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God Is PART Of The Eternal Priesthood, Not THE Priesthood


Sara H

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This is a simple question, I think. As far as I understand our doctrine, the priesthood is eternal. Meaning, if our God cease to exist and all the other God's still existed, doesn't that mean that our God is a Part of the priesthood just like all priesthood members, he's not THE Priesthood? If there's more than one God and they are governed by the eternal priesthood, that would make them members of the holy priesthood in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

If we believe that the priesthood is eternal, then we believe it to be eternal in the same sense that God is eternal

Not at all; an eternal God and the eternal priesthood are not the same thing at all. Our teaching says that the Gods attained their godhood through the process of eternal progression, which means that at one point in their progression, they did not possess the everlasting Priesthood, is this correct? 

You're progressing eternally, aren't you? Have you always possessed the power and authority of the priesthood? Can you become as God is?

 

Is it not true that Jesus spent some of his eternal progression not holding the priesthood? The power of the priesthood was given to him at the same time that God the Father foreordained that he would be the savior of the world. Therefore, during the course of his eternal growth, Jesus did not always possess the power of the priesthood. This indicates that the priesthood is something that the gods themselves are PART of.

 

Edited by Sara H
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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Yes.

Simple question, simple answer.

 

Screenshot_20230918_101902_Chrome.jpg.0a3750bdf63b8653bfeac82e19643217.jpg

 

 

The reason I began this thread is because of the post that was made above. Many people in the church, in my opinion, have the misconception that the priesthood was established by God himself, as if God was the one who first conceived of the idea of a priesthood. In my perspective, it could be true in Christianity; however, in our gospel, we state that the Gods are subject to the laws of the priesthood in the same way that we are. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Sara H said:

Not at all; an eternal God and the eternal priesthood are not the same thing at all. Our teaching says that the Gods attained their godhood through the process of eternal progression, which means that at one point in their progression, they did not possess the everlasting Priesthood, is this correct? 

For us to say that "at one point in their progression, they did not possess the everlasting Priesthood" is problematic. Why? Because we cannot define that moment. It doesn't exist for us. It stands outside of our 'eternal' existence (as well as our experience). In terms of doctrine, it comes before the existence of our universe. There is no temporal construct for us that precedes the beginning of our universe - and so to discuss that change in our God as a temporal event (as being connected to a temporal chain of events in which we exist) isn't meaningful. That moment is undefined - and so our only interaction with it should be on a purely theoretical of conceptual basis. And this is how we (as Mormons) use it - to explain how God's plan for us fits (or follows) a pre-existing plan. For all of our existence (so far) the only priesthood that we deal with is this eternal priesthood defined by God's eternal existence as God.

So, in responding to what you are arguing, I would make the following observations -

First, I think that there is an unintended premise in your argument that God's existence is somehow bounded by His experiencing an eternal progression that brought Him from a place similar to our to where He is now. I would argue that God's existence can be both bounded and eternal - that these two conditions are not necessarily exclusive. Second, you haven't really addressed my point in your statement here. My argument is that priesthood is only eternal because God is eternal. The priesthood that is experienced in our creation begins with the God who is our creations creator. And so it is eternal. The priesthood that we experience is unconnected with the priesthood of any deity that exists apart from our God (i.e. God's father, that God's father, and so on). Just as our Priesthood (assuming some future exaltation in the Mormon understanding) will not be dependent on our God's priesthood. This idea of a chain of priesthood is a temporally linked concept that is only useful within the context of mortality. And, third, in reference to this comment:

2 hours ago, Sara H said:

Is it not true that Jesus spent some of his eternal progression not holding the priesthood?

We have a problem that comes with the nature of eternities (or infinities) that make them difficult for people to understand. If I have an infinite quantity, and I cut in half, I don't have two finite quantities, I have two infinite quantities. If I cut off of an infinity a well defined finite portion, I have a finite quantity and an infinite quantity. If I argue that Jesus spent some portion of his eternal existence not holding the priesthood, it would still remain true that Jesus has spent an eternal existence holding that priesthood (it would be unknown from this thought experiment whether or not Jesus spent an eternity without the priesthood or just a finite period of time without the priesthood).

And then finally -

2 hours ago, Sara H said:

This indicates that the priesthood is something that the gods themselves are Part of.

And I would suggest that it does not. I believe that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what is meant by priesthood.

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14 minutes ago, Sara H said:

The reason I began this thread is because of the post that was made above. Many people in the church, in my opinion, have the misconception that the priesthood was established by God himself, as if God was the one who first conceived of the idea of a priesthood. In my perspective, it could be true in Christianity; however, in our gospel, we state that the Gods are subject to the laws of the priesthood in the same way that we are. 

I agree with @mfbukowski. The priesthood isn't something that exists external to God. God doesn't 'hold' the priesthood. He isn't ordained to godhood. He exists as God because He meets a set of criteria that we could guess at. Until He meets those criteria, He wouldn't be God. But, having met those criteria, His ability to act (and not to be acted upon) - His power of absolute agency - becomes the basis for the priesthood that He shares with His creation. It doesn't originate elsewhere. He isn't restricted by it in any way. It may be similar to the priesthood that may be represented in other Gods. After all, if God progressed, as we do, then He would have experienced the priesthood of His father. But, having been exalted, that sharing is no longer necessary, and God does not pass on to us the priesthood that He received from His father. God the Father is not subject to the laws of the priesthood in the same way that we are - He is free to act and not to be acted upon.

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I agree with the concept of progression.  All of us were intelligences before we became spirit children of [a] Heavenly Parents. The first time intelligences obtained the priesthood was when they entered into covenants for admittance into the First Estate to become spirit children.

Therefore the Gods did NOT have the priesthood prior to obtaining the First Estate. BUT the priesthood has ALWAYS existed. There was no first generation of God that did the first implementation of the Plan of Happiness. There was no beginning to the succession of implementations of the Plan of Happiness.  And there will be NO end to this succession.

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14 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I agree with @mfbukowski. The priesthood isn't something that exists external to God. God doesn't 'hold' the priesthood. He isn't ordained to godhood. He exists as God because He meets a set of criteria that we could guess at. Until He meets those criteria, He wouldn't be God. But, having met those criteria, His ability to act (and not to be acted upon) - His power of absolute agency - becomes the basis for the priesthood that He shares with His creation. It doesn't originate elsewhere. He isn't restricted by it in any way. It may be similar to the priesthood that may be represented in other Gods. After all, if God progressed, as we do, then He would have experienced the priesthood of His father. But, having been exalted, that sharing is no longer necessary, and God does not pass on to us the priesthood that He received from His father. God the Father is not subject to the laws of the priesthood in the same way that we are - He is free to act and not to be acted upon.

We eventually all grow up - some more than others- and "get out on our own". 

But of course, earth life is only a "baby stage" compared to Father and Mother.  THAT is the paradigm/analogy which I think must approximate it well.

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53 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I agree with @mfbukowski. The priesthood isn't something that exists external to God. God doesn't 'hold' the priesthood. He isn't ordained to godhood. He exists as God because He meets a set of criteria that we could guess at. Until He meets those criteria, He wouldn't be God. But, having met those criteria, His ability to act (and not to be acted upon) - His power of absolute agency - becomes the basis for the priesthood that He shares with His creation. It doesn't originate elsewhere. He isn't restricted by it in any way. It may be similar to the priesthood that may be represented in other Gods. After all, if God progressed, as we do, then He would have experienced the priesthood of His father. But, having been exalted, that sharing is no longer necessary, and God does not pass on to us the priesthood that He received from His father. God the Father is not subject to the laws of the priesthood in the same way that we are - He is free to act and not to be acted upon.

And this is where I think you totally go off the rails. If you say that the eternal priesthood isn't passed down from God to God, but that once a person becomes exalted, they can start their own priesthood, then you're saying that there are as many gospels as there are Gods. 

 

Is that what you're trying to say, that each God has his own priesthood, different from his fathers, and therefore his own gospel? 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Sara H said:

And this is where I think you totally go off the rails. If you say that the eternal priesthood isn't passed down from God to God, but that once a person becomes exalted, they can start their own priesthood, then you're saying that there are as many gospels as there are Gods. 

I think that you are wrong to equate the priesthood with the gospel. Perhaps you should give for us an actual definition of what you think 'priesthood' is ...

Here is the formal definition by the LDS Church:

Quote

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of our Heavenly Father.

This seems to make it limited to just God the Father - His power and His authority which He shares with His creation. There isn't any need to go beyond this. If and when those of us in His creation become creator's on our own, then the Priesthood (our power and authority) that we share with our creation will be just that as well - a sharing of our power and authority - which is connected to our own condition as exalted beings.
As far as the rest of it goes, perhaps you could share with us the details of the gospel as taught by any of these other Gods that you refer to ...

Edited by Benjamin McGuire
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6 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I think that you are wrong to equate the priesthood with the gospel. Perhaps you should give for us an actual definition of what you think 'priesthood' is ...

Here is the formal definition by the LDS Church:

This seems to make it limited to just God the Father - His power and His authority which He shares with His creation. There isn't any need to go beyond this. If and when those of us in His creation become creator's on our own, then the Priesthood (our power and authority) that we share with our creation will be just that as well - a sharing of our power and authority - which is connected to our own condition as exalted beings.
As far as the rest of it goes, perhaps you could share with us the details of the gospel as taught by any of these other Gods that you refer to ...

First, could you explain, if there's many priesthoods as you say, are there many gospels as well?

Edited by Sara H
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3 minutes ago, Sara H said:

then you're saying that there are as many gospels as there are Gods. 

 

 

 

 

 

The priesthood and the gospel are not the same thing.

 

"The word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term god-spell, meaning “good story,” a rendering of the Latin evangelium and the Greek euangelion, meaning “good news” or “good telling.”

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gospel-New-Testament

 

So yes, there could be as many gospels as there are gods, as each god would have there own story.  The gospel that concerns us is the story of how Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, was raised from the dead on the third day, and how this enables each of us to obtain salvation and eternal life.

 

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Just now, Sara H said:

First, could you explain, if there's many priesthood as you say,  are their many gospels as well?

I have no idea. I have no practical experience with the gospel plan in other creations. I have no idea what may have been taught in other creations. I have no idea to what extent other creations may be different from our own. It is completely other to my experience here (and as far as I know, to everyone else's experience). The only being in all of our creation who might be able to discuss what the gospel experience was inside another creation is God the Father. And He hasn't told us.

That being said, I am still interested in knowing what your definition is of priesthood. And I am still interested in having you acknowledge that any understanding of the gospel as it may exist in other creations is, for you, purely theoretical (unless, as I noted, you have some details of a gospel as taught by one of these Gods that you refer to).

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11 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

The priesthood and the gospel are not the same thing.

 

"The word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term god-spell, meaning “good story,” a rendering of the Latin evangelium and the Greek euangelion, meaning “good news” or “good telling.”

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gospel-New-Testament

 

So yes, there could be as many gospels as there are gods, as each god would have there own story.  The gospel that concerns us is the story of how Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, was raised from the dead on the third day, and how this enables each of us to obtain salvation and eternal life.

 

Benjamin contends that after attaining exaltation, the new God is free from  his father God's priesthood and free to establish his own. If that's the case, how can the priesthood of the new God be said to be eternal if it had a beginning?

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11 minutes ago, Sara H said:

If that's the case, how can the priesthood of the new God be said to be eternal if it had a beginning?

How can God be said to be eternal if He had a beginning?

O God, the Eternal Father ...

On some level, we continue to run into this problem where you are looking from a temporal perspective built on the inside of a finite creation. Is God 'eternal'?

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The priesthood isn't exactly God, it ultimately derives from God. So, without God there is no priesthood. What scenario would God cease to be God? I suppose if Satan had won the war in heaven, he would have a degree of power and authority, the priesthood of a sort, though it won't exist on earth as he isn't the sharing sort. We sometimes say if God lied, he'd cease to be God. All things obey God because all things trust God. If God lies, all things would not trust God. Who would all things trust then? Another god we do not know? Even if that were the case, its a bit blasphemous to seriously consider he could be replaced. The gospel dictates a relative notion that our ultimate source of authority and power is God the Father, and no other. Even if there were an equal or greater god, we do not worship or acknowledge him. Therefore, we are going too far off road to simply try to say the priesthood is distinct from God. If the "priesthood" is any power and authority, then any god or devil frankly could have it or give it, but if one considers the priesthood as specifically that power and authority from God the Father, then they are inseparable. 

Edited by Pyreaux
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31 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

How can God be said to be eternal if He had a beginning?

God's intelligence has always existed, but his deity hasn't. For this reason, God might be thought of as eternal. 

We are all eternal intelligences who, in time, if we're lucky, will ideally become gods and be regarded as eternal gods. 

These laws are eternal and a part of the everlasting priesthood established before our father God was God. 

 

Edited by Sara H
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52 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

On some level, we continue to run into this problem where you are looking from a temporal perspective built on the inside of a finite creation. Is God 'eternal

If I understand your argument correctly, you're saying that our father God's priesthood had its inception at the time he attained exalted status, right? You are probably aware of the proverbial adage that everything that has a beginning also has an end. The priesthood we adhere to cannot thus be eternal if it had a beginning.

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6 hours ago, Sara H said:

This is a simple question, I think. As far as I understand our doctrine, the priesthood is eternal. Meaning, if our God cease to exist and all the other God's still existed, doesn't that mean that our God is a Part of the priesthood just like all priesthood members, he's not THE Priesthood?

I'll let you know when it happens.

The scenario you suggest would require a "higher level" of abstraction than we have, to solve it, like the "Liar's Paradox".

Honestly I think it is not a practical question.

And now I shall reveal my true identity.

Am I lying?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311966065_LIAR_PARADOX_SOLUTION#:~:text=Liar paradox " is that we,so they are not liars.

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20 minutes ago, Sara H said:

God's intelligence has always existed, but his deity hasn't. For this reason, God might be thought of as eternal. 

You are missing the point. Your decision of how to apply the term eternal seems to be entirely subjective. Priesthood, as God's power and authority is as eternal as God is. If we can call God 'eternal' (no matter how you want to define or explain that term to be applicable), then Priesthood, as God's power and authority can be just as appropriately called 'eternal' in exactly the same way.

Now, can you provide a definition of priesthood as you are using it here?

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17 minutes ago, Sara H said:

This makes no sense. If there are multiple God's, then priesthood existed before father God was a God. There are eternal laws that every God is bound by. 

Relatively speaking, to us, it is as though they do not exist. We are presuming they'll do anything. For all we know, God's cessation means not that he'd be replaced, priesthood covenant that holds all creation together will come undone, and as a created being our very spirit bodies revert to our primal selves, as though he never were. Laws and matter are district from God, but they aren't the priesthood. 

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19 minutes ago, Sara H said:

This makes no sense. If there are multiple God's, then priesthood existed before father God was a God. There are eternal laws that every God is bound by. 

Joseph Smith said:  "The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam’s authority. " (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 4, Priesthood Everlasting - also, History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842])

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15 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

Now, can you provide a definition of priesthood as you are using it here?

The trick is in the ambiguity of "eternal" vs "one eternal round".

There have to be multiple eternities to figure it out, and we can postulate that easily by time reference analogies.

One "Big Bang" might be "one eternity", yet not be "eternal" in another sense, a context which allows for multiple "eternities" like "one eternal round" does.

Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar_paradox

"Tarski diagnosed the paradox as arising only in languages that are "semantically closed", by which he meant a language in which it is possible for one sentence to predicate truth (or falsehood) of another sentence in the same language (or even of itself). To avoid self-contradiction, it is necessary when discussing truth values to envision levels of languages, each of which can predicate truth (or falsehood) only of languages at a lower level. So, when one sentence refers to the truth-value of another, it is semantically higher. The sentence referred to is part of the "object language", while the referring sentence is considered to be a part of a "meta-language" with respect to the object language. It is legitimate for sentences in "languages" higher on the semantic hierarchy to refer to sentences lower in the "language" hierarchy, but not the other way around. This prevents a system from becoming self-referential."

Long story short, it is a confusing metanarrative, that's all.

Edited by mfbukowski
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