Frankly, I didn’t know what to call this post. It will not be an essay, but rather a quick note on something I discovered last evening reading in the History of the Church volume 2. It may seem small and trivial to some, but it reinforces the view that the Melchizedek Priesthood was revealed at the Morley Farm conference over a year after the Church was organized, not a few months after the Priesthood of Aaron was revealed by John the Baptist aka Elijah. It is so interesting to me to discover these little tidbits that would likely go unnoticed without a correct understanding of Church history—one that is free of the falsehoods that have been perpetuated to bolster Brigham Young’s claim that the Apostleship is all the authority needed or had on the earth. He really did go out of his way to convince the Saints of that fact because he was never ordained a High Priest.
Anyway, the tidbit I ran across is found in the minutes of a conference held on April 21, 1834 in Norton, Medina County, Ohio, which state:
“The President (Joseph) then gave a relation of obtaining and translating the Book of Mormon, the revelation of the Priesthood of Aaron, the organization of the Church in 1830, the revelation of the High Priesthood, and the gift of the Holy Ghost poured out upon the Church;”
What struck me here was the sequence. Notice that after the Priesthood of Aaron is revealed the church is organized, followed by the High Priesthood. This characterization is inconsistent with the teaching that the High Priesthood was revealed by Peter, James and John (who I believe only revealed the keys of Apostleship, not the Melchizedek Priesthood) sometime later in 1829. This may seem like a small detail, but it corroborates Joseph’s characterization that he left in the first cut of his history written in 1832.
“A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Christ the son of the living God of whom he beareth record and also an account of the rise of the church of Christ in the eve of time according as the Lord brought forth and established by his hand
firstly he receiving the testimony from on high [The first vision]
secondly the ministering of Angels [Moroni -Book of Mormon plates]
thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of Angels to adminster the letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments as they were given unto him – and the ordinencs [John the Baptist (are Peter, James and John included here?)],
forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit the Kees of the Kingdom of God confered upon him [visit of Peter, James and John, or is this a reference to the restoration of the office of high priest?]
and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c”
You can see the confusion the compilers of history were confronted with (their notes are in brackets). When Joseph describes his third point he references “angels” in the plural, which would include more than John the Baptist, but would likely include Peter, James and John, especially since all four of them restored the authority to administer the letter of the gospel, including the law and commandments and the ordinances. The minutes of the conference are fully consistent with his history. I always look for 2 or more witnesses in according with the Lord’s Law of Witnesses.
Anyway, I thought I would share that small insight. Recently, my blogging has been significantly curtailed because I am placing all my energies on writing my book. The working title is:
Like a Lamb to the Slaughter
Understanding Joseph’s Intercessory Offering and the Implications for Our Day
It is coming along at a reasonable pace, but I don’t expect to have it ready for publication before the end of this year. Just didn’t want anyone to think that I have dropped off the planet. I feel a sense of urgency to get it completed.
Your prayers are appreciated to keep this project moving forward.
Thanks and Keep Searching.