Thanks for responding! Well, I have a few questions and they are based on what I have been told by the “Elders” that came to my home! I was told that all pastors are not of God because they are not one of the Twelve Apostles or prophets of the Mormon belief, and that nothing of God can come from them because of this. They told me that the twelve prophets are of higher power. Okay, my pastor is of higher power also and he spreads God’s word to others and preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ just the same, so how is he not of God and how do the twelve prophets have a higher power then him?
Communication is at best a difficult process. The person speaking has a thought he wishes to express, so he tries to put it into words. The words don’t always match the thought. The person he is talking to hears the words. The same word may mean something different to the person hearing it than it does to the person saying it, so we have a problem with communication. The more often we speak to each other and the more we know one another the easier and more accurate the communication process becomes.
Your understanding is that you were told that the only pastors that are of God are those from the Mormon Church. Let me see if I can expand on that a bit. God is the Father of all the children of men. He loves all his children, and wishes the very best for each. The Father’s fervent desire is for all to hear, understand and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, and thus qualify themselves to return to His sacred presence.
Now we have a few concepts to explain–the Spirit of Christ, the influence of the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of Christ is given to every person who is born into the world. It is the Spirit of Christ that gives us all a conscience, so that we all know the difference between right and wrong, between good and bad. The influence of the Holy Ghost may fall on any righteous person, revealing to that person eternal truths and testifying that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed by the laying on of hands by those having the requisite priesthood authority on those who have committed themselves to the Lord through the process of baptism.
This is what Peter meant as we read in Acts 2:38:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
So your minister and every other good and honest representative of God can certainly be inspired by God to preach the truth, to comfort and guide, and to do much good in the name of the Father. The Mormon Church believes that there is much good in all religions. The desire of the Church in preaching the gospel to others is not to take away any of the truths that they have, but only to add more of the truth that God has revealed to his holy prophets in these recent times.
Now we should say something about the special calling of the Twelve Apostles in the Mormon Church. And to do so, we need to go back to the original Twelve Apostles that were called and ordained by the Lord, Jesus Christ, during his earthly ministry. These Twelve were given charge of the Church by the Savior just before he was crucified. When one of those Apostles–Judas–turned against Savior and betrayed him, he later took his own life. That absence in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles was filled by Matthias as revealed to the remaining apostles by the resurrected Savior (see Acts 1). Later on Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, was called by the Lord to be another Apostle (see Acts 13). These special witnesses of the Savior went about attempting to build up the Church that Jesus had organized. However, the Saints (as the members of the Church were then called) were so scattered and opposition to the work of the Lord so severe that all the Apostles, one by one, were put to death, with the exception of John, who was banished to the Isle of Patmos. Peter was crucified in Rome, head downward; James was beheaded by Herod; Andrew was crucified; Phillip died as a martyr of Hierapolis; Bartholomew was flayed to death; Thomas suffered martyrdom near Madras; Matthew died as a martyr in Ethiopia; James the younger was crucified in Egypt; Jude died as a martyr in Persia; Simon was crucified; Matthias also suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia; the last we know of Paul was his imprisonment in Rome.
With all the leaders of the Church gone, the local congregations were left without central leadership, and errors continued to creep into the doctrine and practice of the Church, until a general apostasy from the truth was complete, and God’s Church on the earth ceased to exist. The Savior warned of this apostasy before his death, saying,
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matt 7:15).
Paul also warned the Saints of that which was to come in Acts and 2 Thessalonians—
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).
Now we beseech you, brethren, by 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, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thes 2:1-4)
There are many references in both the Old and New Testaments to the fact that gospel of Jesus Christ would be restored again to the earth in what we call the last days. To cite just two references from the Old Testament, both Isaiah and Micah prophecy that in the last days the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of the mountains.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isa 2:2-3)
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1-2)
In the New Testament, Paul, in writing to the Ephesians concerning the restoration of the Church in the last days, says–
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him (Eph 1:9-10).
The dispensation of the fulness of times is upon us. God restored to the earth in 1830 his primitive church, with the same organization and offices and priesthood authority that he had established in the original Church of Jesus Christ. Again from Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians we read—
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 (Eph 4:11-13).
The church that God restored to the earth is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The “Latter-day Saint” part of the title is given to distinguish it from the Church of Jesus Christ of former-day saints, in the time of the Savior. God’s Church in the world today is referred to by most people as “The Mormon Church.”
The Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the same priesthood, authority and power as did the apostles who were called by Jesus before he was crucified.
This is a very brief answer to your question, but hopefully it will give you some idea of who the Apostles in the Mormon Church are, and just a word about their priesthood authority as official representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ to all the people of the world.