The need for the 12 apostles for the priesthood

I have been told that the reason the priesthood could not be passed on in the Catholic Church was because the twelve could not meet to put thier hands upon the successor of Peter. But is it not true that according to Joseph Smith there where three of the original apostles in his vision so how could he recieve the priesthood if there where nine apostles missing?

There is a fundamental problem with the math. Peter’s successor, Pope St. Linus, could not have received all twelve hands because there were only 11 apostles left.

These folks don’t understand that the pope is a bishop. All bishops are ordained through the laying on of hands, just like Paul did to Timothy. Paul didn’t have 12 people there.

Read the first chapter of Acts of the Apostles. It tells exactly how Judas was replaced by Matthias. There may or may not have been the laying on of hands in the case of Matthias.

Joseph Smith claimed a great number of things. Not one of them was ever verified. Oh, some of his dupes signed something to some effect, but no physical evidence of anything he claimed has ever been found or directly seen. He told a fascinating story and an increasing number of gullible persons believed him on his word alone.

Hi, Rock17,

You are correct that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, two witnesses of the event they described, received the laying on of hands to bestow the authority of the high priesthood and the keys of that authority from three original apostles, Peter, James and John. Those three had participated in two very important events during the ministry of the Savior on earth, and Peter was the leader of the twelve. John was the last living apostle called by the Savior. It is logical to me that those three received the assignment and responsibility from the Savior to bestow the keys again to the earth. It didn’t need to be all twelve apostles.

What you may have read or heard about the twelve not providing for successors after Matthias (although they provided for several, as in Paul and Barnabas and another James) is that one of the reasons may have been that they were separated by great distances, out visiting various far-away places with the message and the preserving of the doctrines of the gospel among the many members who were joining the church. The naming of Matthias as the newest member of the twelve apostles when he was called, shows that the eleven had gotten together to do that selection by the guidance of the Holy Ghost. This may have become more difficult to carry out as time went on and persecution became more intense plus the distances they traveled became greater through the spread of the gospel message.

For me, the vital reason is alluded to by John in the book of Revelation, that he became aware through his vision that the church was being taken into the wilderness, so the Holy Ghost didn’t inspire him and any other apostles who were still alive during the latter part of John’s ministry among the people, to name successors and ordain them.

So yours was a good question, but I think you may have misunderstood a difference between their meeting together as a group, and how many needed to actually lay their hands on the head to bestow authority and keys to a successor as they received direction from the head of the church, Jesus Christ, who guided their actions through the inspiration provided by the Holy Ghost and through the vision John received.

Wishing you peace.

I’ve also wondered how the two, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, could then make 12 apostles besides themselves if 12 were needed.

So if I understand your post correctly parkerd you claim to say that the Holy Spirit left the side of the Apostles. If you would not mind I would like a reason for the Holy Spirit leaving and a approximate time period when this sad event could have occured becuase I thought after someone is confirmed in the Holy Spirit which the 12 where they could not totaly lose the Spirit.

I presume you reference the writings on the scroll in Revelation 2 and 3?

How do you come up with the assertion that the Holy Spirit did not inspire him or the other apostles from that? I’m missing the connection.

-Tim-

Hi, Rock17,

Sorry that I didn’t make myself clear. You recall when Paul was directed by the Holy Spirit to go to different places, and he did so based on that inspiration. This means he was listening to the prompting to do something that he didn’t think of on his own–he was being guided as to what to do.

So I didn’t mean that the apostles had lost the Holy Spirit. They didn’t lose the Holy Spirit. They were listening to His guidance.

The important thing is that they did listen to the promptings the Holy Spirit gave to them, and didn’t act on important issues without those specific promptings, because they knew that this was how Jesus was guiding the church as the head of the church–including guiding such things as where Paul should go in his preaching or his visits, and including when they ordained a new replacement apostle. When they ordained Matthias as an apostle, they had been directed by the Holy Spirit that they should do this, and how to proceed.

John saw in vision that the church was being taken into the wilderness, which would mean that they shouldn’t ordain new apostles at that later point in time after he had had the vision that showed him this. He may already have wondered why the Holy Spirit wasn’t guiding them to ordain replacement apostles, and saw the reason in his vision. He wouldn’t have gone ahead and done it anyway–because of the fact that he was listening to the promptings as to what should be done by the leaders of the church on a day to day basis.

I hope this has clarified what I was trying to explain, and wish you all the best.

Okay, Jesus told His Apostles that He would send the Holy Spirit and not to long after the Holy Spirit came to them in the upper room they decided not listen to the guidence anymore.
Now that leaves us with 12 men that Jesus chose not following the will of God, almost all of them where killed for thier faith but would not listen to the Holy Spirit.
Seems kind of odd that these Holy men would not listen the power of the Holy Spirit.
:shrug:

Rock17,

I explained that they were listening to the Holy Spirit. They did listen to the Holy Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit. They were keenly aware of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They were also aware when the Holy Spirit did not direct that they ordain a replacement apostle, meaning it wasn’t the right time for that to be done. It doesn’t mean they weren’t listening–it means they were listening.

okay so why would the Holy Spirit tell them not to ordain a new apostle and pretty much leave the faithful without a priesthood?
Also if there where no priests there could be no baptisms which means the gates of heaven where closed correct?
So God closed the gates again?

Rock17,

  1. I understand that it sounds unreasonable, but here are ample reasons:

a) The people needed to understand that God is in charge, and not the people, of both the priesthood and of the communication process that involves the reception and keeping of the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

b) The gospel is for the entire world, and the entire world needed to have a situation whereby they would have free will choice as to finding the “treasure hidden in a field” and not feel like there was a forced situation for finding and keeping that treasure.

c) The Holy Spirit is not going to stay around when there is contention among people, however good their motives. The Holy Spirit would leave amidst a situation of contention, and the people would be on their own in their decisions about doctrine and about “who was in charge.” That is already evident by the time John was the last living apostle on the earth, when he was already being ignored as the priesthood keys-holder and lead apostle which meant he was the leader of the church on the earth.

  1. The gates of heaven are never closed to the righteous, and Christ will always be the opener of those gates. The key ordinance of baptism by the authority of the priesthood will be done for those needing it for entrance through the gates of heaven, regardless of when they lived on the earth. So the loss of authority to baptize is not a “show-stopper”. But I know it doesn’t seem plausible that the authority to baptize could be withdrawn–it’s just that the conditions made it necessary and the eventual outcome is for God’s purposes of having free will choice available to all the people on the earth who have ever lived.

God has a larger overall purpose than just what appears at any point in time to our understanding. The book of Revelation makes that clear, and His purposes will be fulfilled.

  1. No, as I noted they are always going to be open for the righteous, and Christ is always going to be the opener of those gates.

All the best to you, and thanks for the kindness in your questions and for asking for clarification. Wishing you great peace in your life, always.:thumbsup:

  1. Please share with me where God makes clear that the people lost thier respect for his power and forgot that He was always in charge. Most of the Apostles where Jewish and they for sure knew the Ten Commandments( the first commandment)
  2. Jesus told his followers to go throughout the world and spread the word but in that period there where no planes and sea travel was slow so ofcourse it would take years before it could spread through the whole world, but it did eventually.
  3. I find it interesting that you would say that the Holy Spirit would not stay around during times of Contention. Many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit help people during conflict like wisdom and so forth. I do not think the Holy spirit would leave in a time of trial but would be there even stronger.
  4. And for the Gates God promised Adam and Eve He woudl send His Son to reopen the Gates of Heaven and through Jesus’ death He did that but it is also needed to reprent and be baptised to go to heaven. And does God baptise those who want to be in “heaven” or how does that work? And the only way the gates where opened where with the death to free us from sin. The abililty to go to heaven was forever on the earth after that. It seems that Jesus’ fullfilment of the Old Testament was the end of man’s inability to go to heaven after living a moral God loving life.

Hi, again, Rock17,

I didn’t mean that the Apostles didn’t understand that God is in charge of the priesthood, but if one studies the historical situation one finds that there were votes taken at various times concerning various priesthood decisions, after the apostles were no longer around to preside over the decisions being made. I wasn’t meaning that the people had lost respect for God’s power–but that priesthood decisions needed to be made strictly under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, which would not lead to voting on decisions other than unanimous votes of agreement and consent.

  1. Jesus told his followers to go throughout the world and spread the word but in that period there where no planes and sea travel was slow so of course it would take years before it could spread through the whole world, but it did eventually.

Correct, but my point had to do with all the people who have ever lived, all of whom God loves and has a plan for each one, plus God’s will is that free will choice be everyone’s opportunity, including having more than one choice to choose from.

  1. I find it interesting that you would say that the Holy Spirit would not stay around during times of Contention. Many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit help people during conflict like wisdom and so forth. I do not think the Holy spirit would leave in a time of trial but would be there even stronger.

What I meant was that if people become contentious and argumentative, then they lose a spirit of love and lose the Holy Spirit and usually try to “win” by arguing their point rather than seeking to understand differing points of view and trying to “disagree without being disagreeable”. The Holy Spirit would not force people to resolve conflict in loving ways, with a spirit of peace. If people enter into contention, then they lose a spirit of peace. That was one of the reasons John placed so much emphasis on love in his epistles.

  1. And for the Gates God promised Adam and Eve He would send His Son to reopen the Gates of Heaven and through Jesus’ death He did that but it is also needed to repent and be baptised to go to heaven. And does God baptise those who want to be in “heaven” or how does that work?

I agree that repentance is absolutely essential, and that baptism is also essential for those of an accountable decision-making age. The Bible speaks of the gospel being preached in “spirit prison” and of “baptism for the dead”, so the dead (who are alive in the spirit world) will have an opportunity to repent, believe in Christ, and watch from the spirit world as someone is baptized in their name and they can accept or reject that baptism in their name. That means everyone needing baptism will eventually have an opportunity to have baptism in their name, but can reject it or accept it.

And the only way the gates were opened where with the death to free us from sin.

I agree that Christ suffered the crucifixion and atonement to “free us from sin” for those who repent of their sins. Also, that the gates of heaven ultimately will open for those who continued to repent of their sins after accepting Christ and His gospel, at whatever point in time they did that and then continued to grow toward sanctification.

The abililty to go to heaven was forever on the earth after that. It seems that Jesus’ fullfilment of the Old Testament was the end of man’s inability to go to heaven after living a moral God loving life.

Yes, I agree, with the point also that men, women and children who lived on earth before Jesus was born can also go to heaven, through His atoning grace and through Heavenly Father’s plan for them also.

Matthias replaced Judas. Do you have a biblical reference to the claim that Paul, Barnabas, and James were successors to the original Twelve Apostles?

Stephen168,

By using the word “successors”, I didn’t mean that any others of the original Twelve Apostles lost their place besides Judas Iscariot, as being an “original Twelve Apostle” and keeping their place, such that they each are going to be judges of the twelve tribes of Israel as described by the Savior in Matthew 19:28.

My use of the word “successor” had to do with those three–Paul, Barnabas, and James being called into the calling of an apostle, after one of the twelve had died such that there needed to be a replacement apostle to bring the number of those apostles living on the earth and serving the people in the church back to twelve. Each of those is described at some point or often in the New Testament as an apostle–and Paul and Barnabas were described first without the designation as an apostle but later the designation changed in how they were described–so they had been called as an apostle during the time of their service, and received that new calling, were set apart and sent forth with the new calling.

See Acts 13:1-5 , 52, and 14:14 where the word “apostle” is first used in describing Paul and Barnabas. (See also Galatians 2:8, 9, emphasizing that they were apostles to the Gentiles). See also Galatians 1:19 concerning “James the Lord’s brother” as an apostle. See also Acts 15:13 which seems to be referring to that same James, the Lord’s brother–since James the brother of John had been killed by Herod as noted in Acts 12:2.

Here you are saying the Twelve can not have successors.

Here you are saying the Twelve can have successors.

Can the Twelve have successors? If so, do you have a biblical reference to the claim that Paul, Barnabas, and James were successors to the Twelve Apostles?

Stephen168,

That is a pretty good example of how words can be taken differently by different people with a different approach to a meaning and a context. I hadn’t used the term “successors” in the meaning of “serve in place of to replace the original,” but rather “serve in the calling of since an earlier apostle had died or been killed”.

It is also an example of how free will choice has been given by God to humankind in all the religious choices we make in life, including on my part being able to rejoice in teachings and testimonies of living apostles and having myself and my family strengthened by them, and being able to know that the teachings are helpful and are true. On your part, you may do with those teachings as you wish, in whatever way it suits you, even by not knowing about them at all.

The Father’s plan is one of free will choice, whereby being strengthened and helped along our personal paths in life are opportunities but not ways of being forced into compliance.

This might as well be an end to our conversation on this topic, due to the profound difference we have in looking at the meaning of “apostle”.

The meaning of apostle is one sent forth. According to the Gospels, Christ sent forth 82 men, so there were many Apostles. The ones closest to Christ were The Twelve and they cannot be replaced (Matthew 19:28; Acts 1:21-22; Rev 21:14). No where in the Bible are Paul, Barnabas, and James made one of the Twelve.

No, it seems you want to see ‘Apostolic succession’ two ways; one biblical and one Mormon. The Biblical way is the title “Apostles” is reserved for those selected by Christ or The Twelve. The Mormon way is the title “Apostle” can be given to any man and taken away just as easily.

Now we have a second Mormon paradox in addition to the OP. The Twelve can never be replaced. The Twelve can be replaced when they die.

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