Saturday, August 11, 2012

No proof for Melchizedek Priesthood

It is claimed by the Mormon leaders that before the church was organized Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. Apostle LeGrand Richards admits that the exact date of this ordination is not known: "While we are a record-keeping people, as the Lord commanded, nevertheless our records are not complete.... we do not have the date that Peter, James and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon them" (Letter from LeGrand Richards, dated September 26, 1960).

"In the History of the Church, no account is given of the date when the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored." Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 3 page 95 Joseph Fielding Smith

The Doctrine and Covenants 27:12
is cited as proof that the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred at a very early date: "And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles .... "

This verse, however, did not appear in the revelation when it was published in the Book of Commandments in 1833. It was added into the Doctrine and Covenants, and therefore cannot be cited as proof that the Melchizedek Priesthood was in the church at the time the revelation was given

Hyperlink is the Original section of 27 before 12 verses  were added.

Visitations of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John conferring the priesthood apparently were not known in the church until sometime after 1834. If restoration of priesthood was such a significant event, wouldn’t Joseph have mentioned it earlier? “I never heard that an Angel had ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic Priesthood until the year 1834, 5, or 6—in Ohio… I do not believe that John the Baptist ever ordained Joseph and Oliver…” – David Whitmer (Early Mormon Documents, 5:137). “I joined the church in 1831. For years I never heard of John the Baptist ordaining Joseph and Oliver. I heard not of James, Peter, and John doing so… I never heard of it in the church for years…” – William McLellin (An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, pp.224-25). The revelation referring to the Aaronic restoration is missing from the Book of Commandments, as well as from the original church history as published in The Evening and Morning Star (edition dated March 1833, p.6). The only known manuscript copy of the revelation makes no reference to the LDS priesthoods either (Origins of Power, p.16).

The account of the Melchizedek restoration is entirely missing. B.H. Roberts writes that “there is no definite account of the event in the history of the Prophet Joseph, or, for matter of that, in any of our annals…” (History of the Church, 1:40fn).

The information that is available about the Melchizedek restoration creates a problem. Many LDS scholars who have studied the event place the ordination within a few weeks of the Aaronic priesthood ordination date, which was in May 1829 (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:885-86). There is a brief mention of the event in Oliver B. Huntington’s journal, which places the Melchizedek ordination on a night after Joseph and Oliver had been on trial in Colesville, New York (Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, 13 January 1881). Joseph Smith dated this incarceration in mid-to-late June of 1830 (History of the Church 1:84-85, 92-94). Wesley Walters located the court bill for this trial, which was dated “July 1st 1830” (Joseph Smith’s Bainbridge, N.Y., Court Trials, p.125). That date is several weeks after the Church was organized. But LDS sources are emphatic that Smith could not have legally organized the Church unless he had received the Melchizedek priesthood first. At the time of church organization, Joseph Smith gave himself the title of FIRST ELDER of the church. That creates an irreconcilable problem for the LDS claim of authority.

The first mention of Melchizedek Priesthood in the scriptures of the church is Doctrine and Covenants 68, which was recorded in November 1831. Verse 15 says, “Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron.” Nowhere before 1831 is there any such notion of a Priesthood of Melchizedek on the records of the church. 

Other changes in Doctrine and Covenants

  Wouldn't Jesus make a better Prophet, Priest and Apostle than some frail men in Utah ?
can LDS talk to these men everyday like we can to Jesus ? In fact Mormons are told not to Worship or Pray to Jesus

Hebrews 1
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Hebrews 3
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 7

1This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against many kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him; 2then Abraham took a tenth of all he had won in the battle and gave it to Melchizedek.

Melchizedek’s name means “Justice,” so he is the King of Justice; and he is also the King of Peace because of the name of his city, Salem, which means “Peace.” 3Melchizedek had no father or mother£ and there is no record of any of his ancestors. He was never born and he never died but his life is like that of the Son of God—a priest forever.

4See then how great this Melchizedek is:

(a) Even Abraham, the first and most honored of all God’s chosen people, gave Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils he took from the kings he had been fighting. 5One could understand why Abraham would do this if Melchizedek had been a Jewish priest, for later on God’s people were required by law to give gifts to help their priests because the priests were their relatives. 6But Melchizedek was not a relative, and yet Abraham paid him.

(b) Melchizedek placed a blessing upon mighty Abraham, 7and as everyone knows, a person who has the power to bless is always greater than the person he blesses.

8(c) The Jewish priests, though mortal, received tithes; but we are told that Melchizedek lives on.

9(d) One might even say that Levi himself (the ancestor of all Jewish priests, of all who receive tithes), paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham. 10For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham when Abraham paid the tithes to Melchizedek.

11(e) If the Jewish priests and their laws had been able to save us, why then did God need to send Christ as a priest with the rank of Melchizedek, instead of sending someone with the rank of Aaron—the same rank all other priests had?

12-14And when God sends a new kind of priest, his law must be changed to permit it. As we all know, Christ did not belong to the priest-tribe of Levi, but came from the tribe of Judah, which had not been chosen for priesthood; Moses had never given them that work.

15So we can plainly see that God’s method changed, for Christ, the new High Priest who came with the rank of Melchizedek, 16did not become a priest by meeting the old requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but on the basis of power flowing from a life that cannot end. 17And the psalmist points this out when he says of Christ, “You are a priest forever with the rank of Melchizedek.”

18Yes, the old system of priesthood based on family lines was canceled because it didn’t work. It was weak and useless for saving people. 19It never made anyone really right with God. But now we have a far better hope, for Christ makes us acceptable to God, and now we may draw near to him.

20God took an oath that Christ would always be a Priest, 21although he never said that of other priests. Only to Christ he said, “The Lord has sworn and will never change his mind: You are a Priest forever, with the rank of Melchizedek.” 22Because of God’s oath, Christ can guarantee forever the success of this new and better arrangement.

23Under the old arrangement there had to be many priests so that when the older ones died off, the system could still be carried on by others who took their places.

24But Jesus lives forever and continues to be a Priest so that no one else is needed. 25He is able to save completely all who come to God through him. Since he will live forever, he will always be there to remind God that he has paid for their sins with his blood.

26He is, therefore, exactly the kind of High Priest we need; for he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin, undefiled by sinners, and to him has been given the place of honor in heaven. 27He never needs the daily blood of animal sacrifices, as other priests did, to cover over first their own sins and then the sins of the people; for he finished all sacrifices, once and for all, when he sacrificed himself on the cross. 28Under the old system, even the high priests were weak and sinful men who could not keep from doing wrong, but later God appointed by his oath his Son who is perfect forever.


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