As far as I've been able to see from a quick search, there is no such thing as the "patriarchal order" as a scriptural commandment -- the phrase itself simply does not occur in the canonized standard works, though it can be inferred
if one wishes to.
Hyrum Smith is referenced as a "Patriarch" thrice in the D&C (sections 124 & 135), but this is in subordination
to the Priesthood conferred upon him (in the fourth reference to patriarchy in D&C 124). Specifically, Priesthood and Patriarchy are explicitly not
interchangeable; they're linked
with the word "and", meaning that there is a larger
Priesthood necessary to issue Patriarchal Blessings in a separate office, as, for instance, in the various Aaronic and Levitical subsections of the Priesthood found in the scriptures.
The larger, everlasting Priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek, who, according to the Book of Mormon, "took upon him the high priesthood forever," "this high priesthood being after the order of [the Father and Mother's] Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity."
According to the Joseph Smith translation of Hebrews 7:3, "Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent
, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually." It was in the Divine Council before the foundation of the earth that we elected the Son of God and the Plan of Salvation by common consent,
having judged for ourselves
that God, being a great Intelligence, had concocted the best Plan to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of the entire human family.
This certainly does not provide support to the idea that "patriarchy" as such is the One True Way of Heaven's system, or necessary for effective administration, accountability, and order. The Priesthood, it seems to me, is part of the eternal
law which we all
must follow according to the works of Justice in order to proceed along the pathway towards theosis - nothing to do with gender, it is cosmological
. Just as the elements are eternal, according to D&C 93, so too is the light of the individual Intelligence of every man and woman, who are therefore equal because neither
came before the other, regardless of which is born into a tabernacle first. We have different attributes according to our genders and which Gifts of the Holy Spirit of Wisdom we have received, to be sure, but we are all fundamentally free and equal.
There are four descriptive references in the New Testament designating Abraham, the Twelve heads of the tribes, and David as being
"patriarchs," but this system was instituted in much the same way as that of Egypt's, which, according to the Pearl of Great Price, was "after the manner of the government
of Ham, which was patriarchal." [Emphasis added.]
This was not divinely ordained, it was a governmental policy of men
- a man whose son had been cursed, even. As Marija Gimbutas, Riane Eisler, and Elinor Gadon, among many others, have shown, patriarchal waves of invasion disrupted earlier, more egalitarian societies (though to be sure, those others were hardly Utopias either!). It hardly matters when they are justified by an appeal to rhetoric emphasizing a claimed holiness - the similar sacralization of racially-motivated prejudice was seen, for instance, in the American South during the fight over slavery. When the works of Justice are destroyed, Gods cease to be Gods worth worshipping; they elect to become part of the family of the father of lies, and amen to whatever authority they supposed their mere priesthood could confer upon them.
Yet, "Pharaoh, being a righteous man
, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of [W]isdom [the Egyptian Goddess Ma'at], but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood." [Emphasis added]
Here, Priesthood is decoupled
from the organizational social-strategy of the order of Patriarchy, ie, "pater
, "father" + archein
, "to rule." It's the "archein
" which is the problem, because without common consent it places one gender as "ruler", and not even based on their virtue or wisdom, but rather the type of tabernacle their Uncreated Intelligence has been placed within. Priesthood and Patriarchy are quite explicitly not interchangeable
; it is said that while Pharaoh righteously imitates the Patriarchal order
, as yet he does not have the Priesthood
. It was the "fathers" who "instituted [this order] in the days of Adam" and caused it to come "down by lineage" (D&C 107:41); "the order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son." (D&C 107:40)
Yet the Celestial
Order, before the Fall, was one of marriage in which Man and Woman were equally
naked before the Gods.
The records of the Fathers, according to the Book of Abraham, contained "a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars," but Abraham wrote for "his posterity," not just for men. As the Book of Mormon teaches, God "imparteth his word by angels [angelos
= messengers] unto men, yea, not only men but women also.
As the Book of Abraham teaches, "thou [Abraham] shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal."
Nowhere is this limited to a "patriarchal order." It is the nations and the families -- men and women both -- which will eventually be blessed with this cosmological Priesthood in order to bless others,
descending from the eternities to guide us all on the pathway to theosis according to our works of Justice and equity and by the common consent of all
Edited by JeremyOrbe-Smith, 13 April 2012 - 04:35 PM.