Everything made simple:
Jesus had special people to run his church.
They were called apostles.
But the apostles were killed.
The church drifted into apostasy.
The world entered the Dark Ages
Angels restored true apostles in 1830
In 1830 the world changed.
The deaths of the early apostles
(Notes and sources)
Crucified in Rome by Nero's orders, after preaching in Judaea, in AD 66 (or 58 or 68). He asked to be crucified head downwards, on an "X" shaped cross, because he did not feel worthy to die the same way that Jesus died.
James son of Zebedee
Beheaded in Jerusalem by Herod's orders (Acts 12:2), after preaching in Judaea, AD 44 (or 36). "The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian." -Jeffrey)
Not heard of after the first century. Preached in Ephesus and Asia Minor. According to one legend, during one of the Roman persecutions (before being exiled to Patmos), he survived being thrown into a vat of boiling oil. Most Christians assume that he later died as an old man, but there is no evidence for this. (See also Doctrine and Covenants section 7)
Andrew brother of Peter
Crucified on an X shaped cross in Patras, Greece (or Edessa or Achaia). "After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: "I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it." He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired." - Jeffrey. (Or burned to death in the same place - possibly refers to his body being burned after crucifixion). AD 74. Preached in Scythia, Greece and Asia Minor.
Scourged, stoned by the Jews, thrown into prison, then crucified. At Heliopolis, Phrygia (Turkey) in AD 52 or 54.Preached in Phrygia, Asia Minor, Caesarea and Samaria.
Dragged, flayed alive with a knife, crucified, then beheaded, AD 52 at Albanopolis in Armenia. OR skinned alive in India. Preached in southern Arabia and possible Armenia and Asia Minor.
Matthew (Levi), son of Alphaeus
Often confused with Matthias (hence multiple possible deaths). Beaten and crucified by idolaters in India, OR slain with a battle axe in India, OR run through with a halberd (a spear-axe) or a sword at Nadabah, Ethiopia, AD 60, OR beheaded in Asia.
Thrust through with a lance by pagan priests in Calamina (or Corehandal), East India, AD 52. OR shot through with arrows while in prayer. Preached in Parthia, India and Persia.
James ("the less"), son of Alphaeus
Beaten and stoned by the Jews, his brains were dashed out by a fuller's club in AD 60. (OR crucified in Egypt). Preached in Palestine and Egypt. He was the brother of Jude and cousin of Jesus.
Crucified in Edessa, AD 72 (or 72-76). OR shot with arrows in Edessa (AD 76), OR crucified in Egypt, OR martyred in Persia. Preached in Assyria, Persia, Syria and Edessa.
Simon Zealots ("the Canaanite")
Crucified in Britain in AD 74. OR martyred in Ethiopia OR sawed in pieces in Mesopotamia
Suicide by hanging, Jerusalem, AD 34 (Matthew 23:5, Acts 1:18).
Matthias (see Acts chapter 1)
Stoned, then beheaded, in Ethiopia, AD 70, or thrust through with a spear.
Beheaded in Rome by Nero's orders. AD 66. For where he preached, see the maps in most Bibles.
|Myths about apostolic authority:
James "the just" (the brother of Christ)
Cast over a hundred feet from the temple's pinnacle (the same that Jesus was tempted from), yet survived. Stoned and clubbed to death by the Scribes and Pharisees in Jerusalem. AD 60(?)
|Note: some of these may not have been apostles. The Bible, as in many things, is not clear on this point.|
Stoned to death in Salonica (or Salacan), AD 73. (OR shot with arrows). Preached in Italy and Cyprus.
Dragged to pieces in the streets of Alexandria, AD 74. Then burned to death.
Hanged on an olive tree by the idolatrous priests of Greece, AD 73.
Beaten to death with clubs, AD 73
Executed with a halberd (spear/battle axe) in Persia. Jude "the brother of Christ" was killed by arrows.
Stoned to death (Acts 7:55-56) - the first martyr of that dispensation.
Notes and sources:
Often there is more than one legend for how they each apostle met his death. By the end of the first century, the apostles were spread so far apart that they could not meet to ordain new apostles. The apostles must have escaped death so many times that by the time they DID die there were many competing stories. The church was in a bad way, so was not able to keep great records. Either way, no-one disagrees that the apostles were killed, so the details are largely irrelevant. I have not checked beyond the sources quoted.
"Day of Defense", "Especially for Mormons", "Missionary Pal", an old Church News and even older Millennial Star, the Ensign 8/88 p.20, the Catholic site at http://www.catholic.org/saints/saints/apostles.html, and Grant Jeffrey's book at http://www.direct.ca/trinity/disciples.html. These sources are not authoritative, but as noted there is some disagreement in the original sources anyway. The important fact is that within a hundred years of Jesus' ministry, his church was without leadership. It is true that the people had the Holy Spirit, but even the gifts of the Spirit died out by the fourth century.
The promised restoration
Before the apostles died, they foretold a restoration of the truth in the last days. These prophecies have been fulfilled. Jesus Christ himself has called new apostles to lead his church. Who are the modern apostles, men who can trace their commission to Jesus Christ himself? For a list and brief biographies, visit http://www.mormons.org, click on "search" and type in "apostles."
We should not be surprised to see that the early church fell into apostasy. This was not the first time the world had fallen into apostasy. It had happened before, in the days before Noah, before Abraham, before Moses, and before Christ. Each time, the Lord waited until the time was right to restore his church once more from heaven. Now, as these same ancient apostles foretold, the priesthood has been restored.