Archive for February 10th, 2009

10
Feb
09

Priesthood

 

     I was asked to address the priesthood.  That is understandable since the priesthood plays a big role in Mormonism.  As always, it is important to define terms.  The LDS manual, True to the Faith, defines it this way:  “The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.”  It goes on to state:  “God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of his children.  Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth.”  Mormonism has two priesthoods: the Aaronic and Melchizedek.

     I felt I had to give that little review because, it has been my experience, that many Christians don’t know much about what Mormonism says about the priesthood, and many Mormons are surprised that the priesthood is not a big topic in Christianity.

     The Aaronic or Levitical priesthood was an important component of the Old Testament.  But the New Testament says that priesthood was done away with.  Hebrews 7-10 has an extended argument making that very point.  But those chapters always make the point that it was replaced with a superior priesthood, the Melchizedek priesthood – of which there is only one priest, Jesus.  He is the only priest because he offered himself up as the perfect sacrifice once and for all.  “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

      The New Testament says that the Aaronic priesthood is null and void.  It says that Jesus is the one and only priest in the Melchizedek priesthood.  But it also does talk about Christians being priests (without labeling them as Aaronic or Melchizedek).  I was happy to see 1 Peter 2:9 mentioned in the question.  “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  As priests Christians are to show forth God’s praises by talking about his great salvation – by talking about how we are perfected by Jesus’ one sacrifice. 

      We further teach that this applies to all believers, whether they are male or female – seeing that this obviously was addressed to both.  Therefore I was wondering how Mormons interpret this passage seeing that Mormonism restricts the priesthood to males. 




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