Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
David T

Joseph'S Three Orders Of Priesthood

Recommended Posts

In 1843, shortly following the establishment of the Quorum of the Anointed (made up of men and women), and the presentation of the Endowment and Eternal Marriage sealings to its small membership, Joseph gave a public sermon concerning orders of the priesthood using a division that we're not accustomed to seeing in the Church. While the terms used are similar to the terms we use in relationship to the administrative priesthood offices, it is clear the distinction is different, and relates specifically to the Temple Priesthood.

To read the transcripts of the sermon in which this was discussed, check out this link - it transcribes them from Ehat's "Words of Joseph Smith".

Levitival, or the Priesthood of Aaron

  • Pertains to Temporal Law, Administration
  • Temporal Blessings and Cursings
  • Does not go beyond the authority of a Bishop.
  • They who are to "offer up a sacrifice in righteousness" at the last day.

While that may same similar to our current usage of "Aaronic Priesthood", this is where the similarity in these 'orders' ends:
Patriarchal, or the Priesthood of Abraham
  • The keys of which are conferred to the membership in the Temple
  • Is the greatest priesthood experienced in the Church to that point. (ordinances of preparatory Washing & Anointing, Endowments, and Eternal Sealing had been performed. The ordinances of Second Anointing, or "Fulness of the Priesthood" had not yet been administered)

King of Shiloam, or the Priesthood of Melchizedek

  • Being a King and a Priest to the Most High God
  • Holds Keys of Power and Blessings
  • Has authority to administers Laws the people as if they were God
  • Administers Endless Lives
  • Holds Kingly Power of Anointing
  • Higher than "Prophet" and "Apostle"
  • Necessary to seal someone up to Eternal Life.

Shortly after this sermon, the ordinance of Fulness of the Priesthood / Second Anointing as King and Priest was performed first on Joseph, and then shortly after to many other members of the Quorum of Anointed. This persisted until the death of Joseph, and was then continued in the Nauvoo Temple upon its completion.

The question I would have, is where does our current usage and view of "Melchizedek Priesthood", fit in this ordering as defined by Joseph? It is useful to understand that in Joseph's day, the term "Aaronic Priesthood" meant the office of Priest in the Aaronic Order (with deacon and teacher being appendages or assistants to that office), and Melchizedek (or High) Priesthood meant the office of "High Priest", (With Elder, Seventy, etc. being appendages to that office).

To me, it appears that there is a definite distinction between the "Administrative Priesthood", and the "Temple/Cosmic Priesthood" - that perhaps what we commonly call "Aaaronic Priesthood" and "Melchizedek Priesthood" are in fact just subdivisions of what would have been considered, by Joseph, the preparatory "Levitical" , or "Administrative" Temple-level Priesthood. (IE, the "Sons of Levi" would be the non-temple Priesthood).

What are your thoughts?

Edited by nackhadlow

Share this post


Link to post

Joseph is talking about the Orders of the Priesthood there. When we talk about the Priesthood we are usually refering to the Offices of the Priesthood.

Share this post


Link to post

Joseph is talking about the Orders of the Priesthood there. When we talk about the Priesthood we are usually refering to the Offices of the Priesthood.

Yes, but still, when today we refer to the "Melchizedek Order", which we say includes the offices of Elder, High Priest, Seventy and Apostle, it appears we clearly don't mean the same "Order" Joseph was referring to as the King of Siloam/Melchizedek Priesthood in this 1843 sermon, a priesthood order recieved only upon reception of the Second Anointing/Conferral of the Fulness of the Priesthood.

Edited by nackhadlow

Share this post


Link to post

Nack,

King of Shiloah sounds close to the Hebrew sar shalom (prince of peace) that is found in Isa 9, Abr 1, and Alma 13 in priesthood/temple contexts. I think the Prince of Peace title that Abraham seeks after is this order of priesthood that is connected to the endowment. Combine this with Pedro's thread about slm or shlm in the context of ascension, and there does seem to be a pattern.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post

Nack,

King of Shiloah sounds close to the Hebrew sar shalom (prince of peace) that is found in Isa 9, Abr 1, and Alma 13 in priesthood/temple contexts. I think the Prince of Peace title that Abraham seeks after is this order of priesthood that is connected to the endowment. Combine this with Pedro's thread about slm or shlm in the context of ascension, and there does seem to be a pattern.

Cheers

Yes, but the question posed is a practical one, not of theoretical ancient origins:

"where does our current usage and view of "Melchizedek Priesthood", fit in this ordering as defined [in 1843] by Joseph?"

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry, Nack. You made me think about something tangential. Nothing to offer on the OP, I'm afraid.

Back to lurking mode.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post

Patriarchal, or the Priesthood of Abraham

  • The keys of which are conferred to the membership in the Temple
  • Is the greatest priesthood experienced in the Church to that point. (ordinances of preparatory Washing & Anointing, Endowments, and Eternal Sealing had been performed. The ordinances of Second Anointing, or "Fulness of the Priesthood" had not yet been administered)

King of Shiloam, or the Priesthood of Melchizedek
  • Being a King and a Priest to the Most High God
  • Holds Keys of Power and Blessings
  • Has authority to administers Laws the people as if they were God
  • Administers Endless Lives
  • Holds Kingly Power of Anointing
  • Higher than "Prophet" and "Apostle"
  • Necessary to seal someone up to Eternal Life.

Shortly after this sermon, the ordinance of Fulness of the Priesthood / Second Anointing as King and Priest was performed first on Joseph, and then shortly after to many other members of the Quorum of Anointed. This persisted until the death of Joseph, and was then continued in the Nauvoo Temple upon its completion.

The question I would have, is where does our current usage and view of "Melchizedek Priesthood", fit in this ordering as defined by Joseph? It is useful to understand that in Joseph's day, the term "Aaronic Priesthood" meant the office of Priest in the Aaronic Order (with deacon and teacher being appendages or assistants to that office), and Melchizedek (or High) Priesthood meant the office of "High Priest", (With Elder, Seventy, etc. being appendages to that office).

To me, it appears that there is a definite distinction between the "Administrative Priesthood", and the "Temple/Cosmic Priesthood" - that perhaps what we commonly call "Aaaronic Priesthood" and "Melchizedek Priesthood" are in fact just subdivisions of what would have been considered, by Joseph, the preparatory "Levitical" , or "Administrative" Temple-level Priesthood. (IE, the "Sons of Levi" would be the non-temple Priesthood).

What are your thoughts?

I don't see a difference between the two higher priesthoods and the manner in which we discuss the Melchizedek today. What differences do you see?

The second annointing is pretty much reserved for leaders of the church today given that an apostle much officiate at each ordinance. However, one's calling of Election is still process open for each member. There is no increase in priesthood with the second annointing or the calling of election.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't see a difference between the two higher priesthoods and the manner in which we discuss the Melchizedek today. What differences do you see?

According to Joseph in 1843, the two higher priesthoods (Patriarchal and Fulness/Melchizedek) could only be given in the temple, and were associated with the ordinances therein. Today, we confer the Melchizedek Priesthood on 18 year olds without any connection to the temple. It instead becomes a pre-requisite to the temple, instead of something received therein.

The second annointing is pretty much reserved for leaders of the church today given that an apostle much officiate at each ordinance. However, one's calling of Election is still process open for each member. There is no increase in priesthood with the second annointing or the calling of election.

Yet for Joseph in 1843, the preparatory Temple anointing was the "calling and election", and the sealing of the Second Anointing was having that "Calling and Election made sure". Joseph and members of the Anointed Quorum referred to this as recieving the Fulness of the Priesthood, and was definitely understood and taught by Joseph as significantly increasing Priesthood.

Would you say that is something that has changed?

Edited by nackhadlow

Share this post


Link to post

According to Joseph in 1843, the two higher priesthoods (Patriarchal and Fulness/Melchizedek) could only be given in the temple, and were associated with the ordinances therein. Today, we confer the Melchizedek Priesthood on 18 year olds without any connection to the temple. It instead becomes a pre-requisite to the temple, instead of something received therein.

Yet for Joseph in 1843, the preparatory Temple anointing was the "calling and election", and the sealing of the Second Anointing was having that "Calling and Election made sure". Joseph and members of the Anointed Quorum referred to this as recieving the Fulness of the Priesthood, and was definitely understood and taught by Joseph as significantly increasing Priesthood.

Would you say that is something that has changed?

There would appear to be a difference. Today the promises that you brought out above regarding the priesthood are the same promises of the MP. There are two distinct topics here: priesthood and calling of election. The Bible encourages us to obtain our calling of election, but this does not seem to be a topic for many Christian churches. I am only aware of a single ordinance today in the temple called the Second Annointing by some; it occurs rarely.

Smith spend a considerable time considering how to lead all to see the face of God, to have a direct, personal relationship with God the Father and the Son. Also, I do not recall any restrictions on where the MP was received. I cannot cite a reference off the top of my head, but I am positive that there never was a restriction. Do you know of any?

I would have to study this further to determine if there was a different context to this topic. It is an interesting one.

Share this post


Link to post
Also, I do not recall any restrictions on where the MP was received. I cannot cite a reference off the top of my head, but I am positive that there never was a restriction. Do you know of any?

That depends. Our terminology has significantly shifted from Joseph's time. Initially, as I noted before, "High Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek" - as found in the 1835 D&C - had reference to the office of High Priest. The term Priesthood didn't initially mean metaphysical power that one holds, it mean "someone who holds the office of a priest". Lesser Priesthood and Aaronic Priesthood meant, the office of Priest, opposed to the "High Priesthood" or "Melchizedek Priesthood" which meant the office of High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

The initial ordinations to High Priest were part of what was thought to be the first endowment in 1831. Later, ordinations became significantly less restricted. It doesn't appear to be until later Nauvoo (and further influence by his induction into Freemasonry) that the concepts and understandings of Priesthood significantly changed.

There's a great article by Don Bradley discussing how Joseph was preparing to give up his role of Prophet (to Hyrum) so he could advance and serve as Priest and King.

Basically, what we have canonized in the D&C are Joseph's early doctrinal and organizational concepts. His more fully developed ones, as presented in his later Nauvoo Sermons, never made the cut. Thus, our current terminology and definitions generally appear to come from trying to harmonize Joseph's unrevised early definitions with modern progressive practice - with his later definitions and explanations sort of falling to the wayside. It's sort of a funky mix that became mostly "normalized" through the work of Joseph F. Smith.

Share this post


Link to post

...There is no increase in priesthood with the second annointing....

Joseph Smith, 27 Aug 1843: "There are 3 grand principles or orders of Priesthood portrayed in this chapter [Heb. 7]

"1st Levitical which was never able to administer a Blessing but only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear

2 Abrahams Patriarchal power which is the greatest yet experienced in this church

3d That of Melchisedec who had still greater power even power of an endless life of which was our Lord Jesus Christ which also Abraham obtained by the offering of his son Isaac which was not the power of a Prophet nor apostle nor Patriarch only but of King & Priest to God to open the windows of Heaven and pour out the peace & Law of endless Life to man & No man can attain to the Joint heirship with Jesus Christ with out being administered to by one having the same power & Authority of Melchisedec" (The Words of Joseph Smith, 245; emphasis mine).

Brigham Young, 6 Aug 1843: "if any in the Church had it [the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood] he did not know it. For any person to have the fulness of that priesthood must be a king & a Priest" (Wilford Woodruff journal).

Amasa Lyman, 21 Dec 1845 in the Nauvoo Temple to a group of endowed members: "If you are found worthy, and maintain your integrity, and do not run away and think you have got all your endowment you will be found worthy after a while, which will make you honorable with God. You have not yet been ordained to anything, but will be by and by" (Heber C. Kimball journal).

Share this post


Link to post

And there seems to a little confusion about one's calling and election being made sure and the second anointing: though inextricably related, they are not synonymous.

D&C 131:5: "The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood."

Both the revelation and the priesthood ordinance are ultimately required to make your calling and election sure, but they can happen in any order and at any time.

Share this post


Link to post

I thought that Harold B. Lee said that the second anointing was just a special blessing for church leaders and that we receive all that we need when we receive the endowment. Surely he wouldn't contradict Joseph Smith...

Share this post


Link to post

And there seems to a little confusion about one's calling and election being made sure and the second anointing: though inextricably related, they are not synonymous.

D&C 131:5: "The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood."

Both the revelation and the priesthood ordinance are ultimately required to make your calling and election sure, but they can happen in any order and at any time.

Curtis, I don't think that is accurate. The ordinance is limited to very few individauls today; basically the leaders of the church. It can onlly be officiated by an Apostle. One's Calling of Election, that described in the Bible and mentioned most often in LDS discussion is an event, an experinece, between an individual and Jesus Christ. This is also a rare event that is never discussed by any who have enjoyed it; LDS or not.

Share this post


Link to post

It seems to me that the confusion is due to different uses of terminology. When church leaders talk about the patriarchal order, they say that all priesthood is part of the Melchizedek priesthood including Patriarchal and Aaronic (for example here). Joseph Smith said that the Melchizedek priesthood was one of the orders of the priesthood. So I think the right way to look at it would be to think that unless one has the fulness of the priesthood, one has only a part of the priesthood, which can be divided up into orders. The names for different orders have changed over time.

As for the fulness of the priesthood/second annointing ordinance, I think that the idea is that everyone who qualifies will eventually get it, but it is required for everyone in this life.

Share this post


Link to post

Curtis, I don't think that is accurate....

D&C 131:5 seems pretty clear.

And the statement "No man can attain to the Joint heirship with Jesus Christ with out being administered to by one having the same power & Authority of Melchisedec" (The Words of Joseph Smith, 245) seems pretty straightforwardly to refer to the administration of a priesthood ordinance. JST Genesis 14 makes it clear that Abraham was blessed by receiving the oath and covenant (i.e. calling and election made sure) from God and by the blessing (i.e. ordination) given him by Melchizedek. Joseph Smith made it clear that Abraham received both instruction and priesthood ordination from Melchizedek: "Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man; so Melchizedek ordained Abraham and sent him away. Abraham rejoiced, saying, Now I have a priesthood" (TPJS, 322). And he continued in the same sermon to quite expressly make the connection: "How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah the prophet.... Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the father to the children, and the children to the fathers. The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure" (TPJS, 323).

I'm not sure what you think is inaccurate. Can you clarify? Is it that you think the ordinance is unnecessary in order to make one's calling and election sure?

Share this post


Link to post

In temples today most if not all members are ordained to later become priests and kings (or priestesses and queens) in our Father's kingdom only if they continue faithful.

In Joseph's sermon he was talking about actually being ordained to the offices of priests and kings (or priestesses and queens) in our Father's kingdom.

And btw, the temple ordinance where the covenant is made requires only that a man be ordained as an elder, and the office of "priest" that Joseph was talking about is the office of high priest which many members who have received that ordinance have not yet attained. Some later go on to receive the ordination to the office of high priest, however, and those who continue faithful will also be ordained to the offices of kings and queens, which are higher than all of the other offices in the Melchizedek order.

Edited by Ahab

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, but still, when today we refer to the "Melchizedek Order", which we say includes the offices of Elder, High Priest, Seventy and Apostle, it appears we clearly don't mean the same "Order" Joseph was referring to as the King of Siloam/Melchizedek Priesthood in this 1843 sermon, a priesthood order recieved only upon reception of the Second Anointing/Conferral of the Fulness of the Priesthood.

Again, your are confusing the Offices, IE Elder, High Priest, Seventy, Apostle, and Patriarch with the Order of the Priesthood.

The offices are After the Order of the Priesthood. Section 107:1-3 helps explain alittle of the difference between the office and Orders of the Priesthood. But for the most part, much about the Orders of the Priesthood are not revealed in the scriptures. They are revealed in the Temple.

Edited by Avatar4321

Share this post


Link to post

Another way to think about it is that the Offices of the Priesthood have the authority. When we enter the Orders of the Priesthood, we are entitled to power. Alot of Latter-day Saints still don't realize that the authority of the Priesthood and the power of the Priesthood are very different things.

Share this post


Link to post

Another way to think about it is that the Offices of the Priesthood have the authority. When we enter the Orders of the Priesthood, we are entitled to power. Alot of Latter-day Saints still don't realize that the authority of the Priesthood and the power of the Priesthood are very different things.

Yes, and to go a little further, the more we advance in an order of the Priesthood, by being ordained to a higher office in an order, the more power we get to do things, with the highest office having the most power.

For example, in the Aaronic order, a priest can do more than a deacon or teacher, and a bishop can do more than them all, while a person ordained to the lowest office in what we refer to as the Mechizedek order can do everything that anyone in the Aaronic order can do, like how an elder can do more than a bishop, for example (speaking of a bishop who is not also a high priest). The office or position of king and queen in our Father's kingdom is in the Melchizedek order and those are the highest positions anyone can attain in our Father's kingdom.

It takes more than just being appointed to an office in an order of the Priesthood for the Priesthood to function correctly, though. For example, a person who has been ordained to the office of a bishop also needs to be authorized to act in the capacity of that office in a particular area and during a specified time, otherwise all persons who have been ordained to the office of a bishop could think they have our Father's authority to act as the bishop of a ward (geographic area) they all live in while they're actually not the one who has been authorized or "set apart" and given the "keys" to act as the bishop.

Edited by Ahab

Share this post


Link to post

And btw, the temple ordinance where the covenant is made requires only that a man be ordained as an elder, and the office of "priest" that Joseph was talking about is the office of high priest which many members who have received that ordinance have not yet attained. Some later go on to receive the ordination to the office of high priest, however, and those who continue faithful will also be ordained to the offices of kings and queens, which are higher than all of the other offices in the Melchizedek order.

The standard office of "High Priest" - even during the period under question - is different that the "Priest" one is anointed to in the second anointing. Most of the anointed quorum already held the office of High Priest prior to their anointing as a "King and Priest", and others continued to be ordained to a High Priest in the Church separate from the temple ordinance. They are not the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post

Again, your are confusing the Offices, IE Elder, High Priest, Seventy, Apostle, and Patriarch with the Order of the Priesthood.

The offices are After the Order of the Priesthood. Section 107:1-3 helps explain alittle of the difference between the office and Orders of the Priesthood. But for the most part, much about the Orders of the Priesthood are not revealed in the scriptures. They are revealed in the Temple.

I'd highly suggest you read WVS' history and textual analyses of the development and evolution of D&C 107. It's a little less open and shut than you present, and definitely was not originally understood the way you present. Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...