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Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood

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I was recently reading the Joseph Smith history in the Pearl of Great Price and I realized that Joseph does not describe the restoration of the Melchiizedek priesthood. I also know that there is no description of the incidence in the Doctrine and Covenants. When did Joseph describe the visitation of Peter, James, and John? It is strange that I spent two years telling people this story and showing them the picture and I don't know how we even know about it.

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I was recently reading the Joseph Smith history in the Pearl of Great Price and I realized that Joseph does not describe the restoration of the Melchiizedek priesthood. I also know that there is no description of the incidence in the Doctrine and Covenants. When did Joseph describe the visitation of Peter, James, and John? It is strange that I spent two years telling people this story and showing them the picture and I don't know how we even know about it.

I started a thread on this a little while back.

I don't think there is clear answer if you are looking for an exacting date and even the suggested dates are arguable.

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When did Joseph describe the visitation of Peter, James, and John? It is strange that I spent two years telling people this story and showing them the picture and I don't know how we even know about it.

I hope this is not a testimony buster for you.

There is no known formal record of this event.

The best we have is a diary entry or memory of Addison Everrett (as I recall, I'm not going to look it up again—this question comes up rather often) who related that he'd heard Joseph Smith say that it was in the morning following his and Oliver's night-time escape from a mob in Colesville. Oliver was worn out (Joseph had had to carry him a good part of the way), after they'd been tripping over logs and rocks, falling in the mud, etc., all night, when Peter, James, and John appeared and bestowed the Priesthood on them.

We do not have a formal record of the revelation on Baptism for the Dead, either. But Joseph was emphatic on both subjects, and there is no reason at all to doubt their veracity.

Lehi

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I started a thread on this a little while back.

I don't think there is clear answer if you are looking for an exacting date and even the suggested dates are arguable.

Thanks, Mudcat, for locating a recent example of this question. Here's what I wrote for the topic you linked to:

In a conversation I heard between Joseph and Hyrum smith, Oliver Cowdery was spoken of. Joseph said, "Poor boy!"

He then said that at Colesville, New York, in 1829, he and Oliver were under arrest on a charge of deceiving the people. When they were at the justice's house for trial in the evening, all were waiting for Mr. Reid, Joseph's lawyer; While waiting, the justice asked Joseph some questions, among which was this: "hat was the first miracle Jesus performed?"

Joseph replied, "He made this world, and what followed we are not told."

Mr. Reid came in and said he wanted to speak to his clients in private and that the law allowed him that privilege, he believed. The judge pointed to a door to a room in the back part of the house, and told them to step in there. As soon as they got into the room, the lawyer said there was mob outside in front of the house. "If they get hold of you they will perhaps do you bodily injury; and I think that best way for you to get out of this is to get out right there." pointing to the window and hoisting it.

They got into the woods in going a few rods from the house. It was night and they traveled through brush and water and mud, fell over logs, etc., until Oliver was exhausted. Then Joseph helped him get along through the mud and water, almost carrying him.

They traveled all night, and just at the break of day Oliver gave out entirely and exclaimed, "Oh, Lord! Brother Joseph, how long have we got to endure this thing?"

They sat down on a log to rest, and Joseph said that at that very time, Peter, James, and John came to them and ordained them to the apostleship.

They had sixteen or seventeen miles to go to get back to Mr. Hale's, his father-in-law's, but Oliver did not complain any more of fatigue.

—Letter of Addison Everett to Oliver B. Huntington, Feb 17, 1881, Young Women's Journal, II (Nov, 1890), pp 76~77.

If this second-hand, late record is accurate, then we can approximate the date.

First, it was not winter ("water", not "snow", the mud was not frozen). It was not the same time as the ordination by John the Baptist (15 May 1829), but was not long after, since it was still during the translation of the Book of Mormon (they were still at the Hale's, which they left in May). I haven't found any reference to a Colesville arrest, which would identify this date specifically.

Lehi

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I was recently reading the Joseph Smith history in the Pearl of Great Price and I realized that Joseph does not describe the restoration of the Melchiizedek priesthood. I also know that there is no description of the incidence in the Doctrine and Covenants. When did Joseph describe the visitation of Peter, James, and John? It is strange that I spent two years telling people this story and showing them the picture and I don't know how we even know about it.

The date has been debated to death, and I think it is at a stalemate. The May/June 1829 and June/August 1830 dates have evidence and narratives that can seem persuasive, but both perspectives include holes that are big enough to drive a semi through. I wrote about the various theories here: http://www.juvenileinstructor.org/dating-the-melchizedek-priesthood-restoration/

My conclusion: There is not enough evidence to make a conclusion. But more importantly, the early Saints' understanding of the priesthood was in such a state of flux and development that it really didn't matter when it exactly occurred. Their comprehension of leadership keys--especially concerning the apostleship--were progressing for the next five years, and were only better comprehended in time for the Kirtland Temple dedications and the further keys revealed on April 3, 1836. If your issue is definitively concluding whether the event actually happened or not, then I can see the purpose of stressing over the date; if not, then I think it is ok to just say "sometime after" the visitation of John the Baptist, as Joseph Smith put it himself.

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As I remember, my teacher in Church History gave this as a specific example where an early church leader (don't remember) was upset because they did not record important events in early church history. I assume that is the reason that the office of church historian was created (Oliver Cowdery, I believe, was the first).

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How about this...

The M. Priesthood is meant to give a person power. Does anyone know the date of the last miracle Joseph Smith performed?

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How about this...

The M. Priesthood is meant to give a person power. Does anyone know the date of the last miracle Joseph Smith performed?

Hi,

Miracles are not the only evidence of "power". Think of what Jesus told Peter:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and
whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven
. (Matthew 16)

Revelation from Christ is the "rock" that the gates of hell shall not prevail against. Right?

Revelation is also "power"-- the power of truth that sets us free.

The last written "Word of the Lord" revelation I have seen that Joseph wrote is this one:

Revelation Received Sat, November 25, 1843

(History of the Church 6:82)

At Nauvoo, Illinois

Let My servant John E. Page take his departure speedily from the city of Boston and go directly to the city of Washington, DC, and there labor diligently in proclaiming My gospel to the inhabitants thereof;

2 And if he is humble and faithful, lo I will be with him, and will give him the hearts of the people--

3 That he may do them good, and build up a church unto My name in that city.

Richard

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Hi,

Miracles are not the only evidence of "power". Think of what Jesus told Peter...

Thank you, Richard.

Did Peter have the M. Priesthood when he received his revelation?

Do you have to hold the M. Priesthood to receive revelation?

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As I remember, my teacher in Church History gave this as a specific example where an early church leader (don't remember) was upset because they did not record important events in early church history. I assume that is the reason that the office of church historian was created (Oliver Cowdery, I believe, was the first).

I have a quotation from Elder Orson Pratt from 1849 that says something to that effect, IIRC, I will see if I can dig it up!

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The last written "Word of the Lord" revelation I have seen that Joseph wrote is this one:

Revelation Received Sat, November 25, 1843

(History of the Church 6:82)

At Nauvoo, Illinois

Let My servant John E. Page take his departure speedily from the city of Boston and go directly to the city of Washington, DC, and there labor diligently in proclaiming My gospel to the inhabitants thereof;

2 And if he is humble and faithful, lo I will be with him, and will give him the hearts of the people--

3 That he may do them good, and build up a church unto My name in that city.

Richard

And we now have a temple in both of those cities.

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And we now have a temple in both of those cities.

pardon.gif

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Thank you, Richard.

Did Peter have the M. Priesthood when he received his revelation?

Do you have to hold the M. Priesthood to receive revelation?

Clearly not. Joseph Smith received the First Vision before the Melchizedek Priesthood was even restored. Besides the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon there was at least one sister, Mary Whitmer (David Whitmer's mother) who claimed that she sought for and obtained a revelation as to the Book of Mormon's authenticity, including an angelic visitation.

Besides, every person who obtains a witness from the Holy Ghost in answer to prayer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon has received a revelation.

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Sadly Joseph did not record the event. However, I can give you a report from someone else involved in a letter he sent to a friend, soon to be canonized as 3 Peter:

Hey Enoch,

How's Zion doing? I think you may need to hurry up preparations for the return. I assume you got the letter about the Meeting at Adam-ondi-ahman. Michael is organizing it though Abraham is in charge of the dinner. He keeps joking about what he is going to serve and eyeing his son and Isaac just keeps rolling his eyes about the whole thing. The joke has definitely worn thin over the last few millenia.

Anyways, just got back from a trip back to Earth. James and I were called in to pick up John and pass on the rest of the Priesthood. John was of course late to the meet-up point as usual. Guy would be late to his own funeral which is, I think, why God made sure he never had to have one. Anyways we met up with Joseph and his scribe Oliver. Good kids. Especially Joseph. Filled with that impetuous spirit and a lot of zeal. Remember when we were like that? The guy whose ear I chopped off still likes to remind me of that. Still, seem like good kids. A little bit of seasoning, some happy times, some hard times, and a lot of revelation and I think he will be ready to offer up his dispensation proudly with you and I at Adam-ondi-ahman.

John says hi and says he'll stop into visit once he gets the records of the Ten Tribes sorted out for publishing and given to the right people. Could be a while. Sometimes I envy how close you translated guys are to the living but I still think we early risers got the better deal. From what I hear though we only have a few centuries till the Millenium kicks off and we can get the morning of the First Resurrection into full swing. We won't be such a select group anymore.

All the Best,

Peter

P.S. If Moses is visiting you tell him the date for him and Elijah to deliver their keys is a go. We have a huge backlog of Work for the Dead for those mortals to get working on and we better get them started in the next few decades so we don't have as much left for us when the Millenium finally comes around.

P.P.S. Eve wants to know if your wife is still planning for their "Girl's night out" solar-skiing next week.

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