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Is Seeing Christ A Requirement For Becoming An Lds Apostle.


Mudcat

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In a recent offline discussion with some LDS the topic of Apostles came up. Acts was the point of focus.

The first Scripture posited was...

Act 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.

Act 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Act 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

Act 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

Seems the Apostles felt one had to be a witness to Christ in order to qualify.

Later in the discussion, Paul's Apostleship was recognized under the term "special witness".

Really, it seems that Paul's qualification is the pertinent one... since we can't travel in time.

My questions are these.

Are all LDS Apostles special witnesses of Christ?

Can an LDS Apostle be selected/confirmed to office(don't really know the terminology for it) without a special witness of Christ?

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Are all LDS Apostles special witnesses of Christ?

Yes.

Can an LDS Apostle be selected/confirmed to office(don't really know the terminology for it) without a special witness of Christ?

Imho,I think it may be more of a calling to be a special witness rather than a requirement beforehand. Having said that, I don't think one actually has to see Christ at any point in mortality to be an apostle. One can have that testimony without seeing.

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Yes all LDS Apostles are witnesses of Christ. Now whether or not they all have seen the risen Jesus, I have no idea. Some have and written about it as other threads have spoken of.

Which LDS Apostles have seen Christ? SOurce?

Thanks- Bytor

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Which LDS Apostles have seen Christ? SOurce?

Thanks- Bytor

I don't have any sources handy but offhand I can think of statements made by Elders George F. Richards, Melvin J. Ballard. David B. Haight. John Henry Smith, George Q. Cannon, Orson F. Whitney, David O. Mckay ( I think! and Lorenzo Snow. These come to mind. I know of many others who have claimed to seen the Risen Lord, LDS and not.

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I don't have any sources handy but offhand I can think of statements made by Elders George F. Richards, Melvin J. Ballard. David B. Haight. John Henry Smith, George Q. Cannon, Orson F. Whitney, David O. Mckay ( I think! and Lorenzo Snow. These come to mind. I know of many others who have claimed to seen the Risen Lord, LDS and not.

Plus all the early apostles that were in the Newel K. Whitney store (school of the prophets) when the Savior appeared to them.

Joseph Smith also recorded other occasions when Church members beheld the Savior. On March 18, 1833, he wrote of a significant meeting of the School of the Prophets: "Many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the Savior, and concourses of angels, and many other things, of which each one has a record of what he saw" (HC 1:335). He wrote of a similar experience of Zebedee Coltrin (HC 2:387), and on another occasion he reported that "the Savior made His appearance unto some" at a meeting the week after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple (HC 2:432).

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It's an experience we can ALL have, whether we are an apostle or not. It has probably happened to many as it says in Alma 13:12. "...and there were many, exceedingly great many who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God." Remember what happens to the pure in heart? If not, read the Beatitudes.

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Just seeing Christ isn't enough. One must know that Jesus is the Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost.

One of Elder McConkie's sons tells the story of asking their father if one may be a witness of Christ's resurrection through the Holy Spirit. His father responded, "Junior, that's the only way you can be a witness." His point is that sight alone is never as meaningful as having a witness of the Holy Ghost. Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration, and they were all enveloped in glory. Yet, it wasn't until later that Peter had the spiritual witness he needed to be an effective leader.

Many people in Kirtland and Nauvoo witnessed heavenly visions, saw angels and so forth. Even the three witnesses saw an angel and heard the voice of God, yet they apostatized. William E. McLellin asked Joseph Smith for a revelation and didn't tell him that he had asked the Lord to address six questions he had. When the Lord answered him (Section 66), he was so impressed that he testified to all who would listen that Joseph was a true prophet of God. Yet he, too, left the church.

Physical manifestations, of themselves, are not much good for anything except to be impressed. Only a spiritual witness can change a person.

Some apostles have seen the Savior, while others have not. But if asked, any apostle will enthusiastically bear his witness of the Savior's resurrection and tell you that he receives revelation. But then, most bishops will also tell you that they have received revelation in their stewardships. Many Latter-day Saints also have received revelation as have people of other religions. But revelations will never point in varying directions. Any revelation that tells you that Jesus was simply a great teacher or anything else that is false is obviously not of God. And this goes for apparitions and other visions. In fact, one general authority (can't remember who) said there's no reason that any endowed member of the church should believe a false vision or be deceived by one, yet many people believe anything that a spirit tells them.

In the end, an apostle is a special witness of Christ's resurrection whether he sees Jesus or not.

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Just seeing Christ isn't enough. One must know that Jesus is the Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost.

One of Elder McConkie's sons tells the story of asking their father if one may be a witness of Christ's resurrection through the Holy Spirit. His father responded, "Junior, that's the only way you can be a witness." His point is that sight alone is never as meaningful as having a witness of the Holy Ghost. Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration, and they were all enveloped in glory. Yet, it wasn't until later that Peter had the spiritual witness he needed to be an effective leader.

Many people in Kirtland and Nauvoo witnessed heavenly visions, saw angels and so forth. Even the three witnesses saw an angel and heard the voice of God, yet they apostatized. William E. McLellin asked Joseph Smith for a revelation and didn't tell him that he had asked the Lord to address six questions he had. When the Lord answered him (Section 66), he was so impressed that he testified to all who would listen that Joseph was a true prophet of God. Yet he, too, left the church.

Physical manifestations, of themselves, are not much good for anything except to be impressed. Only a spiritual witness can change a person.

Some apostles have seen the Savior, while others have not. But if asked, any apostle will enthusiastically bear his witness of the Savior's resurrection and tell you that he receives revelation. But then, most bishops will also tell you that they have received revelation in their stewardships. Many Latter-day Saints also have received revelation as have people of other religions. But revelations will never point in varying directions. Any revelation that tells you that Jesus was simply a great teacher or anything else that is false is obviously not of God. And this goes for apparitions and other visions. In fact, one general authority (can't remember who) said there's no reason that any endowed member of the church should believe a false vision or be deceived by one, yet many people believe anything that a spirit tells them.

In the end, an apostle is a special witness of Christ's resurrection whether he sees Jesus or not.

And I think that goes straight to the heart of why denying the holy ghost is an unpardonable sin. That undenying witness is not given to many, but those who turn away from it.... not good.

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Lets break it down here.

Witness, what is the root word? Wit, meaning "to know". Im no legal scholar, but can you be a witness in a courtroom without seeing? Yes, because you might have heard, felt or smelled something.

A special witness has special knowledge. What that actually entails, they'll never say and with good reason.

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Lets break it down here.

Witness, what is the root word? Wit, meaning "to know". Im no legal scholar, but can you be a witness in a courtroom without seeing? Yes, because you might have heard, felt or smelled something.

A special witness has special knowledge. What that actually entails, they'll never say and with good reason.

Besides,why are we so hung up about seeing the Savior while in mortality? After confirmation, if we were sufficiently humble and live right, we have the divine right to have the Holy Ghost with us alaways, a 3rd member of the Godhead!!!! But no body seems to care.

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Seems the Apostles felt one had to be a witness to Christ in order to qualify.

The latter-day requirement is from D&C 107:23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the worldâ??thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they have seen Him with their physical senses, or if the haven't seen Him with their natural eyes. I can't imagine that the physically blind would be automatically disqualified.

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My questions are these.

Are all LDS Apostles special witnesses of Christ?

YES
Can an LDS Apostle be selected/confirmed to office(don't really know the terminology for it) without a special witness of Christ?
NO.

Those are the simple answers. Now for the more detailed, I think as it states, these holy men are special witnesses. This is far more than an eyewitness observer, the witness of God through the Holy Ghost is greater than just seeing with the natural eyes. A few scriptures tell us concerning this thing:

(2 Peter 1:16-19) "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"

The glorious thing is that the apostles and prophets are not the only ones who can see our Lord:

(D&C 93:1) "VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;"
This promise is to all who will do what is required, but it will be in the Lord's own due time:
(D&C 88:67-68) "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will."
As for individual apostles who have had this experience I do not know, but I would say that they all have or at least they have had an experience of such a magnitude that they can say as Elder McConkie did in his last address:
(Bruce R. McConkie, April 1985)"And now as pertaining to this perfect Atonement, I testify that it took place at Gethsemane and at Golgotha. And as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God who was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his Witnesses. And in the coming day I will feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God's almighty Son and he is our Savior and Redeemer and that Salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. God grant that all of us will walk in the light, as God our Father is in the light so that according to his promises the blood of Jesus Christ his son will cleanse us from all sin. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Amen."
This indicates to me that Elder McConkie saw, or at least had a witness that was unimpeachable and so it is with all the apostles. They are not just apostles, but each are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, and as such it was better than a "time machine" they could see in vision all the things the apostles of old saw and witnessed.
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Some of the replies in this topic have said that it some members of the Quorum of the 12 have seen the Savior, and some have not, but I don't see how anyone could make the unequivocal claim that anyone, especially a member of the Twelve, had not seen the Savior. This is something that is treaded upon very lightly, because the most sacred experiences that one might be privileged to receive are generally not the kind of thing that is to be bandied about at every opportunity, or even any opportunity. Even such as I have had spiritual experiences that I keep very close to my heart, and two in particular that I don't remember ever having told a single living soul about, including my own wife. None of any of these included such things as angels or any other heavenly being (but if they had, I most certainly wouldn't be writing about them here, you can be sure).

So, if I, a mere member with no particular stature in the Kingdom, have had very sacred experiences that I would not routinely divulge in public (especially where it might become something of a permanently public record, like a conference talk, or even a private letter that could be disclosed), how much more sacred might be those experiences of those whose calling it is to be Special Witnesses of the Savior?

In this regard, I always like to bring up a General Conference talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer, given in the April 1971 Conference, in which he addressed this subject very clearly and yet quite delicately. The title of the talk is "The Spirit Beareth Record", and I can testify to you that the Spirit does bear record to those whose hearts are prepared, humble, and receptive. You should read the entire talk, and it can be found here: The Spirit Beareth Record. He had only recently been called to the Twelve, this was one of his first Conference talks as an Apostle. Here are some excerpts:

Occasionally during the past year I have been asked a question. Usually it comes as a curious, almost an idle, question about the qualifications to stand as a witness for Christ. The question they ask is, "Have you seen Him?" That is a question that I have never asked of another. I have not asked that question of my brethren in the Quorum, thinking that it would be so sacred and so personal that one would have to have some special inspiration, indeed, some authorization, even to ask it.

There are some things just too sacred to discuss. We know that as it relates to the temples. In our temples, sacred ordinances are performed; sacred experiences are enjoyed. And yet we do not, because of the nature of them, discuss them outside those sacred walls.

It is not that they are secret, but they are sacred; not to be discussed, but to be harbored and to be protected and regarded with the deepest of reverence.

There are those who hear testimonies borne in the Church, by those in high station and by members in the wards and branches, all using the same wordsâ??"I know that God lives; I know that Jesus is the Christ," and come to question, "Why cannot it be said in plainer words? Why aren't they more explicit and more descriptive? Cannot the apostles say more?"

How like the sacred experience in the temple becomes our personal testimony. It is sacred, and when we are wont to put it into words, we say it in the same wayâ??all using the same words. The apostles declare it in the same phrases with the little Primary or Sunday School youngster. "I know that God lives and I know that Jesus is the Christ."

Some seek for a witness to be given in some new and dramatic and different way.

The bearing of a testimony is akin to a declaration of love. The romantics and poets and couples in love, from the beginning of time, have sought more impressive ways of saying it, or singing it, or writing it. They have used all of the adjectives, all of the superlatives, all manner of poetic exp​ression. And when all is said and done, the declaration which is most powerful is the simple, three-word variety.

To one who is honestly seeking, the testimony borne in these simple phrases is enough, for it is the spirit that beareth record, not the words.

I said there was a question that could not be taken lightly nor answered at all without the prompting of the Spirit. I have not asked that question of others, but I have heard them answer itâ??but not when they were asked. They have answered it under the prompting of the Spirit, on sacred occasions, when "the Spirit beareth record." (D&C 1:39.)

I have heard one of my brethren declare: "I know from experiences, too sacred to relate, that Jesus is the Christ."

I have heard another testify: "I know that God lives; I know that the Lord lives. And more than that, I know the Lord."

Now, I wonder with you why one such as I should be called to the holy apostleship. There are so many qualifications that I lack. There is so much in my effort to serve that is wanting. As I have pondered on it, I have come to only one single thing, one qualification in which there may be cause, and that is, I have that witness.

I declare to you that I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that he lives. He was born in the meridian of time. He taught his gospel, was tried, was crucified. He rose on the third day. He was the first fruits of the resurrection. He has a body of flesh and bone. Of this I bear testimony. Of him I am a witness.

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Thanks for all the replies on the topic. :P

Seems there are some mixed opinions on the topic in regards to what being a witness is. I think at least in the two Biblical scenarios (Mathias and Paul), "eyewitness" seems to be the precedent at least in part.

I am curious on what some have offered about the this witness through the Holy Ghost; Do you feel that a visual aspect of such a witness is always the case with Apostles.

I'd also like to toss out another thought. In my previous discussion about this, nailing down the timeline for such a witness was difficult. One person posited that they thought it was possible to become an Apostle without such a witness, but by virtue of the fact that they had been called to the office, it was inevitable that they would receive such a witness at some point after the fact.... Any thoughts there?

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The present leader (Heber J. Grant) has recently stated to friends and associates, and even in his public addresses he has reiterated it, that he has never seen the face of the Savior, nor had any other special manifestation from the Lord; and further, said he, "I don't know that I want any because of the great responsibility such would entail." (Truth 4:175; see also 8:175.)

Let us investigate the record and see if Fundamentalist claims in this particular are based on fact. In 1882, Heber J. Grant was called to the Apostleship by a direct revelation to President John Taylor:

Thus saith the Lord to the Twelve, and to the priesthood and people of my Church: Let my servants George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant be appointed to fill the vacancies in the Twelve, that you may be fully organized and prepared for the labors devolving upon you, for you have a great labor to perform; and then proceed to fill up the presiding quorum of the Seventies, and assist in organizing that body of my priesthood who are your co-laborers in the ministry. You may appoint Seymour B. Young to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies... (Quoted in My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth, p. 50.)

Heber J. Grant related the following events that transpired relative to this revelation calling him to the Apostleship of the Twelve:

So I went to the president's office, and there sat brother Teasdale, and all of the ten Apostles, and the Presidency of the Church, and also Seymour B. Young and the members of the seven presidents of Seventies. And the revelation was read calling brother Teasdale and myself to the apostleship, and brother Seymour B. Young to be one of the seven presidents of Seventies. Brother Teasdale was blessed by President John Taylor, and George Q. Cannon blessed me...

I was a very unhappy man from October to February. For the next four months whenever I would bear my testimony of the divinity of the Savior, there seemed to be a voice that would say: "You lie, because you have never seen him." One of the brethren had made the remark that unless a man had seen the Lamb of God --- that was his expression --- he was not fit to be an Apostle. This feeling that I have mentioned would follow me. I would wake up in the night with the impression: "You do not know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, because you have never seen him," and the same feeling would come to me when I would preach and bear testimony. It worried me from October to the following February.

I was in Arizona, traveling with Brigham Young, Jr., and a number of other brethren, visiting the Navajo Indians and the Moki Indians... I had this feeling that I ought not to testify any more about the Savior and that really, I was not fit to be an Apostle. It seemed overwhelming to me that I should be one. There was a spirit that said: "If you have not seen the Savior, why don't you resign your position?"

As I rode along alone, I seemed to see a Council in Heaven. The Savior was there; the Prophet Joseph was there; my father and others that I knew were there. In this Council it seemed that they decided that a mistake had been made in not filling the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve, and conference had adjourned. The chances were the brethren would wait another six months, and the way to remedy the situation was to send a revelation naming the men who should fill the vacancies. In this council the Prophet said, "I want to be represented by one of my own on that council."

I had always understood and known that my mother was sealed to the Prophet, and that Brigham Young had told my father that he would not marry my mother to him for eternity, because he had instructions from the Prophet that if anything happened to him before he was married to Rachel Ivins she must be sealed to him for eternity, that she belonged to him.

That is the reason that father spoke up in this council to which I have referred, and said: "Why not choose the boy who bears my name who belongs to you, to be one of the Apostles?" That is the inspiration that was given to me.

I can truthfully say that from February, 1883, until today I have never had any of that trouble, and I can bear testimony that I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world, and that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the living God... (Improvement Era, Nov. 1942, pp. 756-757.)

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Excellent. It seems I had heard that story before, but now it is in my repertoire. Thanks so much!

And Mudcat, although what I posted of Elder Packer's talk seemed to suggest that a requirement of being a special witness includes a vision of the Savior Himself, it actually falls just short of it, apparently deliberately.

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In a recent offline discussion with some LDS the topic of Apostles came up. Acts was the point of focus.

The first Scripture posited was...

Seems the Apostles felt one had to be a witness to Christ in order to qualify.

Later in the discussion, Paul's Apostleship was recognized under the term "special witness".

Really, it seems that Paul's qualification is the pertinent one... since we can't travel in time.

My questions are these.

Are all LDS Apostles special witnesses of Christ?

Can an LDS Apostle be selected/confirmed to office(don't really know the terminology for it) without a special witness of Christ?

Referring back to the Acts verses you quoted--my understanding of these scriptures was that the Apostles meant literally--not in vision. Since it was possible, they wanted men to be called who had been in attendance at one of those gatherings where Jesus appeared to large numbers of followers after his resurrection, during his 40 day ministry.

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Hey Brother,

In an attempt at simplicity and clarity I provide my response.

I don't think every Apostle called has previously or directly subsequent to his calling seen the risen Lord. However, it is my guess that during their time as Apostle's most if not all have had the opportunity to see Jesus Christ the resurrected Lord.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Referring back to the Acts verses you quoted--my understanding of these scriptures was that the Apostles meant literally--not in vision. Since it was possible, they wanted men to be called who had been in attendance at one of those gatherings where Jesus appeared to large numbers of followers after his resurrection, during his 40 day ministry.

I think you're correct that the Apostles meant they wanted one who was a physical witness of Him to take Judas' place. But that doesn't seem to me to constitute a binding requirement for the office.

Paul never saw Jesus in the flesh before his crucifixion (presumably, or else he just never mentioned it in his writings), nor afterwards in His resurrected body during that ministry. Nevertheless he was called as an Apostle, and his only view of the Savior was in vision.

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In a recent offline discussion with some LDS the topic of Apostles came up. Acts was the point of focus.

The first Scripture posited was...

Seems the Apostles felt one had to be a witness to Christ in order to qualify.

Later in the discussion, Paul's Apostleship was recognized under the term "special witness".

Really, it seems that Paul's qualification is the pertinent one... since we can't travel in time.

My questions are these.

Are all LDS Apostles special witnesses of Christ?

Can an LDS Apostle be selected/confirmed to office(don't really know the terminology for it) without a special witness of Christ?

If you had experianced the confirmations worthy members have experianced, {as a non apostolic witness} it would not be nessacery for yu to ask this question. :P

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A visitation by the Savior would be such a personal, sacred experience, that it is kept very quiet by the individual. As I said earlier, it has probably happened to more people than we realize, but they just don't talk about it. Kind of like one's patriarchal blessing. It's only shared with those to whom we are very close.

So whether or not each and every apostle has had this experience, we can't say. They aren't telling us specifically. Their job is to testify of him. Which they do.

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Referring back to the Acts verses you quoted--my understanding of these scriptures was that the Apostles meant literally--not in vision. Since it was possible, they wanted men to be called who had been in attendance at one of those gatherings where Jesus appeared to large numbers of followers after his resurrection, during his 40 day ministry.

Excellent Point! I don't disagree with in the least Alter Idem.

The situation seems to get a bit convoluted with the consideration of Paul as an Apostle. He did not fit this criteria as Matthias did. In an effort to reconcile Paul's qualification as an Apostle and also take into consideration the relation it has with what seemed to be the initial qualifier for Apostleship that was applied to Matthias. From a Christian mindset, there seem to be only a couple of plausible permutations.

Either Paul was being duplicitous and was never an Apostle.

Paul's vision somehow qualified him.

Or Perhaps Paul's vision has no relation to the fact and our understanding of what is required to be an Apostle is completely skewed.

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