Questions and Answers about the Organization of the Church


Why is the Church named after Jesus?

Jesus said it is named after Him because it is His Church (see 3 Nephi 27:8). He organized it to help us return to Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.

What does “latter-day” mean?

Jesus said, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (D&C 115:4). “Latter-day” means the last days, the time we live in right now.

What does “Saints” mean?

“Saints” means members of Christ’s Church. The scriptures tell about Saints in many time periods.

Old Testament times: Deuteronomy 33:3; Psalm 30:4

New Testament times: 1 Corinthians 1:2

Book of Mormon times: 1 Nephi 14:14; Moroni 8:26

Joseph Smith’s time: Doctrine and Covenants 57:1; 84:2

Today, members of the Church are also called Saints.

How did Jesus Christ organize His Church?

Jesus organized His Church when He lived on earth, when He visited the American continent, and when He restored it through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Each time He chose Twelve Apostles or disciples to help Him build the kingdom of God on earth by teaching the gospel (see Mark 16:14–15; 3 Nephi 12:1).

Jesus also calls a prophet to lead the Church. The President of the Church is the prophet. Jesus called Joseph Smith as the first prophet in the latter days. Thomas S. Monson is the 16th President of the Church. The prophet is the only person who can receive revelation for the entire Church.

Latter-day Prophets

Prophet Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, first President of the Church

President Thomas S. Monson

Thomas S. Monson, 16th President of the Church

How do our Church leaders help Jesus?

All of the Church leaders help Jesus by serving other members of the Church.

The prophet directs the Twelve Apostles.

The Apostles direct the Quorums of the Seventy.

The Quorums of the Seventy help the Apostles teach stake and district presidents.

Stake and district presidents help bishops and branch presidents.

In wards and branches, bishops and branch presidents direct Relief Society presidents, Young Men and Young Women presidents, Primary presidents, Sunday School presidents, home and visiting teachers, and other leaders.

Leaders and teachers in wards and branches serve all of us.

How can you help Jesus?

You help Jesus when you keep His commandments. You help Him by following the prophet. You help Him when you learn about Him by attending church and reading the scriptures. You help Him when you choose the right. By doing these things, you are preparing to be a future leader in His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Twelve Apostles in New Testament times

Twelve disciples in Book of Mormon times

Behold My Hands and Feet, by Harry Anderson; Christ Ordaining the Apostles, by Harry Anderson; Three Nephites, by Gary L. Kapp; photo illustration by Welden C. Andersen; detail of Joseph Smith Jr., courtesy of Community of Christ Archives, Independence, Missouri; photograph of President Monson by David Newman