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PAULA - Have/Do the apostles see or visit with Christ as part of their Apostolic mission?
I have been researching personal revelation and came across a Bruce R. McConkie New Era article from June 1980. In it he states: "Now I say that we are entitled to revelation. I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost; he is entitled to entertain angels; he is entitled to view the visions of eternity; and if we would like to go the full measure, he is entitled to see God the same way that any prophet in literal and actual reality has seen the face of Deity."
On Sunday in Chapter 3 of Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - George Albert Smith, on page 22, President Smith states "... I have not seen him face to face, but have enjoyed the companionship of the Holy Ghost ..." He was 44 and been an apostle for 11 years. He may have met Christ (I hope he did) later in his life in either his apostolic or prophet role. If an apostle for 11 years has not seen Christ, how can we (I) as a natural man ever hope to accomplish what Bruce R. McConkie states is our entitlement?
JOEL - First of all it is of course not necessary for anyone to see Christ to know that He lives and to know of the truthfulnes of the gospel. Our eyes and minds can deceive us, but the witness of the Holy Ghost is an undeniable proof of the truthfulness of all things. That is what all should hope and strive for.
Some who have had their calling and election made sure have had the witness of the second comforter, which involves the actual appearance of the Savior to them. Some latter-day prophets have related such experiences of actual visitations of the Lord.
President George Q. Cannon related:
“I know that God lives. I know that Jesus lives; for I have seen Him. I know that this is the Church of God, and that it is founded on Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. I testify to you of these things as one who knows—as one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ that can bear witness to you today in the presence of the Lord that He lives and that He will live, and will come to reign on the earth, to sway an undisputed sceptre.” (Delivered in the October 1896 General Conference and reported in The Deseret Weekly, October 31, 1896, vol. 53, p. 610.)
And one about Lorenzo Snow:
"President Snow put on his holy temple robes, repaired again to the same sacred altar, offered up the signs of the Priesthood and poured out his heart to the Lord. He reminded the Lord how he plead for President Woodruff’s life to be spared, that President Woodruff’s days would be lengthened beyond his own; that he might never be called upon to bear the heavy burdens and responsibilities of the Church. “Nevertheless,” he said, “Thy will be done. I have not sought this responsibility but if it be Thy will, I now present myself before Thee for Thy guidance and instruction. I ask that Thou show me what Thou wouldst have me do.”
After finishing his prayer he expected a reply, some special manifestation from the Lord. So he waited,—and waited—and waited. There was no reply, no voice, no visitation, no manifestation. He left the altar and the room in great disappointment. Passing through the Celestial room and out into the large corridor a glorious manifestation was given President Snow which I relate in the words of his grand-daughter, Allie Young Pond, now the wife of Elder Noah S. Pond, recently president of the Northern States Mission:
“One evening while I was visiting grandpa Snow in his room in the Salt Lake Temple, I remained until the door keepers had gone and the night-watchmen had not yet come in, so grand-pa said he would take me to the main front entrance and let me out that way. He got his bunch of keys from his dresser. After we left his room and while we were still in the large corridor leading into the celestial room, I was walking several steps ahead of grand-pa when he stopped me and said: ‘Wait a moment, Allie, I want to tell you something. It was right here that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me at the time of the death of President Woodruff. He instructed me to go right ahead and reorganize the First Presidency of the Church at once and not wait as had been done after the death of the previous presidents, and that I was to succeed President Woodruff.’“Then grand-pa came a step nearer and held out his left hand and said: ‘He stood right here, about three feet above the floor. It looked as though He stood on a plate of solid gold.’
“Grand-pa told me what a glorious personage the Savior is and described His hands, feet, countenance and beautiful white robes, all of which were of such a glory of whiteness and brightness that he could hardly gaze upon Him. “Then he came another step nearer and put his right hand on my head and said: ‘Now, grand-daughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grand-father, that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior, here in the Temple, and talked with Him face to face.’” (Improvement Era, September 1933, under the title “An Experience of My Father’s” By LeRoi C. Snow:)
Each Apostle has had some convincing moment of communication, visitation, vision, or revelation from Christ in a way that they cannot deny nor doubt His existance nor their calling to be His witness. Perhaps some have actually seen the Savior; most probably have not. But as your quotes suggested this is not just limited to the Apostles; it can happen to anyone according to their faith and righteousness and the will of God. We don't hear much about such things happening because it might be considered too sacred to share with just anyone. Seek first to receive that undeniable witness from the Holy Ghost and afterwards such things might follow to bear further witness.