Living Prophets and Apostles
One of the core beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that the Savior has restored his original church on the earth, beginning with the Prophet Joseph Smith.
This means, among other things, that there are once again prophets and apostles to teach and guide willing listeners. These men are organized into 2 groups - a Quorum of 12 Apostles, and the First Presidency, made up of the church president and 2 counselors.
The president of our church is regarded as a prophet. We believe he can and does receive guidance from God to lead us in modern times. The current prophet is Russell M. Nelson. In his most recent world-wide address he invited everyone to live as Christlike examples to others. He gave guidance on how to make our homes spiritually safe and how to more fully worship our Father in Heaven. We regard the teachings of prophets and apostles as sacred and one of the great blessings we receive by living in a time with the Lord's restored church available to all.
It is important to note that the prophet's words do not replace, but enhance teachings from the holy scriptures. The scriptures are a wonderful, spiritually rich resource. However, it is possible for any single verse or set of verses to be interpreted many different ways. A prophet guides us on not only a correct understanding of scripture, but how to apply them in our lives.
Many ask the question - how does one become an apostle? Do they study their whole life in anticipation for this?
The answer is that they do live an exemplary life, but it is not in anticipation for this call. Elder David A. Bednar, a current member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said the following:
“It is not because of our background. It is not because of our experience or capacity that we have been called to these positions,” Elder Bednar said. “The ancient Apostles were common men, and that was part of their credential. It had to be the Lord’s work because, given the magnitude of the work, it could not have been accomplished through uneducated fishermen. The same is true today. We are very ordinary men, and this work cannot prosper because of any capacities that we may have. It is the Lord’s work, it is His restored Church, and it is His direction that enables us to accomplish what He needs to have done.” (Click here for full article.)
The First Presidency travel the world teaching and testifying of Jesus Christ. While they administer the work of the church, their principle call is to minister to others.
See the videos below that explain more about our beliefs on living prophets and apostles, and their testimony of Jesus Christ.