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Vort

What does it mean that an apostle is a special witness of Christ?

What does it mean that an apostle is a special witness of Christ?  

21 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. What does it mean that an apostle is a special witness of Christ?

    • It means that the apostle has actually seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, spoken with him, probably touched the tokens of his crucifixion in his hands and feet.
      3
    • It means that the apostle has received a special spiritual witness, greater than that given to most others, of the reality of the living Christ and his atoning sacrifice.
      8
    • It means that the apostle has received a witness. All witnesses are special. We should all receive that "special witness", so we can bear the same testimony as the apostles.
      2
    • It means only that the apostles have received the assignment to bear testimony of Christ to the world. It doesn't mean there's some special knowledge bestowed.
      4
    • It means something else, which I will explain in a response in this thread.
      4
    • I don't have a clue what the "special witness" thing is supposed to mean.
      0

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  • Poll closed on 08/17/19 at 02:37 AM

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15 hours ago, person0 said:
15 hours ago, mikbone said:

But there were many who met Him and understood who He was.

By the power of the Holy Ghost they were able to come to this understanding.

"Thou are the Christ of God."

"Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is is heaven."

Peter's revelation from the Father doubtless came through the agency of the Holy Ghost.

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14 hours ago, mikbone said:

D&C 130:22 does not say that the Holy Ghost’s Personage enters into our bodies. Logistically that would be impossible for his personage to enter into every person’s body during our Sunday services etc.

More than likely his spirit has a capacity to send out tendrils / influence / spirit / light that influences us.

And it is extremely likely that either Heavenly Father or Jehovah taught him this ability.

 

I believe your mental model of who and what the Holy Ghost is to be incomplete.

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8 hours ago, priesthoodpower said:

..besides wasn't Josephs first vision more of a spiritual encounter rather then a physical one in the sense of how we understand the law of physics.

No. It was extremely physical, just as much so as Christ's resurrection was literal and physical.

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16 hours ago, Vort said:

No. It was extremely physical, just as much so as Christ's resurrection was literal and physical.

In reference to the #1 option  ".. that the apostle has actually seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, spoken with him, probably touched the tokens of his crucifixion in his hands and feet."

In the Churchs most official and canonized version of JS's first vision there is no mention that Joseph touched God and Jesus in a physical manner as described in the option #1 of the poll. Josephs encounter was of hearing the words and seeing two glorified personages. Thats it, nothing more nothing less.  Joseph has other visits from other heavenly messengers but we are not talking about them we are talking about Christ.

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/site/accounts-of-the-first-vision

No other prophet since Joseph has testified meeting God or Jesus face to face, but if they did i believe it would be in a "Spiritual Vision" similar to Josephs Vision where God/Jesus would be in a glorified physical form. 

Now of course the Nephites got up close and personal and felt/ touched the resurrected Christ so why did not Joseph? Why was JS encounter different? I believe that God and Jesus are physical glorified beings but their interaction with an apostle (if it were to happen) would be in a spiritual vision format like JS, not literal human contact like the Nephites so #1 is not possible to me. Just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.

Edited by priesthoodpower

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I pressed the wrong button (5), LOL. It is "special" because of the keys and associated responsibilities he carries and must exercise for the rest of his life on earth. The rest of us operate under delegated keys, but the apostles constitute the restored foundation which is directly connected to the Chief Cornerstone and thus form the direct witness to the name, or all things done in the name, of Christ.

Edited by CV75

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17 hours ago, mikbone said:

D&C 130:22 does not say that the Holy Ghost’s Personage enters into our bodies. Logistically that would be impossible for his personage to enter into every person’s body during our Sunday services etc.

More than likely his spirit has a capacity to send out tendrils / influence / spirit / light that influences us.

And it is extremely likely that either Heavenly Father or Jehovah taught him this ability.

 

Yet throughout scripture other un-embodied spirits do dwell in people (these are to be cast out). I think the circumstance under which the Holy Ghost would dwell in us (as opposed to with us, e.g. the light*, power, witness, constant companionship, influence, etc.) would be rare, but I see His mission, and the means by which He accomplishes it without a tangible body, to be requisite in providing the perfect counter to Satan’s mission and the means and ability by which he can dwell in us.

*Jesus is the source of and sends out light as well, but in a manner and for a purpose that is different than the Holy Ghost. His "dwells" in and through all things; the light of the Holy Ghost is conditional and prescribed. Jesus was the light before He had a body, did not testify of the things the Holy Ghost does, and continues to be that light with a resurrected body; the Holy Ghost cannot perform His mission with a body for the reason shared above. Jesus was always foreseen to obtain a body in the world and reclaim it in the resurrection, and even beings without bodies know this (but the Holy Ghost testifies of it to bring us beyond faith since we have bodies which serve as veils).

Edited by CV75

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7 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Yet throughout scripture other un-embodied spirits do dwell in people (these are to be cast out). I think the circumstance under which the Holy Ghost would dwell in us (as opposed to with us, e.g. the light*, power, witness, constant companionship, influence, etc.) would be rare, but I see His mission, and the means by which He accomplishes it without a tangible body, to be requisite in providing the perfect counter to Satan’s mission and the means and ability by which he can dwell in us.

*Jesus is the source of and sends out light as well, but in a manner and for a purpose that is different than the Holy Ghost. His "dwells" in and through all things; the light of the Holy Ghost is conditional and prescribed. Jesus was the light before He had a body, did not testify of the things the Holy Ghost does, and continues to be that light with a resurrected body; the Holy Ghost cannot perform His mission with a body for the reason shared above. Jesus was always foreseen to obtain a body in the world and reclaim it in the resurrection, and even beings without bodies know this (but the Holy Ghost testifies of it to bring us beyond faith since we have bodies which serve as veils).

Yes other evil personages of spirit have possessed bodies.  But only one at a time.  What is being suggested is that the Holy Ghost's personage of spirit inhabits our bodies when we feel his influence.  This would require him to inhabit multiple (thousands and even possibly millions of bodies at the same time).  This dose not sit well with me.

We experience the Light of Christ without Christ inhabiting our bodies.

And believe it or not, we also have a similar influence that originates from our Heavenly Father.  It is not discussed but it is very powerful.  When Elohim removed his presence from our Savior during the suffering on the Cross it killed him.  Matthew 27: 46-50.  I believe that Heavenly Father's presence never leaves us no matter the circumstances.  Jesus Christ is the only mortal who was bereft of the Father's influence.  

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4 hours ago, mikbone said:

Yes other evil personages of spirit have possessed bodies.  But only one at a time.  What is being suggested is that the Holy Ghost's personage of spirit inhabits our bodies when we feel his influence.  This would require him to inhabit multiple (thousands and even possibly millions of bodies at the same time).  This dose not sit well with me.

We experience the Light of Christ without Christ inhabiting our bodies.

And believe it or not, we also have a similar influence that originates from our Heavenly Father.  It is not discussed but it is very powerful.  When Elohim removed his presence from our Savior during the suffering on the Cross it killed him.  Matthew 27: 46-50.  I believe that Heavenly Father's presence never leaves us no matter the circumstances.  Jesus Christ is the only mortal who was bereft of the Father's influence.  

From our reckoning and perspective, it may only seem that the Holy Ghost could dwell in many people simultaneously, but not from His perspective which involves another sphere of reckoning and without a tangible body and associated principles. What seems slowed-down and one-at-a-time to Him is quick and general to us.

The light of Christ is not a spirit, and so does not “dwell” in people (see D&C 88). The power of God the Father is neither the light of Christ nor a spirit. All these principles (the light of Christ; the power, gift, personage and companionship of the Holy Ghost; the power of the Father) are often conflated and confused one for the other, but their purpose, operation and scope each differ one from the other and for good reason / specific purposes.

The Father had already granted His Son power over life and death before the Crucifixion. There is also often confusion over presence (whether "tangible" or spiritual; temporary or permanent; by the law of a higher or lesser kingdom, etc.) and influence, but there are differences. As long as Jesus is the literal Son of the Father, there never was or will be a time for Him without His Father's influence, even when it was "tangible" or present in the expression of His mortal body. In a sense Jesus was the only person who had the Father dwell in Him, in this manner (physically and tangibly).

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5 hours ago, mikbone said:

What is being suggested is that the Holy Ghost's personage of spirit inhabits our bodies when we feel his influence.

If someone else made that suggestion I suppose I missed it, but I certainly did not.  That said, @CV75's explanation that such could be plausible is reasonable.

 

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Seeing that teachings have been given that the only difference between "special" and "especial" witness is the "e". I went with #4. I used to believe in #1 and then after hearing some apostles speak I figured it was more #2. When I heard an apostle say the only difference between special and especial is the "e" I now believe and accept #4.

Something of note:

We are all commanded to "know" God. This doesn't just mean by the Spirit, but to receive our calling and election made sure (to receive the second comforter).

 

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On 8/9/2019 at 2:47 PM, mikbone said:

What is an especial witness D&C 107:25?

I am physically and mentally constrained to picture Joseph Smith with a sombrero and mexi-stache  when I read this

perhaps an especial witness is a Hispanic apostle?

Edited by Fether

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17 hours ago, person0 said:

If someone else made that suggestion I suppose I missed it, but I certainly did not.  That said, @CV75's explanation that such could be plausible is reasonable.

 

An additional thought: “Dwell” also means “to continue,” or “continue long” (as in constant companion). The Holy Ghost makes Himself constant in us. He is thus fixed upon us as long as we are willing. Similarly, Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

From the 1828 Webster Dictionary:

1. To abide as a permanent resident, or to inhabit for a time; to live in a place; to have a habitation for some time or permanence.

2. To be in any state or condition; to continue.

3. To continue; to be fixed in attention; to hang upon with fondness.

4. To continue long; as, to dwell on a subject, in speaking, debate or writing; to dwell on a note in music.

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4 minutes ago, CV75 said:

From the 1828 Webster Dictionary:

I seriously almost posted a screenshot of the definitions of that very word from that very dictionary in a response two days ago; I decided it wasn't worth continuing at the time, haha.

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31 minutes ago, person0 said:

I seriously almost posted a screenshot of the definitions of that very word from that very dictionary in a response two days ago; I decided it wasn't worth continuing at the time, haha.

I guess you didn't want to dwell on it...!

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What it "means" and what is "usually required" or "associated" are two different things.

It simply means that one is called for life to be a messenger has authority to speak in the name of Jesus Christ to all nations & peoples.

What is usually associated with it?  A special witness and testimony of Christ.  Such a testimony may or may not be had among the "lay population" of the Church.  But these men would normally have such testimony -- but not always.

So, I chose #5 because #4 is pretty much the definition and #2 (being a strong qualifier) is not necessarily so, but is quite often so. 

By "special witness" being born to them, I'd say that means the "sure word of prophecy".  I personally believe that not all apostles are at that level.

Edited by Mores

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On 8/9/2019 at 12:43 PM, Vort said:

I'm curious what LDS forum members think. Discussion encouraged.

Here is my take. 

As a missionary in 1968 I attended a meeting with Apostle Gordon B Hinckley who then presided over the South American missions.

He bore a testimony more or less as follows:  I have never had a vision, never heard a voice. But the Spirit has conveyed to me in no uncertain terms that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I obtained this witness by prayer and fasting. 

As in olden times, the apostles are ones who are willing to give up all that they have to follow the Lord. Not many of us are willing to do that. I’m not. I’m looking forward to a relaxing retirement. Not gallivanting around the globe preachingthe gospel. 

Gordon B Hinckley gave his life to the Lord. That makes him a special witness. 

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Is the apostle special in that he has unique responsibilities? Or is the witness he holds special in that he has witnessed more than all other members of the church? 

I would argue the former.

Edited by Fether

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5 hours ago, Fether said:

Is the apostle special in that he has unique responsibilities? Or is the witness he holds special in that he has witnessed more than all other members of the church? 

I would argue the former.

Clearly the former. All of us are entitled to the same testimony as an Apostle. 

Being an Apostle is a calling.  But one must be willing to accept that calling. 

Edited by mrmarklin

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45 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

False.

It is His (the Holy Ghost's) special and especial purpose.

Just for a moment, try to understand my position.

Heavenly Father created Jehovah and taught him everything He knows.  Joseph Smith (and frankly many of the General Authorities) quote John 5:19 with the intent to teach us that Jesus Christ follows Elohim’s plan and example.  There is nothing that Jesus can do without the Father.  

Where do you suppose the Holy Ghost learned his powers?

Yes, during our mortal probation the Father has set up this Earth life to give us experience and test us.  During this test the Holy Ghost has been given the calling, authority, and power to testify of the truth of all things, but mostly that Jesus Christ is the Savior.

If a man were to receive his calling and election. And were able to stand in the presence of God & perceive his Glory while transfigured.  I am sure that this experience would far outshine any experience that the Holy Ghost could provide.

Sometimes we read things and take our experiences as reality.  There is much, much more out there.

We don’t know the Holy Ghost’s background.  We know even less of the Background of Elohim.  

Apostles are special witnesses.  We don’t know what kind of experiences that they have had.

My children know me pretty well.  My siblings know me pretty well.  My wife knows me in much more substantial way.  I assume that Heavenly Father knows me better than I know myself.

Whom do you suppose is more powerful the Holy Ghost or Jehovah?

Just because Elohim has isolated us away from his presence does not mean that his powers and abilities have been removed.

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On 8/17/2019 at 5:59 PM, mikbone said:

Just for a moment, try to understand my position.

I understand your position.

What I want you to explain is how then is it that:

"the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

The clear implication is that the matter is not one of mere knowledge, which renders your position moot.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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1 hour ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I understand your position.

What I want you to explain is how then is it that:

"the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

The clear implication is that the matter is not one of merely knowledge, which renders your position moot.

Although your words may be clear in your mind.  I don’t understand what you are trying to communicate.

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