1 Nephi 11:34; “And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord.”
Mark 6:30; “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.”
The term apostle in the OT is virtually non-existent. You’ll notice how Joseph Smith used this word in 1st Nephi which supposedly took place in 600 BC.
Apostle is a Greek word meaning messenger, envoy or ambassador. It means one who is sent out to represent another. Scholars believe the rabbinic office of shaliac is the backdrop for the use of this word in the NT.
In OT times the office of a shaliac was established as a legal institution to ensure an appointed messenger was given the proper representation of the person he represented. In Jewish tradition it is said “A man’s agent (shaliach) is like to himself” – Mishnah Berakoth 5:5. Also see 1 Sam 25:40-41 and 2 Sam 10:1-9.
Furthermore, the office of a shaliac was a function for legal not religious purposes. Why does the Church use the term “legal administrator” when describing what is needed to speak for the Church, i.e. apostle, or when someone is baptized? Also, the legal representative in this office only served for a short amount of time and not committed to a lifelong servitude like NT apostles.
If the twelve apostles were chosen to represent the twelve tribes of Israel then which tribe does each LDS apostle represent? In the Mormon “Patriarchal Blessing” members are given special blessings or prayed over because of illness, etc. In these prayers members are also told from which tribe of Israel they’ve descended. The majority find out they’re from the tribe of Ephraim – but that’s another subject for another day…
If all or even most of the LDS apostles are from the tribe of Ephraim then how can they be true representations of the twelve tribes of Israel?
One last thing here –
The office of apostle was designated to those Jesus had chosen and were historical witnesses of the resurrected Jesus Christ. While the early church’s use of the word included preachers and other witnesses of the risen Lord it’s understood this term was used in that restrictive sense and not thereafter. We see just how exclusive it was in the absence of the term when Paul referred to Timothy and others as brothers, fellow workers or bond servants – Romans 16:3, Phil. 2:25, Col. 4:7-14 and 1 Thess 3:1.