The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are ordinary men in extraordinary callings with divinely mandated responsibilities. More specifically, “The fundamental responsibility of prophets, seers, and revelators, all of whom bear apostolic authority, is to bear certain testimony of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world. This basic call to be a special witness of His name has remained constant whenever Apostles have been on the earth.” (Elder Neuenschwander, “Living Prophets, Seers and Revelators,” Ensign Nov. 2000).
Paul testified in Ephesians about the role of those called by Jesus Christ as His special witnesses:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets … For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4: 11-14).
An example in our day of the unified, collective voices is found in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” From the first sentence, we know of its prophetic authority: “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim …”
Just as in Paul’s day, it shouldn’t surprise us to find that there will be some voices that work to undermine our prophets and apostles—and it will be done in very smooth and unique ways. But we have a choice. We can choose to “heed not.”
Instead, we can have faith in their authority—the authority of Jesus Christ. This is a beautiful, foundational part of being a member of the Christ’s church today, and always. And so we can confidently follow them, with faith and a conviction born of the Holy Ghost that they are indeed His apostles and prophets.