Number six! Ready?
We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
The Primitive Church is referring to the church Jesus Christ organized when He was on the earth. We differ than some other Christian denominations in that we do believe Christ actually had a church, and not just a bunch of great ideas to follow. And what church did Christ bring to the earth? Well, naturally if it’s His church it should be called The Church of Jesus Christ.
Hence the name of the “Mormon” church. The term Mormon is not an official term. In fact it began as a derogatory term, but was eventually used by church members themselves because… well… it’s really not offensive in any way, and it’s a convenient way to refer to Latter-day Saints. So going back to the original thought, the actual name of the “Mormon” church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Same church, same title. The “of Latter-day Saints” addition is simply to emphasize the fact that it is His restored church in the last days.
Ephesians 4:11 gives us some information on the organization of Christ’s church.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Christ ordained twelve apostles, giving unto them His priesthood authority. Today, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with three others acting as a First Presidency with the current prophet Thomas S. Monson at the head. These three men essentially act in the same manner as Peter, James, and John, who were the first “First Presidency”.
I know that Jesus Christ’s church is built upon the foundation of prophets and apostles. If they were no longer needed, Christ would’ve said so. But He didn’t. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As the Great Jehovah He called prophets since the beginning of time. When He came to the earth to perform His mortal ministry He called them as a group of twelve. Why would He suddenly stop and not say a word? He didn’t and He will never do so. He is the same forever, and so His church is the same forever.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Jesus Christ’s church restored in these last days.