Saturday, February 5, 2011

YouTube Mormon Messages: LDS Apostle David A. Bednar Explains The Role Of An Apostle

While Priesthood leaders are called and given keys to direct the Lord’s work in local quorums, whether they be presidents of deacons or elders quorums or stake presidents who preside. But only 15 men — the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve — hold keys authorizing them to direct all the Lord’s work on earth.

The Greg Jones blog calls attention to one of those select 15, Elder David A. Bednar, who represents a new generation of leaders now finding their way into the uppermost echelons of leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ordained an Apostle on October 7th, 2004 by then-President Gordon B. Hinckley, he is the youngest member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and 12th in seniority.

On November 18th, 2010, Elder Bednar gave an interview in which he attempted to explain the role of an Apostle. He summed it up, saying “We read in the Bible that the ancient Apostles held the keys of the kingdom. The role of an Apostle today is the same as it was anciently. An Apostle is a missionary, bearing testimony of the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ in all the world.” Watch the video of the interview embedded below:

Read the accompanying article published on the official LDS website.

Without the direction of the Savior, Elder Bednar explained that he would feel wholly inadequate in his calling as an Apostle, and he bore strong testimony of the Lord’s hand in His work on earth. He suggested that members can best help the work of the Lord move forward by being fully converted, living what they know, and putting the light of their example before the world.

Some people criticize the Book of Mormon because it contains so many passages similar to those in the Bible, particularly Isaiah. But Elder Bednar indirectly explains why that's a manifestation of the universality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “The basic principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are simple, and they are universal. Faith in the Savior is the same in Boston as it is in Accra,” noted Elder Bednar. And this has always been this way since mortals began populating the world -- the Gospel given to the ancient inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere is the same as that given to those in the Middle East.

While most LDS Church leaders are unpaid for their services, it's been reported that Apostles do receive a stipend or living allowance, although the Church does not officially disclose the amount. In October 1985, President Hinckley said that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and NOT from tithing funds. One person posted a comment to BCC providing a table of stipends based upon seniority in the Twelve, but I can find no verification. Being an Apostle is a full-time vocation requiring extensive travel, so the compensation is deserved.

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