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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Three Grand Orders of the Priesthood

I finally got some time to research out and Post on the Three Grand orders of the Priesthood and Second anointing. I decided to start a new thread on this topics. So it wouldn’t get lost at the end of the “Who says nobody’s Perfect” thread.

Sorry for the sources on this one. The fundamentalist just seem to be the only ones who have expounded on this topic that I seem to agree with. I basically read the accounts of the August 27th 1843 discourse, in Odgen Krauts Calling and Election he has a pretty good chapter on 3 grand orders of the Priesthood, and finally I transposed what Fred Collier said in his Doctrine of the Priesthood Vol. 7 No. 8 Analyzing the Different Orders of the Patriarchal Priesthood Pages 14-15

“In was in the prophets August 27th ,1843 discourse, wherein he stated that Abraham, before he was blessed my Melchizedek (as in Genesis 14) possessed certain Sealing Power which was sufficient to admit him into the presence of God (WJS 246) . A careful analysis of this speech reveals the following: That there are Three Different Orders of Priesthood referred to in Hebrews chapter 7. The prophet names these three orders as follows. A. The aaronic or Levitical Priesthood. B. The Patriarchal Priesthood of Abraham, which he held in three different degrees at different stages of progression in his mortal probation. Inherent within the first and lowest of these were certain Sealing Powers which Abraham held before he met Melchizedek ( as in Gen. 14), and which were sufficient to admit a man into the presence of God. This Priesthood is the same that is given in our day to the Church Patriarch and consists of Being a High Priest and Patriarch in the Melchizedek or “High Priesthood”, along with its accompanying Sealing Keys. The second stage of Abraham’s Priesthood was the higher “Patriarchal authority” Which he received from Melchizedek on the day that he met him after the slaughter of the Kings. It was on this occasion that Abraham received his Endowment, wherein he was anointed a King and Priest and entered into covenant that he would order his life in accordance with the Law of the Fulness of the Priesthood. The Prophet refers to this Priesthood as “the greatest [Priesthood] yet experienced” in the Church (WJS 245). The third and highest stage or increment in Abraham’s Patriarchal Powers came when he obtained his Second Anointing, wherein he received the Keys and Powers of Endless life, or Sealing Keys of Elijah. It is these last Sealing Powers which constitute the Fulness of the Patriarchal Priesthood. Abraham did not obtain these Keys until after he had proven himself in his probationary state, wherein among other things, at the command of God he willingly offered up his only son Isaac. So taught the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS 322) The Third Grand order of Priesthood which the Prophet referred to in this speech is the Priesthood which Melchizedek held. This Priesthood is clearly described in the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis chapter 14, as also in Hebrews chapter 7 and the Prophet’s speech referred to above. This last Priesthood can only be obtained direct from God, by the calling of His own voice and involves a personal covenant between God and the individual who thus receives it.”

Okay so it seems that Abraham got his Second Anointing and Third level of the Priesthood at the same time. But if this priesthood can only be obtained directly from God, than I would state that in Latter Day time that this would be another ordinance on top of the Second Anointing. So from the above article it seems that for us the Aaronic is the same as Joseph Called it, but what we call the Melchizedek, is actually the "Patriarchal Authority" and the Priesthood we receive from God himself is the Melchizedek Priesthood or the "Patriarcal Priesthood".

Does this make sense with everybody else, or did I just confuse everybody?


Robby C said...

I read the JST of Genesis 14 last night. Very enlightening. Still need to cross reference it with Hebrews 7 and the August 27th discourse. I'll be back when I get it all read.

Ben said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the post.
Where can I find this August 27th discourse?

Dallas said...

All the varieties of the August 27th 1843 discourse is in Words of Joseph Smith. Let me know if you don't have access to a copy of that and I can paste it over in a Post.

LDS Investigator Files said...

Actually, I don't exactly agree..(or maybe I didn't properly understand your conclusion.)

few quotes might help here...

First is from HC 5:554-5 it's the Aug 27th 1843 discourse you mentioned.

There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to here. 1st. The King of Shiloam. had power and authority over that of Abraham, holding the key and the power of endless life ... What was the power of Melchizedek? ’Twas not the Priesthood of Aaron which administers in outward ordinances, and the offering of sacrifices. Those holding the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, that priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam. Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man; so Melchizedek ordained Abraham and sent him away. Abraham rejoiced, saying, Now I have a priesthood . . . The 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood. The 3rd is what is called the Levitical Priesthood, consisting of priests to administer in outward ordinance, made without an oath; but the Priesthood of Melchizedek is by an oath and covenant. The Holy Ghost is God's messenger to administer in all those priesthoods. (History of the Church 5:554-5)

The apex statement here is that this is a priesthood that would be revealed in the temple.

This did not invalidate the statement the prophet made 8 yrs earlier that is recorded in D&C 107:1 “There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood” By the 1843 discourse the Nauvoo temple was under construction and the prophet told us that knowledge of this Patriarchal authority would be revealed to the saints therein.

The next thing you must consider is the term "Patriarch" being used here which means "father-ruler" and was applied to Abraham even in the biblical context. (Abraham, Issac and Jacob are referenced as the 3 patriarchs) you can not have a Patriarch with out a Matriarch..

We know also that part of the "Oath and covenant of the priesthood" is that we are grafted in to the linage of Abraham.

"They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God." (D&C 84:34)

This promise is important, its fulfillment comes in the Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood..

Elder Bruce R. McConkie addressed this briefly in Mormon Doctrine.

"Those who shall hereafter rule and reign in eternity as exalted beings will form a patriarchal chain which will begin with Father Adam and spread out until every exalted person is linked in. Exaltation consists in the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and every family which so continues will find its proper place in the eternal organizational framework which the Almighty has ordained. None will be forgotten. Unworthy mortal links will be dropped in eternity, for there is no family in which all generations will attain exaltation; later generations of worthy families will be welded into the links formed by their ancestors who became worthy of a like exaltation with them. All those after the day of Abraham (of whatever literal lineage they may be) who so live as to be worthy of a place in this great patriarchal chain will be welded into Abraham's lineage and shall rise up and bless him as their father. (Abra. 2:9-11.)"

In summary, the Patriarchal Priesthood is Eternal Marriage.

I could go on and on but I don't want you to take this the wrong way..

BTW I enjoy Ogden Kraut also, It's a shame that faithful Latter-Day Saints don't tackle doctrines of old as plainly as some of the apostates do...

Dallas said...

Ryan, thanks for stopping by and checking us out. It is a pleasure to have you by.

I re-read my closing arguments on this post and realized I was a little too vague. I have clarified this in the post now.

Yes, I will agree with you, part of “the patriarchal priesthood is eternal marriage.” But I will also agree with Fred Collier when he says that, “This last Priesthood can only be obtained direct from God, by the calling of His own voice and involves a personal covenant between God and the individual who thus receives it”

As far as your bolded comments from HC they are a little off from the accounts in Words of the Prophet Joseph Smith (This is why I am not a Big fan of HC, too many filtrations). WJS only states, “2d Priesthood, patriarchal authority finish that temple and god will fill it with power ” It leaves off the whole part about more knowledge to come about this Priesthood in the temple.

For more information on this see note 21 in WJS on the Aug 27 1843 discourse.

Robby C said...

Ryan, perhaps I’m a little slow on the uptake, but I’m a bit confused on the disagreement between you and Dallas. Is the disagreement just on what we call these Three Grand Orders? Is it about which order is the “highest”? Or is it about what is part of each of the orders?

Robby C said...

I guess it’s time that I throw in my two cents.

The one thing I noticed in the Aug. 27 1843 discourse is that Joseph seems to distinguish the priesthoods by examples of people who held them. That is how I will address them. Numbers seem to be problematic, for example, in the Willard Richards account the Levitical Priesthood or Priesthood of Aaron is 3rd, but in the Franklin D. Richards account and the James Burgess account the Levitical Priesthood is 1st. (WJS pg 244-246) I think I was also getting a bit bogged down by the terms “Patriarchal Authority” vs. “Patriarchal Priesthood”, etc. In my reference to the topic I will refer to the three grand orders in this way; the Priesthood of Aaron, the Priesthood of Abraham, and the Priesthood of Melchizedek. This seems to be consistent with Joseph’s discourse, especially from the reading of the James Burgess account which says:
“Hebrews 7 chap. Paul is here treating of three different priesthoods, namely the priesthood of Aaron, Abraham, and Melchizedek, Abraham’s priesthood was of greater power than Levi’s and Melchizedek’s was of greater power than that of Abraham.” (WJS pg 246)

The Priesthood of Aaron: The lesser of the three priesthoods. This seems to be consistent with our understanding of the Aaronic priesthood that we have in the church today.

The Priesthood of Abraham: A priesthood of greater power than the Priesthood of Aaron. In the Fanklin D. Richards account of the Aug. 27 discourse Joseph says that this power was the greatest yet experienced in the church. (WJS pg 245) So what had the saints experienced by Aug. 27, 1843? In May 1842, Joseph gave the endowment to nine men in his store in Nauvoo. By a year later, most of the nine received the ordinances of marriage for time and eternity. In particular, the Prophet and his wife, Emma, were sealed on May 28, 1843. Several others were sealed the next day including Brigham Young and his wife, Mary Ann. So, inclusive in the Priesthood of Abraham must be the Endowment and Eternal Marriage.

The Priesthood of Melchizedek: (This one gets a little tricky, but I’ll give it a go as I understand it) A priesthood of greater power than the Priesthood of Abraham. “Not the power of a Prophet nor apostle nor Patriarch only but of King & Priest to God to open the windows of Heaven and pour out the peace & Law of endless Life to man” (WJS pg 245). “anointing & sealing – called elected and made sure” (WJS pg 244). Apparently the power of this priesthood had not been experienced yet in the Church as illustrated earlier by the Joseph Smith quote. Also on August 6, 1843, Brigham Young said, “If any in the church [have] the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood [I do] not know it. For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and priest.” However, in late September, 1843, Joseph and Emma received their Second Anointing. During the Second Anointing one is anointed with oil, after which he is ordained a king and a priest unto God. It is my belief that this is the ordination to this priesthood. But, that does not necessarily mean that the person has the power of this priesthood. (Similar to the example of one having hands laid on their head to receive the Holy Ghost doesn’t necessarily mean that they will receive it.) In addition to being anointed and sealed, one must also have their calling and election made sure (“called elected and made sure” WJS pg 244). They must receive a “more sure word” from the lord saying unto him “Son, thou shalt be exalted.” (TPJS pg 150) This may happen before, after, or at the time of the Second Anointing.

Dallas said...

Robby, beautifully said! I agree with you. Thanks for clarifying, with the Priesthood Names. I never would have thought of it that way. I guess that comes with all that teaching that you do.

It does get confusing with the Priesthood of Melchizedek, because that is what we call the people in the Office of an Elder and High Priest, but from your sources it looks like there is more to this Priesthood than we currently see.