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LeSellers

Levites no longer hold the Priesthood of God

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Many of our critics use the charge that we cannot hold the (Aaronic) Priesthood because we

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I couldn't disagree more. Just as Jonah's contingent prophecy was obviated by sincere repentance, the rights of the Priesthood conferred upon Levi's and, more specifically, Aaron's descendants are retained by those fine folks upon their being made reconciled to G-d and His Covenant with them upon their sincere repentance. The sins of those there fathers are not visited upon the heads of their remote descendants in our day.

The Levi and the Cohen are yet G-d's priests.

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Lehi,

Let me comment for now on Jonah. You wrote:

First, however, we need to understand the concept of divine decrees and the prophecies associated with them. A fine example of a prophecy is that of Jonah in relation to Nineveh. He prophesied that the city would be destroyed unless the people repented. Jonah was so certain that they would not repent that he fled, rather than deliver the message. However, Jonah was wrong: Nineveh was saved when the king and his people repented in sack cloth and ashes. All prophecies are like Jonah
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Many of our critics use the charge that we cannot hold the (Aaronic) Priesthood because we

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I couldn't disagree more. Just as Jonah's contingent prophecy was obviated by sincere repentance, the rights of the Priesthood conferred upon Levi's and, more specifically, Aaron's descendants are retained by those fine folks upon their being made reconciled to G-d and His Covenant with them upon their sincere repentance. The sins of those there fathers are not visited upon the heads of their remote descendants in our day.

The Levi and the Cohen are yet G-d's priests.

Atta tsodek.

D&C 68:16 "And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron;" 17, "For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same." 18, "No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron." Cf. D&C 107:15-17.

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Lehi,

Let me comment for now on Jonah. You wrote:

Jonah's message to Nineveh was not a predictive prophecy, but a judgment warning. Jonah was not predicting that Nineveh would be overthrown or destroyed in 40 days. He was warning Nineveh that it was subject to judgment. As a warning, the threatened consequence was conditional. It is like a parent telling a child, "I'm going to count to three and then you're getting spanked!" The whole point of the counting to three is to give the child an opportunity to repent. Likewise, the whole point of the 40-day warning was to give Nineveh an opportunity to repent. Jonah himself understood this, because after Nineveh repented and was spared, he went off to sulk and complained that he knew God was planning on being merciful to Nineveh (Jonah 4:1-2). You say that Jonah tried to avoid going to Nineveh because he was certain they would not repent, but the narrative tells us otherwise: Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh because he realized God was intent on sparing Nineveh and Jonah didn't want to be a party to their salvation.

The bottom line is that the book of Jonah does not give us an example of a "prophecy" that did not come true. One cannot cite Jonah as precedent for a divinely inspired prediction failing to come to pass, because Jonah's message to Nineveh was not a prediction.

Jonah 3:4 . . . Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

That isn't a "predictive prophecy"?

The language is clear. Or are you saying the translation is bad?

So, Jonah knew that Nineveh was going to repent, so that is why he fled? You really think that is believable?

Or did he flee because (Jonah 4:2 . . . Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.) he thought the Lord would eventually forgive him for his disobedience?

5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

Clearly, Jonah still expected the city to be destroyed, why else retreat to a safe distance and watch?

Your explanation is not believable.

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Many of our critics use the charge that we cannot hold the (Aaronic) Priesthood because we

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Please keep in mind that "Levi" ? "Aaron". All Aaronites are Levites, but not all Levites are Aaronites. My position is that Levites do not hold the Priesthood, not that the first-born of Aaron, a "pure blood" descendant of Aaron (father to son, to son, with no female "breaks" in the lineage), has the right to the Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood.

Moreover, we should recall the reason for this discussion: evangelicals (and others) who claim that we Saints cannot hold the Aaronic Priesthood because we're not Levites (not the poor usage of the titles). Our doctrine obviates this, of course, because we hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, of which the Aaronic Priesthood is an "appendage", and which presides over the lesser Priesthood.

4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

...

8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

Miller's usage (see the OP) of these (and related) passages is to show that there was a serious conflict between the "Priests" (Aaronites) and the "Levites". Miller shows that King David brought both "factions" into Jerusalem, but Solomon ejected the Levites, leaving only the Aaronites in charge. It was the Hezekiah/Josiah reforms that brought the Levites back to the Temple, and this because someone wrote Deuteronomy and read it to the king.

Now I reject the combat view point, because I see that the Levites and the Aaronites were complementary, offices like Deacons and Teachers supporting the Priests. But Miller's observation, that Malachi told us that the covenant with/of Levi had been broken (by the Levites), is germane. If so, then the Levites are no longer legitimate holders of God's Priesthood. And, without Levitical legitimacy, and given that someone must exercise that authority, then it is reasonable to conclude that those whom God has chosen in these days would be those who fill that role.

Lehi

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Vance's response (c.v.) is dead on for all of this. I will merely comment en passant.

Jonah's message to Nineveh was not a predictive prophecy, but a judgment warning. Jonah was not predicting that Nineveh would be overthrown or destroyed in 40 days.

I re-read Jonah, and the text does not support your assertion. There was a warning, to be sure, but the prophecy was that Nineveh would be destroyed. It was the Ninevehan king who hypothesized that maybe Jehovah would relent. Jonah records nothing about repenting's working to deflect the coming destruction.

He was warning Nineveh that it was subject to judgment. As a warning, the threatened consequence was conditional.

Please cite the passage that declares this to be the case. I didn't see it there.

It is like a parent telling a child, "I'm going to count to three and then you're getting spanked!" The whole point of the counting to three is to give the child an opportunity to repent. Likewise, the whole point of the 40-day warning was to give Nineveh an opportunity to repent.

In your view, but that's not what the Bible says.

Jonah himself understood this, because after Nineveh repented and was spared, he went off to sulk and complained that he knew God was planning on being merciful to Nineveh (Jonah 4:1-2).

If so, would he not have rejoiced in his successful mission to the Ninevehites?

You say that Jonah tried to avoid going to Nineveh because he was certain they would not repent, but the narrative tells us otherwise: Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh because he realized God was intent on sparing Nineveh and Jonah didn't want to be a party to their salvation.

That hardly fits into the prophetic calling he held, does it? Please recall that Jonah's mission was far broader than his sea voyage to Nineveh. He called other wicked people to repentance, why not Nineveh, too?

24 And [Amaziah] did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher. 26 For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. 27 And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

The bottom line is that the book of Jonah does not give us an example of a "prophecy" that did not come true. One cannot cite Jonah as precedent for a divinely inspired prediction failing to come to pass, because Jonah's message to Nineveh was not a prediction.

You make your statement, but you do not make your case. I'll quote the entire book of Jonah if need be. There is not the least indication that Jonah didn't go to the evil city because he did not want them to repent, but because he was fearful that they would kill him for calling them to repentance. There is no indication that the prophecy was conditional (even though I, personally, believe it was). You have to read that into the text, because the text does not say this. It was not until the last few verses that the Lord let Jonah in on His secret, wherein the Lord was loathe to kill so many people and cattle.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
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Seeing that as far as I know there is no known Levities (remember 10 of the Tribes are lost) they can't hold the priesthood since they don't even know that they are Jewish let alone the rightful heirs of the Aaronic Priesthood.

But your assume that the seed of Aaron has no more legitimate claim to the priesthood, this is wrong. When Aaron's descendants are discovered they have the right to the priesthood if they are worth to hold it. If they accept Christ as there savior and are baptized they automatically become the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only a literal descendant of Aaron has the right to hold this office in the Priesthood, in the absence of a literal descendant of Aaron a worthy High Priest is ordained by the First Presidency to officiate in place of a descendant of Aaron. The chosen High Priest has no right to the Presiding Bishopric if there is a blood descendant of Aaron that is a baptized member of the Church.

D&C 107: 69-71 covers this very well, so ultimately your hypothesis fails because the descendants of Aaron are the only ones that have the right to the Keys of the Bishopric, in lack of a descendant of Aaron a High Priest officiates instead, he doesn't hold the keys by right but by assignment. Only Aaron's descendants can hold the keys to the Aaronic Priesthood by there own virtue and right.

Sorry, Guy, but you are misinformed.

"Jew" indicates a member of the tribe of Judah, and is often used to include members of any other tribe among them (Paul was of Benjamin, but called himself a Jew). Any Jew you meet with a name like Levi, Levin, Lewinsky, or the like, is likely a member of the tribe of Levi. The Levites generally served as assistants (deacons) to the priests at the temple in Jerusalem. That was the tribe of Moses and Aaron. They served all Israel as the priestly tribe. Those among them who were the sons of Aaron were usually the priests and high priests. When you meet a Jew named Cohen, Cohn, Kahn, or the like, you have met a likely descendant of Aaron, and nearly all of them carry the Cohen modal haplotype genetic marker. In ancient times, they led all functions at the temple in Jerusalem, and in other sanctuaries. Even today, they perform special functions in the synagogue which only a priest can perform, such as the blessing of the congregation on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), or the redemption of the firstborn, etc. When the temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt they will run it, with the assistance of the Levites.

Such a descendant of Aaron does have a right to the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood in a ward (as bishop), and perhaps as the Presiding Bishop, and can serve without counselors as a common judge in Israel (the LDS Church), but this is certainly not automatic. D&C 68:20-21 makes it clear that they must first prove their lineage, or receive it by revelation from the First Presidency. They must be a firstborn son. Then they must be designated by that Presidency and found worthy. Then they may be called, set apart, anointed, and ordained by that Presidency.

Those whose lineage in the LDS Church has been established as Ephraimite, or of some other tribe, may hold the Aaronic (Levitical) priesthood through proper ordination even though they are not direct descendants of Aaron or Levi. They hold it in trust until the time that the Sons of Levi are able to once again offer an offering in righteousness at God's Holy Temple (Malachi 3:3).

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Many of our critics use the charge that we cannot hold the (Aaronic) Priesthood because we

Edited by Zakuska
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Sorry, Guy, but you are misinformed.

"Jew" indicates a member of the tribe of Judah, and is often used to include members of any other tribe among them (Paul was of Benjamin, but called himself a Jew).

CFR on that one...

Romans 11

1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

No mention of him being a "Jew"

Acts 22:3 he does claim to be a Jew but it seems to be more a designation of "Spiritual upbringing" than Lineage.

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Edited by Zakuska
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Sorry, Guy, but you are misinformed.

"Jew" indicates a member of the tribe of Judah, and is often used to include members of any other tribe among them (Paul was of Benjamin, but called himself a Jew). Any Jew you meet with a name like Levi, Levin, Lewinsky, or the like, is likely a member of the tribe of Levi. The Levites generally served as assistants (deacons) to the priests at the temple in Jerusalem. That was the tribe of Moses and Aaron. They served all Israel as the priestly tribe. Those among them who were the sons of Aaron were usually the priests and high priests. When you meet a Jew named Cohen, Cohn, Kahn, or the like, you have met a likely descendant of Aaron, and nearly all of them carry the Cohen modal haplotype genetic marker. In ancient times, they led all functions at the temple in Jerusalem, and in other sanctuaries. Even today, they perform special functions in the synagogue which only a priest can perform, such as the blessing of the congregation on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), or the redemption of the firstborn, etc. When the temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt they will run it, with the assistance of the Levites.

Such a descendant of Aaron does have a right to the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood in a ward (as bishop), and perhaps as the Presiding Bishop, and can serve without counselors as a common judge in Israel (the LDS Church), but this is certainly not automatic. D&C 68:20-21 makes it clear that they must first prove their lineage, or receive it by revelation from the First Presidency. They must be a firstborn son. Then they must be designated by that Presidency and found worthy. Then they may be called, set apart, anointed, and ordained by that Presidency.

Those whose lineage in the LDS Church has been established as Ephraimite, or of some other tribe, may hold the Aaronic (Levitical) priesthood through proper ordination even though they are not direct descendants of Aaron or Levi. They hold it in trust until the time that the Sons of Levi are able to once again offer an offering in righteousness at God's Holy Temple (Malachi 3:3).

Your position is very flawed and contradicts yourself, you say there are known Levites but then are unable to show any known Levites only "possible levites".

Also where in my argument did I say anyone had automatic priesthood?

I can't find where I said that, only that by right the seed of Aaron hold the keys to the Aaronic priesthood if the repent and join Christ's true Church. You comment has nothin to really do with mine, it only confirms what I said while adding come contradictory statements about current Levites that possibly exist.

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Also where in my argument did I say anyone had automatic priesthood?

Sorry Guy,

but you said:

"I
f they accept Christ as there savior and are baptized they
automatically
become the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

This is plainly a false statement. You probably misspoke yourself, and I sought to clarify it for the Board.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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CFR on that one...

Romans 11

1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

No mention of him being a "Jew"

Acts 22:3 he does claim to be a Jew but it seems to be more a designation of "Spiritual upbringing" than Lineage.

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

An excellent source with dependable information about who the Jews are is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews .

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Your position is very flawed and contradicts yourself, you say there are known Levites but then are unable to show any known Levites only "possible levites".

You comment has nothin to really do with mine, it only confirms what I said while adding come contradictory statements about current Levites that possibly exist.

There are many actual Levites in existence today, although not everyone named "Levi" or the like is actually a Levite. That is why a Patriarch (in a patriarchal blessing) or the First Presidency (for calling as a bishop) must determine the actual lineage -- which must be of Aaron to serve as a bishop in the LDS Church. Among the Jews, Levites and the sons of Aaron keep careful genealogies so as to prevent imposters.

A good explanation of who the Levites are is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levites .

For further on Aaron, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron .

Both articles discuss the genetic issues.

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There are many actual Levites in existence today, although not everyone named "Levi" or the like is actually a Levite. That is why a Patriarch (in a patriarchal blessing) or the First Presidency (for calling as a bishop) must determine the actual lineage -- which must be of Aaron to serve as a bishop in the LDS Church. Among the Jews, Levites and the sons of Aaron keep careful genealogies so as to prevent imposters.

A good explanation of who the Levites are is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levites .

For further on Aaron, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron .

Both articles discuss the genetic issues.

I don't disagree that there are Levities around, I do disagree that there are known Levities around. They are lost, if they were known then the Jews would still have ordained priests. They do not have ordained priests because they have no Levities to ordain.

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Sorry Guy,

but you said:

"I
f they accept Christ as there savior and are baptized they
automatically
become the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

This is plainly a false statement. You probably misspoke yourself, and I sought to clarify it for the Board.

This is not a false statement, but it is incorrect due to my over simplification, there ordination as Presiding Bishop of the Church is not automatic as I said. As a baptized member they would be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood when deemed worthy and then ordained as the Presiding Bishop of the Church. You are correct that there ordination is not automatic, I misspoke on this. They are by right to be the Presiding Bishop of the Church, not the automatic, they first need to be ordained into the Aaronic Priesthood before assuming the role of Presiding Bishop.

I am sure if anyone could prove that they are a blood descendant of Aaron the Church would jump at the opportunity to have a living descendant as the Presiding Bishopric, so any male descendant of Aaron that is found in the Church or converts to the Church would be given much priority to ensure they are set aside in the office of Presiding Bishop.

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Seeing that as far as I know there is no known Levities (remember 10 of the Tribes are lost) they can't hold the priesthood since they don't even know that they are Jewish let alone the rightful heirs of the Aaronic Priesthood.

But your assume that the seed of Aaron has no more legitimate claim to the priesthood, this is wrong. When Aaron's descendants are discovered they have the right to the priesthood if they are worth to hold it. If they accept Christ as there savior and are baptized they automatically become the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only a literal descendant of Aaron has the right to hold this office in the Priesthood, in the absence of a literal descendant of Aaron a worthy High Priest is ordained by the First Presidency to officiate in place of a descendant of Aaron. The chosen High Priest has no right to the Presiding Bishopric if there is a blood descendant of Aaron that is a baptized member of the Church.

D&C 107: 69-71 covers this very well, so ultimately your hypothesis fails because the descendants of Aaron are the only ones that have the right to the Keys of the Bishopric, in lack of a descendant of Aaron a High Priest officiates instead, he doesn't hold the keys by right but by assignment. Only Aaron's descendants can hold the keys to the Aaronic Priesthood by there own virtue and right.

Just for the record, my last Primary teacher was a Levite,

but since she was a female, she couldn't be the bishop.

Yours under the blessed oaks,

Nathair /|\

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Just for the record, my last Primary teacher was a Levite,

but since she was a female, she couldn't be the bishop.

Yours under the blessed oaks,

Nathair /|\

well actually she couldn't be even if she was a man, unless you want us to also believe without a shred of evidence that she was also a descendant of Aaron.

Your story seems fabricated since you didn't even give her the proper lineage to be a bishop by right.

I will stick to what I know so far until the Holy Ghost or compelling factual evidence persuades me otherwise.

Thank you for the comment, but I reject your claim without any evidence.

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My Patriarchal Blessing states that I "...came through the loins of Levi". It took me about 30 years to prove it correct. My 3rd great grandmother was Judith Cohen Belinfante, great granddaughter to Zaddic Cohen Belinfante, Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam. "Cohen" is Hebrew for priest. The Cohenim are the sons of Aaron, hence of Levi. Fortunately, I'm just a Levite and not in line to be Bishop with with or without counselors. And, the tribe of Levi is not lost as the mostly remained with in the southern kingdom of Judah where the Temple was. They were not counted as one of the 12 tribes after given the priesthood. Joseph's son Manasseh took Levi's position.

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well actually she couldn't be even if she was a man, unless you want us to also believe without a shred of evidence that she was also a descendant of Aaron.

Your story seems fabricated since you didn't even give her the proper lineage to be a bishop by right.

I will stick to what I know so far until the Holy Ghost or compelling factual evidence persuades me otherwise.

Thank you for the comment, but I reject your claim without any evidence.

There are large numbers of known Levites within the Jewish community. Had you clicked on the Wikipedia articles I provided, you might have some concept of what that means. Members of the tribes of Israel have both male and female members. Naturally the females cannot hold priesthood, but the male members of the tribe of Levi are automatically priests of the lowest rank, except for the descendants of Aaron within that tribe, who hold the highest rank -- that of Cohen or Kohen.

Within the tribe of Levi today (and for the past several thousand years) lineage is determined by the father. If the father is a Levite, the male and female children are Levites. If he is a Cohen (a descendant of Aaron) his sons are Cohens. In order for a Cohen to become a bishop in the LDS Church, he would first have to convert to Mormonism. This would alienate him from the Jewish community and probably from his own immediate family.

There are some Jewiish converts to Mormonism, and you should not be surprised that some of them would be Levites. Whether any of them are Cohens is less likely, but certainly possible. I see no reason to doubt the story you were told here of a Levite in someone's LDS congregation. Why would that person lie?

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I don't disagree that there are Levities around, I do disagree that there are known Levities around. They are lost, if they were known then the Jews would still have ordained priests. They do not have ordained priests because they have no Levities to ordain.

Exactly what I have been saying here is that there are known and provable Levites in the Jewish community. Every Jew knows this and has met Levites. Moreover, every Jew has met blood descendants of Aaron (within the tribe of Levi) who are known as Cohanim or Kohanim (plural). As I said above, they take part in activities in Jewish synagogues and are given primary privileges: they bless the congregation, they perform the rite called "redemption of the firstborn" (pidyon haben), and they are the first to read the Tora. Many of them are rabbis. When the temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt, they will run it.

Priests are not ordained in Judaism. They are born as priests (kohanim), and may so function automatically when they come of age. The only ordinations in Judaism are of rabbis, and that is not a priestly ordination. In Jesus' day, rabbis were not ordained. Jesus himself was a Jewish rabbi.

If any of this sounds absurd to you, please go to your local public library (or college library) and read entries on the matter in the Encyclopedia Judaica. I was once where you are today, completely unaware of these matters. Most Mormons are likewise completely unfamiliar with such issues and answers. So don't feel too badly, but take this opportunity to learn about these strange and wonderful truths. They clarify the revelations of the Restoration of the Gospel in our day.

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Not any old Levite has the right to be a Bishop, only a direct descendant of Aaron. Among Jews the name Cohen means priest and a genetic marker has been identified that appears in a majority of those with that name. I have ancestors with thew name Cohen but through a maternal line so would no qualify to be a Bishop without counselors. Thank goodness!

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