new revelation is possible they necessarily think that Apostles (as in the original Twelve) must still exist in order to receive these new revelations. Thus they see Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc., as receivers of new revelation, e.g., the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price.

Jesus, however, ended all public revelation (that is, revelation that must be assented to by all the faithful as divinely revealed for our salvation) with the death of the last of the Apostles (St. John); thus there is no need for Apostles in that specific role as givers of revelation received from Christ since no new revelation will be given.


Are you the same Paul Dupré that has a CD set out about Mormonism?
I’ve listened to it several times.
I started listening to it again this morning on my ride to work.
Great CD set!



I wish you all the best because inter-racial marriages are a breeze compared to inter-religious marriages. If both man and woman are strong in their respective faiths it always means trouble ahead, particularly for any children.


Yes, that’s me. Thanks for your kind words.


because to be an Apostles, like Paul, Peter, John etc. you have to have seen the risen Christ…thats why there are no Apostles today, I think the last one died around 70 AD.
God Bless,


Holly, something else that I want to mention is that your question now will be the first of many such if you continue your relationship with your LDS boyfriend. If you want to remain Catholic - and I trust you do :slight_smile: - you will have to grow in your knowledge of your Catholic Faith, particularly as to what distinguishes the true Faith from the false LDS teachings.

Now, growing your in your knowledge of the Faith is something that all Catholics are called to do, but with an LDS boyfriend and potential LDS husband this will be an absolute necessity.


First of all, I did not ask for relationship advice in this thread and relationship advice is not appreciated.

Second of all, my boyfriend has expressed a desire to convert to Catholicism and he no longer believes in the Great Apostasy.

Just thought I’d let you all know.


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