Education Week: Modern apostles are ambassadors of God

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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, places mortar around the cornerstone of the Tucson Arizona Temple. In a BYU Education Week presentation, Richard N. Holzapfel discussed the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve’s weekly meetings in the temple. (Mormon Newsroom)

BYU religion professor Richard N. Holzapfel said modern-day apostles “are ambassadors of God” during his BYU Education Week lecture on Monday, Aug. 21.

“We cannot separate Christ from his apostles and prophets,” Holzapfel said. “To accept the father, we have to accept his son.  To accept his son fully, we have to accept those who he sent.”

When the apostles and prophets are in Utah, they take some time in the middle of the week to work in the Church Office Building.  In Doctrine and Covenants 107, the apostles are charged to “build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations.”

Holzapfel said the apostles spend some time each week meeting with various leaders to talk about things that are happening in the world. Recently, this has included the opioid epidemic, worldwide slavery and the United Nations Emergency Children’s fund.

On Thursdays, the apostles meet in their counsel room in the Salt Lake Temple. Holzapfel said these meetings begin with the apostles kneeling in prayer, which shows they are bending their will to Christ’s.

These meetings also include hymns. The most frequent hymn sung in these meetings is “I Need Thee Every Hour,” according to a quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks that Holzapfel shared.

In these Thursday meetings, the apostles pray together and make unanimous decisions regarding the LDS Church.

Holzapfel shared a quote from N. Eldon Tanner, who said the apostles, prophets and other general authorities in the area hold a fast and testimony meeting on the first Thursday of the month, which includes the sacrament and a prayer circle.

Holzapfel said the apostles still take the time to talk to and help people individually, despite spending much of their time in meetings and addressing large groups of church members.  He shared pictures from the Mormon Newsroom showing the apostles ministering to individuals throughout the world.

Holzapfel asked if members fully appreciate all that the apostles and their families do for the members of the church.

“I would rather spend one hour with a living Prophet or Apostle than all the years of reading and studying or visiting sites in the Holy Land or in the Americas,” Holzapfel said. “We are a most blessed people that living apostles and prophets walk among us.”

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