Lately I’ve been reading and re-reading the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and I might have stumbled upon something significant. I’ll leave it to you to say I’m off base. I wouldn’t take it so harsh, because …what do I know?
For starters, remember how the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven? And that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness? (D&C121:36) Well, what if the powers of heaven where not just descriptive language, but instead the “Powers of Heaven” were a pro-noun? For example, we often call missionaries Elder so-and-so. We also call the members of the stake presidency President so-and-so. What if Powers were possibly a Power “so-and-so?”
The point of this blog may be sensitive to some who think of the priesthood in terms of the traditional line of thought. However, for those of you who are like me, and the traditional line seems intentionally vague, and you believe that the scriptures are inviting us to seek it out further, then keep reading.
I won’t make you guess at what I’m saying. I’ll just tell you up front what I’m saying and then attempt to use the word to show it. What I’m hoping to accomplish is to point out that the two priesthoods spoken of in the oath and covenant of the priesthood (D&C 84) is not pointing to the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood as the soul subject, like we learn in our traditional line. I am suggesting instead, that the two priesthoods are two fellowships:
- First, a fellowship on Earth– the fellowship of both Aaronic and Melchizedek that we get within the church
- Second, a fellowship in Heaven– the fellowship that D&C121:36 addresses, where the rights of that priesthood fellowship are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven (the pro-noun)
I want to address these two fellowships as the two priesthoods that is identified in the oath and covenant of the priesthood (D&C 84:33). I’ll start out with some scriptural story references, and then conclude with why I think that the way we currently think about the two priesthoods is incomplete. If I shared all the scriptural passages, it would take forever to quote, so if you’re interested, then comment below, and I’ll get those passages for you. If not, you’ll have to take my word for it that I got it right.
If God is the same yesterday, today and forever, then what was done back in the days of the ancient prophets must be somewhat of a type and shadow of what is done today. If there are two fellowships (Earth and Heaven) required of us now, then there must have been two fellowships required of them back then, and in fact there is.
Abraham was given the priesthood on earth first from Melchizedek, but wasn’t considered “a father” until it was given to him from the voice of God Himself. Enoch was given the priesthood at the age of 25 from Adam, but at age 65 the voice of God pronounced the priesthood on him, and then he walked with Christ for 365 years after that. Moses was give the priesthood by his father-in-law Jethro, but received the priesthood from the voice of God on mount Sinai. Jacob, the brother of Nephi, received the priesthood from his brother Nephi, but it wasn’t until the voice of God declared it to him that he began his ministry. What I’ve just outlined here is that these prophets all first obtained an earthly fellowship. Then, years later, obtained a fellowship from heaven.
So far, what I have pointed out may make sense, or may not. But now look at D&C 84 verse 33, 34 and you can see what I mean about the heavenly connection. It says:
“33. For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
34. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and the kingdom, and the elect of God.”
Those who have both fellowships, on earth as it is in heaven, become:
- the sons of Moses and of Aaron
- and the seed of Abraham
- and the church and kingdom
- and the elect of God
I am suggesting that this is the same as being those who are the few who have been chosen, from the many who were called. I am also suggesting that Moses, Aaron, Abraham are also who Malachi is speaking of as “the Fathers” who we are to turn our hearts to, the Fathers being a calling by the voice of God.
Now to solidify my point, think about the traditional line, where the two priesthoods are Aaronic and Melchizedek only. Then those who have obtained these two (Aaronic and Melchizedek) priesthoods are the elect of God. Under these circumstances, we ought to celebrate the fact that we have the Aaronic and Melchizedek, and have arrived at being the elect of God. However, with much power comes much responsibility. Here is the responsibility portion of those who have obtained these two priesthoods:
D&C 84: 40-41
“40. Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.
41. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.”
Imagine that return missionary who has obtained the traditional line of these two priesthoods (Aaronic and Melchizedek), who have fallen away, without returning before death, does he have no forgiveness of his sins in this world nor in the world to come? I don’t think so.
Denying the Holy Ghost can only be done with one who has had their calling and election made sure by the voice of God. When they have received such a calling, and then denied the Holy Ghost, it was as if they were standing at noon-day and denied the light that came from the sun. These are those who have obtained these two priesthoods. These are those who have obtained a fellowship on earth and a fellowship in heaven.
You all will have to study this out in your heart and in your mind to decide for yourself if what I am saying is true. Either it is true and you’ll have to re-read the scriptures to learn how to obtain that heavenly fellowship (remember the Lords prayer: on earth as it is in heaven?). Or, you will continue to believe the traditional line of the two priesthoods, and you will not seek the heavenly fellowship. For those who continue with the traditional line, you are given a single “Wo” warning. That is different from a three fold “wo, wo, wo…” that is given to those who knew better and have fallen away (Jaredites/ Nephites/ etc.).
“42. And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.”
Notice that there is only one “wo,” as I said. And notice that the second fellowship from the heavens is given “by mine own voice.” That is how all the other prophets have obtained it as well, and then have secured an unshaken confidence in God so as to sacrifice all. As well, notice that those who have obtained such blessings- now the heavenly hosts and mine angels have charge concerning you. This reminds me of when Adam was visited by an angel to tell him how to sacrifice. Perhaps that is when we too obtain visiting angels, like Moroni to Joseph Smith, to give us the further light and knowledge that we seek to bring us to the veil.
In conclusion I suggest that those holding the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood within our church are a significant part of the plan of salvation, but not the two priesthoods or fellowships we are told to obtain. Put into the perspective that I have just outlined, that would fit in obtaining the first priesthood, the fellowship on earth. Here we call ourselves brother “so-and-so”, Elder “so-and-so”, and President “so-and-so.” Put into the perspective that I have just outlined, each one of us are also required to “connect” to the second priesthood, the fellowship in heaven. Those we connect to are not brother “so-and-so”, Elder “so-and-so”, and President “so-and-so.” Rather, they might be better titled as POWER “so-and-so” of heaven.
With this as a foundational truth, we can see clearer the beings of heaven, called Cherubim, Seraphim, and other fiery beings. Our traditional line of thought was intentionally positioned so that those who have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that would understand would not hear with their ears, see with their eyes, and feel with their heart (of mortality), but rely upon their spiritual ears, eyes and heart.
I will end by stating that only when we are connected to the Powers of heaven, then can we control and handle the Powers of heaven based upon the principles of righteousness (D&C 121:36). Then we will have power in the priesthood. Whereas if we don’t, then we live far beneath our privilege, and “WO” unto you.