Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 5


Patriarchal Priesthood Administers New and Everlasting Covenant
(This post was originally titled Patriarchal Priesthood)

I recently had a comment by someone who disagrees with the proposition that the priesthood that was restored by Peter James and John was what Joseph Smith and the scriptures refer to as patriarchal priesthood or that it is a priesthood based on lineage in the sense that the Aaronic priesthood is based on lineage.

Here is his comment;

I fail to see any evidence… that Peter, James, and John had anything to do with the patriarchal priesthood.”

I totally understand why he feels the way he does. I felt the same way a few short years ago… and it is still a struggle for me to get use to this new way of viewing priesthood.

When the thought first occurred to me after reading Joseph Smith’s discourse on the three orders of priesthood, that the 2nd patriarchal priesthood, often named after Abraham and Moses, was referring to the priesthood that was restored by Peter James and John, it did not resonate with me either. It kind of goes against everything I had ever been taught.

One of the things that seems strange to me is that a person could be born with priesthood because of lineage and yet need to be “ordained” to that priesthood by the laying on of hands. Yet that is the way the Aaronic Priesthood is. The seed of Aaron has a legal right to it but it still needs to be ordained or anointed or confirmed, by the laying on of hands.

Although I address this issue in part five, I don’t plan on publishing part five of my current series anytime soon, since I am off on another research project, and also somewhat burned out with writing. Therefore I thought I would take the opportunity to address this issue separately at this time.

I will now try to provide a few scriptures and words of Joseph Smith to show why I have come to believe differently.

First, lets review a few of the diary entries from the discourse that started me considering the possibility that both of the priesthoods restored in 1829 are related to lineage. Although those taking notes of the sermon list the three priesthoods in different order, it is obvious that they are saying the same thing.

Here is a journal entry from someone who listened to Joseph Smith’s discourse about the three divisions of priesthood;

3 grand orders of priesthood referred to here.

1st. King of Shiloam–power & authority over that of Abraham holding the key & the power of endless life.–… must sacrifice all to attain to the keys of the kingdom of an endless life… anointing & sealing–called elected and made sure without father &c. a priesthood which holds the priesthood by right from the Eternal Gods.–and not be descent from father and mother.

2d Priesthood, patriarchal authority finish that temple and god Will fill it with power.

3d Priesthood. Levitical

1st Levitical which was never able to administer a Blessing but Only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear

2 Abrahams Patriarchal power which is the greatest yet experienced in this church (referring to the “Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints” in Nauvoo, not the “Church of Christ” that had been legally organized in 1830)

3d That of Melchisedec who had still greater power even power of an endless life

“2d Priesthood, patriarchal authority finish that temple and god Will fill it with power.”

Naturally, before I came upon the content in this discourse years ago, I, like most members of the Church had assumed that there were only two priesthoods, Aaronic and Melchizedek.

This discourse blew me away and really changed my paradigm. As I began studying the doctrine of priesthood in greater detail, I began to believe that the three corroborating testimonies of what Joseph Smith taught that day were accurate and that he was teaching the truth about the priesthood in this discourse.

From a very logical point of view, it was obvious to me that the 1st, lesser priesthood mentioned above was the Aaronic priesthood restored in 1829 by John the Baptist.

I then needed to determine which of the other two priesthoods listed would have been the priesthood that Peter James and John would have restored.

It makes sense that the very next priesthood would be the one that was chronologically restored by angels, nevertheless, I needed more proof because this concept was so foreign to me.

I would submit to you, that by process of elimination, the priesthood restored by Peter James and John has to be the 2nd priesthood that Joseph Smith refers to as “Abrahams Patriarchal Power”.

Some of the reasons for making this deduction are as follows;

The Melchizedek priesthood that was restored in 1831 at the special conference at the Morley Farm was clearly a higher priesthood authority than the previous two priesthoods that had been restored by angles. The highest, Melchizedek priesthood is clearly the third one mentioned above and is verified as such by Joseph’s acknowledgment that it represents the “power of endless life“. Hence, the second priesthood had to be the one restored by Peter James and John.

The highest portion of the Melchizedek priesthood is the one that is bestowed by the voice of God himself. The above summary indicates that God will fill the temple with power after the patriarchal priesthood builds it. Again, by process of elimination, it appears that it was the authority restored by Peter James and John that builds the temple, not the Aaronic, or the highest power of God that would be restored again AFTER the Nauvoo temple was finished.

While I feel that the discourse itself provides strong evidence for the proposition, I needed to have confirmation from the scriptures.

Now let me call your attention to the following passages from section 84;

31 Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses—for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed—

32 And the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, upon Mount Zion in the Lord’s house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church.

33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are SANCTIFIED BY THE SPIRIT UNTO THE RENEWING OF THEIR BODIES.

34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.

35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;

36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;

37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;

38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore ball that my Father hath shall be given unto him.

39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.

40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.

41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.

I believe the above passages in section 84 are identifying all three priesthoods. Furthermore, they are identifying the first two priesthoods as being lineage based priesthoods… springing forth from the seed of Moses and the seed of Aaron.

Notice verse 33, which states that those who magnify the two priesthoods BECOME the Sons of Moses and Aaron. In other words, if they are not already of that lineage, they become adopted into those priesthood lineages upon magnifying the priesthood they had been called to.

I believe verse 31 is indicating that the first two priesthoods are the priesthood of Aaron and the priesthood of Moses!

The 3rd priesthood is identified by the words “sanctified” and “renewed” in verse 33. That is what happens when you magnify the priesthood of Aaron and the Priesthood of Moses, you enter into the highest priesthood and become sanctified and renewed. Third (Melchizedek) priesthood is also referred to in verse 34 as the ELECT OF GOD.

With the highest priesthood you are elected by the Father… not simply according to your lineage but because of you faith. At that point you transcend to the highest priesthood and you receive the Father and all that the Father has.

The bestowal of the Aaronic priesthood does not give you all that the Father has. The reception of the higher patriarchal priesthood of Moses does not give you all that the Father has. It is only after one has received and magnified those priesthoods that one enters into the oath and covenant of the Fathers priesthood.

There is no oath made when the Aaronic priesthood is bestowed. There is no oath and covenant which is made when the 2nd patriarchal priesthood of Moses and Abraham is bestowed.

It is only after magnifying those priesthoods that one becomes sanctified and enters into the oath and covenant of the Father like Enoch and Melchizedek did.

Verse 31 is actually a continuation of a prophecy that was begun back in verses 3, 4 and 5.

In the middle of the prophecy the Lord goes into a very long sub-topic pertaining to how the patriarchal priesthood of Moses and Abraham was handed down by mortal ordination… but lets splice the beginning of the prophecy in verses 3,4 and 5 together with the continuation of the prophecy in verse 31;

Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saint, beginning at this place [Kirtland], even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.
And the sons of Moses and of Aaron, according the Holy Priesthood, shall offer up an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.

And the Sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, upon Mount Zion in the Lords house, whose sons are ye and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church.”

As we can see from the prophecy, the Kirtland Temple was to be completed in that generation and the glory of the Lord was to rest upon the house… and indeed that prophecy came to pass! (See section 109:11-12 and also history of the Church regarding the Pentecostal experiences at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple)

Then the Lord also prophesies that those same Sons of Moses and Aaron will also, eventually, be filled with the glory of the Lord in Mount Zion. But notice that the Lord is revealing that Joseph, Hyrum, Oliver and others of the first elders ARE THE SONS OF MOSES AND AARON!

“whose sons are ye”

It seems somewhat poetic to me that the one like Moses would be a literal descendant of Moses.

If my interpretation of the above passages is correct, and the second priesthood that was restored by Peter James and John was indeed a lineage based priesthood based on the seed of Abraham and Moses, we should be able to find validation in the Old Testament that the seed of Moses was also given a similar priesthood promise based on their lineage to become a great nation, just like the promise given to the seed of Abraham or the seed of Jacob or the seed of Aaron.

First lets review the great promise the Lord gave to Abraham;

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a gland that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Gen 12:1-3 Jacob gets the same promise in Gen 46)

Now, you will recall that after the children of Israel sinned in the sight of God he became angry and his wrath waxed hot. He told Moses he was going to consume them from off the face of the earth.

Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” ( Exod 32:10)

Notice the declaration from God that he would make a great nation from the seed of Moses! It is the exact same promise that was made to Abraham and Jacob!

This is why God could consider wiping out the stiff necked tribes of Israel without skipping a beat in keeping the posterity of his elect on the earth… he knew he could still accomplish his purposes through the seed of Moses!

Yes it is true that Moses plead with God in behalf of the Children of Israel and he offered up himself as an atonement in their behalf to prolong their days upon the earth, nevertheless, God did not revoke his promise to continue the priesthood promise he made to the seed of Abraham and the seed of Jacob, through the seed of Moses! (and for that matter, he did not revoke his intent to send his wrath upon the children of Israel in the day of visitation, he simply delayed it as a result of Moses atonement.. see verse 34)

This bit of history in the Old Testament explains why the Lord makes the following promise and declaration to all those who magnify the priesthood of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron in section 84;

They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.”

Having explained why I think the seed of Moses has a lineage based priesthood just as the seed of Aaron does, I want to provide some other food for thought.

I still understand why people are skeptical that the apostolic priesthood that has the right to govern the church of Christ and dispense the saving ordinances is the patriarchal priesthood that descends down from Abraham and eventually down through Moses, because we just don’t think of patriarchal priesthood as necessarily having administrative authority… even though Moses obviously had administrative priesthood.

Priesthood AUTHORITY
VS.
Priesthood POWER

Lets drill a little deeper for more verification. Note the following verse in the D&C;

Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to?

He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel [Melchizedek Priesthood]; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion,has a right to by lineage [patriarchal Priesthood]; also to return to that power which she had lost [Melchizedek].” D&C 113: 7-8

According to Joseph’s interpretation of Isaiah above, the priesthood authority that enables the Saints to return to the highest Melchizedek priesthood that was lost, is a lineage based priesthood!

The priesthood power refers to the highest priesthood.

I think that is pretty strong evidence that the administrative priesthood authority that was restored by Peter James and John is the lineage based priesthood of Moses and Abraham.

Let me now throw out one very interesting quote from Joseph Smith which he made at the funeral of Judge Adams.

I had anointed him to the Patriarchal Power to receive the keys of knowledge and power by revelation to himself. He had had revelations concerning his departure and has gone to a more important work.”

Notice how, according to Joseph Smith, the patriarchal power holds the keys of knowledge. This is what the section 84 tells us- the “higher priesthood” that descended down from Moses, that administers the gospel and holds the “key of the knowledge of God“. (see verse 19)

These are a few of the reasons why I have come to believe that there are three general levels or categories of priesthood and that the 2nd, or “higher” priesthood that was restored by Peter, James and John is also what is referred to as the patriarchal priesthood, often named after Abraham and/or Moses

Lesser priesthood- named after Aaron

Higher priesthood- named after Abraham, Moses

Highest priesthood- named after Enoch, Melchizedek

(the fact that the lesser priesthood was named after Aaron does not necessarily mean he did not personally hold a higher priesthood. Conversely, the fact that the patriarchal priesthoods are named after Moses and Abraham certainly does not mean that they did not each attain the highest and most holy priesthood personally.)

Here is another thing to consider. It is revealed in the Book of Abraham that the priesthood that would take the blessings of the gospel, even the blessings of salvation and eternal life to all nations would be the priesthood that God gives to Abraham and his posterity… even the patriarchal priesthood!

My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
9  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
10  And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
11  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.

Clearly, it is the Abrahamic priesthood that administers the saving ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Now take a look at what the Lord reveals in section 124-

And as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth, even so I say unto my servant Joseph: In thee and in thy seed shall the kindred of the earth be blessed.” (verse 58)

As you can see, Joseph Smith and his seed held the same priesthood and the same promise as Abraham. They held the lineage based priesthood that blesses the nations of the earth with the gospel!

Now look at these passages. They reveal that the priesthood that presided over the church in Nauvoo was the lineal priesthood of Abraham that is administered by by ordination blessing and by right of descent. Notice also the same promise that the Lord gave to Abraham pertaining to the blessings and the cursings-

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right;
92  That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,
93  That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
94  And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph;
95  That he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph; and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessing, and glory, and honor, and priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery; (verses 91-95)

The above passages also reveal that the President of the Church, who acts as a prophet seer and revelator, does so under the priesthood authority of the patriarchal priesthood!

Lastly, notice that Hyrum is taking the same priesthood office that was originally held by Oliver Cowdery!

This proves that the church in Nauvoo was functioning under the same patriarchal priesthood that the restored church of Christ had during the first two years proceeding the restoration of the fulness of the priesthood that was restored at the Morley Farm!

But what about the fulness of the priesthood that had been restored in 1831? What happened to it?

This very same section, section 124 informs us that the fulness of the priesthood had been lost-

For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood!” (verse 28)

As you can see, when you compare the above passages in the book of Abraham with the passages in section 124, it becomes quite clear that the priesthood that governed the church between 1829 and 1831, was the patriarchal priesthood that comes down through the posterity of Abraham. It is a priesthood given by birthright and ordination blessing. It was the same priesthood that was governing the church AFTER the fulness of the priesthood, even the Melchizedek priesthood had been restored and lost again.

Click here to go to part 6

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27 Responses to Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 5

  1. NEPT says:

    I have a comment, question, speculation, and doubt all rolled into one!

    Unfortunately, I do not have any idea how much of the current “endowment” ceremony originates from Joseph, or from Brigham, or perhaps from uninspired or misleading sources (whether thru JS or BY), therefore I haven’t sifted the gems from the clay just yet. But I find it a tad interesting that Peter, James, and John are the moderators/instructors of the temple ceremony. As noted above, Joseph taught the saints that “[t]he 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, AND YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MORE KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING THIS PRIESTHOOD.”

    If the roles Peter, James, and John play during the modern-day ceremony are even half accurate, then could they be dispensing KNOWLEDGE regarding the Patriarchal Priesthood? Could this ceremony actually be harboring a clue as to the Priesthood that they conferred in the last days?

  2. NEPT

    That is a fascinating comment, question, speculation, and doubt!

    Great food for thought.

    Thanks

    Watcher

  3. NEPT, thank you for adding that comment!!! I love it. I really do think that no matter where the current endowment ceremony came from it IS symbolic of where we are at as a people/church.

  4. Jizzbug says:

    Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

    p. 156: I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road of apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; … for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man.

  5. Jizzbug

    You sent the following quote;

    “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

    p. 156: I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road of apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; … for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man.”

    The reason I feel like the quote you provided does not apply to me is because I have never said that I am more righteous than the members of the church or the leaders of the church. I don’t make that proclamation nor do I secretly feel that way.

    In fact I support the work that the church is currently doing.

    If you would read all of my articles you would understand my feelings about the “atonement statute” and the “scapegoat” doctrine.

    I feel that Joseph Smith was one of the most righteous prophets that ever lived and that if he committed any grievous sins, it was because he was taking the sins of Israel upon him. (that would include you and me)

    As for the church membership and other leaders that followed after him, they were all doing the best they could.

    We are told that blindness is over Israel… put there by God. And eventually God will take that blindness off.

    I am simply trying to understand Gods word by taking it literally. My interpretations may or may not be accurate, but I have a right and an obligation to try to search the scriptures and understand the gospel and the events of the restoration movement.

    To simply take a quote out of context, as you have done, and use it as a categorical reason to condemn those who are seeking to understand and use it to never view the scriptures or events of church history as a critical thinker is much more dangerous ground to be on in my opinion.

  6. Fabledsog says:

    Thank goodness for being able to contradict myself, I once had a unclear view of who the sons of Levi really were,I may not have a perfect view still, but my new view that the sons of Levi =sons of Moses+sons of Aaron.
    Also of a narrower view, is that they(sons of Levi) just might be the first laborers of the last kingdom.

  7. Jizzbug says:

    onewhoiswatching,

    What of comments #276 through 283? Are those not in your moderation queue?

    I tried to provide quotes showing that Peter, James, and John restored the keys of the kingdom, the everlasting priesthood without beginning of days or end of years, without descent from father, mother, etc., and not the Evangelical patriarchal priesthood.

  8. Jizzbug says:

    Fabledsog,

    Sons of Levi > sons of Moses + sons of Aaron

    Moses and Aaron were of the tribe of Levi, and there were other Levites at the time of Moses and Aaron. Moses set the sons of Aaron as high priests over the tribe of Levi, and Moses was given certain promises regarding his sons in the last days.

    My genealogical research indicates that certain Baker families may be sons of Moses. Did Moses bake the manna?

  9. Jizzbug (Derek)

    You and I had an agreement which you have broken.

    Nevertheless, because I am sincerely wanting my interpretations to be tested..

    If you can communicate in a civil manner, I would love to see your observations and interpretations.

    I don’t recall seeing or deleting “#276 through 283″ and I don’t see them in the moderation queue.

    I suspect that the disconnect that you and I are having on this topic is that I view the patriarchal priesthood as having the “keys” to the kingdom, as meaning they have the right to dispense the saving ordinances which enables a righteous person to open the door and get into the kingdom, or at least to qualify for the Father to elect them into the kingdom through the baptism of fire.

    On the other hand, I suspect you are assuming that any patriarchal priesthood holder that holds those keys of the kingdom, to disperse the saving ordinances, has already entered into the kingdom himself… but I disagree with that and feel that I have in part demonstrated why in previous articles.. I have an article coming up that I think will REALLY drive my point home as well as showing where polygamy falls into all of this.

    I may have the keys to a house that is locked but that does not mean that I am in the house or that I have ever been in the house.

    But, again, having not seen your documentation and theory and interpretations, I am not sure that is where our disconnect is… so feel free to resubmit what you thought you had previously submitted and try to present it in a nice way.

    BTW I enjoyed your observation on another site, about WW Phelps being on the committee that published the Book of Commandments and then practicing polygamy. although you and I would probably put a little different spin on what that means, the observations is a valid one that needs to be taken into consideration by all sides of the debate.

  10. An interesting article about a man who claims the priesthood is seperate from the church and he has birthright claim. Building temples to restore the endowment the way Joseph intended. Calling itself The Church of the Firstborn. Anyone ever heard of this group/guy?

    http://www.pravenue.com/newsletter.asp?article=3509

  11. That is a fascinating find TruthSeekerToo.

    This is a great case in point as to why it is so important to understand the three watches doctrine and the truth about the High Priesthood!

    I noticed the following statement;

    “He claims the birthright to preside over the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood by lineage, by blood, and by revelation” which is inconsistent with what was taught at the Morley Farm and in the scriptures.

    In the context of the recent polygamy love-fest, it is interesting that the topic did not come up in that article… I have to believe that they do practice it.

    this story will be an interesting one to follow.

  12. Yeah, I definitely do not believe that the Melc. PH is a birthright, blood inheritance.
    I also think it is interesting how (it seems) things like priesthood, temples and polygamy are on peoples minds.

    re: polygamy love-fest. It interesting how so many off-shoot branches are participating in polygamy yet the main branch has repudiated it AND worked VERY hard to distance itself from it. I think those hoping the “mother church” will reinstate polygamy will be disappointed. I dunno. Just don’t see it happening since it would take a unanimous revelation from God to the GA’s.
    *sorry for the slight postjack*

  13. It is very hard for me to see it happening with the mother church, however, it is interesting that as hard as they have tried to distance themselves from it, they still keep 132 in the D&C which seems to indicate that they are keeping their options open…

    I don’t think the current mid-set of the church membership would require a “thus sayeth the Lord” revelation.

    I think an announcement at a news conference would be adequate.

  14. I will say this… I have been trying so hard to emphasize the distinction that the first two priesthoods are based on lineage and the third one isn’t that the following observation has been lost in the shuffle;

    According the the D&C a man cannot gain the highest election of Melchizedek priesthood without first obtaining and magnifying at least one, if not both of the first two lineage priesthoods, regardless of whether he is of the literal seed or adopted into it.

  15. Forest says:

    Don’t know if it belongs in this blog thread or not and maybe you have covered it already in a previous blog, but for me the following was an eye opener in Isaiah 55 through 60 this week.

    Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” This implies that the Lord’s Invitation is extended as a window of opportunity rather than an open invitation without a deadline. We don’t work our way to a Zion society by a one hundred and eighty year line upon line, precept of man upon precept of man approach…when the Lord calls, we need to be ready to answer at that very moment.

    Isaiah 56:3-4 “Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.” In this verse, the Lord identifies the subject of this prophecy as the Gentiles because these are the “son of the stranger” or the son of those not of Israel. The eunuch represents lack of power but in verse 4 is given a “name better than the sons and daughters”, or in other words…the Gentiles who had received no power will now be given an opportunity to receive that power. What follows therefore, is a prophecy outlining the highlights of what will occur when the Gentiles receive that invitation of power.

    Isaiah 56:7 “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” This is the Lord accepting the Kirtland Temple as a House of Prayer in prophetic form many generations before its fulfillment in 1836. (See also D&C 109:8 and D&C 110:7)

    Isaiah 56:8 “The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” Shortly after the Kirtland temple, a missionary effort was extended to overseas England. Here in Isaiah it is prophesied in the same order as it occurred in the early church (after the temple was accepted). (D&C 112)

    Isaiah 56:9 “All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.” And shortly after the acceptance of the Lord’s house in Kirtland, apostasy began to tear apart the early saints.

    Isaiah 56:10 “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! If that doesn’t stab you to the center of the heart, your not paying attention! This tells us explicitly that the prophets established after the invitation was offered are not doing their job. What do dogs do? They bark. What do prophets do? They prophecy (Truth as received directly from the Lord). But why are they not doing what they are called to do? Because “loving to slumber” they (or rather the church as a whole, each and every member) loves the slumber or loves the comfort zone of the worldly riches. The next verse identifies clearly that it is the love of gain that creates “shepherds that cannot understand”. Barking is a warning. Prophecy is meant as a warning also, a warning to repent. But if they have fallen asleep and forgotten what it is we actually need to repent of, then they have lost the ability to bark the call of repentance.

    Isaiah 57:1-2 “The righteous perisheth…” The Gentiles are left alone, the righteous are no longer found among them as a people.

    Isaiah 57:3-5 “ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore….are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,” I’m reading polygamy and all the variations of it into this one…stop me if I am reading it wrong! “a seed of falsehood”identifies it as polygamy because it is adultery under the guise of “A Principle of Salvation”…flat out adultery is simply adultery, but attempting to hide it under a religious banner turns it into a lie or rather a falsehood that has grown from some small little rationalization (the seed).

    Isaiah 57:5 “slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks” The Gehenna Valley or Valley of Hinnom is where the ancient Israelites sacrificed their own children to strange Gods.. Here the prophecy of Isaiah relates the spiritual death of the children of the Gentiles who will inherit their parents’ curse as the equivalent of being sacrificed to Ba’al or false Gods.

    Isaiah 57:6 “Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, (sacramental wine), thou hast offered a meat offering (sacramental bread), Should I receive comfort in these?” We declare our ordinances are necessary for eternal salvation, but if they are offered up without the approval of the Lord, they are as smooth stones … seemingly eternal but in actuality weathered and eroded down to eventually nothing.

    Isaiah 57:8 “thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and are gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.” Here the subjects of the prophecy have added falsehoods to the covenants of God. “Enlarged thy bed”…does it imply that the original covenant is embedded within the framework of falsehoods? Or does it not even matter if a remnant of the covenant is included when the additions have been built without permit and the whole house becomes condemned under the inspection of God?

    Isaiah 57:9 “thou wentest to the king with ointment…and did debase thyself even unto hell” The people choose a king over a prophet like unto the people choosing a king against Samuels counsel. Could it be BY who was chosen over SR? I don’t know…stop me if I am reading too much into this.

    Now look in verse Isaiah 57:13-14 “but he that putteth his trust in me shall posses the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain; And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.” At some point the stumbling block is removed from the people…they begin to recognize the error of their ways and are given another chance to repent. But look at what follows this verse. What is it that the people will need to recognize in order to lift the curse? What significant detail will help them to prepare the way? Check out verses of Isaiah 57:15-21!

    Verse 15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity (Jesus Christ) whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place (In the Celestial Glory of God), with him also (Who is this individual?) that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Notice that with Him, Jesus Christ is a contrite and humble spirit…who is the identity of that humble one? And why does he need to be REVIVED? And notice that there is more than one who needs to be REVIVED. “To revive the heart of the contrite ones”…Well, who are the contrite ones? Could it be the same individuals who at the beginning of this prophetic thread had built a House of Prayer that was acceptable to the Lord in Isaiah 56:7…has the prophecy come full circle in this verse?

    Check out what the Lord says about this “humble and contrite one” in Verse 17….”For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and I smote him, I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways and will heal him” Can it be that this humble and contrite one who built an acceptable house (in Kirtland) and is now with the Holy One was once given over to his covetousness so that the Lord hid himself and revealed no more to him and gave him up to his own froward (rebellious) behavior? Yet Verse 18….”I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.” In otherwords, I the Lord know his heart and will forgive him. I the Lord will fix the wrongs that were instigated under his watch. “I create the fruit of the lips;” (I the Lord redeem those who fall but are humble); “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.” (There is still a chance for those of a humble and contrite heart).

    Chapter 58 of Isaiah gives more clues as to the sin of those who rejected the original invitation and provides the commandment that the generation who receives the next invitation will have to repent of and keep if they are to be among those who are “mourners who are restored the comforts”. At first glance it looks like the chapter is about Keeping the Sabbath Holy, but reading it carefully, it shows that the Lord is equating the Law of the Fast of the Sabbath Day and the Law of Consecration of the Millennial Sabbath as the same commandment or covenant that was rejected in (Isaiah 57:8). In other words, the people will have to repent and be able to abide a Sabbath Law, a Law of Consecration.

    Anyway I am taking up way too much blog space on this. Let me know if I got it wrong… let me know if I am actually covering old ground that was already written and perhaps I have simply forgotten that I had read it all somewhere else. There has been a lot of material to absorb around here (this blog).

  16. Forest says:

    No, no I am reading this line wrong… “I create the fruit of the lips” in Isaiah 57:19 actually means “I the Lord am the author of all true prophecies”, or also, “When I the Lord speak, it comes to pass.” or also, “My word is power.”

  17. That is an amazing interpretation!!!

    Some of the concepts have been covered in other posts such as how “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” is reiterated in modern revelation and how the promise to eventually heal his servants is also reiterated in modern revelations (Sidney and the 12, etc. vs “I have seen his ways, and will heal him:”

    However I have never seen those verses in Isaiah broken down verse by verse so magnificently to link them up in such precise chronological order with the events of LDS church history…

    Incredible find!

    Thank you for sharing.. I may need to plagiarize that or parts of it in a future post. LOL

    Thank you for sharing

    Watcher

  18. SeekingtobeAstonished says:

    OWIW,
    Great Blogs, all of them.

    I am interested if perhaps something has been overlooked as it relates to D&C 84. I have struggled with this section for years because of my lack of understanding regarding the Morley Farm events and the Fullness of the Priesthood — thank you for pointing out keys pieces of that puzzle!

    D&C 84 was received just 15 months after the Morley Farm Conference. It speaks of the Holy Priesthood held by Moses and in versus 6-16 retraces what seems to be a ‘lineage’ based priesthood line of authority; HOWEVER, I don’t believe that is what it is saying.

    Each individual mentioned received the Priesthood “under the hand of” another individual. Ultimately, Abel received it under the hand of his father Adam. But the point is made that Abel received it “by the commandment of God”. I believe that the same statement, “by the commandment of God” applies to each individual in this particular line and is simply not used to avoid redundancy. This would fit the pattern established in JST Gen. 14:25-40. It would also fit the model of the Morley Farm where Lyman Wight received the Priesthood ‘under the hand’ of Joseph Smith but by commandment of God. I remember a post where you actually discuss that in detail.

    Additionally, as you have pointed out, this Priesthood being discussed in 84, “continueth in the church of GOD in all generations” (17) — I always used to read this as ‘in the church, period.’ But that is obviously not the meaning or context. The Church of God, the Elect, the Church of the Firstborn. It also refers to this Priesthood as “without beginning of days or end of years” — an obvious reference to the Fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood. And it is referred to as the “priesthood which is after the holiest order of God” (18) — also referring to the fullness.

    Note that in verses 33-34, after Sanctification (see Alma 13), they “become the sons of Moses and of Aaron, and the seed of Abraham (see Galations 3:29), and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God” Awesome!! All this comes by receiving and magnifying the highest priesthood and is granted by the baptism of fire and the holy ghost which is promised through the everlasting covenant of baptism! Again, in this verse the “church of God” consists of the sanctified – they are the elect of God.

    This is one of the two priesthoods spoken of in D&C 84:33. After obtaining it and proving faithful – then comes sanctification and the fulfillment of blessings spoken of in Alma 13 regarding High Priests after His Holy Order, “Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb…and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.” (Alma 13:11-12). As you have pointed out, there is no reason a span of time might occur between the ordination under the hands of man (after God’s calling out of the heavens) and the final endowment of “Fire and the Holy Ghost”.

    I wonder how much Joseph had worked these things out in his own mind during the early restoration? I doubt very far – to him it was very simple and did not require the mighty unraveling that we have to do to discover the mystery of Christ! These sections came by revelation – not by Joseph’s logical working out of things.

    So, what of the Patriarchal Priesthood? I had never considered this, but is that what is being discussed in D&C 107:39-52? This Priesthood lineage refers to “evangelical ministers” (v. 39). I have always been ‘taught’ that this is the priesthood of patriarchs (meaning those giving patriarchal blessings/or that it is only referring to keys). But that seems to be quite a stretch from the text. Rather, is an evangelical minister a minister of patriarchal priesthood authority? In this instance, possibly a Stake President or his equivalent in large ‘branches’ of the church?

    In verse 40 it is indicated that this is a lineage based priesthood (we aren’t talking about the Aaronic and the Highest is not lineage based). In fact, it belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed. This would have been Seth’s lingeage til Noah, but after Noah it would have been through Shem til Abraham and then through Abraham til us!

    This priesthood eventually brought its holders into contact with Christ.

    You may have already thought all this through and can give me further insight. If you are able, I am a willing learner. Hope all is well with you and your wife!

    Sincerely,

    SeekingtobeAstonished

  19. These are great observations and comments SeekingtobeAsonished..

    You bring up a great point about a person being ordained under the hand of someone to the highest priesthood after having been called by the voice of God out of the heavens. I probably should have provided more clarity on that in some of the posts… I think I may have made it sound like only a voice out of the heavens is all that takes place but as you pointed out, the Morley Farm experience demonstrates that both take place.

    One thing I find interesting is that after mentioning the two priesthoods in verse 33 and 34, verse 35 says “..all they who receive this priesthood..” (singular).

    Why is it referring to a singular priesthood when the two priesthoods had been talked about?

    That could possibly be indicating that after receiving the two lineage based priesthoods (of Moses and Aaron) and then becoming sanctified by magnifying them, they become the “elect of God” by receiving the highest priesthood.

    In other words, the term “elect of God” is another term for the third and highest priesthood of Melchizedek.

    Just a thought…

    I am always re-reading and reevaluating my conclusions..

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Watcher

  20. John says:

    I couldn’t find your list of the 23 elders but they probably match my list from reviewing the journal entries of the conference. However there may be a 24th Elder that you do not have on your list which I didn’t originally have on my list. In Jared Carter’s journal entry of Jun 8 1831 he writes “I told her (a woman who had an injury from falling off a wagon) she need not have any more pain, and also mentioned my Brother Simeon who was endowed with great power from on high, and that she might be healed, if she had faith. Brother Simeon also conversed with her, and after awhile took he by the had, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to arise and walk.” And she arose and walked from room to room.

    So there appears to be an unknown Brother Simeon who was ordained with power from on high. I can’t find him in church history. Maybe you know something about this of which I have missed reading about.

  21. John

    That is a great quote, thanks for providing it.

    Actually I show Simeon Carter on my list.

    He was ordained a high priest by Lyman Wight, 4 June 1831. Joseph Smith was first sustained as president of the high priesthood at a conference in January 1832, which was likely held in the home of Simeon Carter.

    … so I would be curious to know who is on your list that is not on mine, making it 24 high priests…

    Although I cannot currently find my original notes and the listing of 23 HPs from the Kirtland Record Book, I am pretty sure the following list is what I had originally compiled

    1-Lyman Wight,
    2-Sidney Rigdon,
    3-John Murdock,
    4-Reynolds Cahoon,
    5-Harvey Whitlock
    6-Hyrum Smith
    7-Parley P. Pratt,
    8-Thomas B. Marsh,
    9-Isaac Morley,
    10-Edward Partridge,
    11-Joseph Wakefield,
    12-Ezra Thayer,
    13-Martin Harris,
    14-Ezra Booth,
    15-Joseph Smith, Sen.,
    16-Joseph Smith, Jr.,
    17-John Whitmer
    18- Samuel H. Smith
    19- Jacob Scott
    20- John Corrill
    21- Solomon Hancock
    22- Simeon Carter
    23- Wheeler Baldwin

    Please let me know if you show someone who is not on this list..

  22. John says:

    Thanks for your list. I double checked the Kirkland minutes and made corrections to my list. I had thought that Zebedee Coltrin and Levi Hancock were on the list but they are not.

    Do you know, or have an idea of who the six elders are mentioned in section 84?

  23. I really don’t know for sure.. I think Joseph and Oliver are safe guesses but I don’t know for sure who the others are.

  24. Ryan says:

    I have in my scriptures that the 6 apart from JS are “the friends of God” Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Hyrum Smith, David, Peter and John Whitmer.

    However John has a question mark by his name. I picked this up from another one of your blog posts.

    Do you still believe those to be the 6?

  25. I have never felt like I know for sure who the six are, but those six are all likely candidates in my opinion..

    It would make sense that the six or seven that organized the church would be the first elders and the first laborers of the last kingdom.

    Here is an interesting statement from Richard Anderson stating that the records, indicating who the originators are, have been lost.

    Richard Lloyd Anderson, professor of religion and history, Brigham Young University We can be fairly certain about the organizers, though no clear record remains. The minutes of Church organization are evidently lost. Thus, we must reconstruct the meeting through personal recollections. Analysis of those reports suggests that the six were Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., and Samuel H. Smith. Since there is some question on some of the names listed in these personal recollections, they must be evaluated for their probable worth.

    http://emp.byui.edu/openshawr/Church%20History%20Articles/Who%20were%20the%20six%20who%20organized%20the%20Church%20on%206%20April%201830%20-%20Anderson.htm

    http://ldsanarchy.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/seven-shepherds-and-an-angel/#comment-11495

  26. Ryan says:

    Wow, Forest, amazing find! Thank you for sharing.

  27. Amen to that !

    I need to simply copy and paste his observations into a post

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