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Dear Gramps,

The sixth Article of Faith says: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.” The footnote referred from “pastors” says Topical Guide, Bishops; and from “evangelists” says Topical Guide, Patriarchs. What source(s) do you know of that says bishops are pastors and patriarchs are evangelists? Thanks.





Dear Bob,

The authoritative source for the definition of pastors as bishops and evangelists as patriarchs is exactly the source that you identified–the Topical Guide. The Topical Guide explains, identifies and interprets the meaning of obscure (and common) biblical terms to establish a common and correct interpretation of the meanings of those terms. The terms referred to, of course, are words from the Old and New Testaments. These words were originally written in the Old Testament by the prophets of God, and in the New Testament by the apostles appointed by Jesus Christ, in addition to Mark, who was a companion to the apostles Peter and Paul, and Luke, who wrote, in addition to the gospel that bears his name, the Acts of the Apostles.

What better authority to define the words of those early apostles of the Lord, Jesus Christ than the apostles of the Lord, Jesus Christ who live today? It was these apostles that contributed to and approved the Topical Guide that appears in all the Bibles published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Of that experience, Elder Boyd K. Packer, the Acting President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, had this to say—

“Several years into the project [of developing the Topical Guide] we asked for a report. How were they progressing with the tedious, laborious listing of topics in alphabetical order? They responded, We have been through Heaven and Hell, past Love and Lust, and now were working toward Repentance.


“The 750 headings for the Topical Guide were painfully rendered down from a list nearly twice that long. For there was a practical consideration: the book had to be of a size for everyday use.


“There was a spirit of inspiration brooding over their work, and those working with the project talked often of how it was blessed. There were humbling spiritual experiences.


“After more than seven years of quiet, intensive work, the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Bible came off the press….


“The work would be seen by more than the sympathetic students and the devoted members of the Church. The cold, impartial eyes of the research scholars would study it, and the angry eyes of enemies and detractors would pore over it. It must be correct in every detail. Finally, after two more years, the books came from the press, the most accurate we have ever had.” (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Scriptures, Ensign, November 1982, p.51)






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