Quotes on Apostles

Apostles are called to be witnesses of the Savior.  Elder Harold B. Lee said:  “May I impose to bear my own testimony.  I was visiting with one of the missionaries some years ago when two missionaries came to me with what seemed to be a very difficult question, to them.  A young Methodist minister had laughed at them when they had said that apostles were necessary today in order for the true church to be upon the earth.  And they said the minister said:  ‘Do you realize that when they met to choose one to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judas, that they said it had to be one who companied with them and had been a witness of all things pertaining to the mission and resurrection of the Lord?  How can you say you have apostles, if that be the measure of an apostle?’  And so these young men said, ‘What shall we answer?’  I said to them:  ‘Go back and ask your minister friend two questions.  First, how did the Apostle Paul gain what was necessary to be called an apostle?  He didn’t know the Lord; had no personal acquaintance.  He hadn’t accompanied the apostles.  He hadn’t been a witness of the ministry, nor the resurrection of the Lord.  How did he gain his testimony sufficient to be an apostle?  Now the second question you ask him:  How does he know that all who are today apostles have not likewise received that witness?’  I bear witness to you that those who hold the apostolic calling may, and do know of the reality of the mission of the Lord.”  (“Born of the Spirit,” Address to Seminary and Institute Faculty, 26 June 1962) The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Course Manual, p. 53

I sit here among these brethren who are special witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ unto the world.  I do not believe there is one of them who would not give his life willingly for the testimony of Jesus.  I know that the Presidency of this Church never has to ask any of these men if he is willing to go here or there or assume this responsibility or that responsibility.  They could not find men in all the world who would be more willing to accept the assignments that come to them.  I know they are men of God.  I know the joy of the testimony of the Holy Ghost, that rapture that fills your bosom as you feel yourself in his very presence.  I know it is worth every effort that we can put forth. — Elder LeGrand Richards, The Improvement Era, Dec. 1955, p. 92

Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere.  No calling in this church is small or of little consequence.  All of us in the pursuit of our duty touch the lives of others. . . . “And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father” (D&C 81:6). — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1995, p. 71 [This quote also found under CALLINGS]

May I now say – very plainly and very emphatically – that we have the holy priesthood and that the keys of the kingdom of God are here.  They are found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . .

Now, brethren, I think there is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds.  Neither the President of the Church nor the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1972

Elder George Q. Cannon, who was in the presidency of the Church at one time, said this: “I know that God lives.  I know that Jesus lives; for I have seen Him.  I know that this is the Church of God, and that it is founded on Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.  I testify to you of these things as one who knows – as one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ that can bear witness to you today in the presence of the Lord that He lives and that He will live, and will come to reign on the earth, to sway an undisputed sceptre.” — Delivered in the October 1896 General Conference and reported in The Deseret Weekly, October 31, 1896, vol. 53, p. 610

Now, brethren, the calling of an apostle is to build up the kingdom of God in all the world.  If an apostle magnifies his calling, he is the word of the Lord to this people all the time  – if he magnifies his calling, his words are the words of eternal life and salvation to those who hearken to them, just as much so as any written revelations. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 6:282

“We who have been called to lead the Church are ordinary men and women with ordinary capacities. . .  Some are disposed to find fault with us; surely that is easy for them to do.  But they do not examine us more searchingly than we examine ourselves. . . .

“We are sorry for our inadequacies, sorry we are not better than we are.  We can feel, as you can see, the effect of the aging process as it imposes limitations on His leaders before your very eyes.

“But this we know.  There are councils and counselors and quorums to counterbalance the foibles and frailties of man.  The Lord organized His Church to provide for mortal men to work as mortal men, and yet He assured that the spirit of revelation would guide in all that we do in His name.  And in the end, what is given comes because the Lord has spoken it, ‘whether by [His] own voice or by the voice of [His] servants, it is the same’ (D&C 1:38).  We know his voice when he speaks.                       

“Revelation continues with us today.  The promptings of the Spirit, the dreams, and the visions and the visitations, and the ministering of angels are all with us now.  And the still small voice of the Holy Ghost ‘is a lamp unto [our] feet, and a light unto [our] path’ (Psalms 119:105).  Of that I bear witness. . . .” — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Revelation in a Changing World,” Ensign, November 1989, p. 16

“Now brethren, I think there is one thing we should have exceedingly clear in our minds.  Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord.

“An individual may fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends, but the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be.” — President Joseph Fielding Smith, “Counsel to the Saints and to the World,” Ensign, July 1972, p. 88

President Gordon B. Hinckley, during the period when he was the sole healthy member of the First Presidency, spoke of a time when he was wrestling with a matter that seemed to be very serious and that seemed to require action on his part.  Yet as he went to his knees in prayer, wanting to follow the proper course, there came into his mind a feeling of peace and the words of the Lord, with the simple message, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Apparently what seemed so urgent to him did not seem so to the Lord – and yet he received no explanation to help him understand why.

Out of this experience, President Hinckley bore this witness:  “God is weaving his tapestry according to his own grand design.  All flesh is in his hands.  It is not our prerogative to counsel him.  It is our responsibility and our opportunity to be at peace in our minds and in our hearts, and to know that he is God, that this is his work, and that he will not permit it to fail.  We have no need to fear.  We have no need to worry. . . .” — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Fear Not to do Good,” Ensign, May 1983, p. 6

I say, in the deepest humility, but also by the power and force of a burning testimony in my soul, that from the prophet of the restoration to the prophet of our own year, the communication line is unbroken, the authority is continuous, a light, brilliant and penetrating, continues to shine.  The sound of the voice of the Lord is a continuous melody and a thunderous appeal . . . the Lord definitely calls prophets today and reveals his secrets unto them as he did yesterday, he does today, and will do tomorrow. — President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1977, p. 78