Council of Twelve Apostles (Community of Christ)

In the Community of Christ, the Council of Twelve Apostles is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy. They are disciples who hold the priesthood office of apostle, and are responsible for the evangelistic witness of the church. Apostles are also high priests in the Melchizedek priesthood of the church.

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Calling

As with all priesthood in the Community of Christ, members of the Council of Twelve are considered to be "called by God." The Prophet-President "receives" the call, and after consultation with the other two members of the First Presidency, "presents" the call to the candidate. If the candidate accepts, the candidates name is presented to the World Conference and the call is sustained by majority vote. New apostles are ordained in a special worship service held during the World Conference. Prior to the Presidency of W. Grant McMurray, the call of apostles and other members of presiding quorums of the church were named in an "inspired document" that was added to the scriptures of the church in the Doctrine and Covenants. McMurray and others believed that the lengthy passages related to priesthood calls reduced the readability of the Doctrine and Covenants. Since that time, these priesthood calls have been presented in a separate document that is not included in the Doctrine and Covenants. Most appointee ministers live in the Independence, Missouri, area, however, the current trend is to base apostles in the field. Each apostle has an office in the Independence Temple and they share administrative staff.

Responsibilities

Individual apostles may be assigned to various responsibilities of church leadership, including field administration. Together with the First Presidency and the Presiding Bishopric, this council is a part of the "World Church Leadership Council." Each of the apostles is called to serve as a "special witness of the gospel", and each is appointed by the First Presidency to oversee one or more of the church's mission fields. In recent years, some members of the Council are also given responsibility for certain areas of program ministry. If for any reason the First Presidency is dissolved or otherwise unable to preside over the World Conference, the Council of Twelve Apostles presides over the conference until such time as the First Presidency resumes functioning or is reorganized. Assigned by the First Presidency, they carry major responsibility for church expansion, and serve as administrative supervisors... ...read more

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