A Mormon friend appealed to Ephesians 4:11 as the supposed basis for modern LDS Church structure. I asked him to camp out on the passage with me instead of quickly moving on to another. There is a little-known, very awkward LDS Church interpretation of “evangelists” in Ephesians 4:11 that not even many Mormons know about:
Consider the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on). It means “gospel.” Now consider εὐαγγελιστής (yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace).
Not knowing Greek, which do you think is the more likely accurate translation of the second word?
1. Someone who shares/communicates/brings the good tidings, the good news.
2. Someone who gives patriarchal blessings.
Mormonism chooses #2.
To top that off, the 2009 edition of the LDS manual “Gospel Principles” took out this line:
“All of the offices and functions of the Church in the days of Jesus are present in the Church today.”
Why? Among other things, because there were no plans to have a successor to Eldred G. Smith. He died on April 4, 2013, and the May 2013 Liahona LDS magazine described him as “the last person to hold the position.” Which position? “Patriarch to the Church.”
This is important because 1) It shows how awful and unnatural the “official” interpretation of “evangelists” is that Mormons are stuck with and 2) It calls into question basic modern Mormon claims about itself.
One is better off taking the natural interpretation (evangelists are those who evangelize — they announce the good news) and adopting a Jesus-centered Christianity with Jesus as prophet, priest, and king.
Please do read that last link. It is wonderful.