Anyway, because I'd rather not try to sort out my thoughts on our emotional turmoil this weekend, it's time for another Article of Faith! Number six (which also has a super fun melody):
"We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."
I guess the most important thing about this Article of Faith is that we don't believe the Latter-Day Saint Church is a new church founded in 1830. It's the same church that Christ had, only in the latter days (hence the name). As such, we want to organize the church the same way He did. So here's a brief definition of what each of those roles is.
Apostles (click the link for the official definition at the LDS website)
Special witnesses of Jesus Christ, called to lead the Church and preach the gospel to all the world.
Inspired men called to speak for the Lord. It makes sense to me that the Lord's church would be led by the Lord's prophets. All the stuff about, "But God doesn't talk to men anymore; He's done with that," doesn't make any sense to us, because why would He be done talking to us? If He talked to us before, it only makes sense that He would still talk to us now, as long as there's someone to listen. Also, it was pointed out in church today that people in the time of Noah and the time of Moses and all kinds of other times when the Bible had prophets were saying there aren't any prophets anymore. But obviously Noah and Moses were prophets, so the rest of the world doesn't have to believe in prophets for prophets to do their thing. Or the Lord's thing, rather.
These days, we call pastors in our church bishops. I don't know why the change in terminology, since I think we were using the word bishop before Joseph Smith wrote the Article of Faith that uses the word pastor, but maybe he used it interchangeably. I don't know, but either word refers to somebody who tends the flock, literally or metaphorically speaking. Each ward is led by a bishop.
Okay, to be honest I'm not sure if this refers to teachers as in people who teach, or teachers as in a certain office in the Aaronic Priesthood. I linked to the church website's explanation of the priesthood, because I figured all of you know what a teaching teacher is. Anyway, there are two priesthoods, the Aaronic and the Melchizedek, and each one has different offices that come with different responsibilities. Athena suggests that the other offices are included in the "so forth" at the end of the Article of Faith.
This is another one where the word we commonly use is different than the one in the article. The more common word (in the Church) is "patriarch." (Although, it's also true that, in the sense that "evangelist" can mean "missionary," we're big believers in that, too.) A patriarch is someone who is ordained to give special blessings to the members of the Church, called patriarchal blessings. These blessings contain special, very personalized information that members of the Church can use for guidance throughout their lives.
...And I think that covers it. And since it's probably the funnest of all the Article of Faith Primary songs, here's a link to the musical version.
Today I'm thankful for the great testimonies and lessons we heard at church today, getting to talk to the fun Italian lady from Mom's ward, the cute little bunny on our calendar reminding me of fun episodes of Psych, super fun Primary songs, and having a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon ahead of us.