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God Is PART Of The Eternal Priesthood, Not THE Priesthood


Sara H

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9 minutes ago, Sara H said:

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.

This adage isn't true (at least not in this context). This adage comes out of Aristotle's view of the infinite - it was his argument that there were two premises we should accept - (1) that whatever has no beginning is eternal, and (2) whatever has an ending cannot be eternal. It is from these two premises that the idea comes that everything that has a beginning has an end. But this doesn't hold up in LDS thought. And to keep this at least readable, I will point out two issues. The first is that there is a belief in LDS cosmology that the earth will (along with humanity) be renewed and become the material site of the Celestial Kingdom. Consider this statement from Brigham Young (the link has others):

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The earth will abide its creation, and will be counted worthy of receiving the blessings designed for it, and will ultimately roll back into the presence of God who formed it and established its mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. These will all be retained upon the earth, come forth in the resurrection, and abide for ever and for ever

The earth was created.

Now, I do understand that you might argue that the matter itself - the raw materials from which the earth was constructed - is also eternal, and so the earth could be considered to have no beginning. This is, at least as I understand your comments, to be the argument you make for the eternal existence of God or of humanity for that matter. But, there is a related problem here from what Brigham Young also taught about the sons of peridition -

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They will be decomposed, both soul and body, and return to their native element. I do not say that they will be annihilated; but they will be disorganized, and will be as if they had never been; while we live and retain our identity and contend against those principles which tend to death or dissolution (Journal of Discourses, 7:57).

And

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The clay that marred in the potter’s hands was thrown back into the unprepared portion to be prepared over again (Journal of Discourses, 2:124).

I think that we can claim that Aristotle is wrong - that God can create something that doesn't have to end - and so to be eternal doesn't require that that something has no beginning or end. Rather to be eternal means that something doesn't have both a beginning and an end. And for God's priesthood to be eternal, it just doesn't have to have an end - it can have a beginning (that is, when God becomes God and gains the power and authority that is God's priesthood).

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6 hours 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. 

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. 

 

There was a time before Heavenly Father was God, and priesthood still existed.

The are numerous orders of priesthood as taught by the Prophet Joseph.

There are orders of priesthood that specifically have to do with mortality.  The is an order of priesthood holders we refer to as the Council of the Gods.

So no, the being we call Heavenly Father isn't the be all and end all of priesthood.  There are absolutely elements that exist independent of him as an individual being.

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10 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

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?

That's it.

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On 9/18/2023 at 11:51 AM, 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?

Hypothetical questions are always fun, and I love them myself. But the best ones are based in reality, or potential reality. Our God cannot cease to exist, so a hypothetical premised on that is extremely weak. But it's fun nevertheless.

What is the priesthood, though? It is the power of God. It is an aspect of God that emanates or originates with Him. Without Him it does not exist. 

A wide examination of scripture brings me to the conclusion that God's power emanates from His righteousness. Without that righteousness He is not God. God can provisionally delegate His power to someone who is not God, and who is not technically worthy of that power, but they can exercise it even while it is not inherent in them. I feel that because Jesus was without sin, the Father could delegate His power to him unconditionally, or almost unconditionally. But the power was still not inherent in Jesus until his resurrection and his ascension to the Father. 

On 9/18/2023 at 11:51 AM, Sara H said:

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.

This is an interesting proposal, and invites thoughtfulness. 

As I said above, the priesthood, or power of God, is inherent in Him by virtue of His righteousness. I do not believe it is something that is dependent upon an outside agent or agency. If there are more than one God, they would each be God by virtue of their own righteousness, independent of any other. 

Your last clause suggests a class of eternal beings who are on the same level with each other, who may be members of a council of some sort. If your premise is correct (and I admit I feel it may be) then your conclusion is likely to be correct, as well. Although not precisely for the reason you propose -- since "the priesthood" is inherent in personal righteousness, and not an outside emanence.

 

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

What is the priesthood, though? It is the power of God. It is an aspect of God that emanates or originates with Him. Without Him it does not exist. 

I disagree with this.

God is not self creating. His priesthood is something he attained to, not something he created.  Other Gods hold the same priesthood offices as our Heavenly Father.

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

God is not self creating. His priesthood is something he attained to, not something he created.  Other Gods hold the same priesthood offices as our Heavenly Father.

It sounds to me like your paradigm includes an ancestral line of Grandfather Gods, correct me if I'm wrong.  In such a case, I can see how priesthood would have preceded OUR God. 

But imo there could not have been a Power and Authority of, or from, God "before" there was an Original Source God. 

By way of analogy, the electricity (priesthood power) doesn't flow through the power line before the generator starts generating. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, manol said:

It sounds to me like your paradigm includes an ancestral line of Grandfather Gods, correct me if I'm wrong.  In such a case, I can see how priesthood would have preceded OUR God. 

But imo there could not have been a Power and Authority of, or from, God "before" there was an Original Source God. 

By way of analogy, the electricity (priesthood power) doesn't flow through the power line before the generator starts generating. 

Sure, basically ancestral line.

However with eternity running in both directions I see no need for an original source.

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13 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Sure, basically ancestral line.

However with eternity running in both directions I see no need for an original source.

My point is that the power isn't there without there being a power source, and it seems to me that the scriptures indicate God is the Source for the power called "priesthood".  

To put it another way, God is the more fundamental entity.  We worship God, not priesthood. 

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25 minutes ago, manol said:

My point is that the power isn't there without there being a power source, and it seems to me that the scriptures indicate God is the Source for the power called "priesthood".  

To put it another way, God is the more fundamental entity.  We worship God, not priesthood. 

I again disagree about the source.  It is the attributes of Godliness that provide the power, not any individual being we consider a God.

Any being in possession of the correct attributes is a God holding the same authority and power.  Priesthood as a general principle is not in any way specific to an individual.

Now, certain orders of priesthood ARE specific.  The priesthood of Melchizedek is specifically the priesthood after the order of the Son of God.  Without the Savior there can be no Melchizedek priesthood.

The priesthood possessed by the Council of the Gods (the Eloheim) as referenced in Abraham, Moses etc are members of a higher order of priesthood holders.  That order the D&C 130:10 references and is specific to exalted beings.

But any quorum of priesthood with multiple members, like the Gods, cannot have one of its membership as the source of their power.  Any more than the Deacon's quorum president is the source of all the Deacon's priesthood authority.

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3 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

It is the attributes of Godliness that provide the power, not any individual being we consider a God.

Any being in possession of the correct attributes is a God holding the same authority and power.  Priesthood as a general principle is not in any way specific to an individual.

That's really well stated. 

I guess I don't differentiate between the divine being and the divine attributes

Here are some of the attributes of God that I am unable to mentally separate from the being(s) called "God", from the 88th Section of the D&C, verses 6-7, 41, and 50: 

"He comprehend[s] all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth... This is the light of Christ."

"He is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him."

"I am the true light that is in you, and [...] you are in me."

Edited by manol
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17 minutes ago, manol said:

That's really well stated. 

I guess I don't differentiate between the divine being and the divine attributes

Here are some of the attributes of God that I am unable to mentally separate from the being(s) called "God", from the 88th Section of the D&C, verses 6-7, 41, and 50: 

"He comprehend[s] all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth... This is the light of Christ."

"He is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him."

"I am the true light that is in you, and [...] you are in me."

True, all true.

And when eternities from now we reach that point the same will be said of us by those who have yet to get there.

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28 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

True, all true.

And when eternities from now we reach that point the same will be said of us by those who have yet to get there.

Hey if I don't make it, put on your asbestos robes and drop in on me some time!

Seriously, thank you.  I suspect our differences are more semantic than fundamental. 

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20 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I disagree with this.

God is not self creating. His priesthood is something he attained to, not something he created.  Other Gods hold the same priesthood offices as our Heavenly Father.

I don't disagree with you. 

But I didn't say that that God is self-creating. I said that the priesthood emanates from Him because of His righteousness. Because of this, His priesthood is the source of all true power in the Universe. 

I think you may not have read what I wrote carefully enough. 

But... this topic can really seem like a trip down a rabbit hole. For one thing, how far back does it all go? It has to go back before the Big Bang, and even further. The most gut-wrenching question I have ever asked myself is "It's not just 'why does God exist?' it's 'why does anything exist?'" 

The answer appears to be: "Because."

And then comes: "What is time?" 

There's no answer to that, either.

The only thing that helps keep it all together is having faith in God, that He exists, and that He knows it all. And eventually we will have answers.

 

Edited by Stargazer
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On 9/18/2023 at 6:51 AM, 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? 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.

Let’s suppose for a moment that God the Father has millions human seeds living within his body, much like normal men in this world have, at any given point in time, millions of living seeds existing within their bodies. But let us also suppose that in the case of God the millions of living human seeds that reside within his glorified body exist in a holier, more exalted state. And since these living human seeds that exist within his glorified body are necessary and indispensable constituents his body (as the apostle Paul so powerfully testifies that the individual members of a human body still form one unified entity) would this not mean that by virtue of being members of God’s unified body that the seeds within that body are imbued with his priesthood power? Additionally, this means that even before spirit birth the intelligent seeds that exist within God’s body are suffused with his priesthood power.

Finally, following this steam of consciousness to its logical conclusion, wouldn’t this mean that priesthood power exists within intelligences even before their spirit birth? And if all the aforesaid is true, you are incorrect in presuming that there is a time when individual intelligences are not endowed with priesthood power. Perhaps this is why the 93rd Section of the Doctrine and Covenants testifies that prior to spirit birth eternally existing individual intelligences are called “the light of truth,” which, coincidentally, is a title synonymous with God.

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. (Doctrine and Covenants 93)

 

 

Edited by teddyaware
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