When Nephi wrote his tremendous treatise on false precepts in 2Nep 28, one wonders if his prior cosmic vision portrayed to him the full extent of the traditions and precepts that would rule our lives as we waited for the Great and Marvelous Work to commence? Yes, absolutely it did in the same manner that Moroni testified in Mormon chapter 8 that Jesus showed him all of our pollutions of the Word of God, our pride, our very fine apparel, our love of money and substance, our hypocrisy, and our secret abominations. Paul extrapolates for us the same condition of trusting the philosophies of men (mingled with scripture) and of living our lives subject to ordinances that we should not touch because they are the commandments and doctrines of men:
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using; ) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (Colossians 2:8, 20-22)
In this paper, we come face to face with another precept that could easily be included in the Strong Delusion topic. For Mormons reading the blog, you’ll recognize the indoctrination you’ve been taught all of your lives regarding “priesthood.” Nothing we were taught about priesthood in the church is found in the Bible or Book of Mormon; it’s another case of taking things out of context because of Smith’s atrocious Doctrine and Covenants and attempting to force a square peg into a round hole.
Mormon priesthood was the brain child of Joseph Smith with overt pressure from Sidney Rigdon who had been promoting his branded ideas of priesthood since his days as a Campbellite Minister. Joseph gave us every component of the Strong Delusion including Mormon priesthood which was quite an undertaking for someone told not to pretend to any other gifts beyond the translation of the Book of Mormon. The generations which followed Smith were faced with the onerous task of making sense of his eccentric and contradictory religious claims including priesthood. One almost has to feel sorry for men like Orson Pratt, George Q. Cannon, B. H. Roberts, Orson F. Whitney, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, James E. Talmage, John Widtsoe, and J. Reuben Clark among others who had the unenviable task of writing and publishing in the pre-correlation era while trying to harmonize Mormon Doctrine with the Bible and Book of Mormon. These men could readily see the disharmony between scripture and the pronouncements of the church and its founders which caused the obvious contortions in their writings. As we carefully studied all of their writings for multiple decades, it was apparent that some of these men wrestled with their faith in Mormonism because of the very problems we’re addressing here.
Joseph Fielding Smith who was the church historian, a member of the quorum of twelve apostles, and later became church president wrote,
“Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who wilfully (sic) attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an impostor cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, 1954, page 188.)
Throughout this blog, we have shown again and again that the doctrines of Joseph Smith and Mormonism “cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth” meaning there are “many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect” and they will “not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures.” We couldn’t agree more with Joseph Fielding Smith and that is why we focus on the holy scriptures while dismantling the deceit and doctrines of Mormonism which do not agree with the Book of Mormon or the Bible! The doctrine of what priesthood is, and how it operated in the church, went through one metamorphosis after the other, just as with ALL the doctrines of the church. Decade by decade as each new generation of apostles took the reins of authority, they reinterpreted Mormon theology until it was unrecognizable by the metric of its founding teachings.
Thus, anyone who reads the “Journal of Discourses” today or who studies the original sermons of Joseph Smith is hard pressed to synchronize those teachings with modern correlated Mormonism. If you think that issue is a problem or you believe the issue simply proves apostasy from original doctrine, just try harmonizing Mormonism from ANY ERA with the scriptures. It’s an impossible task as we’ve proven! It doesn’t matter which version of Mormonism you want to test against the measurement of the scriptures, it all falls into an abyss and cannot be reconciled with the Word of God. None of it! This is a tremendously important point. It doesn’t matter if you select Mormon doctrine from 1838, 1844, 1860, 1889, 1906, 1920, 1935, 1950, 1966, 1980, 1996, 2010, or 2016. It will not stand the test of being measured against scripture.
The rubber-stamped volumes on doctrine written in the post-correlation era by the likes of Lee, Kimball, Benson, Petersen, Richards, Hinckley, Monson, and especially Packer and McConkie represent an era of Mormon doctrine that takes authoritarianism by priesthood oppression to new lows within the religion. The current attitudes and posturing of the church with regard to the dominance of Mormon male priesthood is a result of that era of domineering and heavy-handed men we listed just above whose words were the absolute final word on everything Mormon. The generation of apostles in the church today which followed the hardliners simply continue to carry the torch lit by their most recent predecessors demanding absolute obedience to their authority and doctrinal pronouncements in all things. This has become the paramount litmus test of membership and unquestioned obedience to “the brethren” is the issue of greatest importance in the Mormon church today!
The leadership has successfully created a system of dominance and supremacy in their governance and authority based on office and calling in the priesthood to include showing absolute deportment to those in offices higher than oneself. You better stand up when they walk in the room and show proper decorum to the quorum! It’s expected and demanded that you refer to those appointed in authority over you with their vaunted priesthood titles such as bishop, elder (fill in the apostle’s name), or president. You won’t find any of that nonsense in the scriptures. The doctrine of “priesthood” in the modern Mormon church is not based on scripture at all, rather it falls into the trap of being just another tradition and philosophy of men in the abominable church. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
Let’s begin this paper afresh to gain a correct understanding of God’s Way and turn to the scriptures to find an accurate portrayal of The Way things should be by examining what the prophets call the “Holy Order” in contrast to the authoritarianism of Mormon priesthood.
The Holy Order of God
In Mormon parlance, we hear next to nothing about “The Holy Order of God” although the writers of the Book of Mormon made it clear that this “order” is the vehicle by which God does his work teaching people. There is nothing whatsoever taught about a system of strict obedience to men in power having authority over others.
2 Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things. (2 Nephi 6)
20 And thus in the commencement of the ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, Alma delivered up the judgment-seat to Nephihah, and confined himself wholly to the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to the testimony of the word, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy. (Alma 4)
44 For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus; yea, I am commanded to stand and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our fathers concerning the things which are to come. (Alma 5)
49 And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again. (Alma 5)
54 Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance— (Alma 5)
8 And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church which was established in the valley of Gideon, according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called. And thus it is written. Amen. (Alma 6)
22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received. (Alma 7)
4 And he began to teach the people in the land of Melek according to the holy order of God, by which he had been called; and he began to teach the people throughout all the land of Melek. (Alma 8)
1 And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. (Alma 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— (Alma 13)
18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. (Alma 13)
1 And now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth. 2 Now we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation; and they preached after the holy order of God by which they were called. (Alma 43)
30 Yea, and there was continual peace among them, and exceedingly great prosperity in the church because of their heed and diligence which they gave unto the word of God, which was declared unto them by Helaman, and Shiblon, and Corianton, and Ammon and his brethren, yea, and by all those who had been ordained by the holy order of God, being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach among the people. (Alma 49)
10 Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God. (Ether 12)
From the verses above its rather simple to see that the purpose of the priesthood of the Holy Order of God is to teach and testify to the people. That’s it. Nowhere in the Book of Mormon or the Bible is the priesthood defined as a hierarchal form of authority over others. Its only in Smith’s revised D&C that these things come into play as we’ve pointed out before. Let’s look at the single chapter in the Book of Mormon which addresses “priesthood” as its main theme to see how this sacred volume describes priesthood.
1 And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. 2 And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. 3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, (eternal lives) on account of their exceeding faith and good works; (karma) in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such. 4 And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. 5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared— 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— 7 This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things— (eternal lives and karma) 8 Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end— 9 Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen. 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, (eternal lives) 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. 13 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest. 14 Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever. 15 And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. 16 Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. 17 Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; 18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. 19 Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention. 20 Now I need not rehearse the matter; what I have said may suffice. Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction. (Alma 13:1-20)
You simply cannot harmonize Alma 13 with the “oath and covenant” of the priesthood given to all male members as claimed in D&C 84 and elsewhere in Smith’s church. Next, we turn to the mechanism by which Jesus, His apostles, and others are ordained to this Holy Order. It might surprise you to learn that it is by the Holy Ghost and NOT by so called Melchizedek Priesthood ordinations. D&C 107 can be tossed aside with the rest of the Doctrine and Covenants.
How are They Ordained?
27 And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove. 28 And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them. (1 Nephi 11)
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10)
7 And I also saw and bear record that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen. (1 Nephi 12)
4 And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which was in them. (Moroni 3)
1 And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church. (Alma 6)
1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10)
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. 13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 31)
Great Power is Given to Them
Those servants of God who attain to the Holy Order are endowed with real power unlike the pretend priesthood of the Mormons who are powerless in the wake of disease, death, and devils. Real miracles come through real power and that power comes from the Holy Ghost; “the power of God working miracles in them—”
31 And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. (1 Nephi 11)
19 And in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people. 20 And the people saw it, and did witness of it, and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles, in the sight of the people, in the name of Jesus. 21 And it came to pass that the thirty and first year did pass away, and there were but few who were converted unto the Lord; but as many as were converted did truly signify unto the people that they had been visited by the power and Spirit of God, which was in Jesus Christ, in whom they believed. 22 And as many as had devils cast out from them, and were healed of their sicknesses and their infirmities, did truly manifest unto the people that they had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed; and they did show forth signs also and did do some miracles among the people. (3 Nephi 7)
1 And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity— (3 Nephi 8)
5 And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus. (4 Nephi 1)
6 And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away. (Alma 23)
30 And Alma went forth, and also Amulek, among the people, to declare the words of God unto them; and they were filled with the Holy Ghost. 31 And they had power given unto them, insomuch that they could not be confined in dungeons; neither was it possible that any man could slay them; nevertheless they did not exercise their power until they were bound in bands and cast into prison. Now, this was done that the Lord might show forth his power in them. 32 And it came to pass that they went forth and began to preach and to prophesy unto the people, according to the spirit and power which the Lord had given them. (Alma 8)
16 But behold, the power of God was with him, and they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them. 17 And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people. (Helaman 10)
We close this paper by returning to the statement of Joseph Fielding Smith above. We declare that Joseph Smith, was a man we all once revered and held in the highest esteem as a prophet of God, “was a deceiver, who wilfully (sic) attempted to mislead the people.” We declare this now honestly and truthfully because “his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit” which we have proven by the scriptures.
Joseph Smith “should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an impostor cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth.” We have taken the Holy Scriptures to be our guide and the “doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures.” What more can we say? Search the prophecies; search the scriptures, for they will guide you to the truth!