Jump to content

Joseph Smith's Kingly Birthright (update to an old thread)


Recommended Posts

On 10/9/2017 at 8:07 AM, CV75 said:

I'll have to go with smac on this one. In addition, "ye" (verse 11) is plural. And the interpretation is consistent with Abraham 2;11.

Yeah, the Abrahamic right to priesthood in 2:11 is a great point. After pondering this discussion for a while I am leaning more and more towards this Abrahamic interpretation or a general lineage of Joseph (son of Jacob) interpretation. Both of these general lineages and their right to priesthood, leadership, or ability to assist in the restoration seem to have been in the air in the mid 1830s. Anyways, my guess is that this revelation is addressed to JS and Rigdon, and it's pointing out their lineal (whether that be through Abraham or more specifically through Joseph) rights to lead in the priesthood.

Link to comment
On 10/9/2017 at 1:04 PM, clarkgoble said:

The argument is much more that Ehat's separating Patriarchal Priesthood from Melchizedek is wrong and that temple sealings, especially after adoption became doctrine, more or less took over the notion. Again though read the papers and I'd be happy to discuss them here. But I think reading those is necessary before really discussing. Again Stapley's views are pretty different from Ehat's and what most people thought in the 90's. As I hinted I'm not completely satisfied with Jonathan's or Sam's reworkings. (In particularly I worry Sam's injected a tad too much neoplatonism into it - despite coming around to thinking that's an important influence on early Mormonism) However I don't have better ideas so this is a place I suspect more is left to write.

As an aside, it's interesting reading the RLDS take on this in the 19th century as they emphasize the linear descendent issue much more than the LDS did - since by and large Brigham was seen as valid by us due to his part in higher ordinances of the temple. (This is different from what persuaded people to go west since most didn't even know what second anointings were)

So I read the most relevant portion of Sam Brown's paper and then reviewed the primary sources, and I do think I've got a better grasp of what the presiding Patriarch was suppose to be, and I do see how that office wouldn't make a lot of sense now.

From what I understand, JS envisioned a church family community linked together with the Presiding Patriarch as the patriarchal head. The tribe of Joseph, specifically Ephraim, presides over the church in the last days, and JS's family was the chosen line at the head. According to JS, the "oldest" man of the lineage of Joseph was to serve as the Patriarch to the church, which was practically interpreted as the oldest man in the Smith family.   

A quick aside: JS jr. always had the highest priesthood authority and office, which was hinted at in a blessing he received from Oliver Cowdery that stated that Joseph Smith Jr. was the "FIRST Patriarch in the last days" (my emphasis) and that he held the keys of the patriarchal priesthood. This was in 1835 after JS sr. had already been made presiding patriarch. http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/blessing-from-oliver-cowdery-22-september-1835/2

So, fast forward to today, all family lineages are sealed in direct lines ideally back to Adam, and not to the Smith family. That means the patriarchal leadership of the Smith family no longer has a direct purpose, and therefore the office of presiding Patriarch has also lost it's immediacy. 

Is that how you're seeing things?

Edited by Benjamin Seeker
Link to comment
41 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

Yeah, the Abrahamic right to priesthood in 2:11 is a great point. After pondering this discussion for a while I am leaning more and more towards this Abrahamic interpretation or a general lineage of Joseph (son of Jacob) interpretation. Both of these general lineages and their right to priesthood, leadership, or ability to assist in the restoration seem to have been in the air in the mid 1830s. Anyways, my guess is that this revelation is addressed to JS and Rigdon, and it's pointing out their lineal (whether that be through Abraham or more specifically through Joseph) rights to lead in the priesthood.

I also think it apples to all who have that Abrahamic lineage, as others have pointed out.

Link to comment
35 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I also think it apples to all who have that Abrahamic lineage, as others have pointed out.

I like that general application, but I think it's worth remembering that back in the early church these lineages were seen as special or particular (pure blood of Joseph is even mentioned in some of the patriarchal blessings), where today the lineage of Abraham is an assumed default for all church members.

Edited by Benjamin Seeker
Link to comment
58 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

So, fast forward to today, all family lineages are sealed in direct lines ideally back to Adam, and not to the Smith family. That means the patriarchal leadership of the Smith family no longer has a direct purpose, and therefore the office of presiding Patriarch has also lost it's immediacy. 

I think this is a place that is ambiguous in our theology. We have priesthood lines, which everyone in theory should have but which I've noticed isn't emphasized as much as when I was young. By and large that's a lineage of your latest office in terms of who ordained you, who ordained them, on back to Joseph Smith and then Peter James and John. Then there's the sealing line. However the problem there is that not everyone will accept the gospel so there will be breaks. Even if we went back through the male line, at some point you reach someone who hasn't accepted the gospel. At that point you'll need adoption.

The problem is how that adoption happens. Joseph was largely ignorant of that and it develops in Utah. (There's an account of a visitation of Joseph to Brigham in vision that relates to this) The ultimate issue is that we don't know who has or hasn't actually accepted the gospel. We just do the work as if everyone accepts it. However if there is adoption to happen (as seems clear) then the assumption is that the adoption will happen such that each dispensation head ends up as the patriarchal head as well. That seems to be what Joseph was setting up, although he was doing it in a rather weird way via polygamy. 

But clearly at minimum there's a lot left to be revealed here. Not just theologically but explicit fairly certain knowledge of who accepts or doesn't accept the gospel will be necessary. Then there will be new sealings, new adoptions, and more or less making all the genealogy into a jumble. Presumably that's the main task of the millennium. 

Link to comment
34 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I like that general application, but I think it's worth remembering that back in the early church these lineages were seen as special or particular (pure blood of Joseph is even mentioned in some of the patriarchal blessings), where today the lineage of Abraham is an assumed default for all church members.

Well but if you stop and think about it, it's not even clear what they mean by pureblood. Clearly they thought of it in terms of the levitical tribe. But what on earth does that mean during a period when no one cared about such lineages for nearly 2000 years?

Of course we have to distinguish the views of the era from what we might say is theologically justifiable. I rather suspect that, as with so much of that era, a lot was wrapped up in masonic traditions - most of which were nonsense.

Edited by clarkgoble
Link to comment
41 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I like that general application, but I think it's worth remembering that back in the early church these lineages were seen as special or particular (pure blood of Joseph is even mentioned in some of the patriarchal blessings), where today the lineage of Abraham is an assumed default for all church members.

Why is it worth remembering? Is not every patriarchal blessing seen as special by the recipient? I do think it is worth remembering that each lineage has a role to play and that we each have attendant expectations to fulfill. Is someone less special (or more!) because they are adopted? Has our understanding improved with generations of the covenant lineages on both sides of the veil enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost? I think it is exciting that the descendants of Joseph have specific promises to fulfill as prophesied in the Book of Mormon, but there are other books, too, and these lineages will be highlighted in their due course. I think it is interesting that there are a number of promises made to the Gentiles in the Book of Mormon; I would not call them covenants or a covenant people, but they are to join the covenant people out of their gentile nations of birth.

Link to comment
22 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Well but if you stop and think about it, it's not even clear what they mean by pureblood. Clearly they thought of it in terms of the levitical tribe. But what on earth does that mean during a period when no one cared about such lineages for nearly 2000 years?

Of course we have to distinguish the views of the era from what we might say is theologically justifiable. I rather suspect that, as with so much of that era, a lot was wrapped up in masonic traditions - most of which were nonsense.

Agreed. I'm interested at getting at the viewpoints of the time period because.. that's what floats my boat I guess.

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Why is it worth remembering? Is not every patriarchal blessing seen as special by the recipient? I do think it is worth remembering that each lineage has a role to play and that we each have attendant expectations to fulfill. Is someone less special (or more!) because they are adopted? Has our understanding improved with generations of the covenant lineages on both sides of the veil enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost? I think it is exciting that the descendants of Joseph have specific promises to fulfill as prophesied in the Book of Mormon, but there are other books, too, and these lineages will be highlighted in their due course. I think it is interesting that there are a number of promises made to the Gentiles in the Book of Mormon; I would not call them covenants or a covenant people, but they are to join the covenant people out of their gentile nations of birth.

I guess I should say, when trying to understand things from Joseph and the early saints perspective, then it's important to remember such and such.

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I guess I should say, when trying to understand things from Joseph and the early saints perspective, then it's important to remember such and such.

I think the last 1/3 of Elder Holland's talk in General Conference touches upon that too! :)

Edited by CV75
Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...