This post is in response to comments left by two website visitors in another post. And as stated by one visitor “there is nothing to support the early-Christ church myth of Mormonism or leadership keys of Roman-Catholic tradition. Jesus did not start a church. Paul was the greatest recorded of all the early evangelical fathers, and he started many churches, which of course are nothing more than the meeting of two or more followers of Christ. You would have a more difficult time supporting your claim”.
As stated by a another visitor in the comments of that post “And no prophet anywhere in the Bible had 12 apostles. Not 1. Moses didn’t have apostles. Jeremiah didn’t have apostles. Isaiah didn’t have apostles, or a quorum of 70. So why does your prophet have apostles? Your church leadership structure is not based on the leadership of early Christianity.”
While there may be “nothing to support the early-Christ church myth of Mormonism or leadership keys of Roman-Catholic tradition” in the Bible, depending on one’s perspective, there is nothing in the Bible that contradicts this idea. And of course for Mormons, we do not rely on the Bible alone to prove our beliefs, but we rely on modern-day prophets, other revealed scripture, the Holy Ghost, Christ, and God himself. We believe Christ did organize a Church. Not necessarily one that in his day built church buildings, in fact the Church while Christ was alive appears to have been quite rudimentary. But Christ set the foundations for what Mormons believe was a highly structured organization that came afterward.
The structure of apostles, seventies, etc. didn’t come about until Christ. But that was the structure after Christ organized the original Church, as alluded to in the Bible, and that is the structure that was restored by Christ in these latter days. I understand the contrary point of view, because the Bible only touches lightly on Church structure and organization. If one assumes the New Testament is a comprehensive account of everything that went on related to Christ and his apostles from roughly year 0 to 70 or so AD, then I can see how that person might get a very different picture of early Christianity as being more of a loose and unstructured organization with disparate bodies spread here and there. But the Bible is not comprehensive (imagine what would be left out if one tried to create a comprehensive history of the United States over the past 70 years within a few hundred pages), and touches only lightly on Church organization. Clarification on Church organization has come to modern-day prophets by revelation, directly from God and Christ. Nothing in the Bible contradicts the organization of the LDS Church. It is the LDS position that the LDS Church of today does indeed mirror in every substantive way the ancient Church of Christ.
We do not seek to prove these things by study of the Bible, but we do invite all people to study our religion, especially the Book of Mormon, and to pray about such things so that God might reveal to them if these things are true.