Moroni 2

Moroni 2:1 The words of Christ, which he spake unto his disciples

See 3 Nephi 18:36-38.

Jeffrey R. Holland

"What Moroni first recorded in the book carrying his own name were vignettes-a brief catalog, if you will-of things he felt needed to be recorded before he died and the Book of Mormon saga ended. These included the words of Christ to his twelve disciples when they were commissioned to bestow the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, the prayer by which priests and teachers were ordained, the sacramental prayers, and instructions as to how those who were baptized were to be received into the 'church of Christ' and numbered among the 'people of Christ.'" (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 332 - 333)

Moroni 2:2 after ye have done this ye shall have power

This instance of Christ conferring the priesthood is interesting because it is so similar to the current pattern: he gave them the Melchizedek Priesthood through the laying on of hands and commissioned them to give the gift of the Holy Ghost to the multitude. But what may be more interesting is how this ordinance differs from the current practice. The Savior instructed the twelve to pray to the Father before they would receive this power. What is the significance of this instruction?

The message seems to be that while the priesthood can be conferred by an ordinance, the power of the priesthood cannot be obtained without the exercise of faith. This is according to the ancient pattern, for the patriarchs received the priesthood through faith, Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God (Ether 12:10). Furthermore, we are reminded of the other Twelve, who had failed to cast out a certain devil because their faith was lacking. They were told, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting (Matt 17:21). Apparently, the fact that they had the priesthood was not enough. They needed to exercise more faith in order to use God's power. While we know that, The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness (DC 121:36), we need to remember that faith is one of the most important of these principles.

Moroni 2:2 for thus do mine apostles

The language of the Book of Mormon is careful to always refer to the twelve in the New World as disciples and not Apostles. However, it is apparent from this verse that the calling of these twelve was identical to that of the Old World Apostles. Furthermore, Joseph Smith referred to these twelve as Apostles in an 1842 letter (History of the Church, 4:538). Therefore, whether they are called "Apostles" or "disciples" is a semantic argument of little significance, for they were both disciples and Apostles.

Joseph Fielding Smith

"While in every instance the Nephite twelve are spoken of as disciples, the fact remains that they had been endowed with divine authority to be special witnesses for Christ among their own people. Therefore, they were virtually apostles to the Nephite race, although their jurisdiction was, as revealed to Nephi, eventually to be subject to the authority and jurisdiction of Peter and the twelve chosen in Palestine (see Mormon 3:18-19). According to the definition prevailing in the world an apostle is a witness for Christ, or one who evangelizes a certain nation or people. 'A zealous advocate of a doctrine or cause.' Therefore the Nephite twelve became apostles, as special witnesses, just as did Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times." (Answer to Gospel Questions, 1:122 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 510-11)