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Mudcat

When exactly was the Melchizedek Priesthood reestablished in the CoJCoLDS?

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Here Joseph reports that he is commanded to ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder in the church. But wait, how could he do that if he did not have the Melchizedek Priesthood? Just before Joseph stated that the purpose of the prayer meeting was to have the promised realized that "provided we continued faithful, we should also have the Melchizedek Priesthood". How did he suddenly have it?

Richard

You left out the rest of the account, that puts a big hole in your theory.

"...We were, however, commanded to defer this our ordination until such times as it should be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be baptized, assembled together, when we must have their sanction to our thus proceeding to ordain each other, and have them decide by vote whether they were willing to accept us as spiritual teachers or not; when also we were commanded to bless bread and break it with them, and to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them; afterward proceed to ordain each other according to commandment; then call out such men as the Spirit should dictate, and ordain them; and then attend to the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, upon all those whom we had previously baptized, doing all things in the name of the Lord. The following commandment will further illustrate the nature of our calling to this Priesthood, as well as that of others who were yet to be sought after:" [ D&C 18 ].

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You left out the rest of the account, that puts a big hole in your theory.

...Peter, James, and John gave them the Priesthood in the interim, before the ordinations happened, as commanded by the Lord. Nothing to see here, move along.

Hi,

I did leave that part out, but only because it did not change my point.

The reason that they were told to defer such ordinations was because all things must be done by "common consent" in the church. So, before anyone could be ordained to be an Elder for the church the members of the church must have the right to sustain them. Right?

I do agree that without the further revelation concerning this that has been given one can still find ways to see this the way they want to see it.

So, carry on.

Richard

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Hi,

I did leave that part out, but only because it did not change my point.

The reason that they were told to defer such ordinations was because all things must be done by "common consent" in the church. So, before anyone could be ordained to be an Elder for the church the members of the church must have the right to sustain them. Right?

I do agree that without the further revelation concerning this that has been given one can still find ways to see this the way they want to see it.

So, carry on.

Richard

And when was the next timed they all met together for common consent?

The answer to that it the answer. Peter James and John gave them the Priesthood within a few weeks, by most accounts, of this. They didn't meet as a whole until after that. All things are done in order, and the Lord had them wait, for more reasons than they were told.

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Here Joseph reports that he is commanded to ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder in the church. But wait, how could he do that if he did not have the Melchizedek Priesthood?

Because the Church office of Elder wasn't initially associated as being a subordinate office in any broader cosmic 'Melchizedek Priesthood'. Originally, it was an ecclesiastical administrative office, and that was it. Once the understanding and concept of 'Priesthood' as something more than someone holding an office of a priest expanded (those who held the office of Priest were members of the Priesthood, those who were High Priests were part of the High Priesthood - Elder was an appendage to the High Priests, or, in other words, an appendage to the High Priesthood), then it took its place within that context.

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Because the Church office of Elder wasn't initially associated as being a subordinate office in any broader cosmic 'Melchizedek Priesthood'. Originally, it was an ecclesiastical administrative office, and that was it. Once the understanding and concept of 'Priesthood' as something more than someone holding an office of a priest expanded (those who held the office of Priest were members of the Priesthood, those who were High Priests were part of the High Priesthood - Elder was an appendage to the High Priests, or, in other words, an appendage to the High Priesthood), then it took its place within that context.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Even though Joseph did not yet understand the Lord's plan for Priesthood and offices in these last days, I can believe Joseph still was inspired enough to not do something that would later be directly contrary to that plan.

Do you then believe that Joseph started the church without the MP?

And what about the first argument I made: Joseph proclaims that their prayers had been answered. And what were they praying for? To recieve the MP. If they did not somehow receive the MP then, how could their prayers have been answered?

Richard

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What has come to be called Priesthood was, in the Book of Mormon, and early texts and revelations of the Restoration, known only as authority from God, and not always associated with on-hands-ordination. In the book of Mormon, the only 'Priesthood' were the office of Priest, and the High Priest. Holding an invisible power of 'Priesthood' didn't make them priests, holding those offices did. Alma, for example, was filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and knew he was authorized. He didn't become a High Priest until he organized the Priests, and was their chief. He wasn't ordained and granted 'Priesthood Power' for that. It was a position.

There is a difference between power and authority from God, and the offices of the institutional Church. While the two have become more and more associated in the minds of members today, we can't read that back into the days before this was the established pattern. The pattern was often changing in the early days of the Church. That shouldn't be a problem for anyone.

I do think the terms Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood were retrojected in Joseph's 1938 History to the 1829 event, and overlayed with what they original terms may have been. (John may have promised further power and authority, which Joseph later understood to be associated with the MP). The terms AP and MP were not used or found in any contemporary documents or revelations until a few years later. As we look at the manuscript revelations, and study the changes in editions of the printed text, we can see that Joseph and his associated often would update the terminology of former revelations to more clearly correspond with what was presently understood. I see no reason why this would not have happened in this case.

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