The Sixth Article of Faith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

In Ephesians 4:11 we read the following:

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We believe that at the time when the Savior established his church, there were callings put into place. These included apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so on. In Luke 6:13 we read, “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles”. There are twelve who were called, or chosen by Christ, to be special witnesses of Him and to lead his church. Likewise, there are twelve apostles called today, to lead the church and to stand as special witnesses of the life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the organization of the church in modern times was occurring, revelation was received and in Doctrine and Covenants 107:23 we read, “The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.”

There have been prophets since the time of Adam. In Exodus 7:1 we read, “And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” When Christ was living, he was the head of his church on the earth. All the apostles were called to prophesy to the people, and therefore were prophets who spoke to the people with the spirit of revelation. After the death of Christ, the prophets continued to lead His church by the authority of the priesthood and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, the twelve apostles are called as prophets of the Lord as well. In particular, one is called to be the head of the church and to act as the mouthpiece of the Lord. In Doctrine and Covenants 124:45 we read, “And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.” It is our duty to listen to the prophets and heed their words. They are there to guide and direct us in the path that will lead us back to God and Jesus Christ.

We believe in pastors who are the shepherds or ministers of the church. In Jeremiah 3:15 we read, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Those who minister directly to the membership of Christ’s church, are the bishops, who are called to teach the gospel and lead the individual members of the church. They are also called as judges in Israel. In Doctrine and Covenants 58:17 we read, “And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children”. Bishops come to know the flock of the Savior’s church, on a very personal level, because they care for them individually, the same way a shepherd comes to know his flock.

We also believe in teachers just as existed in the church of ancient times. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 we read, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” There are those who are called by the authority of the priesthood, to be teachers to the people. In Mosiah 23:17 we read, “And it came to pass that none received authority to preach or to teach except it were by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men.” Verse 18 tells us what the teachers were called to do. “Therefore they did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.” Those who were called to be teachers, did just that. They taught all things related to righteousness. In Exodus 18:20 it says, “And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” Today, we have teachers called to share the joy of the gospel with all people. Those who are called by the priesthood, are teachers of all the things that we keep us safe from temptations, the those things that we must follow in order to receive salvation.

Evangelists is commonly consider to be one who preaches the gospel. In 1 Timothy 4:5 we read, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” There were those who traveled on missions to proclaim the gospel, such as Timothy. We do believe in having traveling preachers of the gospel, more commonly referred to as missionaries, but that is not the only understanding of what an evangelist is. In modern revelation we read that an evangelical minister is a patriarch. (See the footnote for ‘evangelical minister’ for D&C 107:39) According to the Bible Dictionary, Joseph Smith said, “Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints”. Patriarch today are called to give blessings to the saints, which tell them what is in store for them if they will live righteously. These blessings are much like the patriarchal blessings of fathers given to their children in ancient times. To bring the two understandings of this office together. A patriarch is responsible for giving blessings which apply the gospel directly to the lives of the members of the church, therefore taking the gospel to the people.

We believe that there are other offices in the church, that were established by Christ, such as seventies, elders, priests and so on. These offices have been restored in the church today. They are offices of the priesthood, and these individuals are called and directed by the power of the priesthood in order to organize and unify the church. We believe that there must be order in the kingdom of God. Likewise, there must be order in the church of Christ on this earth. Christ knew best how the design of His church should be, and therefore we believe that we should follow this design within the church today. I am so grateful for the general authorities of the church, the prophets and apostles, because they guide the entire church in its progress as a whole. We have the opportunity this weekend to listen to the prophet, apostles and other church leaders. I am so excited for their loving words because they help me to grow so much as a person. I am also extremely grateful that we have local leaders, such as bishops, teachers, and patriarchs, who are called to give us more personal and direct attention. Because of these local leaders, the individual members of the church are watched over, guided, taught, and directed in the ways that are right.

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1 Response to “The Sixth Article of Faith”


  1. 1 Amanda December 30, 2012 at 12:43 am

    awesome! thank you for your thoughts!


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