What is Priesthood? Part 1

We undertake this most important subject with the hope of receiving the help of the lord in bringing this to the people. We feel that no man can perform the ordinances of the Gospel in these last days or in former days unless ordained and called of God. This is not unlike an ambassador that is called to represent a country and unless he represents that country in the manner the leaders of that country wish of him as he has been called by them and represents them he will lose that position and calling. Why would it not be the same with God’s church on earth. We will try and represent this from the standpoint of our faith in the latter day work restored by Joseph Smith. When the Lord restored the priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery He said it would never be taken from the earth again or be given to another people. So first we will start by quoting John Taylor as to what is priesthood,

“What is Priesthood? Without circumlocution I shall as briefly answer that it is the government of God, whether on the earth or in the heavens, for it is by that power, agency, or principle that all things are governed on the earth and in the heavens, and by that power that all things are upheld and sustained. It governs all things–it directs all things- it sustains all things–and has to do with all things that God and truth are associated with. It is the power of God delegated to intelligence’s in the heavens and to men on the earth.”
-Millennial Star, Vol. 9:321.

The question must be asked who holds this authority from heaven. If this authority is necessary to perform all of the ordinances of the gospel then all that one does throughout their life must be with this authority or it is of none affect and would have to be done over and all their efforts through life would be wasted. We will try and establish this through the teachings of the servants of the Lord through the different periods of the earth. We will start by identifying the gifts and blessings that come from the Holy Ghost which is the power of the Priesthood.

Paul the apostle gave the following in 1 Corinthians chapter 12:

3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The following from D&C 46:

16  And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.
17  And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.
18  To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.
19  And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed;
20  And to others it is given to have faith to heal.
21  And again, to some is given the working of miracles;
22  And to others it is given to prophesy;
23  And to others the discerning of spirits.
24  And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues;
25  And to another is given the interpretation of tongues.
26  And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.

Mark 16:

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

This is given by Joseph Smith Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith: 243

We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the Apostles’ days; we believe that it [the gift of the Holy Ghost] is necessary to make and to organize the Priesthood, that no man can be called to fill any office in the ministry without it;

George Q. Cannon Gave the following in Gospel Truth pgs. 149, 150:

“Burton, in the words we have quoted above, truly describes the manner in which these miraculous gifts and powers disappeared from among men. They were not withdrawn all at once; but they gradually faded away like the rays of the declining sun until they disappeared altogether and darkness set in. There was a cause for this. Faith had decreased. Mankind would not have the pure word of God. They persecuted and slew the men who had the Priesthood and who received revelation from God. The result was the Church was gradually overcome, the authority which the Lord acknowledged was withdrawn and spiritual gifts departed.”

If one reflects upon the apostles of Jesus’ day what miracles did they perform while Jesus was with them. What was the marvelous change that was brought upon them after the Saviors death and resurrection. As His death drew near He said to them:

5. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
6. But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7. Never the less I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

(John 16:5)

Joseph Smith taught that the comforter is the Holy Ghost. And on the day of pentecost it is written:

1.  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it rested upon each of them.
4. And they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.

(Acts 2:1)

It must be seen from the above that the gifts of the Holy Ghost is the power of the priesthood and will continue with the true servants of God as the Lord has given that the priesthood will never be taken again from the earth. The Holy Ghost must be had by His priesthood, that they are inseparable from the priesthood and without the Holy Ghost the priesthood is of none affect.

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