What is the purpose of the priesthood? As I pondered that question, my thoughts went back to the many times I sat in priesthood meeting or in a priesthood class and was taught that we are privileged to hold the power to act in the name of God. We have many stations in our organization today, deacons, priests, teachers as classes within the lower, or Aaronic, priesthood and elders, seventies, and high priests accounted in the higher, or Melchizedek, priesthood.

In Section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we find this description of these two priesthoods:

18  The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

19  To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

20  The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.

As cited here, a person holding the higher priesthood holds the “keys of all spiritual blessings of the church.” These spiritual blessings are associated with the knowledge which comes from receiving information relative to the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

In Alma, chapter 12, we are told that we are to seek after the mysteries of God:

9  And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

10  And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

Are these ‘many’ who are privileged to acquire knowledge of the mysteries of God fulfilling the directive of the Melchizedek priesthood? Should we not follow Alma’s direction as well as take advantage of the blessings associated with this priesthood?

The second spiritual blessing offered through the Melchizedek Priesthood is to ‘have the heavens opened to them.’ How many of us truly believe that we can have the heavens opened to us? That we could receive knowledge and wisdom directly from heaven? That we can receive visions and revelations from this spiritual blessing of the priesthood?

The next spiritual blessing comes from being able to associate with those who are of the church of the Firstborn. Speaking of those who would come forth in the first resurrection, Joseph Smith stated in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76:

51  They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—

52  That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

53  And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

54  They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.

55  They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—

56  They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;

57  And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.

I would suggest that the church of the Firstborn is made up of people who have been sanctified. Something of which we have had considerable discussion in this forum. Is this not one of the spiritual blessings of the priesthood? Are we not taught that we must be baptized by water and by the spirit to be washed and cleansed of our sins? The name of this blog, Just and True, is a reminder of this spiritual blessing offered to all who seek to receive the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it make sense that those who have been blessed to receive the baptism of fire would seek to commune with others who have been given the same experience?

Finally we are told that the last spiritual blessing of the higher priesthood is to be able to commune with God and Jesus Christ. This promise is reinforced in the ninety-third section of the Doctrine and Covenants

1  VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;

It should be known to all that the spiritual blessings availed to those who are benefactors of the higher priesthood include the right and ability to converse with God. Are we prepared individually and collectively to have this occur? What we are offered here is the right and privilege to interact directly with heaven without any proscription by any priesthood leader.

The lesser or Aaronic priesthood hold keys also. The first key mentioned is relative to the ministering of angels. How many of us have sought to be taught the words of Christ? Do we individually or collectively have the faith to call down angels to minister and teach us?

The duty to administer the outward ordinances is the next blessing of the lesser priesthood. We are called by the scriptures to repent and be baptized as Mormon dictates in Mormon, chapter 7:

…if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior,

It is the duty of the lesser priesthood to make sure these outward ordinance are performed in accordance with  the ‘letter of the gospel.’ I would suggest that the phrasing here is to encourage that which is being taught to tightly concur with the gospel as is defined in the scriptures. Are we taught today based on the letter of the gospel? Do we hold tightly to what Christ defined as His gospel? Do we adhere with what has been clearly defined as faith,  repentance, and baptism?

What does it mean to ‘hold the keys’ as cited in Doctrine and Covenants, section 107? This should be a matter prayerful study for all who seek to understand the spiritual  blessings defined above. I would suggest that the answer is found in the scriptures. In one of the two chapters in the Book of Mormon that mentions ‘priesthood.’ we find the following from Alma, chapter 13:

6  And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest—

While the entire chapter is certainly worth reading, I would want to focus on the definition of the ‘key’ as I understand it. The key is the knowledge that is to be given the seeker relative to how they may enter the rest of God. I would suggest that the priesthood key, in this case, represents knowledge to be shared. These high priests were selected only because they had themselves received of this blessing and had the ability to now communicate that path to others who sought the rest of God. These men held the keys to the spiritual blessings as described in Doctrine and Covenants, section 107.

What are we to make of these men who were called and ordained to this high priesthood?

10  Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish;

11  Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

12  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

It does not appear that these righteous individuals were called to preside and receive adoration of the masses. They were called to be servants and ministers of the people just as the disciples called from among the Nephites at the visitation of Christ.

1  AND it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.

These twelve disciples were also given the keys of the spiritual blessings of the priesthood. They were to teach the gospel to those who sought the knowledge, they were to administer the outward ordinances in accordance to the letter of the gospel

8  And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken—nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken—behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.

These men understood that the key to bringing the multitude to the state of readiness for spiritual blessings was to teach them the words of Christ, and only those words.

11  And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized.

12  And he came up out of the water and began to baptize.  And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen.

13  And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

14  And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.

15  And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.

Here we have a representation of all the spiritual blessings of the priesthood. Thus we also see in these verses the purpose of the priesthood – to bring people to commune with heaven. Should it be any different in this day and age? Should we not expect and endeavor to acquire these spiritual blessings?

Finally, what manner of people should we see as the holders of these keys (knowledge)?

I would suggest that a concise reading of Doctrine and Covenants, section 121, would be appropriate

34  Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen.  And why are they not chosen?

35  Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

36  That 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.

Can a person have their hearts set upon the things of this world and be in a position to teach the appropriate knowledge of the spiritual blessings of the priesthood? I would suggest that this verse speaks otherwise. What are the things of this world that would qualify in leading them away from being able to exercise their priesthood?

37  That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

38  Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

39  We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

40  Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

The moment a person succumbs to pride or ambition in the slightest degree; the moment that a person attempts to exercise any unrighteous control, or dominion or compulsion on others, the authority of that person is withdrawn. Is there any pride or ambition among the priesthood leadership? If so, they have no authority. Is there any who use their leadership to control and compel others? If so, they cannot exercise the true priesthood. Is this the situation with just a few, or is it the unenviable lot of almost all?

41  No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

42  By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

So these are the traits of those who have truly been ordained to the priesthood and can legitimately convey the keys to the spiritual blessings. They are long suffering, gentle, meek, and loving. They deliver the message of the letter of the gospel with kindness and pure knowledge. Such are those who truly called and chosen as we read from Alma, chapter 13:

11  Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

12  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

I would suggest that the holy priesthood described in this chapter of Alma cannot be attained simply by reaching a certain age and having hands placed upon your head. To be called, and chosen, one must seek and receive that cleansing power of the baptism of fire and be sanctified. They are then called to provide the key to unlock this experience for those who seek communion with God. Having ones heart, even minimally, set upon the things of this world can invalidate one’s priesthood. Any attempt to coerce, compel, or dictate the path of another person will lead to the loss of the ability to exercise the priesthood.

May we all be able to recognize those who are called, ordained, and sanctified as ministers and servants to lead us into the rest of the Lord.

What think ye?

19 Responses to “The Purpose of the Priesthood”

  • marginalizedmormon:

    I’m inclined to agree with you–

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    it’s based upon righteousness; D&C 121 makes that clear–

    • Spektator:

      May I add righteousness without pride… thanks for stopping by.

    • “No, that’s not it.” Laughter all around the auidcnee.One photo came up, and Elder Rasband had the strongest impression that the missionary would go to Japan. He timidly suggested “Japan?” Immediately President Eyring said “Yes! Let’s go there” and they did. Elder Rasband thought silently that it would be the Sapporo mission, and that is what Elder Eyring assigned.At the beginning of his message, President Monson seemed to ad-lib: Remember that you were here for one of the finest General Priesthood Meetings he’s ever attended.The closing song was also quite nice: an arrangement of The Iron Rod. It wasn’t the Jupiter (from The Planets) version from a few years ago, but rather the standard melody but in a funny 7/4 signature (or 3/4 + 4/4 measure pairs) for the verses and 4/4 for the chorus.

  • Log:

    Here is an interesting scripture.

    47 And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence.

    48 And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.

    49 Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.

    50 But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent.

    51 And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.

    52 And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.

    53 And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.

    54 Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

    55 And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.

    56 And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves, and I have given unto you another law and commandment.

    57 Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.

    58 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:

    59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;

    60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;

    61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.

    62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.

    63 And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.

    64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.

    65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.

    66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;

    67 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

    68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.

    Let those with ears to hear, hear.

  • Log:

    Here are a few points that can be gleaned uncontroversially from the above citation.

    Those who are not sanctified from all sin do not have the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    They cannot enter the kingdom of God, neither can they endure his presence.

    Because they don’t have the gift of the Holy Ghost, they don’t have ” the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.” This is significant in the context of the current discussion.

    Because they haven’t been baptized by fire, and thus have not received the Holy Ghost, they are not “after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity” (amen to the priesthood of those men); they are not “one in [God]“, meaning the Atonement is not operative in their lives, and neither are they “son[s] of God.”

    The reader knows if they are sanctified from all sin. Those who are one in God know it, as the angels know it.

    There is a lot more that can be said.

    If I may take off my scribe’s hat for a bit, priesthood is a preliminary Godhood. It was bestowed upon them in the premortal whom God foreknew would repent and work righteousness in this life. The purpose of the priesthood is to call men to serve – not rule, not preside, but to genuinely serve and labor to teach the commandments unto the children of men that they may enter into the rest of the Lord. The essence of Godhood is this: “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”.

    Any man who tries to control others, whether by virtue of the priesthood or no, is no priest; anyone who appeals to “priesthood” or “the priesthood” or any manner of authority to attempt to coerce, compel, or force others in their opinions, beliefs, or behavior is no priest, whatever his calling in the Church may be. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood – which means *all* attempts to appeal to priesthood authority are invalid. The very attempt to exercise authority over men reveals that a man has none from heaven.

    In fact, the only tools a priest has are persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness and meekness, love unfeigned, kindness, and pure knowledge. A priest will reprove with sharpness ONLY as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, which he possesses, and afterwards he will show an increase of [unfeigned] love towards them whom he has reproved.

    Thus we may distinguish between priestcraft and priesthood.

  • Jack:

    “Those who are not sanctified from all sin do not have the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    Nope. Those who receive the Holy Ghost are *justified*. Now sanctification may also come as one receives the Holy Ghost, but one need not be completely sanctified to enjoy the companionship of the spirit.

  • Log:

    Is the Comforter something other than the Holy Ghost?

  • Log:

    Does the Holy Ghost dwell in unholy (unsanctified) temples?

    Judge ye.

  • Jack:

    The Lord requires the heart and a willing mind. That is enough to open the door to the Holy Ghost. Remember, when we covenant to live the gospel we join the family of Christ and do all things in his name. If we, therefore, approach God in the name of Christ — though we be not perfect but willing — Christ accepts us and becomes our advocate. And then, because of the eternal nature of his sacrifice, our imperfections are “covered” and through him we become worthy to receive his spirit.

    • Spektator:

      If you consider the order of events for the people of King Benjamin, it may clarify what we are expected to do.

      First, they received a remission of their sins through the baptism of fire. Once they had received the ‘mighty change’ and had no disposition to do evil, they then entered into a covenant to be obedient to God’s commandments for the remainder of their lives.

      They were then told that because of this covenant they would be called the sons and daughters of Christ. (Mosiah 5:1-9)

      I would suggest that this is the order of things, the people received both the baptism of water and also were born again. They were then changed and could make a righteous covenant. It was because of this covenant that they were called the children of Christ. I would submit that we are not able to receive that title until we have received a remission of our sins through the baptism of fire.

      • Log:

        Spek,

        Here is the way things are supposed to go.

        1. The word is preached by authorized ministers who teach by the power of the Holy Ghost.
        2. The person believes the word because of the witness of the Spirit to their souls.
        3. The person repents of all their sins (confessing, restoring as applicable).
        4. The person calls upon the name of the Lord – which means they humble themselves into the dust and beg for forgiveness in the sincerity of their souls. They pursue this prayer until they receive the remission of their sins.
        5. At this time, the Spirit will administer a covenant of obedience to the soul of the person, the substance of which is to do the will of God and to obey his commandments. The actual covenant is personalized.
        6. The first commandment delivered is to be baptized as a testimony to the world that one has repented, entered into a covenant to obey God, is willing to be publicly identified with his covenant people, and has received a remission of their sins.
        7. They are then given the laying of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, at which time they would be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost and receive the Holy Ghost, which is wherein we take upon us the name of Christ, that his name is written in our hearts.

        I’ve left out the scriptural citations, but that is the model of the Nephite church (Moroni 6:1-4), and is the law of our own Church (D&C 20:37, 41, 43).

      • Jack:

        Spektator and Log,

        The Lamanites mess up the order of things. They’re converted before they’re even baptized by water. The main point is that Christ is an advocate for those who are justified by the spirit.

  • Log:

    It is enough to gain inspiration from the Holy Ghost. It is not enough to obtain the Gift of the Holy Ghost, or the First Comforter, which, as outlined in the citation above, is given to them who repent from all their sins and are baptized by water and are born again through the baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost, wherein we are sanctified from all sin.

    Christ does not advocate for, nor redeem, those who are willing to remain in their sins.

    26 But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection.

    27 Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For salvation cometh to none such; for the Lord hath redeemed none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim.

    Therefore, if one chooses not repent of all one’s sins, according to the commandments, then one meets the description; this is so because one cannot be sanctified in one’s sins, and one who is not sanctified form all sin dies in one’s sins, by definition.

    That is why when the Lord comes, his wrath will fall first upon those in the household of faith who claimed to have taken upon them the name of Christ, but knew him not.

    D&C 112:23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

    24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

    25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

    26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.

    Because they are unsanctified, they do not possess the Holy Ghost, all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, and they cannot endure the presence of God, therefore they shall be burned along with the rest who were warned to repent from all their sins but did not obey.

    As Joseph taught, to enter into Celestial glory, one has to keep the Celestial law, and the whole law, too – that is, one must be perfect, blameless, and holy; upright in all things.

    Therefore, one had ought to lay aside every sin and pray with all one’s might, mind, and strength to receive forgiveness and a remission of one’s sins, and pursue that prayer until one receives cleansing fire from heaven and has the Comforter dwelling in them.

  • Log:

    Who does Christ advocate for?

    D&C 45:1 Hearken, O ye people of my church, to whom the kingdom has been given; hearken ye and give ear to him who laid the foundation of the earth, who made the heavens and all the hosts thereof, and by whom all things were made which live, and move, and have a being.

    2 And again I say, hearken unto my voice, lest death shall overtake you; in an hour when ye think not the summer shall be past, and the harvest ended, and your souls not saved.

    3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—

    4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

    5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.

    Christ advocates for them who believe on his name.

    And, as we know:

    Helaman 14:13 And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits.

    Therefore, if you do not repent of all your sins, you A) do not believe on his name, and B) do not have a remission of them through his merits.

  • Jack:

    Those whom the Lord will reject are those who *rebel* against him — not those who are not yet perfect in him but are striving to be so. Also, one can receive a remission of sins and not necessarily be completely sanctified. The Savior advocates for those who believe on his name that they may come unto him — not just for those who have already come unto him and have been completely sanctified.

  • Log:

    If one has been instructed in repentance and mighty prayer unto sanctification and chooses not to obey, what would you call that if not rebellion?

    The Savior advocates for those who believe on his name that they may come unto him — not just for those who have already come unto him and have been completely sanctified.

    That, while true, does nothing to defuse the point, illustrated above, that if you do not repent of *all* your sins, you do not believe on his name, and you don’t have a remission of your sins.

  • Log:

    Also, one can receive a remission of sins and not necessarily be completely sanctified.

    This is also true. If only we taught how to recognize a remission of sins, and to cry unto the Lord for sanctification at the time we receive a remission of sins.

    I asked the deacons’ quorum if they could recall how they felt after their baptism. Almost to a man, they said they felt clean, and warm. I told them that was the sign their sins had been remitted.

    The sign of the remission of sins is essentially a spiritual warmth, similar in sensation to a fever, only it doesn’t show up on thermometers, and it may also include a burning in the bosom.

    If you have a remission of your sins, and are filled with that warmth, then that would be an ideal time to pray for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and pursue that prayer until you are filled as if by fire and that joy which is indescribable and full of glory.

  • JR:

    Spek,
    I agree with you. It seems likely to me that the people of Benjamin may have partaken of the Sacrament after their experience with BFHG, because this is precisely the Sacramental covenant that we make each time we take the Sacrament; and we also covenant that we will always remember Him that we may always have His Spirit to be with us. The BFHG and living these Sacramental covenants will indeed make of us Christ’s children.

    “First, they received a remission of their sins through the baptism of fire. Once they had received the ‘mighty change’ and had no disposition to do evil, they then entered into a covenant to be obedient to God’s commandments for the remainder of their lives.”
    JR

  • Spektator:

    I asked a lot of questions. Some of which are easy for me to answer. As I reflect back on the conversation here, I am more clear the ever on the purpose of the priesthood. It is to serve others and assist them in coming to Christ.

    In my years in the church, I have seen unrighteous dominion cloaked as many things; ‘teaching’ the gospel, keeping the purity of the church. Perhaps the mantra ‘follow the prophet’ could be considered compulsion because it elevates the words and actions of a man rather than Christ.

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