A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Does Aaronic Priesthood Prepare?

The Aaronic priesthood is a preparatory priesthood, but what does that mean? How does Aaronic priesthood prepare us for Melchizedek Priesthood? Read "What is Melchizedek Priesthood?" before reading this post.
19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
 20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
 23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

What was the first priesthood offered to the children of Israel in the wilderness? 

 24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
 25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

How did the children of Israel respond to God’s offer to give them the Melchizedek priesthood? How did God respond to their rejection of Him? Why were the children of Israel given Aaronic priesthood after they rejected the Lord at Mt. Sinai? Why was Moses and the Melchizedek priesthood taken from the Israelites?

 26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
 27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.
 28 For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power. D&C 84:19-28

Was the Aaronic priesthood a sign of God’s favor and blessing? “Which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel” - What does that mean? What kind of priesthood did John have?

And the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. Numbers 18:1

What does it mean to “bear the iniquity of the sanctuary” or “bear the iniquity of your priesthood’? Is this some kind of burden?

When Joseph and Hyrum were alive, the church had the signs, wonders, tokens, and fruits of the Melchizedek priesthood. Why did the heavens close up again at the death of Joseph and Hyrum? What happened to the Latter-Day Saints when we failed to build the Nauvoo temple during the appointed time? D&C 124: 31-33 Why were Joseph, Hyrum, and the Melchizedek priesthood taken from us?

Many will say, “We still have Melchizedek priesthood.” But as a member of the church, I don’t see the manifestations of the Melchizedek priesthood. From what I can observe, we are left with the outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance, and the keys of the ministering of angels.  

The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments. D&C 107:20

For those who think we have Melchizedek priesthood, ask yourself, “As a church, are we receiving new revelations and views on the things of heaven? Are the heavens open to our high priests? Have we really received anything new since the days of Joseph? Are the heavens open to us like they were for Joseph?” 

Is this what we have? “The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church— To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” D&C 107:18-19

Or do we “deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.” 2 Nephi 28:5-6

Do we fall into this category,  “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” Joseph Smith—History 1:19

If we have the higher priesthood, the signs, tokens, fruits, and wonders of the Melchizedek priesthood should be present with us as in former times.  We don’t seek for signs, but signs do follow those that believe.

But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe. Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God. Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation. D&C 63:9-11

Are we just like the Israelites who suffered the wrath of God and were left with the Aaronic priesthood? Why?

Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works. D&C 22:2

Why did God even give the Law of Moses if you can’t enter in at the strait gate by it?  What is a Law of Moses anyway?  To me, it looks like a lot of laws, rituals, and endless effort. There is a continual striving and falling short, only to feel spiritually dead inside. It’s almost like trying to earn a heavenly reward by good works.  It just doesn’t work.  The more orthodox I get, the greater my disappointment. 

There is a breaking point.  The obedience and sacrifice are not yielding the fruits of the spirit. How can I try so hard and yet be such a failure?   The gospel is supposed to bring happiness, right?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

What do you mean, “against such there is no law”? Life under the preparatory priesthood is full of endless laws. Do this, don’t do that. If I don’t walk up to every covenant and commandment, I’m unworthy, right?  It’s all about choosing the right, am I getting it? 

No! No! No! I’ll never get, no matter how hard I try.  The preparatory priesthood moves me to a place of utter frustration with the outward ordinances and the letter of the gospel. 

The carnal man is consumed with and concerned about what is happening on the outside: how are my children performing, what kind of house do I live in, what do I look like, what kind of car do I drive, what do others think of me, what is my calling, etc. etc. Why is the natural, carnal man given outward ordinances, commandments, rituals, and endless regulations? Can he understand anything else?
Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God. Moses 6:49

Why is the carnal man shut out from the presence of God?

And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness. Alma 41:11

Can the carnal man ever be happy and at peace?

And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; Mosiah 27:25

What does it mean to be born again? Where do we find the kingdom of God?

And when he (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke17:20-21

Can the carnal man even understand what Jesus is talking about? Why must the carnal man be crucified? Why must we be born again?

Up until now, I’ve been unwilling to crucify the carnal man because I believed the lie. I thought the outward stuff meant something.

The Aaronic priesthood has done a perfect job in preparing me for a new birth. Put another way, the Aaronic priesthood is the law of complete frustration.

I am now willing to give up my carnal man and go inside my heart to find God.  The Law of Frustration has prepared me to accept what God has always been willing to bestow upon me.

Upcoming Post: 
How Can I Obtain Priesthood?

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