Judas Thomas was an apostle, sorely mistaken, due to our failure to understand the words of Christ. Failure to develop familiarity with the words of Christ creates ignorance in men, exposing them to being led astray. Those familiar with the words of Christ may lay hold upon all gifts of God, and their hearts will not fail them. Those who don’t will suffer from heart failure, and will be led into bondage and captivity. Joseph Smith taught that all was created by word alone. The right words literally have the power to escape bondage and captivity. Words of power are being offered. Either you receive or reject them.
The term “doubting Thomas” came from the New Testament, after Christ resurrected. The apostle Judas Thomas (also called Didymus) was thought to be doubting because the record states that he had to see the risen Christ for himself. This was considered by the compilers of the Bible as an example of lacking faith. Thomas knew that he could have a personal witness of the resurrected Christ, and he expected it. His great faith was reduced in false traditions as being unbelieving.
The name Thomas, and the name Didymus both mean “twin.” Records indicate that he was named twin because of his likeness to Christ (Christ’s twin). After Christ had ascended once again, the apostles went different ways to teach the gospel. Each apostle had their own emphasis. Peter emphasized protecting the doctrine and he established a structure of offices to be responsible to keep the doctrine pure. However, John emphasized having a personal relationship with Christ as the only means of being protected from the problems of the end times (referred to in the Book of Revelations). While other apostles had their own twist on the way they taught the gospel of Christ, Thomas’ emphasis was very reflective of John the Beloved’s. Thomas focused on teaching people that a personal relationship with Christ was the only defense in this world. Thomas’ emphasis was to drive home a personal visitation from the resurrected savior, just as he knew he could have when he heard that Christ was not found in the tomb. Thomas was not doubting, instead he was believing!
The common problem we still face in our day is the removal of Christ from our salvation. Apostates will try to convince men that Christ simply is an overseer of the at-one-ment process now, that his part was done in the meridian of time, that he is not directly involved now, but he now works through his servants the prophets. Finally, they’ll teach that the law is what saves and it is not necessary to connect to the heavens, because we have one who does so for you. When we remove Christ from his role in an individual redemption (at-one-ment), we look beyond the mark. The mark is Christ.
Those who know the words of Christ will ignore such ignorance and continue to seek their individual redemption, through a personal witness of Christ, just like Judas Thomas. Apostates fail to read the scriptures that teach us that the keeper of the gate is no one else, but the the Holy One of Israel, and that he hireth no servant there (2 Nephi 9:41). The scriptures teach it plainly. They teach that he will visit you in the flesh (2 Nephi 32:6, Ether 3:13-15, D&C 93:1, etc.). They teach that the Father and the son will make their abode with you (John 14).
The problem with the ancient and modern saints is our failure to know the words of Christ. They and we have depended on others as representatives. We have set up our own kings, and have made them responsible for our salvation. In so doing we have become the doubting Thomas’ who don’t believe in a personal witness of the resurrected Christ.