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The Nehor

Reorganization of the Melchizedek Priesthood

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14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Up next...ward High Priests will go the way of ward seventies in the 1980s.  All melchizedek priesthood holders at the ward level will be elders.

JLHPROF, what is your opinion of what David Whitmer stated in his "An address to all believer's in Christ" regarding High Priests?

A few quotes:
 

Quote

The next grievous error which crept into the church was in ordaining high priests in June, 1831. This error was introduced at the instigation of Sydney Rigdon. The office of high priests was never spoken of, and never thought of being established in the church until Rigdon came in. Remember that we had been preaching from August, 1829, until June, 1831 — almost two years — and had baptized about 2,000 members into the Church of Christ, and had not one high priest. During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest office in the church.

 

....

Quote

In Kirtland, Ohio, in 1831, Rigdon would expound the Old Testament scriptures of the Bible and Book of Mormon (in his way) to Joseph, concerning the priesthood, high priests, etc., and would persuade Brother Joseph to inquire of the Lord about this doctrine and that doctrine, and of course a revelation would always come just as they desired it. Rigdon finally persuaded Brother Joseph to believe that the high priests which had such great power in ancient times, should be in the Church of Christ today.

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Quote

Now do not understand me to say that I think a man who is deceived about high priests being in the church is going to lose his soul. I am not judging — God is the judge. But if God did not mean for this order of high priests to be ordained in the Church of Christ, it is a serious error to have added that office to the Church.

He goes on to write more about this and states some of the older revelations were changed for this (D&C) and then he devotes an entire chapter to the subject of High Priests.

https://archive.org/stream/addresstoallbeli00whit/addresstoallbeli00whit_djvu.txt

Edited by ALarson
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In my ward I think the changes will really be helpful.  We have a huge primary and not so many older couples.  The primary likes having men in the cub scouts and they and all of the YM/YW have their activities on the same night.  If men go to primary to work it takes two or a couple.  If an Elders quorum, High Priest Group, Bishopric, Young Men’s, and Sunday School are functioning with all the counselors, secretaries and clerks, then it is very challenging to staff a ward.  We tend to have about 3-4 men as High Councilman or in stake leadership positions.  Similar with women.  

PEC has never been used the way we would like, especially since the women aren’t there every week.  The emphasis in our ward and stake has been about ministering and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have four recent converts getting ready to go to the temple.  Preparing them was a months worth of talks in Sacrament Meeting and meeting with them individually to go over in details what to expect.  It has been very good.  Our activity has gone up the last year.  

We do have some inactive or slightly inactive Melchizedek priesthood holders.  It has been about doubts or having a faith crisis for about 5-6 of them.  They were coming to church regularly a few years ago.  We just try to love them and not make a project out of them.  

I found the Spirit confirming that these changes will benefit our ward in my position as a 1st Counselor.  I think more will come with President Nelson in the helm.  

We are having struggles in the Church.  I am not going to deny it.  The thought of abuse just turns my stomach for example.  I have seen enough false allegations and convoluted situations that I wait to pass judgement till the facts are in  In the situation of divorces there are all kinds of things said and implied.  I was the home teacher for two divorces within the last five years.  I did go most months and reported what I thought were tense situations.  There was a neighbor of mine who I am pretty was cheating on his wife.  A friend of mine saw him with another woman.  He wouldn’t come in for an interview.  When he did was adamant that he was not cheating on his wife.  We investigated the best we could, but it is very hard to do that within the context of being a lay leader.  Support and love was given to the wife, who was also having struggles.  I know the Lord expects better from us, but we often fail him.  As a member of a Bishopric we reach out and have helped people who have done wrong.  Sometimes making those who they hurt or offended mad that we ministered to them. This is often within the context of an ex spouse in a nearby ward.  I wish this were all different, but it is to all that we are trying to minister to.  Best Easter to all of you.  

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My take?

I had a nostalgic conversation with my father last night after priesthood session. He was a newly-ordained seventy when stake seventies quorums were discontinued and seventies were ordained either elders or high priests. We feel that this new move is a) God's will and b) a lesser law because of our lack of diligence as a people. If we had been doing our duty collectively as a people, there would have been no need to make any change in the elders quorums and high priests quorums (with high priest groups at the ward level). I see this as part of the steady eroding of privileges and duties in the elders quorums, beginning in the early 2000s when prospective elders were taken from the elders quorums and given to the high priests. God has to work with the hand he has, and this change, while a lesser law than what we could have had, is the best thing for us at this time because of how we are (similar to how the lesser law was the right thing for Israel after rejecting the higher law). 

What wasn't fully explained last night was how keys will work. By canonized revelation, elders quorums presidents hold keys, while high priest group leaders don't. Bishop Burton gave a fantastic explanation about that in our stake based on a question of mine when he presided at a stake conference. That explanation is now superseded by last night's change. Now, the elders quorum consists of both elders and high priests, and the elders quorum president can (and usually will, I think) be a high priest. 

It's kind of sad to me that we have dropped the ball as a people to the point where this change was necessary. I think that functionally, there won't be much change. The same ten people will continue to be the same ten people who do everything in most wards. Hopefully, the change helps us increase it to the same twenty people . . . :) 

 

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54 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'll pass that along to my stake president.   :P

Knowing what an awesome and amazing SP he is, i'm guess his thinking is rather than have 10 wards that with no elder's quorum presidencies or HP group leaders for the next couple of weeks+, he's waiting to make any changes until new callings can be made at the same time.

That is what ours is doing as well.

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2 hours ago, Gray said:

What makes you think that's a thing?

The canonization thing makes sense - that way members can keep track of what's considered to be revelation and what's not. As of right now, it's become a bit of a mess. Do the uncanonized revelations even get written down somewhere? Will anyone in the Q12 or FP remember these revelations in 20 years?

I don't personally care - if something works well that's good enough revelation for me. But for those who believe that God literally tells us what to do...

I am sure there are quite a few written revelations kept just to the Apostles. Not saying all revelation is written of course.

I have heard apostles refer to written revelations not distributed at large a few times. I suspect some go back to Joseph Smith.

 

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

So the change seems to amount to when the aaronic priesthood gets released to the quorums each week the grown up men all stay together and the class at that point includes twice as many men as it used to.  Large classes in church usually result in the worst lessons, in my experience.  Sounds like they want less conversation amongst the members...less people sharing and participating.  

My guess is there have been too many complaints that wards struggle to keep either their high priest group working as you say or their elders quorum.  “Let’s stuf them together.  Then we won’t hear no complaints”.  

Revelation:  a beautiful thing

No, that is not what the change amounts to.

Thanks for playing.

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

The worst part of all this is that those energetic Elders will make too much noise during the Priesthood meeting and we won't be able to sleep in the back row anymore.

Cheesh.

Nice. Another perk!

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Did you know that sealers cannot act as "regular" ordinance workers in the temple?  The can and do help out with a veil occasionally etc but not on a regular basis- and both for the same reason- both patriarch and sealers are called for life.

I would have guessed that was the case but had never heard it said outright. Thanks.

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28 minutes ago, readstoomuch said:

PEC has never been used the way we would like, especially since the women aren’t there every week.  

We were using PEC as a kind of Ward Welfare/Missionary meeting and included the Relief Society President every week. This gave us all the leaders over the adults and the Ward Mission Leader so seemed ideal to discuss welfare situations and missionary work. We only held it once a week. Pretty sure we will just have another Ward Council meeting going forward.

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I see this just the way they explained it we will have streangth and wisdom combined.

The only question I have is what does " or otherwise determined by the stake President " mean.
Now that only stake presidents,high councilor, bishopric and patriarch are to be high priest, why else would the stake president need to determine someone to be a high priest?

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6 minutes ago, Doctrine 612 said:

I see this just the way they explained it we will have streangth and wisdom combined.

The only question I have is what does " or otherwise determined by the stake President " mean.
Now that only stake presidents,high councilor, bishopric and patriarch are to be high priest, why else would the stake president need to determine someone to be a high priest?

"Now that only stake presidents,high councilor, bishopric and patriarch are to be high priest"
Those leaders are the only ones to be in the High Priest group.  Others can still be ordained High Priests.

"why else would the stake president need to determine someone to be a high priest?"
The only reason I can think of is according to age, experience, and faithfulness; the same as is done now when some elders are ordained High Priests. 

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

We feel that this new move is a) God's will and b) a lesser law because of our lack of diligence as a people. If we had been doing our duty collectively as a people, there would have been no need to make any change in the elders quorums and high priests quorums (with high priest groups at the ward level).

God has to work with the hand he has, and this change, while a lesser law than what we could have had, is the best thing for us at this time because of how we are (similar to how the lesser law was the right thing for Israel after rejecting the higher law).

That could definitely be the case.

We always assume that changes made by the Church are progressive in direction towards God's end goal.

Sometimes I become concerned that like the early Christian Church the changes are regressive towards the first steps in apostasy.

I suppose that neither could be the case.  We could be as the Children of Israel wandering in the wilderness being given inspired lesser laws and practices piece by piece and hoping for the promised land.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

We were using PEC as a kind of Ward Welfare/Missionary meeting and included the Relief Society President every week. This gave us all the leaders over the adults and the Ward Mission Leader so seemed ideal to discuss welfare situations and missionary work. We only held it once a week. Pretty sure we will just have another Ward Council meeting going forward.

I actually stopped having PEC when I was bishop of another ward (around 2013). We had ward council only, for the reasons that have been pointed out (no business that couldn't be done outside of ward council; discussions like home teaching assignments were done as needed, not in a scheduled Sunday meeting). In my current ward, we have held ward council twice a month (for three years now). 

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27 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

That could definitely be the case.

We always assume that changes made by the Church are progressive in direction towards God's end goal.

Sometimes I become concerned that like the early Christian Church the changes are regressive towards the first steps in apostasy.

I suppose that neither could be the case.  We could be as the Children of Israel wandering in the wilderness being given inspired lesser laws and practices piece by piece and hoping for the promised land.

I really think that is what this is. Really God's will and authorized, but a lesser law because we couldn't/wouldn't keep the higher law. It saddens me, but I also felt at peace last night. 

I'm thinking about talking about this in ward conference in a couple of weeks. Elder Benson gave a talk in the 1960s about how we lose blessings the more God has to spell out for us or when he has to give us lesser laws. But when he does give us lesser laws, then we are blessed for keeping the law given, and his people are blessed because of it. And, even under the lesser law, some still held the Melchizedek priesthood, even though it was under the Levitical. 

I don't see high priests ever being abolished as an office at the local level (like seventies were). Too few literal descendants of Aaron, so bishops have to be high priests. And have counselors. ;) 

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

"Now that only stake presidents,high councilor, bishopric and patriarch are to be high priest"
Those leaders are the only ones to be in the High Priest group.  Others can still be ordained High Priests.

"why else would the stake president need to determine someone to be a high priest?"
The only reason I can think of is according to age, experience, and faithfulness; the same as is done now when some elders are ordained High Priests. 

Our stake president only ordains high priest with a calling or if you are his best friend.😋

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I don't think this is really a movement towards a 'lesser law'.

I have personally felt for a few years that we as members of the church were not understanding, nor taking advantage of the power of the gospel and priesthood, in our roles as men and women. I really felt that the talks in priesthood session and Sister Oscarson's talk really drove this fact home.

I think/feel that these changes are more the Lord trying to simplify things on a meeting/administrative level so that we can focus our energy on using the power and principles he has given us to their full potential.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I am sure there are quite a few written revelations kept just to the Apostles. Not saying all revelation is written of course.

I have heard apostles refer to written revelations not distributed at large a few times. I suspect some go back to Joseph Smith.

 

I hope this is true, but never heard a reference to written revelation not released unless you're talking about the name of God revelation in the Joseph Smith Papers.  Do you have a reference to another written revelation?

I'd say CFR, but I'm just being deeply curious, not combative, which unfortunately that is how it seems to be used now. 

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

We were using PEC as a kind of Ward Welfare/Missionary meeting and included the Relief Society President every week. This gave us all the leaders over the adults and the Ward Mission Leader so seemed ideal to discuss welfare situations and missionary work. We only held it once a week. Pretty sure we will just have another Ward Council meeting going forward.

we dumped it all together! we were having, in theory if anyone stuck around after church, ward council or ward huddles

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4 hours ago, bluebell said:

Yes, I’m sure you know better. 😜

I don't know anything other than what the prophet said.

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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Agreed- I don't see how HP will work as a "quorum" at all even with the annual meetings done away with.  It's ok with me, I am just not sure how a "quorum" that is more of an honorific title will function as a "quorum".  I was one of the "Presidents of 70's" in the stake which disappeared and that was a good thing too.

There used to be 3 different priesthood quorums in a stake and now we are down to one-ish.  OK by me- I think it's a great move even if the forgot to ask my advice.  ;)

I'm thinking the Lord wants our energies more focused and united

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51 minutes ago, rongo said:

I really think that is what this is. Really God's will and authorized, but a lesser law because we couldn't/wouldn't keep the higher law. It saddens me, but I also felt at peace last night. 

I'm thinking about talking about this in ward conference in a couple of weeks. Elder Benson gave a talk in the 1960s about how we lose blessings the more God has to spell out for us or when he has to give us lesser laws. But when he does give us lesser laws, then we are blessed for keeping the law given, and his people are blessed because of it. And, even under the lesser law, some still held the Melchizedek priesthood, even though it was under the Levitical. 

I don't see high priests ever being abolished as an office at the local level (like seventies were). Too few literal descendants of Aaron, so bishops have to be high priests. And have counselors. ;) 

You're going to teach it to your ward that this change is the result of having to live a lesser law?

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3 hours ago, rongo said:

My take?

I had a nostalgic conversation with my father last night after priesthood session. He was a newly-ordained seventy when stake seventies quorums were discontinued and seventies were ordained either elders or high priests. We feel that this new move is a) God's will and b) a lesser law because of our lack of diligence as a people. If we had been doing our duty collectively as a people, there would have been no need to make any change in the elders quorums and high priests quorums (with high priest groups at the ward level). I see this as part of the steady eroding of privileges and duties in the elders quorums, beginning in the early 2000s when prospective elders were taken from the elders quorums and given to the high priests. God has to work with the hand he has, and this change, while a lesser law than what we could have had, is the best thing for us at this time because of how we are (similar to how the lesser law was the right thing for Israel after rejecting the higher law). 

What wasn't fully explained last night was how keys will work. By canonized revelation, elders quorums presidents hold keys, while high priest group leaders don't. Bishop Burton gave a fantastic explanation about that in our stake based on a question of mine when he presided at a stake conference. That explanation is now superseded by last night's change. Now, the elders quorum consists of both elders and high priests, and the elders quorum president can (and usually will, I think) be a high priest. 

It's kind of sad to me that we have dropped the ball as a people to the point where this change was necessary. I think that functionally, there won't be much change. The same ten people will continue to be the same ten people who do everything in most wards. Hopefully, the change helps us increase it to the same twenty people . . . :) 

 

The Spirit showed me clearly that this move is His will. But I don't think it's a matter of receiving a lesser law right now.

I think its a matter as Elder Rasband stated, a move to hasten the work. The Lord needs every man He can free up right now to move the work forward

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17 hours ago, JAHS said:

The way it sounded to is that no one will be made a High Priest anymore simply because of age unless they are going to be in a bishopric, high council, or patriarch.

Quite honestly, when I was ordained High Priest it felt rather like a reward for longevity than anything substantive.  My question was, well, what do I do with it now?  The only thing I could do with my priesthood office that an Elder could not do, was ordain other High Priests.  And that was something that was almost always done by the stake president in my stake.  Except I asked my bishop to ordain me, which actually seemed to dismay my SP a trifle.  

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

That could definitely be the case.

We always assume that changes made by the Church are progressive in direction towards God's end goal.

Sometimes I become concerned that like the early Christian Church the changes are regressive towards the first steps in apostasy.

I suppose that neither could be the case.  We could be as the Children of Israel wandering in the wilderness being given inspired lesser laws and practices piece by piece and hoping for the promised land.

Sometimes I think you worry too much! :P 

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Elders and High Priests have met together in my ward for a while. Mainly, for us, the Elders quorum has been small. I have preferred meeting as a big group (30 or so) rather than 5 or 6. 

In my ward, we do need more males in Primary, especially for some of the older classes. Other callings have gone unfilled, so it will be good to have a few more people to fill those slots.

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