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Rob Bowman

LDS apostles do not need to have seen the risen Christ

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A recent thread that I started was closed without warning on the basis that a CFR was allegedly not answered. Presumably this was Vance's CFR for me to support my claim that LDS apostles are not required to have seen the risen Christ. I gave two references from LDS sources, in response to that CFR, that did illustrate the point that seeing the risen Christ is not a required qualification for apostles in the LDS Church. Vance, however, gave no references in response to my CFR to him.

In an effort to go the extra mile, I have done further research and will here produce additional references that I should think will definitely satisfy anyone who sincerely wants to know the answer to the question. This comes from the Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual, available online, in the section on "Apostles Are Special Witnesses of Christ."

One question often asked about the qualifications of an Apostle was answered by Elder Boyd K. Packer:

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Ironically, I heard this same Elder Packer, while giving a talk at the MTC, while I was there in the mid-80's answer a question posed to him by a missionary. I remember this, having written it in my journal.

It was the entire MTC, mission presidents, sr. couples, the MTC president and all the other young missionaries in attendance. After his talk, he opened it up to questions. A missionary asked him. "What does it mean to be a 'son of perdition'?

To which Elder Packer, in his no nonsense demeanor replied. "There is only one person in this room who need worry about that. And I don't plan to fail."

Elder Scott, in Conference last year had a great talk on receiving spiritual guidance. I was impressed there was some reading between the lines to what he said. It's a great read on the subject.

http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1117-2,00.html

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in the olden days, their ordination was not complete until Jesus had laid his hands upon their heads.

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But there is no record of Barnabas' seeing Christ Risen.

14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

Or, how about James, the brother of Christ:

19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

It seems that a record of seeing Christ is not requisite for being called as an Apostle. (Unless, of course, there are two standards for being an Apostle, one for those without a last name and one for those who have one.)

Lehi

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Lehi,

James the Lord's brother did see the risen Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:7).

The lack of any mention of Barnabas's encounter with the risen Jesus is not a valid argument against the principle that apostles had seen the risen Jesus. That would be a fallacious argument from silence. Hundreds of people who saw the risen Jesus are not named specifically in that connection the NT (see 1 Corinthians 15:6). It is quite possible that Barnabas was one of those hundred of people.

My claim was not that there needs to be "a record," currently available, of every apostle having seen the risen Christ. My claim was that in the NT period the principle was enunciated and understood that all apostles had in fact seen the risen Jesus, whereas in the LDS Church no living apostle need claim, and none does claim, that he has seen the risen Jesus.

But there is no record of Barnabas' seeing Christ Risen.

Or, how about James, the brother of Christ:

It seems that a record of seeing Christ is not requisite for being called as an Apostle. (Unless, of course, there are two standards for being an Apostle, one for those without a last name and one for those who have one.)

Lehi

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I saw Elder Chistofferson speak.

He was a short fellow, sort of reminded me of the the movie "Roadhouse" with Swayze. "I thought you'd be bigger..."

He spoke a bit about the topic at hand, I wished I could remember it all, but IIRC he had not seen the risen Christ, but gave an experiential reference to it when Monson embraced him after the news that he was called to be an Apostle.

...

My wife wanted to go in the "hand shaking line" after his address. I met the fellow face to face and still consider it a bit odd that for some reason he chose to engage in a bit of conversation for a minute or so, despite the line length.

In some sense I consider a bit of a reconciliation of sorts, for some reason.

...

The previous speaker, an Elder Gay of the 70's, well.. I don't think I have ever been more demoralized. There is no good way to say it.. and I suppose I haven't said it here, nor likely will I. But I think his statements, given his authority amongst LDS, and the fact that I was a willing EV attendant with my LDS wife and in-Laws, was about one of the worst things I have heard.

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James the Lord's brother did see the risen Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:7).

And you know this was James, the Lord's brother, rather than James, the son of Zebedee, how, exactly? Given the time frame Paul references, it was more likely the latter.

The lack of any mention of Barnabas's encounter with the risen Jesus is not a valid argument against the principle that apostles had seen the risen Jesus. That would be a fallacious argument from silence.

But you have no fallacy in your argument that modern Apostles have not seen Him based on the lack of a record, or record of an open avowal. I see. The double standard is active: if it undermines the LDS position, any argument is valid, but if it undermines the Evangelical or creedal position, it gets a pass.

Hundreds of people who saw the risen Jesus are not named specifically in that connection the NT (see 1 Corinthians 15:6). It is quite possible that Barnabas was one of those hundred of people.

Thousands saw Him in Bountiful, too. 'Tseems that it is you who are arguing from silence.

My claim was not that there needs to be "a record," currently available, of every apostle having seen the risen Christ. My claim was that in the NT period the principle was enunciated and understood that all apostles had in fact seen the risen Jesus, whereas in the LDS Church no living apostle need claim, and none does claim, that he has seen the risen Jesus.

Implicitly, they do. What, exactly, do you think they mean when they say that "some experiences are too sacred to discuss"?

We Saints so believe that the modern Apostles have seen Him, either in the flesh (my personal belief), or by the direct witness of the Holy Ghost (also my belief). It is, what was you phrase, "understood that all apostles [have] in fact seen the risen Jesus"? The only difference I can detect is that you reject the evidence for those Apostles who have a last name, while accepting those not so encumbered.

In this, I can discern no difference between your stance and that of those of whom Christ said this:

49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

...

52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Lehi

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When David B. Haight became an apostle he spoke in a conference. I heard him say with my own ears that he had not seen.

He used these words "I have not seen but...". What followed those words was too unremarkable to recall precisely.

I do not know how the printed version turned out but I remember being shocked when I realized he had not seen Jesus.

Frankly, he seemed a little apologetic about it.

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When David B. Haight became an apostle he spoke in a conference. I heard him say with my own ears that he had not seen.

He used these words "I have not seen but...". What followed those words was too unremarkable to recall precisely.

I do not know how the printed version turned out but I remember being shocked when I realized he had not seen Jesus.

Frankly, he seemed a little apologetic about it.

I don't believe being called to be an apostle requires a personal witness. Certainly not at the beginning. Perhaps later.

I've always been under the impression that those sacred moments come as they are ready and exercise their mantle. I doubt it happens for all. Many are called, few are chosen, even among the 12... Perhaps.

There are certainly incidences where specific experiences of personal manifestations have been recorded, but not often. I think it's too sacred a thing to cast before the swine of the world.

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There are certainly incidences where specific experiences of personal manifestations have been recorded, but not often. I think it's too sacred a thing to cast before the swine of the world.

IMO 7bak, that is literalism to the extreme, plus invention on your part.

So says this little piggy

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IMO 7bak, that is literalism to the extreme, plus invention on your part.

So says this little piggy

Don't get me wrong, you aren't even in the barnyard. Your kind of pork is definitely kosher. :P

I'm talking about those out there who mock and take that which is sacred and use it against us. There are those out there, for sure.

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Lehi,

I see no point in trying to reason with a man who complains that he is being "persecuted" merely because I disagree with him.

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Sevenbak,

You wrote:

There are certainly incidences where specific experiences of personal manifestations have been recorded, but not often. I think it's too sacred a thing to cast before the swine of the world.

This makes absolutely no sense. If it's too sacred a thing to tell the world, then Joseph Smith should not have told about his alleged encounter with the risen Jesus. Neither should Paul have told people about seeing the risen Jesus. Either it's too sacred to make public, or it isn't.

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Sevenbak,

You wrote:

This makes absolutely no sense. If it's too sacred a thing to tell the world, then Joseph Smith should not have told about his alleged encounter with the risen Jesus. Neither should Paul have told people about seeing the risen Jesus. Either it's too sacred to make public, or it isn't.

Rob, I find it interesting that Lorenzo Snow's vision of the Savior in the SL Temple was recorded, not in the Ensign, but in the Children's Friend.

http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=21bc9fbee98db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=bb9555faa5cab010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

I think these type of experiences go out to the pure in heart, like a child. Does that make sense? Joseph's was the testator, and sealed his testimony with his blood. I believe those type of extremes are not needed today.

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I think it's too sacred a thing to cast before the swine of the world.

This is just nuts. Think about what a witness is. A witness says what they have seen. All this witnessing that ordinary religious folks do doesn't even count as being a witness of something.

But if the apostles have seen Jesus resurrected and can say so then that would be a witness

But they ARE supposed to be special witnesses to the world (whom God so loved---not swine).

The only thing that makes sense given that they have seen Jesus ressurected is to fullfill their calling and so witness to the world. Otherwise they are failing. If they would honestly state that they had see the flesh and bone Christ with their own physical eyes (no MfBukowski word games please) I might believe it and be saved. But they don't. I know why.

They don't, so they haven't seen. It's as simple as that.

I met Esra Taft Benson in person and looked into his eyes--just me and him. He hadn't seen Christ and he didn't even think he had.

Of course, the reason is simple. Jesus is dead like every other mammal who lived at that time including all the other countless would be messiahs.

Esra Taft Benson could have looked me in the eyes and convinced me otherwise if any such literal "seeing" had taken place.

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This is just nuts. Think about what a witness is. A witness says what they have seen. All this witnessing that ordinary religious folks do doesn't even count as being a witness of something.

But if the apostles have seen Jesus resurrected and can say so then that would be a witness

But they ARE supposed to be special witnesses to the world (whom God so loved---not swine).

The only thing that makes sense given that they have seen Jesus ressurected is to fullfill their calling and so witness to the world. Otherwise they are failing. If they would honestly state that they had see the flesh and bone Christ with their own physical eyes (no MfBukowski word games please) I might believe it and be saved. But they don't. I know why.

They don't, so they haven't seen. It's as simple as that.

I met Esra Taft Benson in person and looked into his eyes--just me and him. He hadn't seen Christ and he didn't even think he had.

Of course, the reason is simple. Jesus is dead like every other mammal who lived at that time including all the other countless would be messiahs.

Esra Taft Benson could have looked me in the eyes and convinced me otherwise if any such literal "seeing" had taken place.

Some don't, some don't share it.

Did you ever hear of President Snow recording this experience, outside of what was written by his family? I stand by my statements that being a witness of Christ doesn't mean telling all the world that you saw Him.

BTW, I'm wondering if 'Esra' would have been comfortable telling such an personal and intimate thing to someone who doesn't know him well enough to spell his name correctly. :P

Not that he necessarily had the experience. Like I said before, I doubt they all have.

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Some don't, some don't share it.

Did you ever hear of President Snow recording this experience, outside of what was written by his family? I stand by my statements that being a witness of Christ doesn't mean telling all the world that you saw Him.

Thats what it would mean if all of this were true. But since they haven't seen, they had to reinterpret the frank meaning.

The original apostles understood. They witnessed something and gave a testimony (a thing one gives not a thing one "has"). They were able to do so because they had seen which was the whole point. Jesus Christ had risen and there were supposedly witnesses.

Joseph Smith, if he is to be believed, seemed to understand what it meant.

By now I realize that the 12 have the same reasons to believe as your average Bishop. They are ordinary albeit well connected temporally successful men with a set of typical Mormon beliefs and they have learned to attribute their own emotionally held convictions, learned conservative intuitions and common spiritual feelings (inner sparkles and sunshine) to the Holy Ghost for the same reason I did and the same reason most members do.

It's a learned attribution of feelings anyone and everyone experiences.

I hope I once again get the chance to look one of them in the eyes and ask them plain questions man to man.

The solemn testimony with sincere stare they do is like a Jedi mind trick. They are too used to fawning members who feel awed and they don't know what to do if they face someone who isn't hypnotized by it.

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Thats what it would mean if all of this were true. But since they haven't seen, they had to reinterpret the frank meaning.

The original apostles understood. They witnessed something and gave a testimony (a thing one gives not a thing one "has"). They were able to do so because they had seen which was the whole point. Jesus Christ had risen and there were supposedly witnesses.

Joseph Smith, if he is to be believed, seemed to understand what it meant.

By now I realize that the 12 have the same reasons to believe as your average Bishop. They are ordinary albeit well connected temporally successful men with a set of typical Mormon beliefs and they have learned to attribute their own emotionally held convictions, learned conservative intuitions and common spiritual feelings (inner sparkles and sunshine) to the Holy Ghost for the same reason I did and the same reason most members do.

It's a learned attribution of feelings anyone and everyone experiences.

I hope I once again get the chance to look one of them in the eyes and ask them plain questions man to man.

The solemn testimony with sincere stare they do is like a Jedi mind trick. They are too used to fawning members who feel awed and they don't know what to do if they face someone who isn't hypnotized by it.

Tarski, it wasn't only Joseph in the early days of the Church. There were several others that saw and witnessed some of these things. Church History records a few instances, including the Savior appearing to several men at the 'School of the Prophets' in Kirtland, the numerous temple visions, there, etc.

Have their been experiences since President Snow's vision of the Savior? I don't know, but as I believe in the divine calling of the Apostleship, I will disagree with you that it didn't happen.

What the early saints faced is much different than we have today. They needed to know beyond faith to get them through what was ahead. I don't think it will always be that way, it's bound to get worse in the future for us, but until our prophets feel the need to tell the world that they speak face to face with Diety, (if they indeed do) then so be it.

You are free to believe it's all a 'Jedi mind trick'. I don't.

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I once met and shook hands with Elder Richard G. Scott, and I was very taken by his testimony.

He bore his testimony with such conviction and absolute certainty that I would never doubt or second-guess him. His own words were:

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I once met and shook hands with Elder Richard G. Scott, and I was very taken by his testimony.

He bore his testimony with such conviction and absolute certainty that I would never doubt or second-guess him. His own words were:

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Ironically, I heard this same Elder Packer, while giving a talk at the MTC, while I was there in the mid-80's answer a question posed to him by a missionary. I remember this, having written it in my journal.

It was the entire MTC, mission presidents, sr. couples, the MTC president and all the other young missionaries in attendance. After his talk, he opened it up to questions. A missionary asked him. "What does it mean to be a 'son of perdition'?

To which Elder Packer, in his no nonsense demeanor replied. "There is only one person in this room who need worry about that. And I don't plan to fail."

Elder Scott, in Conference last year had a great talk on receiving spiritual guidance. I was impressed there was some reading between the lines to what he said. It's a great read on the subject.

http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1117-2,00.html

I see nothing scandalous in what Elder Packer said

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A recent thread that I started was closed without warning on the basis that a CFR was allegedly not answered. Presumably this was Vance's CFR for me to support my claim that LDS apostles are not required to have seen the risen Christ. I gave two references from LDS sources, in response to that CFR, that did illustrate the point that seeing the risen Christ is not a required qualification for apostles in the LDS Church. Vance, however, gave no references in response to my CFR to him.

In an effort to go the extra mile, I have done further research and will here produce additional references that I should think will definitely satisfy anyone who sincerely wants to know the answer to the question. This comes from the Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual, available online, in the section on "Apostles Are Special Witnesses of Christ."

Now, the above curriculum material quotes two LDS authorities, Packer and Smith, and affirms what they say. The above material makes it clear in at least three ways that LDS apostles are not required to have seen the risen Jesus. (1) It is considered generally inappropriate even for other apostles to ask someone if he has had this experience. This makes it clear that the existing apostles do not ask prospective apostles if they have seen the risen Jesus. If it is not asked, then it is not required. (2) Joseph Fielding Smith states that apostles may have the privilege of seeing the risen Jesus "if occasion requires." This is another way of saying that not all apostles see the risen Jesus; only some see him if the occasion requires. (3) The apostles are said to have "a stronger witness than seeing a personage," and that this kind of witness ("of the Holy Ghost") is one that every LDS Church member can and should receive. This statement would be unnecessary and misleading if LDS apostles were expected to have had the witness of seeing the personage of Jesus.

Another reference that further confirms what I am saying comes from President Harold B. Lee. He reported that when he was sustained as a member of the Twelve, he was told, "Now you understand that you are now to be a special witness of that great event, meaning the resurrection of the Lord." Lee went on to say that in response to this charge, he closeted himself in a room and read the Gospels and also read about Christ's appearance to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. He said that as he read these things the people in those books became more real to him than ever before. Lee concluded that he had as sure a witness as the apostle Paul had because "a witness more perfect than sight is the witness which the Holy Ghost bears to one's soul so that he knows these things are true. I witness to you with all my soul that I know, as the Spirit has born witness to my soul, that the Savior lives" (quoted in Bruce E. Dana, The Apostleship [springville, UT: Cedar Fort, 2006], 176-77; see pp. 177-79 for additional references). Similar statements from Lee are found in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, chapter 5 (see here).

It troubles me that any Mormon would issue a CFR on this point when it would seem, from this documentation, that the position of the LDS Church on the subject is clear. It troubles me even more that not a single Mormon acknowledged that what I had said was correct. Other Mormons on this forum should have been quick to point out to Vance that LDS apostles indeed need not claim to have seen the risen Christ. They should have cited these references, or other references like them. Did you really need a non-Mormon to point these things out?

I don't really care whether you have answered anybody's CFR or not. The only thing that I am interested in is answering the fallacies of your arguments. Your criticism of the LDS requirement of Apostleship is like someone criticizing some county's driving laws because it allows you to drive a truck without having a car driving licence; whereas in fact to drive a truck you need a truck driving licence which is a more stringent requirement than having a car driving licence. You demand a physical encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ. We claim that being a "special witness of Jesus Christ" is a more stringent requirement which may or may not include a physical encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ.

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I don't really care whether you have answered anybody's CFR or not. The only thing that I am interested in is answering the fallacies of your arguments. Your criticism of the LDS requirement of Apostleship is like someone criticizing some county's driving laws because it allows you to drive a truck without having a car driving licence; whereas in fact to drive a truck you need a truck driving licence which is a more stringent requirement than having a car driving licence. You demand a physical encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ. We claim that being a "special witness of Jesus Christ" is a more stringent requirement which may or may not include a physical encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ.

:P;):crazy::fool:

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Some things are too sacred to relate, depending on the circumstance:

From Alma 12--

9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.

I was in the MTC over Christmas. Elder McConkie spoke to us that day. I remember the talk and also recorded much of it in my journal. He said, "It just so happens that I have a perfect knowledge that He (Jesus Christ) is the Son of God."

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Some things are too sacred to relate, depending on the circumstance:

From Alma 12--

9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.

I was in the MTC over Christmas. Elder McConkie spoke to us that day. I remember the talk and also recorded much of it in my journal. He said, "It just so happens that I have a perfect knowledge that He (Jesus Christ) is the Son of God."

I know he is not very PC these days but I loved Elder McConkie, and I believe he did.

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