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Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Official Answer

It is apparent from the New Testament that after Jesus established His 12 apostles that the group or Quorum of 12 was to continue from the events of Acts Chapter 1 where the 11 apostles, under the direction of Peter, choose Matthias as the new apostle to replace Judas.

Paul, an author of a number of books in the New Testament, was also chosen as an apostle. Paul indicates that the church is built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20) and lists their functions to “bring us to a unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:11-14).
(See Apostles in the Bible Dictionary)

  • When Jesus Christ was on the Earth, He established an organization of prophets, apostles, teachers, and other leaders to lead and guide the members of His church (the body of Christ, as it is referred to in the New Testament). When Judas died, and Jesus had left the Earth, the first order of business for the other 11 apostles was to fill the vacancy. They did so by praying and seeking out revelation. They eventually decided on Matthias. This example shows us that apostles were not only to be used for when Christ was on the Earth, but that God wanted Apostles to lead His children at all times. Unfortunately, apostasy stirred within the early church, and the apostles were killed one by one. The world was left without Priesthood leadership, until the time of the Restoration, when this same authority was given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery from the very same Peter, James and John (as resurrected beings). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has 12 apostles, just like in New Testament times. These special witnesses of Christ bear solemn witness that Jesus is the Christ. They help the Prophet and President of the Church to share the Gospel message to the four corners of the Earth. Show more

  • Our church is the same church that Christ instituted while he was here on the earth. It is Christ's church and is called after him. Just as he had 12 Apostles, we have 12 Apostles and, as Peter was President of the Church after Christ ascended into heaven following His ressurection, we have a living prophet. Christ is the head of the church, but the prophet and apostles act for him and in his name. They have the same Priesthood power that Christ gave to Peter and the other apostles at that time. The prophet and apostles today are also called as seers, revelators, and special witnesses of Jesus Christ. Theirs as in the time of Christ is the duty to handle the affairs of the Church, to travel to different countries and bear testimony of and administer in the name of Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity every 6 months in a General Conference of the Church, broadcast over television, radio, and internet all over the world, to hear them speak about Christ, and to teach us how to become more like Him. They are important in their ministry as well as in the organization of our large, worldwide church membership. Show more

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the same exact leadership organization that existed in the ancient Church of Christ that Jesus organized. The people of Christ´s day face a variety of challenges and hardships and therefore needed much guidance and help from inspired leaders who knew the Savior personally. As you might have noticed, today´s world is much different from the world of Christ. We have new threats that are constantly trying to tear down the family and sadly the majority of society has begun to call bad things good and good, virtuous, right things bad. Today we need more inspired guidance than ever before in order to help our family be united and a place of love and rest. Therefore, we still have 12 apostles to help guide us and give us counsel to live a more "Christ-centered" life. Show more

  • The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the saints in Galatia, stated that "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another;but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But thought we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:6-8) How can any claim to follow the same Gospel that Paul preached, if that gospel is not founded upon apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? (see Eph. 4:11) Just as the Lord chose Matthaias to replace Judas and join the eleven, and later Paul was chosen to replace the martyred James, we believe that an important part of following and worshiping Jesus is to operate under the same church organization that he set up, "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 prefect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Eph. 4:12-13). We have twelve apostles because we believe in doing things His way, not our way. Show more

  • We have 12 Apostles because that is the way the Lord has said to organize His church. They were not meant to be around only for the time of Christ, and even in the New Testament, other Apostles were called when a vacancy in the Quorum occurred. Show more

  • As we see in the Bible, many of the apostles we read of became Apostles after Christ's crucifixion, for example Matthias Acts 1 v. 21-16, James see Acts 12 v. 17 Acts 15 Gal. 1 v.19, Paul Acts 14 v. 14, and Barnabas Acts 14 v. 14. Having 12 Apostles is an essential part of the structure of Christ's true church.  The 12 Apostles today perform the same functions that the original 12 in Christ's ancient church performed. Just as in that ancient church, the 12 Apostles today have the needed power and authority to direct the church through divine revelation just as did the original 12.   Show more

  • The principle of a perpetuating body of twelve special witnesses of Christ comes in ancient times from the fact that the eleven survivors of the death of the Savior chose a twelfth to replace Judas Iscariot (see Acts of the Apostles 1:15-26) Two were considered worthy to take his place, but only one was chosen. When the apostles cast their lots, the inspired choice fell upon Matthias. In modern times, the Church's organization has been one of gradual building. As the needs of the Church have continued to grow, the prophet of the Lord has been directed to add not only the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, but other supporting quorums of the Seventy as well. The structure of the local organization of wards and stakes has been given by revelation to complete it. But as the needs of the Church continue to evolve so will the structure which supports it. Christ remains the chief cornerstone and the Apostles as the foundation with Him. (see Ephesians 2:19-20 also Ephesians 4:11-14) Show more

  • The Church of Jesus Christ always has had as its foundation Apostles and Prophets Eph 220. In fact, the first order of business after the resurrection of Jesus for the remaining 11 Apostles minus Judas was to replace Judas Acts 125,26 suggesting that they understood that need to perpetuate the organization of Christ's church even after He left them. Paul confirms this understanding as he refers to himself as an Apostle despite that he wasn't among the original 12. Ultimately, all of the Apostles died as martyrs which led to a General Apostasy from the Church of Jesus Christ. The secular world refers to this period as the Dark Ages interestingly, without realizing that the darkness was really a result of the absence of "Light" or "Truth". The Bible also contains prophecies of a restoration of all things in the last days to precede the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. The fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is led by a Prophet and 12 Apostles serves as a testimony to the world that the Church of Jesus Christ has been reestablished on the earth in our day. It is wonderful to know that God loves us as much as He loved His children anciently and has called a prophet to show us the way to return to Him.  Show more

  • Well if Jesus Christ decided to have twelve apostles to minister to the people once he was gone, then why would he change his mind and decide not to have them ever again? The twelve Apostles are like a pedestal, a foundation, where the church which is a beautiful vase is built upon. (Ephesians 2:19-20) When there was twelve and Juda fell away, it was important to replace that lost leg of the pedestal, so they chose Matthias, to replace Juda so the foundation would continue to be strong. But when all the apostles where killed off, and rejected. It was like pulling a leg off of the pedestal, leg by leg. once you start taking off almost all of them, it becomes very unstable. because all the legs were torn off, the vase fell. And everyone knows when a vase falls, it shatters. There were still bishops around though, and they tried to piece the vase back together, and made it look very similar to what it once was. but there were still cracks in it and it wasn't perfect. And if you place water in that vase, it's going to leak out of the small cracks. Those cracks are small and simple truths, and authority that was lost. Because even the Bishops had to report to the Apostles before they were killed But because God loves us and is perfect, he had Jesus Christ work through Joseph Smith (A prophet) and created a new Vase exactly like the one he made before (The Church), and a new pedestal (The Twelve Apostles). Because Jesus Christ church was the way he wanted it, and so it is again. Show more

  • Joseph Smith, the first leader and prophet for the Mormon Church, said, "we believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth." We believe that the LDS Church is the same Church that Jesus Christ himself established restored in our time. Our Church has a President and his two counselors, who constitute the First Presidency, a Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and a variety of other church officers. The governing body of the Church is primarily concentrated in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. These men, like God's chosen messengers in the past, all receive revelation from God for the Church and for all of God's children. God didn't call twelve apostles only for the short period during and following the life of Jesus. We today are just as much in need of God's guidance as the people of Christ's time. We need divine guidance that address the unique challenges of our day. God provides guidance to each of us as we pray to him and seek to know his will. However, the world still stands in need of divinely guided leadership to teach true doctrine, lead his church organization, and testify of Jesus Christ. The Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency are God's mouthpieces on the earth. The Apostle Paul said in the New Testament: "And [Christ] 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... till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God... that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and for, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive..." (Ephesians 4:11-14) We are not yet perfect, the work of the ministry isn't finished, many more people still have yet to come to know Jesus Christ, and God's children still need leaders who can protect us from deception and evil influences. That is why we still need Apostles and prophets in our time. They can teach us how to grapple with the unique circumstances of our time. I'm so thankful to have the guidance and inspired teachings of living prophets and Apostles. I read their words regularly, and I strive to follow their inspired teachings. I'm a better, happier person because I know where to look to find answers to the complex problems that we all face. Show more

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