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Marriages in the Second Temple?


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Related to the “Baptisms for the Dead in the Second Temple?” thread – but now the question is whether LDS-style “temple marriages”/”eternal marriages” were performed in the Second Temple (prior to its destruction in 70 AD).

In the previous thread we established vicarious ordinances for the dead were not authorized until after Christ’s resurrection.  Therefore it would have been a very short window of opportunity (from a historical perspective) for any such proxy work to have been performed in the ancient temple.  And no one on that thread made any argument in favor of such work being done there.  So I think we succeeded in getting that answer.

So now I want to shift gears and focus on ordinances for the living, using marriage as an example.   Is there any evidence to suggest temple marriages/eternal marriages were performed in the Second Temple?

If so, what is that evidence?  What do folks think?

--Erik

PS.  I remember a stake fireside, back in my LDS days, where the recently-released temple president (Seattle temple) came and spoke.  (This would have been early in the last decade.)  He was old and frail and strikingly tall and thin – but he had a strong voice and expressed himself clearly.  He had held the position for a long time and was much admired and respected, and I recall a sort of hushed reverence in the room.

I came motivated by some mix of loneliness (I didn’t have anything else to do on a Sunday evening) and some curiosity (I had never met a temple president before).  So I didn’t have quite the same sentiment as others.  And as a result, I undoubtedly gave his words a more critical reception.

He talked about being asked numerous questions in his capacity at the temple, participating members sometimes looking to him for guidance and clarity on difficult questions—and how he would always admonish questioners to seek out the answers themselves through a combination of prayer and meditation while there.  He didn't answer questions, he redirected questioners--that was an important part of his calling. 

But what really caught my attention was his expressed belief the temple was carrying on “the same” practices and tradition that had been done at the time of Christ—and indeed all the way back “to Adam.”  How exactly that last bit was possible—no one asked, and I dismissed it as a bit of hyperbole (although he gave us no reason to think he considered it such).  The LDS temple and what transpired therein was connected to antiquity.  He wanted us all to understand he had played his part in a truly ancient play.

Afterwards with a few folks who were left I made a small joke that the City of Bellevue (where the “Seattle” temple is actually located) probably wasn’t appreciating their growing herd of feral goats (referring to the ancient Israelite practice of “scapegoating” – where one goat would be sacrificed and the other banished to the wilderness, Leviticus 16:8).  But as was not infrequently the case, my humor fell flat.  (Yet another spiritual moment soiled, dang it!)

So it was particularly interesting to me to read the replies on that other thread.  The old gentleman would have disapproved.

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I don't know for sure if performances for the living were performed in Solomon's Temple but here's my best guess:

Solomon's Temple (before and after the Savior completed the Atonement) and the Tabernacle/Mobile Temple Moses was commanded to build operated in accordance with the Levitical priesthood. 

The Levitical priesthood does not include all of the authorities, keys, etc. which the Melchizedek priesthood contains. 

So the Temple-worthy members would have tried to live according to the light that had been revealed to them.

I think marriages were performed in synagogues, generally. 

Now if you were to ask if the Savior's Apostles performed these ordinances with the Melchizedek priesthood, I'd love to hear what others here would have to say about that as it seems the Disciples must have organized the ancient version of wards, stakes, issued leadership callings and ordinations to local members, etc....still, I don't think they had the sealing power (as that is a priesthood key within the Melchizedek priesthood and not automatically conferred upon anyone who receives the M. priesthood)  so eternal marriages would not have been possible....?

 

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The dispensation ruled by Mosaic Law was specifically limited due to their wickedness. If these ordinances were done they were not done generally in that dispensation. The dispensation of Christ and the Apostles probably had Temple ordinances even if they did not have dedicated temples but they also do not seem to have been available to all members.

This may have been the first dispensation to have Temple ordinances widely known about since Enoch’s.

The presentation of the ordinances has also undoubtedly changed from dispensation to dispensation.  

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14 hours ago, Five Solas said:

Related to the “Baptisms for the Dead in the Second Temple?” thread – but now the question is whether LDS-style “temple marriages”/”eternal marriages” were performed in the Second Temple (prior to its destruction in 70 AD).

In the previous thread we established vicarious ordinances for the dead were not authorized until after Christ’s resurrection.  Therefore it would have been a very short window of opportunity (from a historical perspective) for any such proxy work to have been performed in the ancient temple.  And no one on that thread made any argument in favor of such work being done there.  So I think we succeeded in getting that answer.

So now I want to shift gears and focus on ordinances for the living, using marriage as an example.   Is there any evidence to suggest temple marriages/eternal marriages were performed in the Second Temple?

If so, what is that evidence?  What do folks think?

--Erik

PS.  I remember a stake fireside, back in my LDS days, where the recently-released temple president (Seattle temple) came and spoke.  (This would have been early in the last decade.)  He was old and frail and strikingly tall and thin – but he had a strong voice and expressed himself clearly.  He had held the position for a long time and was much admired and respected, and I recall a sort of hushed reverence in the room.

I came motivated by some mix of loneliness (I didn’t have anything else to do on a Sunday evening) and some curiosity (I had never met a temple president before).  So I didn’t have quite the same sentiment as others.  And as a result, I undoubtedly gave his words a more critical reception.

He talked about being asked numerous questions in his capacity at the temple, participating members sometimes looking to him for guidance and clarity on difficult questions—and how he would always admonish questioners to seek out the answers themselves through a combination of prayer and meditation while there.  He didn't answer questions, he redirected questioners--that was an important part of his calling. 

But what really caught my attention was his expressed belief the temple was carrying on “the same” practices and tradition that had been done at the time of Christ—and indeed all the way back “to Adam.”  How exactly that last bit was possible—no one asked, and I dismissed it as a bit of hyperbole (although he gave us no reason to think he considered it such).  The LDS temple and what transpired therein was connected to antiquity.  He wanted us all to understand he had played his part in a truly ancient play.

Afterwards with a few folks who were left I made a small joke that the City of Bellevue (where the “Seattle” temple is actually located) probably wasn’t appreciating their growing herd of feral goats (referring to the ancient Israelite practice of “scapegoating” – where one goat would be sacrificed and the other banished to the wilderness, Leviticus 16:8).  But as was not infrequently the case, my humor fell flat.  (Yet another spiritual moment soiled, dang it!)

So it was particularly interesting to me to read the replies on that other thread.  The old gentleman would have disapproved.

Perhaps on your LDS days you may have been taught that the blessings to Abraham are the blessings to us all in the eternities.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132.29-50?lang=eng#p28

It is also understood that things like the sealing power for all are latter-day phenomenons. 

"To fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham—having particular reference to the fact that the literal seed of his body would be entitled to all of the blessings of the gospel (Abr. 2:10–11)—a number of specific and particular things must take place in the last days. The gospel must be restored, the priesthood must be conferred again upon man, the keys of the sealing power must be given again to mortals, Israel must be gathered, and the Holy Ghost must be poured out upon the Gentiles. All this has already taken place or is in process of fulfillment. See also Adoption; Gentile."

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/abraham-covenant-of.html?lang=eng&letter=A

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Why would a Melchizedek level eternal ordinance be performed in a Levitical temple specifically designed for temporal law ordinances?

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Why would a Melchizedek level eternal ordinance be performed in a Levitical temple specifically designed for temporal law ordinances?

I don't even know where to begin with that question, JLHPROF.

Here's how I always had it in my head: LDS believe their religion to be a "restoration"--including temple ordinances.  Until the past few days, it honestly never occurred to me LDS would concede their latter-day temple practices are a novelty, existing for less than 19 decades of human history. 

There's simply no way for me to reconcile what I'm reading here with the experience I shared in my OP.  Recall it was my skepticism (expressed in a small joke) that was considered out of step.  But I do appreciate the replies & the schooling I'm getting.  And it's certainly not the first time I've been wrong.

:0)

--Erik

___________________________________________

And if you think peace is a common goal
That goes to show how little you know

--The Smiths "Death of a Disco Dancer"

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3 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

I don't even know where to begin with that question, JLHPROF.

Here's how I always had it in my head: LDS believe their religion to be a "restoration"--including temple ordinances.  Until the past few days, it honestly never occurred to me LDS would concede their latter-day temple practices are a novelty, existing for less than 19 decades of human history. 

There's simply no way for me to reconcile what I'm reading here with the experience I shared in my OP.  Recall it was my skepticism (expressed in a small joke) that was considered out of step.  But I do appreciate the replies & the schooling I'm getting.  And it's certainly not the first time I've been wrong.

The Restoration was about restoring the priesthood.  It did also certainly restore many Truths, but it's not just a "reset to everything they knew at 33 AD and hold the pause button there"--  no no, we (a Church/world/disciples) continue to have new things revealed to us.  

As to temple practices specifically: it is no the going-through-the-motions-procedures which are unchanging-- they clearly change through time, as shown in the Bible.  Protocols change.  Eternal Truth does not. 

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36 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

Here's how I always had it in my head: LDS believe their religion to be a "restoration"--including temple ordinances.  Until the past few days, it honestly never occurred to me LDS would concede their latter-day temple practices are a novelty, existing for less than 19 decades of human history.  

I concede no such thing.  The latter day temple practices are a restoration of ordinances that are ancient in origin.  Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ and the Apostles.  All had the full temple ordinances.  

The irony here is that we are questioning their ancient credentials because one culture didn't have them, but operated temples under a different set of temporal laws.

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What is this hang up with the Second Temple? It was a Jewish temple. In it were performed Ordinances from the Mosaic Law , no?

Baptisms for the dead and celestial marriages would be performed under the Melchizedek priesthood which Christ holds. Why is it called the Melchizedek priesthood again?

 Personally I have no knowledge of a Christian temple being built for such ordinances, but that doesn't mean there was no ' endowment house ' set apart someplace.

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42 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

What is this hang up with the Second Temple? It was a Jewish temple. In it were performed Ordinances from the Mosaic Law , no?

Well the question is whether the pre-exilic temple was only for Mosaic Law or not. For that matter whether the other temples we know were built such as at Elephant in Egypt were. That is there's a lot of evolution in Judaism from the time of Josiah through the destruction of Israel by the Babylonians up through the restoration with Ezra and Nehemiah onward to the Hellenistic era. Further there's not really a lot of data to really be able to say much. In many ways most of what we know of Israel starts with the return of the Jews from Exile. Even the parts that pre-date that like Isaiah are likely highly edited and redacted. In a certain way most of the records we have start around 200 BC with fragments going back earlier with an unknown relationship to their original form.

It's worth noting that the key issue is going into the Holy of Holies. By the time the Deuteronomist and Priestly traditions are mostly set that's only done by the High Priest with the Aaronic rites. But there are quite strong reasons to think from the Enochian and apocalyptic traditions that there was more going on there than was seen in the later tradition of the temple.

Edited by clarkgoble
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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I've not read the other responses yet, but from a Mormon perspective that's a rite of the Melchezedek Priesthood which wasn't fully operational during the second temple period. So I'd say no. There's some debate about whether the sealing power continued past Elijah. I think it did with the school of prophets but that information was lost in the post-exilic reforms...

If I'm understanding you correctly, there are really two events in human history where authority, keys, ordinances, etc., were lost.  LDS talk a lot about a "great apostasy" in the years following the Apostles' deaths--but until now I hadn't heard much discussion of this earlier event wherein the Melchezedek Priesthood with all its authority, keys, ordinances - was lost.  It's almost like there was Apostasy I and Apostasy II (a.k.a., the "great apostasy").  And at least in some sense, this makes Jesus the first restorer and Joseph Smith the second restorer.  And the first restoration was only partial, because temple ordinances as LDS practice them today were not introduced in the Second Temple. 

Is it possible to point me to a Conference talk that addresses this earlier event (I'll call it "Apostasy I" until someone gives me a better expression)?  Is this something widely discussed in the LDS mainstream and I somehow wasn't paying attention? 

--Erik  

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13 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

If I'm understanding you correctly, there are really two events in human history where authority, keys, ordinances, etc., were lost.  LDS talk a lot about a "great apostasy" in the years following the Apostles' deaths--but until now I hadn't heard much discussion of this earlier event wherein the Melchezedek Priesthood with all its authority, keys, ordinances - was lost.  

You are COMPLETELY misunderstanding LDS theology here.  One Great Apostasy, *all* keys were lost.  

13 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

  It's almost like there was Apostasy I and Apostasy II (a.k.a., the "great apostasy").  And at least in some sense, this makes Jesus the first restorer and Joseph Smith the second restorer.  And the first restoration was only partial, because temple ordinances as LDS practice them today were not introduced in the Second Temple. 

That is not remotely LDS theology.

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16 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

You are COMPLETELY misunderstanding LDS theology here.  One Great Apostasy, *all* keys were lost.

I don't think that's what clarkgoble is saying, Jane_Doe.  He's pretty clearly telling us contemporary LDS temple practices weren't performed in the Second Temple because the Melchizedek Priesthood had been lost through an earlier event (which I've dubbed "Apostasy I" for want of a better expression). 

But let's give him a chance to respond.  If you have an argument - it's going to be with him in this matter, not me.  I'm just trying to clear some previous misconceptions I appear to have had. 

--Erik

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12 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

I don't think that's what clarkgoble is saying, Jane_Doe.  He's pretty clearly telling us contemporary LDS temple practices weren't performed in the Second Temple because the Melchizedek Priesthood had been lost through an earlier event (which I've dubbed "Apostasy I" for want of a better expression). 

But let's give him a chance to respond.  If you have an argument - it's going to be with him in this matter, not me.  I'm just trying to clear some previous misconceptions I appear to have had. 

--Erik

I think you are very much misunderstanding ClarkGlobe and LDS doctrine.  The Aaronic priesthood operated the Jewish rites.  Sealings are of the order of Melchizedek, which did indeed exist on the Earth at the meridian of time, Christ and Peter being to obvious holders. 

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20 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

I think you are very much misunderstanding ClarkGlobe and LDS doctrine.  The Aaronic priesthood operated the Jewish rites.  Sealings are of the order of Melchizedek, which did indeed exist on the Earth at the meridian of time, Christ and Peter being to obvious holders. 

Scratch the previous, I misread you.

Edited by Five Solas
oops
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1 hour ago, Five Solas said:

If I'm understanding you correctly, there are really two events in human history where authority, keys, ordinances, etc., were lost.  LDS talk a lot about a "great apostasy" in the years following the Apostles' deaths--but until now I hadn't heard much discussion of this earlier event wherein the Melchezedek Priesthood with all its authority, keys, ordinances - was lost.  It's almost like there was Apostasy I and Apostasy II (a.k.a., the "great apostasy").  And at least in some sense, this makes Jesus the first restorer and Joseph Smith the second restorer.  And the first restoration was only partial, because temple ordinances as LDS practice them today were not introduced in the Second Temple. 

I think "lost" carries a misleading image. I know that the Church has used that terminology a lot but I also think it's led to some confusion about keys. I think the evidence is pretty compelling that keys were withdrawn. To me the image of the woman fleeing to the wilderness as a type of the church is that idea of withdrawal from the earth. Nibley has a fairly convincing argument that fairly early on in Christianity it was clear many things weren't taught to everyone and were withdrawn. He appeals to 1 Clement for many of these things.

When speaking of the sweep of history though it's not enough to talk about time but one must also talk about place. For instance if by the end of the 1st century the higher keys had been withdrawn in Palestine it's simultaneously clear that they persisted in the Bountiful region in the new world to around 400 AD. It's unclear what other communities may also have had keys. Clearly Mormons think the Nephites weren't the only group. It's just that we don't have records (yet) of the other groups.

With regards to the pre-Christian era I think it's complex and there's not necessarily agreement on it. (This isn't helped by the paucity of pre-exilic records and even pretty lousy records for the early 2cd temple period) So a common belief was that the original law Moses brought down from the mountain was tied to what we consider the covenants of the Melchezedek Priesthood. It was the Israelite's not being prepared to live that which led to the 40 years wandering and imposition of the Law of Moses. As I mentioned though there's indication of Melchezedek Priestood even if it wasn't given to everyone. Not just because of the Sons of Moses but because it seems like Moses' father in law represented a community independent of the Israelites with the gospel and Melchezedek Priesthood. It's also quite possible that with the conquest of Israel by Babylon that there were communities with the priesthood. I mentioned Elephanti in Egypt but there may have been other communities. The whole temples outside of Jerusalem isn't something well understood by scholars. Are these "apostate" syncretistic groups or were they accepted by the main body in Babylon? There's a lot of indication for the later. However one thing I think scholars agree upon is that with the exile Judaism because broken up in to very different groups, each with their own beliefs.

To your main point I think we have to distinguish between apostasy (of which there have been many including in the modern church) and withdrawal of keys in toto from the geographic community. A common 20th century belief was that the priesthood in general was withdrawn with Elijah but that individual prophets had it either given by other prophets (like the mantle fell on Elisha) or by angels. So the perception is that Malachi had the priesthood for instance. Yet the evidence for this view which was common the Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie isn't great.

Anyway, I think there's a fair bit of confusion over apostasy partially due to the influence of JFS/BRM and Talmage whose theories were sometimes misleading as much as they were helpful. Again Nibley's work on apostasy, while still as speculative as Talmage or BRM, is an interesting competing view. And of course there's been people discussing the issue in the contemporary Mormon studies era since the 90's.

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56 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

I don't think that's what clarkgoble is saying, Jane_Doe.  He's pretty clearly telling us contemporary LDS temple practices weren't performed in the Second Temple because the Melchizedek Priesthood had been lost through an earlier event (which I've dubbed "Apostasy I" for want of a better expression). 

Again I'm not sure I'd want to call this the apostasy. I think my point is that I don't think we have enough information to say for certain. I think it pretty likely that prior to the exile there was the Melchezedek Priesthood. Whether they did rites in the temple or not seems unclear because what evidence we have of the first temple era is corrupted by the Priestly and Deuteronomist traditions. (Which is not the same as saying that there was an apostasy - just that understanding changes. There are parallel examples in our own history.) I do think there were rites in the pre-exilic period though. During the 2cd temple period it's possible that there was Melchezedek Priesthood. Malachi, writing after Nehemiah, clearly seems to be talking about it suggesting it's presence. What it did though in terms of the community is just unclear.

By the time of Christ it seems like there was a restoration, but even there it's unclear. For instance we know of Jesus going to the mountain with Peter, James and John in a fashion that sounds similar to the restoration of temple rites and the Melchezedek Priesthood for Joseph Smith. But is that just bringing Peter, James and John into the higher mysteries with those traditions still persisting? It's not at all clear. Such things just weren't put in the gospels and weren't discussed by Paul. At best we get glimpses of them in passing but they aren't the focus of any of the records we have in the New Testament.

To draw an analogy understanding what was going on during the Church when led by Peter is difficult with the existing texts. 

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3 hours ago, Five Solas said:

If I'm understanding you correctly, there are really two events in human history where authority, keys, ordinances, etc., were lost.  LDS talk a lot about a "great apostasy" in the years following the Apostles' deaths--but until now I hadn't heard much discussion of this earlier event wherein the Melchezedek Priesthood with all its authority, keys, ordinances - was lost.  It's almost like there was Apostasy I and Apostasy II (a.k.a., the "great apostasy").  And at least in some sense, this makes Jesus the first restorer and Joseph Smith the second restorer.  And the first restoration was only partial, because temple ordinances as LDS practice them today were not introduced in the Second Temple. 

Is it possible to point me to a Conference talk that addresses this earlier event (I'll call it "Apostasy I" until someone gives me a better expression)?  Is this something widely discussed in the LDS mainstream and I somehow wasn't paying attention? 

--Erik  

There are 6 events.
That is why there are 7 grand dispensations when authority had to be restored, even though partial authority may have still been on earth (Moses and Jethro, Christ and John the Baptist).  The keys to perform the full saving ordinances had to be brought back to the earth 6 times.

The one you are asking about is specifically noted in the Joseph Smith translation of Exodus 34.

  • https://www.lds.org/scriptures/jst/jst-ex/34.html?lang=eng

     

    1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.

    2 But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage. Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me, in the top of the mount.

     

Now, obviously you will reject the JST, but you are asking what Mormons believe. 
Moses had all the laws and ordinances given to him on the mount.  The Books of Genesis and of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price are a record of his endowment received real time on a mount.  But it was never given to the Children of Israel.  Shortest apostasy of the Church on record I would think.

Edited by JLHPROF
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On 11/21/2017 at 10:56 AM, JLHPROF said:

There are 6 events.
That is why there are 7 grand dispensations when authority had to be restored, even though partial authority may have still been on earth (Moses and Jethro, Christ and John the Baptist).  The keys to perform the full saving ordinances had to be brought back to the earth 6 times.

That seems a bit problematic. Admittedly I tend to think most of the history in Genesis is somewhat corrupt. But if we're talking about Moses/Jethro there's no restoration needed. Abraham got the priesthood from Melchezedek but the history in Genesis only worries about the ancestors of the Israelites. Jethro appears to have the priesthood although some might debate that. That implies the religion at Midian had the authority, presumably going back to Melchezedek. But from Melchezedek back to Adam there's no break in authority and thus no need for a restoration. 

That implies only two breaks. Possibly one sometime after Elijah although as I said it's not clear when the break takes or even if there's a break. That's just for the Melchezedek priesthood though with the Aaronic persisting despite arguably corruption in the temple by the time of Christ. Then you have Christ who either got the priesthood from an angel, from God, or possibly from John. That continues for about 70 years or so in Palestine (ignoring Nephites and other groups) until the restoration with Peter, James and John. So at most there's two times priesthood has to be restored and possibly only one.

Edited by clarkgoble
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43 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

That seems a bit problematic. Admittedly I tend to think most of the history in Genesis is somewhat corrupt. But if we're talking about Moses/Jethro there's no restoration needed. Abraham got the priesthood from Melchezedek but the history in Genesis only worries about the ancestors of the Israelites. Jethro appears to have the priesthood although some might debate that. That implies the religion at Midian had the authority, presumably going back to Melchezedek. But from Melchezedek back to Adam there's no break in authority and thus no need for a restoration. 

That implies only two breaks. Possibly one sometime after Elijah although as I said it's not clear when the break takes or even if there's a break. That's just for the Melchezedek priesthood though with the Aaronic persisting despite arguably corruption in the temple by the time of Christ. Then you have Christ who either got the priesthood from an angel, from God, or possibly from John. That continues for about 70 years or so in Palestine (ignoring Nephites and other groups) until the restoration with Peter, James and John. So at most there's two times priesthood has to be restored and possibly only one.

Note, I said restoration of the saving keys and ordinances.
Jethro appears to have held Melchizedek priesthood much like Peter, James, and John restored to Joseph Smith.

But that wasn't enough to include the sealing keys that Elijah brought to Joseph, nor the priesthood of the endowment.  We know from scripture that Moses received his endowment on a mountain top from the Lord, thus restoring the priesthood keys obtained in the temple to Moses on earth.
As did Abraham.  Abraham received priesthood from Melchizedek, but he received his endowment from the Lord.

The fact that there are seven grand dispensations/restorations is standard Church teaching last I checked.
https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/dispensations.html?lang=eng&letter=D

  • A dispensation of the gospel is a period of time in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earth who bears the holy priesthood and the keys, and who has a divine commission to dispense the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth. When this occurs, the gospel is revealed anew so that people of that dispensation do not have to depend basically on past dispensations for knowledge of the plan of salvation.
    The Bible suggests at least one dispensation identified with Adam, another with Enoch, another with Noah, and so on with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus with His Apostles in the meridian of time. Paul writes of “the dispensation of the fulness of times” in which the Lord will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth” (Eph. 1:10). The fulness of times is the final dispensation and began with the revelation of the gospel to Joseph Smith.

It's on our temples https://www.lds.org/ensign/1974/08/to-build-a-temple?lang=eng

  •  Eight bronze medallions by Latter-day Saint sculptor Franz Johansen portray the Big Dipper and North Star, the earth, the planets, the moon, the stars, concentric circles representing eternity, the traditional temple sun face, and seven concentric pentagons representing the seven dispensations.

There is a difference between there being priesthood on the earth, which there has always been in some fashion, and the keys to perform all the saving ordinances, the ordinances themselves, and the authority to build up a Church and Kingdom to God.  Six times that has been lost and it has been given to earth seven times.
http://en.fairmormon.org/Apostasy/Priesthood_on_earth_during_the_apostasy

  • Critics fail to distinguish between someone holding the priesthood, and someone being authorized to exercise the priesthood in forming the Church, conferring blessings, ordinantions, and spiritual gifts.  The apostasy refers to a lack of the latter, not the former.
     

Edited by JLHPROF
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On 11/22/2017 at 2:22 PM, clarkgoble said:

That seems a bit problematic. Admittedly I tend to think most of the history in Genesis is somewhat corrupt. But if we're talking about Moses/Jethro there's no restoration needed. Abraham got the priesthood from Melchezedek but the history in Genesis only worries about the ancestors of the Israelites. Jethro appears to have the priesthood although some might debate that. That implies the religion at Midian had the authority, presumably going back to Melchezedek. But from Melchezedek back to Adam there's no break in authority and thus no need for a restoration. 

That implies only two breaks. Possibly one sometime after Elijah although as I said it's not clear when the break takes or even if there's a break. That's just for the Melchezedek priesthood though with the Aaronic persisting despite arguably corruption in the temple by the time of Christ. Then you have Christ who either got the priesthood from an angel, from God, or possibly from John. That continues for about 70 years or so in Palestine (ignoring Nephites and other groups) until the restoration with Peter, James and John. So at most there's two times priesthood has to be restored and possibly only one.

I'll confess I find you hard to read, clarkgoble.  Perhaps Jane_Doe is right (see above) and nothing you wrote contradicts her position.  I can't tell if you're softly advocating "two breaks" with your prose or if you're honestly indifferent & merely open to the possibility.  But she's certainly not open to two breaks, she asserts--

On 11/21/2017 at 7:30 AM, Jane_Doe said:

One Great Apostasy, *all* keys were lost.

And if she's right--then we really can't attribute the lack of temple sealings/eternal marriages in the Second Temple to some inadequacy of the Melchizedek priesthood during the temple's commission.  One apostasy, not two--meaning no interruption requiring restoration, the keys/authority were there all along. 

Which leaves the question in the OP unanswered, or at least not answered with same degree of authority and consensus we achieved on the "baptisms for the dead in the Second Temple" thread.  Interesting, to me at least.  I wouldn't have guessed this would be quite so difficult. 

--Erik

____________________________________________________

In Heaven His throne is made of gold
The ark of His testament is stowed
A throne from which I’m told
All history does unfold
Down here it’s made of wood & wire
And my body is on fire
And God is never far away

--Johnny Cash (1932 - 2003)

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4 hours ago, Five Solas said:

I'll confess I find you hard to read, clarkgoble.  Perhaps Jane_Doe is right (see above) and nothing you wrote contradicts her position.  I can't tell if you're softly advocating "two breaks" with your prose or if you're honestly indifferent & merely open to the possibility.  But she's certainly not open to two breaks, she asserts--

I'm saying we have no way of knowing from the data. I then was going through the history and the possible ways to read the history. I then gave my personal opinion that it was done in limited amounts from the time of the Temple of Solomon to the destruction and possibly in a more limited form in the second temple period. But there's really no convincing evidence one way or an other. There's also no theological need one way or an other.

 

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