Subject: The 12 apostles are "Special Witnesses:" Does this mean they've seen Christ?
Date: Jan 03 01:17 2003
Author: deadseer

A note about the Mormon Church leadership hierarchy.  At the top is the First Presidency which consists of 3 men who are also Apostles.  The second level in the hierarchy is the 12 Apostles or the Quorom of the Twelve. The 3 members of the First Presidency are also Apostles so the total number of Apostles in Mormon leadership is 15.    This explains why you will read comments about 12 or 15 apostles in the thread below.

The Twelve Apostles constantly refer to themselves as "special witnesses" of Christ. Do they mean that they've SEEN Christ? It seems like that's what they're implying. For example, Bruce R McConkie said he knew Christ in life as much as he would know him in death.

Do any of you remember when the apostles would visit your mission and they would take questions? Some yahoo-missionary would always ask if they had seen Christ. Without exception, the visiting GA/Apostle would ALWAYS angrily respond by telling the missionary that he was asking the wrong sort of question, that he was worrying about 'the mysteries of the kingdom' instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ.........

Still, most of the members believe the apostles/prophet regularly see Christ: Is this a DOCTRINE-based belief or just mormon culture?

Subject: i heard jim faust say...
Date: Jan 03 02:14
Author: Patrick

... one time in general conference that he had a "sure knowledge" of Jesus Christ - which is quite a loaded statement.

BKKKP referred to the Holy of Holies as the place where the president of the church goes to "seek an interview with the Lord whose Church this is" (The Holy Temple).

Packer, in that same book I think (but I don't have a sure knowledge like Mr. Faust claims), talks about how people will ask him if he's seen Christ. He always dodges the question, saying that an experience like that is a very personal one that is not to be shared unless the Spirit prompts one to do so. Then they go on saying that it is the witness of the Holy Ghost that is the basis for their testimony, since it's all faith and not knowledge, anyway. Look at Laman and Lemuel, he says; they saw an angel and still did not follow the way of the Lord.

So, IMO, there are two possibilities:

1. Packer has seen Christ, and is being a pompous ass about it. The whole vibe I got reading that passage was one of holier-than-thou, which we all know is very rare in Mormonism.

2. Packer has not seen Christ, and is just covering up because he wants people to think he has.

You be the judge.

Subject: Steve Benson's Interviews show they've got nothing but warm fuzzy feelings
Date: Jan 03 03:02
Author: Sophia

Look at story Mormon115, I think it is.

I don't believe any of them have "seen Christ." The McConkie statement near the end of his life in which he said he wouldn't know Jesus any better when he met him was worded in such a way that it was clear he was saying he had NOT seen him.

What good is a "special witness" who won't bear witness? If Paul had thought his witness "too special" to repeat, Christianity would likely never have been anything but an anomolous, obscure Jewish sect.

Subject: exactly!!!
Date: Jan 03 03:05
Author: Patrick

If you're a special witness, bear it! Otherwise, what's the point of the calling?

Well said, Sophia.

My dad says he has a magazine or something that has a picture of the holy of holies in it. I need to try to get ahold of that. I've been just outside of it, in the SLC temple, but since I'm not the prophet I've never gotten to see what is on the other side of the door.

Subject: Holy of Holies & Pictures
Date: Jan 03 07:41
Author: Weeder

The only picture of the Holy of Holies (in SL Temple) is found in the first edition of James E. Talmadge's "House of the Lord". It was a picture taken around the turn of the century. Also, if you read the text of that book you will learn that what is just inside that door just off the celestial room is not the Holy of Holies proper, but just an outter chamber where there is found three steps (with golden handrailings) leading up to the real doors of the holy of holies. However, even peons in the church, such as myself, can get closer the holy of holies by approaching it from the hallway immediately behind the holy of holies (and the two sealing rooms), there you can actually see the stained glass window of the holy of holies. The holy of holies is also shaped like a big silo (phalic symbol -- how appropriate is that?), and the domed top sticks up into the upper floor forming a room appropriatly called the "dome room" (snicker, snicker). I've only been in the dome room on one of my own "self-guided" tours of the place (nope, I wasn't caught that time).

The room that I was always most currious about was the mystery room off to the side of the holy of holies, as you face the door to the ante chamber to the holy of holies from the celestial room on the left is the sealing room "for the living" and the sealing room on the right of the door is the sealing room "for the dead". If you've been in the back hallway you can tell that the two sealing rooms are MUCH more shallow than the holy of holies, indeed, behind the sealing room for the living is a little room where they shuffle the wedding parties for people getting married in that little sealing room for the living, you will notice that right out of that room there is a LITTLE door that goes directly into the holy of holies. I've presume this is the door the profit actually uses to go chat with the Lard instead of a grand entry from the celestial room. The mystery room is on the other side of the holy of holies from this wedding waiting area and behind the sealing room for the dead. There are no doors to this room so, the ONLY way into this room would have to be from the holy of holies itself. This room is not described at all by James E. Talmadge. It also has a window on the back side (like the holy of holies) but not with stained glass. It does have very heavy drapes on the inside so you can't look in.

That's all I know on this pretty unimportant topic. :-)

Subject: Re: Does 'sure knowledge" mean "I've seen Christ?"
Date: Jan 03 03:09
Author: deadseer

Why do the Apostles beat-around-the-bush about this? If Hinckley has seen God, if Packer has seen Christ, if Faust has seen Them, wouldn't they feel compelled to tell the world?

It's easy to say,"Joseph Smith saw God and Christ" --- it's entirely another thing to claim that you have personally seen Christ and to answer people's questions about it.

There is no question that the Apostles insinuate that they've seen Christ --- and there's no question that the members believe that the Prophet/Apostles have seen Christ --- is this taught as Doctrine, or is this another 'Culture-based belief' that will eventually fade-away?

Subject: They carefully choose their words as to not disappoint the believers n/t

Subject: My TBM hubby is always telling me.......
Date: Jan 04 08:35
Author: Tia

that even if you saw Christ, you would need the Holy Ghost to bear record that He was who He said he was. HUH?????? That has never made any sense to me. Where did this come from?

Also, I think the GAs/Apostles are speaking apples & oranges. When they speak of being special witnesses, their interpretation is that they are bearing testimony of Christ. However, the sheeple hear this: they walk & talk with Christ.

Subject: The real question is: If they have seen Christ are they willing to...
Date: Jan 03 02:40
Author: Cimimiquiztli

...admit that in the presence of a psychiatrist? True the Pope claims to have lunch with God, but he also commands a vast and ancient religious empire and governs his own independent country. The Hinkster would more likely be prescribed Thorazine! (And probably at the request of the other brethren!)

Subject: A bunch of con artists
Date: Jan 03 05:00
Author: Miranda

One thing I find unnerving is that these apostles/prophets must get some kind of training on what questions to answer. When they're initiated into the top 13 are they given instructions on how to dodge questions pertaining to having seen Christ? That's pretty sick. What a group of liars and con artists!

Subject: This is what I am trying to nail down
Date: Jan 03 07:11
Author: deadseer

The case is frequently made here at that most leaders of the church are as clueless as the members, and that they aren't outright frauds or con-artists who intentionally set-out to deceive everyone --- I'm not saying I personally agree with this argument, I'm just saying it's a case a lot of posters here have made.

HOWEVER, the 15 Apostles, including the Prophet and his counselors, set themselves up as "Special Witnesses" of Christ and insinuate that they have seen Him and speak with Him on a regular basis in the Salt Lake Temple. At least, this is what the members of the church believe --- and the apostles ALLOW them to believe it, in fact, they ENCOURAGE it with their frequent 'cryptic' references to their special status as 'witnesses of Christ."

While many have argued that the highest leaders of the church are not knowingly deceitful, I think a strong case can be made that when these 15 men hold themselves up as "special witnesses of Christ" they are knowingly deceiving the membership of the church, and they know in their hearts that they are frauds and con-artists.

Subject: This is the claim that I was taught growing up in the Church...
Date: Jan 03 09:09
Author: Flew the Coop

I was taught by my parents and religious instructors at BYU that each apostle would meet Christ in the flesh to be a special witness for the rest of us. One of my first major red flags that popped up was seeing the response of Boyd Packer when a little girl once asked him "What was Christ like ?", in very innocent and admiring tone. He brushed her off rudely, saying it was an inappropriate question and that his relationship was Christ was very personal and not one to shared unless he wanted to. Thank you BKP ! That was the beginning of the end of my admiration for the High Priesthood of Mormonism and subsequently, after much study and reflection, organized religion in general.

Subject: I think it means they get paid.
Date: Jan 03 09:28
Author: Baz

Or at least lucrative Deseret Book publishing contracts...

The royalties those clowns make must be insane...

Subject: I used to think so, but not anymore .....
Date: Jan 03 09:31
Author: Reader

based on two interviews given by Maxwell and GBH, respectively. Maxwell was interviewed on PBS (can't remember the show, but it was about all kinds of religions). He was asked how he and other GA's receive revelation for the Church. He explained that it was the "still, small voice." No visitation. No more than what a regular "non-special witness" member would expect to receive. Then, GBH was interviewed on an Australian show, and basically says he receives no revelation because we have plenty already. He then went on to say he too gets the warm fuzzies that he interprets as revelation. And I note you never hear any GA say he's seen Christ -- the excuse used is that "it's just too sacred to talk about", but it seems to me that as a "special witness" it would BE their job to talk about it, just like the prophets in the BofM talked about it.

Subject: Oaks and Maxwell. . .
Date: Jan 03 10:15
Author: mary ann

Nope, they haven't seen Christ.

Based on their examples of their "special witness", I could be an apostle, or anyone who bears their testimony in F&T meeting cound be an apostate, er apostle.

(Although, I think now that very small children in Jr. Primary are no longer eligible to be a special witness).

Subject: see His face and know that He is
Date: Jan 03 10:38
Author: SLDrone

I have on a number of occasions had apostles bear their testimonies to me personally and privately. I've never had any apostle tell me they've seen Christ. (so they are not completely delusional) I did have one tell me once, "I know Christ is at the head of this Church for we see his hand in it's workings, we hear his voice." I had the gall later on to ask him if he actually heard the voice of Christ or if he was speaking metaphorically. He smiled and said, "those who have ears to hear will understand". My immediate impression was that he wouldn't answer the question not because it was too spiritual, but because the answer was too disappointing. Why answer the question and disappoint, when a wise and knowing smile and a cryptic implication will do.

Boyd K. Packer has on several occasions implied that he has seen Christ, but he has never actually said it. He reminds me of me when I had little kids, implying to them that I had seen or spoke to Santa, or that I thought I heard some bells on the roof or a bright red light flying by the moon, "must have been Rudolph, I would say rubbing my eyes, "I just don't know what else it could have been". Packer treats the members of the Church like little Children and Christmas with his implications and innuendo.

Subject: Read Michael Quinn's 2nd vol. Hierarchy book--it's all explained there ...
Date: Jan 03 10:40
Author: Laughing Boy

The apostles had a duty to seek a vision of Christ and be his special witness and bear that witness. Over time, when so many of them failed to get a vision (Orson Pratt always worried about not getting a vision), the emphasis was on bearing a sure/special witness as if they had seen him, with the attendant doctrine that the still small voice is better evidence than a vision which could be hallucinatory anyway (note a bit of irony there?).

So, although many of the early apostles claimed to have seen visions and gave witnesses of it, nowadays they say everything except "yeah, I've seen him" and get defensive if you call them on it.

Subject: Add my 'special witness' to your post
Date: Jan 03 10:53
Author: deadseer

I too recall (thanks to your post) reading that several early apostles taught that a witness from the spirit was the most sure witness a person could receive that Christ 'lived.' In fact, I believe they went as far as to say that even if you met Christ, you would STILL need a witness from the Holy Ghost to 'KNOW' that he was the Redeemer and Lord of Lords. I know that Maxwell has said as much sometime in the last decade.

Thanks for your post .... these and other posts are helping me put together a clearer picture --- The 15 Apostles definately IMPLY that they have seen Christ and they let the members continue to think as much --- this is a very clear example of fraud among the highest ranks of leadership in the church.

Subject: asked Pres. McKay
Date: Jan 03 10:55
Author: DanL

My mission president was David "L" McKay, oldest son of David O. I asked him once if his dad had ever seen Christ and he replied, "no", but he said he had "heard his voice". I was surprised a prophet hadn't seen Christ, I thought it was common. Now I don't know what voice he was hearing...

Subject: FAIR's response to "Do Apostles see Christ?"
Date: Jan 03 11:39
Author: deadseer

Here is FAIR's response, by Cooper Johnson: "I believe that all apostles have some kind of special and unique spiritual experience that qualifies them to receive the title of "special witness" and "apostle." I must say however, such is merely my speculation. I do not present it as the official Church teaching...the apostles exercise great care in proclaiming these experiences.......When one considers that these must be held as most sacred as pearls of their testimonies. We are all familiar with the command from the Master not to cast our pearls before the swine. So, it is no surprise to me that modern day apostles do not shout from the rooftops or speak to reporters or even in General Conferences about such experiences. Of course, this doesn't mean that they don't share them at all. They simply choose to do so in a more private setting, in regional or stake conferences or in other more private situations."

My first question is: Is FAIR admitting that the members of the church are SWINE with whom the Apostles are loathe to share their 'precious pearls?'

My second question is: Didn't James Talmage claim to have seen Christ in the SL Temple while writing 'Jesus the Christ?" Can anyone here tell me more about this claim?

Subject: "Don't cast your pearls before the swine" That explains it. To the GAs, members are swine. n/t

Subject: I once heard a GA quoted as saying
Date: Jan 03 12:06
Author: Roxie

"Those who know don't say.
Those who say don't know."

But maybe that was just a couplet.

Subject: I think you mis-heard
Date: Jan 03 12:08
Author: Frank

Aren't the Mormon Twelve Apostles sustained as special wit-lesses meaning that they "see no evil" "hear no evil" "speak no evil" and even "think no evil" when it comes to challenges to the veracity of Mormon teachings and doctrine?


Subject: LDS Bible Dictionary Definition
Date: Jan 03 13:14
Author: xyxy

"The calling of an apostle is to be a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world, particularly of his divinity and his BODILY RESURRECTION from the dead."

This is what most TBM's believe and certainly the young skulls full of mush we call missionaries.

So the myth is perpetuated without the "special witnesses" being held accountable for such a claim. It's what I call "Implied Revelation" and it works for many of the cult.

Subject: Do they ever admit to each other they haven't seen Him?
Date: Jan 03 22:59
Author: wheatthins

This is a very interesting topic. Thanks for the posts.
I wonder how it works on the inside when they do talk to each other about their "special witness". Would one apostle ever admit in confidence to another that he has not seen Jesus? And how would such an admission be received? I imagine that each apostle has NOT seen Jesus, yet he assumes that all the other apostles have seen Jesus, so he keeps his references to his own "special witness" very vague. It's a funny situation...Maybe each apostle is nervously sitting there thinking that he's the only one that hasn't seen Jesus, too afraid to talk to the other apostles about it.

Subject: Imagine the twelve as high school boy virgins talking sex
Date: Jan 04 00:57
Author: cricket

and you have nailed down what goes on with the twelve apostles and seeing Jesus.

High school boy virgins talk about sex a lot, brag about their conquests, act superior to others and talk the talk and walk the walk acting like studs. But they are just stud wannabees.

The apostles do the same with Jesus sightings...all show and no go. (grin)

Subject: It is all BS
Date: Jan 04 04:50
Author: dant

It is quite simple. If any of them, even one, had seen Christ they are compelled to share it. They are conspicuous by their silence.

Watch the way GBH dodges any questions about revelation, being the prophet and heavenly visitations - enough said. He has a chance with his beloved mediums of mass communication to set the record straight and inform millions upon millions of people that there is a Christ and he has seen and conversed with him, yet he refuses to do so.
How much more effective would this be than the missionary program? Methinks he is afraid of how many would then consider the morg as a really, really strange cult if he were to make such a bold declaration.

Conclusion: he either hasn't seen Christ or is too embarrassed to admit having seen Christ. Either way, he loses.


  Michael Quinn's "Mormon Hierarchy [Vol 2]: Extensions of Power",
especially in Chapter 1, documents the change from the early days of
Mormonism, when all apostles were expected to have had a personal
manisfestation of Christ, to the early 20th century, when the new apostles
were merely instructed to bear witness "as if" they had seen Christ

  Quinn says (p. 3-4):  "By the time he became church president [in 1918],
Heber J. Grant had overcome the guilt he had felt as an apostle for not
having had a vision.  'I have never prayed to see the Savoior,' he told a
tabernacle meeting in 1942.  'I have seen so many men fall because of some
great manifestations to them.' He came to deny knowledge of such experiences
for his colleagues:  'I know of no instance where the Lord has appeared to
an individual since His appearance to the prophet Joseph Smith.'  In fact,
rather than qualifying a man as a special witness and apostle, visions made
one vulnerable to apostasy in Grant's view."

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