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LEHI - Why there are no apostles before Jesus Christ?
I've heard that it's because the gospel was only supposed to go to the whole world after the coming of Jesus. Then the need of apostles and seventies, etc. Is that true or just speculation?
First of all, one reason why there were no Apostles before Jesus is because it was Jesus Himself who first came up with the position and title called "Apostle".
"And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;" (Luke 6: 13)
He had to be here in person to do that.
The word "Apostle" derives from the verb "apostello", meaning “to send forth.” This matches with the function of the Twelve whom Jesus sent forth to preach and bear their witness of Him. An Apostle needs to be sent forth by someone and that someone was Jesus which He could not do until He came to earth.
Finally, the primary mission of an Apostle is to be a special witnesses of Jesus Christ.
"The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling." (D&C 107: 23 See also Acts 4: 33, Acts 10: 39-43)
This couldn't happen until Jesus came to earth in the flesh and started his ministry and until we had His gospel through the New Testament (and Book of Mormon).
People lived the Law of Moses before Jesus came and that was good enough at the time. Then Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses(Matt 5:17) and introduce His gospel. That was the plan from the beginning.
Actually the Gospel wasn't supposed to go to the whole world at first. When Jesus “sent out” the Apostles on their first mission, He specifically restricted them to Israel, restraining them from preaching to Gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5)
After His resurrection He expanded their mission to go to all the world (Mark 16: 15)