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In the Latter Day Saint movement, the Quorum of the Twelve (also known as the Council of the Twelve, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Council of the Twelve Apostles, or the Twelve) is one of the governing bodies or (quorums) of the church hierarchy organized by the movement's founder Joseph Smith, and patterned after the Apostles of Jesus (see Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles). Members are called Apostles, with a special calling to be evangelistic ambassadors to the world.
The Latter Day Saint movement is the collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian Restorationist movement founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, a quorum is a group of people ordained or endowed with priesthood authority, and organized to act together as a body. The idea of a quorum was established by Joseph Smith early in the history of the movement, and during his lifetime it has included several church-wide quorums, including the First Presidency, the Presiding High Council, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Anointed Quorum, and the Quorum of the Seventy, as well as numerous local quorums for each congregation. The Council of Fifty, or General Council, was not part of the church, but a quorum-like body designed as a forerunner to establishing a theocratic government.
Joseph Smith Jr. was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present.
The Twelve were designated to be a body of "traveling councillors" with jurisdiction outside areas where the church was formally organized (areas of the world outside of Zion or its outlying Stakes). The Twelve were designated as being equal in authority to the First Presidency, the Seventy, the standing presiding high council, and the High Councils of the various stakes.
Within the Latter Day Saint movement, Zion is often used to connote an association of the righteous. This association would practice a form of communitarian economics called the United Order meant to ensure that all members maintained an acceptable quality of life, class distinctions were minimized, and group unity achieved.
A stake is an administrative unit composed of multiple congregations in certain denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. The name "stake" derives from the Book of Isaiah: "enlarge the place of thy tent; stretch forth the curtains of thine habitation; spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes". A stake is sometimes referred to as a stake of Zion.
Among many churches in the Latter Day Saint movement, the First Presidency is the highest presiding or governing body. Present-day denominations of the movement led by a First Presidency include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. and the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, permanent schisms formed in the movement, resulting in the formation of various churches, many of which retained some version of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother, Hyrum Smith, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. The brothers had been in jail awaiting trial when an armed mob of about 200 men stormed the facility, their faces painted black with wet gunpowder. Hyrum was killed first, having been shot in the face. As he fell, Hyrum shouted, "I'm a dead man, Joseph!" After emptying the pistol with which he tried to defend himself, Joseph was then shot several times while trying to escape from a second-story window and fell from that window as he died.
A schism is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a split in what had previously been a single religious body, such as the East–West Schism or the Great Western Schism. It is also used of a split within a non-religious organization or movement or, more broadly, of a separation between two or more people, be it brothers, friends, lovers, etc.
In 1835, the Three Witnesses were asked by Smith to select the original twelve members of the church's Quorum of the Twelve. They announced their choices at a meeting on February 14, 1835.The Three Witnesses also ordained the twelve chosen men to the priesthood office of apostle by the laying on of hands, with the ordinations taking place between February and April 1835.
The Three Witnesses is the collective name for three men connected with the early Latter Day Saint movement who stated that an angel had shown them the golden plates from which Joseph Smith, Jr. translated the Book of Mormon; they also stated that they had heard God's voice, informing them that the book had been translated by divine power. The Three are part of twelve Book of Mormon witnesses, who also include Smith and the Eight Witnesses.
Below is a list of members of the Quorum prior to the succession crisis of 1844 (including those ordained after the original Twelve). A total of 18 different men were members of the Quorum during this period.
The succession crisis in the Latter Day Saint movement occurred after the death of Joseph Smith, the movement's founder, on June 27, 1844.
In 1838, four members of the Quorum were excommunicated and the President of the Quorum resigned.(President Marsh was-excommunicated in absentia in 1839). Of the five, two of them would later rejoin with Brigham Young and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) after the 1844 schism, but they would never resume their former places in the Quorum. Two others would join various sects (with varying degrees as to the acceptance of their apostleship) and never returned to the LDS Church, while the fifth member left the Mormon movement completely. A sixth member of the Quorum was killed in 1838.
Brigham Young was an American religious leader, politician, and settler. He was the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death in 1877. He founded Salt Lake City and he served as the first governor of the Utah Territory. Young also led the foundings of the precursors to the University of Utah and Brigham Young University.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members there as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the early 19th century period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.
After the 1844 schism, ten of the then-Quorum members followed Young to the Salt Lake Valley. Two others left and joined other sects.
|Name||Dates ordained||Post-succession crisis affiliations|
|Thomas B. Marsh||April 26, 1835||Excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1839. President of the Quorum from 1835 to 1839. Later rejoined with Brigham Young and the LDS Church in 1857, but did not resume his former place in the Quorum.|
|David W. Patten||February 15, 1835||Remained a member of the Quorum until he was killed in 1838.|
|Brigham Young||February 14, 1835||President of the Quorum beginning in 1839. Young became the 2nd President of the LDS Church in 1847.|
|Heber C. Kimball||February 14, 1835||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844. In 1847, Kimball became First Counselor to Young.|
|Orson Hyde||February 15, 1835||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844. In 1847, Hyde became President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.|
|William E. McLellin||February 15, 1835||Excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1838. After 1844, McLellin joined for a short time multiple sects, including the Rigdonite, Strangite, Whitmerite and Hedrickite sects, each of which recognized his apostleship.|
|Parley P. Pratt||February 21, 1835||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844 and continued within the Quorum until he was killed in 1857.|
|Luke S. Johnson||February 15, 1835||Excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1838. Later rejoined with Brigham Young and the LDS Church in 1846, but did not resume his former place in the Quorum.|
|William Smith||February 15, 1835||On May 24, 1845, Smith succeeded his late brother Hyrum Smith as the Presiding Patriarch of the church, but was disfellowshipped from the church and removed as both apostle and patriarch in 1845. Following 1845, Smith broke with the LDS Church and Brigham Young and held various positions in the Strangite sect and his own Williamite sect. Ultimately Smith joined with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church). While Smith believed that he was entitled to become the presiding patriarch or a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles of the RLDS Church, he did not resume his place in the quorum and remained a high priest for the remainder of his life.|
|Orson Pratt||April 26, 1835||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844 and continued within the Quorum until his death in 1881.|
|John F. Boynton||February 15, 1835||Excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1838, joined with the short-lived Parrishites. After 1844, Boynton left Mormonism and never rejoined any Latter Day Saint sect.|
|Lyman E. Johnson||February 14, 1835||Withdrew from the Church of the Latter Day Saints in 1837 and was excommunicated in 1838. Johnson died in 1859, having never rejoined any Latter Day Saint sect.|
|John E. Page||December 19, 1838||After 1844, Page joined with the Strangite and Brewsterite. Page went on to be an apostle in the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) or "Hedrickite" church.|
|John Taylor||December 19, 1838||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844. In 1880, Taylor became 3rd President of the LDS Church.|
|Wilford Woodruff||April 26, 1839||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844. In 1889, Woodruff became 4th President of the LDS Church.|
|George A. Smith||April 26, 1839||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844. In 1868, Smith became First Counselor to Young.|
|Willard Richards||April 14, 1840||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young after 1844. In 1847, Richards became Second Counselor to Young.|
|Lyman Wight||April 8, 1841||Wight broke with all sects in 1844. He was ordained president of his own church, known as the Wightites. However, he later sided with the claims of William Smith and eventually of Joseph Smith III and the RLDS Church.|
|Amasa M. Lyman||August 1842||Remained with the LDS Church and Brigham Young from 1844 to 1870. Was stripped of apostleship on October 6, 1867 due to a sermon he preached in Dundee, Scotland, which all but denied the reality of and the necessity for the atonement of Jesus Christ. In 1869, while not admitting any conversion to the Church of Zion, known as the Godbeites, Lyman began a relationship with William S. Godbe and the Church of Zion. Lyman associated constantly, preached, and even openly participated in the Church of Zion. Due to Lyman's renewed activism and rumors that Lyman would even become president of the Church of Zion, Lyman was excommunicated from the LDS Church on May 12, 1870.|
In the LDS Church, the Quorum of the Twelve is officially referred to as the "Quorum of the Twelve Apostles" or "Council of the Twelve Apostles". The group normally has a leadership role in the church that is second only to the church's First Presidency. The Quorum implicitly follows the First Presidency's policies and pronouncements and its members are chosen by the First Presidency. However, when the First Presidency is dissolved—which occurs upon the death of the President of the Church—the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes the church's governing body (led by the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) until they ordain a new President of the Church and he chooses counselors, which completes the reorganization of the First Presidency. Membership in the Quorum of the Twelve is typically a lifetime calling.
In the Community of Christ, the Council of Twelve Apostles is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy. They hold the priesthood office of apostle and are responsible for the evangelistic witness of the church. Apostles are also high priests in the Melchisedec priesthood of the church.
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) is the third largest denomination that resulted from the 1844 succession crisis.
At a conference in Green Oak, Pennsylvania, in July 1862, leaders of several branches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia came together and formally organized what they called "The Church of Jesus Christ". William Bickerton presided over the conference. Bickerton's two counselors in the newly organized First Presidency were George Barnes and Charles Brown who were ordained apostles. The members of the Quorum of the Twelve at that organization (ordered by seniority) were Arthur Bickerton, Thomas Bickerton, Alexander Bickerton, James Brown, Cummings Cherry, Benjamin Meadowcroft, Joseph Astin, Joseph Knox, William Cadman, James Nichols, John Neish and John Dixon. At the conference George Barnes reported receiving the "word of the Lord," which he related:
Hear the word of the Lord; Ye are my Sons and Daughters, and I have committed unto you the Keys of the Kingdom, therefore be ye faithful.
In this church, the "Quorum of Twelve Apostles" are the chief governing officers. Currently, the president of the church and his two counselors are not separated from the quorum, as the total number of apostles in the quorum is twelve, as specified in the scriptures. Apostles (and all ministers—commonly called "elders") in this church are volunteers and are not given any compensation for their ministry.
In the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) the Council of Twelve serves as the head of the church. The church seeks to strictly follow the church organization of the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and teaches that church offices added by Joseph Smith after publication of the Book of Commandments, such as a President of the Church and a First Presidency, were not consistent with the Bible and Book of Mormon, and therefore were not revelations from God ( Sheldon 1999 ).
The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an Apostolic Quorum that is, as yet, incomplete by design. As the Remnant Church seeks to be a "renewal" of the Latter Day Saint movement resulting from the 1850s Reorganization, it is attempting to follow similar patterns of that prior reorganization. The First Presidency of the Remnant Church is not drawn from the apostles. Instead, the president of the church is chosen by Jewish Laws of Inheritance. The current members of the Quorum are: Don Burnett (President of the Quorum), Robert Murie Jr., Terry W. Patience, Roger Tracy, and Mark Deitrick.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, an apostle is a "special witness of the name of Jesus Christ who is sent to teach the principles of salvation to others." In many Latter Day Saint churches, an apostle is a priesthood office of high authority within the church hierarchy. In many churches, apostles may be members of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency of the church. In most Latter Day Saint churches, modern-day apostles are considered to have the same status and authority as the Biblical apostles.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are apostles, with the calling to be prophets, seers, and revelators, evangelical ambassadors, and special witnesses of Jesus Christ.
The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement within Christianity that arose during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century and that led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism, and to the existence of numerous Latter Day Saint churches. Its history is characterized by intense controversy and persecution in reaction to some of the movement's doctrines and practices and their relationship to mainstream Christianity. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the different groups, beliefs, and denominations that began with the influence of Joseph Smith.
Seventy is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek priesthood of several denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Traditionally, a Latter Day Saint holding this priesthood office is a "traveling minister" and an "especial witness" of Jesus Christ, charged with the mission of preaching the gospel to the entire world under the direction of the Twelve Apostles. Latter Day Saints teach that the office of seventy was anciently conferred upon the seventy disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10:1-2. Multiple individuals holding the office of seventy are referred to collectively as "seventies".
Lineal succession was a doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, whereby certain key church positions are held by right of lineal inheritance. Though lineal succession is now largely abandoned, the offices connected with the practice were those of the President of the Church and the Presiding Patriarch.
William Smith was a leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and one of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Smith was the eighth child of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith and was a younger brother of Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.
In Mormonism, a high council is one of several different governing bodies that have existed in the church hierarchy on many Latter Day Saint movement denominations. Most often, the term refers to a stake high council in a local stake, but other high councils include the standing Presiding High Council in Zion, and the "travelling high council", better-known today as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Rigdonite is a name given to members of the Latter Day Saint movement who accept Sidney Rigdon as the successor in the church presidency to movement founder, Joseph Smith. The early history of the Rigdonite movement is shared with the history of the Latter Day Saint movement, but as of the 1844 succession crisis becomes distinct. Sidney Rigdon and other church leaders, including Brigham Young and James J. Strang, presented themselves as leaders of the movement and established rival church organizations. Rigdon's group was initially headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was known at one point as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Children of Zion, and its adherents are referred to as Rigdonites, or sometimes "Pennsylvania Latter Day Saints" or "Pennsylvania Mormons." The only surviving organization that traces its succession back to Rigdon's organization is The Church of Jesus Christ, founded by a group of Rigdon's followers led by William Bickerton.
Brigham Young Jr. served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1899 until his death. His tenure was interrupted for one week in 1901 when Joseph F. Smith was the president of the Quorum.
John Willard Young was a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is one of the few individuals to have been an apostle of the LDS Church and a member of the First Presidency without ever having been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The First Presidency, also called the Quorum of the Presidency of the Church or simply the Presidency), is the presiding or governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is composed of the President of the Church and his counselors. The First Presidency currently consists of Russell M. Nelson and his two counselors: Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring.
Phineas Howe Young was a prominent early convert in the Latter Day Saint movement and was later a Mormon pioneer and a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Phineas Young was an older brother of Brigham Young, who was the president of the LDS Church and the first governor of the Territory of Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) is part of the Latter Day Saint movement. When Joseph Smith, the founder of the movement, died there was a dispute regarding who should lead the church as his successor. The Quorum of the Twelve, led by Brigham Young, argued that they should have the right to lead the church while one of the church leaders, Sidney Rigdon, argued that he should act as protector of the church until a permanent leader was chosen. Those who followed Rigdon formed the "Church of Christ" with its center being Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After an attempt to start a communitarian society, Church of Christ broke apart by 1847. William Bickerton associated himself for two years with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later left them behind refusing to accept some of their beliefs, including polygamy. In the 1850s Bickerton's preaching led to the formation of a new church in Eastern Pennsylvania. Over the following years Bickerton's church faced two schisms related to doctrinal issues. Its current official name, The Church of Jesus Christ, was adopted by 1941.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the President of the Church is the highest office of the church. It was the office held by Joseph Smith, the church's founder. The President of the LDS Church is the church's leader and the head of the First Presidency, the church's highest governing body. Latter-day Saints consider the president of the church to be a "prophet, seer, and revelator" and refer to him as "the Prophet," a title that was originally given to Smith. When the name of the president is used by adherents, it is usually prefaced by the title "President". Russell M. Nelson has been the president since January 14, 2018.
President of the Quorum of the Twelve is a leadership position that exists in some of the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement. In these churches, the President is the head of the Quorum of the Twelve.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and a topical guide to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Apostolic succession in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the process of transition to a new church president when the preceding one has died.