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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is Melchizedek Priesthood?

What is Melchizedek Priesthood? There seems to be two classifications of priesthood. 

There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest. Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood. D&C 107:1-5

How does one obtain this Holy Priesthood?  Abram left family traditions and land of his fathers to find one who held this great priesthood. How would I find and recognize someone who holds this priesthood? 

 25 And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.
 26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.
 27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

What does it mean to be a man of faith? How did he wrought righteousness? What does it mean to fear God? What was Melchizedek doing as a child?

 28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;
 29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

How does someone get this high priesthood? Can a man give it to you? Can your father or mother give it to you? Who delivers this priesthood unto men?

30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
 31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.
Wow! Look at what Melchizedek priesthood can do! How are we using this priesthood today?

 32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.
 33 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.
 34 And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world;
 35 And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.
 36 And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace.

What is the order of the Son of God? Why was Melchizedek first called the Prince of peace and then the King of peace? What does peace have to do with priesthood? 

 37 And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God;
 38 Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor.
 39 Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.
 40 And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him. JST Genesis 14:25–40  

Who blessed Abram in verse 25? Who blessed Abram in verse 40? 

The vision that Joseph and Sidney had about those who obtain the Celestial Kingdom gives us a lot of information about the Melchizedek priesthood. Pay close attention to the verb tenses: past, present, future.  

50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
 51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
 52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
 53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
 54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
 55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—
 56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
 57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
 58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
 59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
 60 And they shall overcome all things.
 61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
 62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
 63 These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.
 64 These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.
 65 These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.
 66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
 67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
 68 These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.
 69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
 70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical. D&C 76:50-70 [emphasis added]

Does “are” really mean present, now, currently, at this moment, in mortality? Does “shall” refer to later? Today, how many men “are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son”?

The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things. The Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the church. High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member. D&C 107:8-10

How does someone get Melchizedek Priesthood? Is it enough to be interviewed by a stake president, be found worthy, obtain sustaining vote by the church, and be ordained?  What does it mean to hold the right of presidency?
He says this power and authority is over all the offices in the church in all ages of the world. Wow! What is the Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek? Does this have anything to do with the Church of the Firstborn? Who has the right to officiate in their own standing? What does this mean?

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

What are the keys and privileges of the Melchizedek Priesthood? Who bestows this priesthood? Who decides when someone is ready to receive the higher priesthood? Is it any wonder that these High Priests are the ones who have the right to administer in spiritual things?

Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church. D&C 107:22

What happens if the body of the church appoints men who do not have the Melchizedek Priesthood to form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church? Does the Melchizedek Priesthood come by the will of men? How does the body of the church know who has obtained Melchizedek Priesthood?

Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all. Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the High Priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church; Or, in other words, the Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church. D&C 107:64-66

Can the body of the church appoint a man and make him a High Priest? Or do we need to choose a High Priest who has been chosen by God?

What kind of priesthood did Melchizedek have? Who gave this priesthood to Melchizedek? Do those who fill the LDS priesthood quorums have Melchizedek Priesthood?  What are the fruits, signs, tokens, and wonders of those who have Melchizedek Priesthood?

Upcoming Posts:  
How Does Aaronic Priesthood Prepare?
How Can I Obtain Priesthood? 

1 comment:

  1. I loved this part: Can the body of the church appoint a man and make him a High Priest? Or do we need to choose a High Priest who has been chosen by God?

    I believe that the one appointed should already be in possession of this high priesthood, having received it from God Himself.

    With all the "are"s I believe there are noble an great ones amongst us that have already obtained this priesthood before they came here. They are then here to help show the way to others. Alma 13


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