Thirteen marble statues depicting Christ and His Twelve Apostles, in the Visitor’s Center of the Rome, Italy Temple. These are replicas of statues by Bertel Thorvaldsen in the Copenhagen Cathedral
The Greek word apostelló (ἀποστέλλω) comes from two roots: apo (ἀπό), which means “from,” and stelló (στέλλω), which means “send.” The compound word “send from,” places an emphasis not only on the one being sent but also on the one doing the sending. Jesus chose twelve disciples whom he “sent forth” (apesteilen). (See Matthew 10:5.) They were therefore known as apostles (apostolos), people sent from Him. (See Matthew 10:2.)
Jesus gave His apostles specific instructions:
- Preach the gospel (Matthew 10:7, Luke 9:2).
- Heal the sick (Matthew 10:8, Luke 9:1-2).
- Travel lightly, and let believers support you (Matthew 10:9-10, Luke 9:3).
- When people won’t receive you, let it go, and move on (Matthew 10:14, Luke 9:5).
- Don’t be surprised if you’re persecuted (Matthew 10:16-31).
Ultimately, the way we receive the apostles is a reflection on the way we would have received Jesus. “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew 5:40).
He told them to be harmless but wise, echoing Mormon’s description of the missionary Ammon. (See Matthew 10:16, Alma 18:22.) Why? Because not everyone around them would be trustworthy. Here is a blog post about sharing the gospel sincerely and astutely: What Does It Mean to Be “Caught with Guile?”
The twelve apostles play an important role in the Book of Mormon. Before Lehi and his family leave Jerusalem, he sees in a vision “One descending out of the midst of heaven” shining brighter than “the sun at noon-day. And he also saw twelve others following him” (1 Nephi 1:9-10). In Nephi’s vision of the tree of life, he sees the apostles being persecuted as they preach the gospel (1 Nephi 11:34-36). He sees their writings being published around the world (1 Nephi 13:24-26, 39-41, 1 Nephi 14:18-25). And he learns that they will judge us. They will even judge the twelve disciples Jesus would choose on the American continent. (See 1 Nephi 12:9-10.) Here is a blog post about the apostles as judges: Will We Be Judged by the Apostles?
“Thy faith hath made thee whole.”
We are healed and saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. Faith enables us to receive that power, and we demonstrate that faith through action. Enos prayed all day and into the night before hearing God’s affirmation that his sins were forgiven. When he asked how it was done, God responded, “Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen….. Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole” (Enos 1:8).
Jesus gave the same explanation to the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of His robe and was healed. (See Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Luke 8:48.) Sister Anne C. Pingree wondered “what might have happened if this woman…had not believed in the Savior enough to make whatever effort was necessary to touch the border of His robe.” She added, “In like manner, we must demonstrate that faith in the Lord has penetrated our hearts deeply enough to move us to action” (“To Look, Reach, and Come unto Christ,” General Conference, October 2006).
Here’s a blog post on that topic: Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole – Enos 1:5-8.
“Be not afraid, only believe.”
Friends of Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue who had asked Jesus to heal his daughter, told him it was too late: “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” But Jesus responded with a quiet message of encouragement to Jairus: “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:35-36).
The apostle Paul said that a person who has charity “believeth all things,” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Mormon made the same declaration in a sermon on faith, hope, and charity. (See Moroni 7:45.) And a version of this phrase is included in one of our articles of faith (Articles of Faith 1:13). To believe all things doesn’t mean to be naive or gullible. It means to focus on things that are true and good, and to look to the future with hope.
Here’s a blog post on the topic: We Believe All Things.
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