We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (Articles of Faith 1:5)
The fifth article of faith is the fifth of the thirteen Articles of Faith penned by Joseph Smith Jr. as a way to explain the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith wrote these thirteen statements of faith in a letter to a newspaper editor named Mr. Wentworth, who had inquired about the beliefs of the church. These Articles of Faith were later adopted as scripture in the book known as the Pearl of Great Price. Latter-day Saints still use these statements today to help clarify and share their faith.
Christ’s Early Church
When Jesus was on the earth, He chose His Twelve Apostles. After He had chosen them, He laid His hands on their heads and gave them the authority to act in His name. After His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ continued to choose His apostles and other servants. He did this by communicating with His servants through the Holy Ghost.
After the death of Judas Iscariot, the remaining apostles needed to choose a new member to take his place. Because Jesus no longer walked with them, they needed to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide them. They chose two candidates and then prayed about which one should be chosen as Judas’ replacement. The lot fell on a man named Matthias, who was then added as the 12th apostle.
Christ’s Church Today
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints follows the fifth article of faith in the same way that the ancient apostles did. Anyone who is called to any position in the church is called by someone who has been given authority. Jesus Christ, through His living prophet, has called twelve apostles, just as He did in His early church. The members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles choose the higher leadership of the church and these people then choose those underneath them in stewardship. In this way, there is a direct line of authority back to the Twelve Apostles and ultimately to Jesus Christ.
When someone is called to a new position in the church, a person in authority lays his hands on their head, consecrates them to the position, and blesses them. The LDS Church is organized like Christ’s early church and will continue to grow and thrive when members pass away.
More about “Called of God”
“Called of God” was written by Michael D. Young. The subject “Called of God” is important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you would like to know more about Mormons with no obligation, please click on the following links: