Priesthood and Auxiliaries:
Priesthood is the power and authority given to man to act in God's name for the salvation of His children.
Ordinances of salvation
blessing of healing, comfort, and counsel.
God is all powerful and it could be said that He could do all the work himself without any of our involvement. But in God's plan, man is blessed to participate in His work. It is still His work, and he is still doing the work. But He allows us to participate, minister, and witness His power in the lives of others.
D&C 1:38 "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by Jesus Christ through apostles and prophts just as in Bible times.
Eph 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers; Forst the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"
So, when the Church leaders are telling us to reading our scriptures, and pray as a family, or warns us against taking harmful chemicals inside our bodies, its not men telling us what to do and how we should live our lives, but God telling us throught them.
Priesthood authority was restored in 1929 when John the Baptist and later Peter James and John appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and conferred the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. Peter James and John had received the Melchizedek priesthood from Jesus Christ.
Heb 5:4 "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron"
Tim 4:14 "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands fo the presbytery (Elders)."
John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen, you, and ordained you"
Matt 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be lossed in heaven"
A man can receive priesthood authority only by proper ordination by the laying on of hands by one who has the authority. Charles Wesley who was one of the greatest English poets and song writers ever and the brother of John Wesley criticized his brother for starting his own church and ordaining priests. Some of the Hymns in our LDS Hymnal from Charles Wesley include "Hark the Herld Angels Sing", "Rejoice, the Lord is King", "Jesus, Lover of my soul", "Ye Simple souls who stray", "Christ the Lord is Risn Today, "Come, Let us anew.".
"How easily are bishops made by man or woman's whim, Wesley his hands on Coke hath layed, but who laid hands on him?" - Charles Wesley
That said, the scriptures say that only a desire to serve God is enough to qualify us for the work. But the laying on of hands by the proper authority authorizes us for that work.
D&C 4:3 "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work" Remember many are "called" but few are "choosen". Matt 22:14
D&C 63:57 "And again, verily I say unto you, those who desire in their hearts, in meekness, to warn sinners to repentance, let them be ordained unto this power".
Holders of the priesthood enter into a covenant and recieve callings and duties to serve others, help build up the church. Also to perform sacred ordinances, such as baptism, confirmation. (Here the power of God is manifest (changing peoples lives via the Holy Ghost). Priesthood power can only be used only in righteousness, love, and patients. No unrighteous dominion, and never by coercion but only by persuasion.
All priesthood comes from God, There are 2 priesthoods in the Church the Aaronic and Melchizedek. The Aaronic Priesthood administers ordinacnes such as baptism and sacrament (Lords Supper). Worthy males ages 12 and over recieve this preisthood soon after baptism and confirmation. This is a preparatory priesthood to prepare for the higher priesthood that Christ restored to the Earth. and that Peter James and John restored to Joseph Smith.
Worthy adult males will eventually receive the Melchizedek priesthood. Through this preisthood members receive many temporal and spiritual blessings. Worthy holders confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordain others to the preisthood as assigned, and anoint the sick with consecrated oil, and give blessing of healing and comfort. Fathers have give special blessings to spouse and children, and Home Teachers visit homes of the members and ccan care for and bless individuals and families.
Bishops and Stake Presidents are Judges in isreal and spend most of their time helping those who have sinned. Just like the Priests in the Old Testament, Bishops are not "preachers" but when you become unclean, you had to appear before the priest and he would determine that you should bathe in the river jordan 7 times, After doing this you would return to the priest and be declared ritually clean to return to the temple. in the same way Bishops today do the same work but are more concerned with inward purity.
As memebers of the church we have covenanted to stand as a witness of God in all times, all places. And we should want to share with others the truths that bring us so much hope, and joy. We have been commanded to preach the gospel of Christ to all peopel and give them a chance to accept or reject it. As we live the gospel we can be an example to others, we can also invite others to church, or other activities, or introduce them to the missionaries or give them a pass along card or video or book of mormon. We should pray for others, pray for missionary opportunities, and have have faith and be sure that the Holy Ghost will help us know what to say when we "open our mouths"
Great test of religion and the preisthood is this:
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspottted from the world"
1 Cor 5:11 "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?"
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Priesthood and Auxiliaries: