GPC14: The Church of Jesus Christ, Gospel Principles Comments and Resources
Unit 5: The Church of Jesus Christ
Chapter 14: Priesthood Organization
Comments and Resources
"Elder Bruce R. McConkie clarified the reasons for having offices in the priesthood:
"The priesthood is greater than any of its offices. No office adds any power, dignity, or authority to the priesthood. All offices derive their rights, virtues, and authorities from the priesthood. Our concern is with those holding the offices of elder, of seventy and of high priest...
"Why do we have offices or callings in the priesthood?...
"....So that brethren can become specialists in the performance of priesthood labors...
"Elders are called to be standing ministers; to prefect the Saints; to labor for the salvation of the brethren.
"seventies are called to proclaim the message of salvation to our Father's other children.
"High priests are called to be standing presidents; to prefect the Saints; to guide, govern, and direct the organization of the Church." (Address at Regional Representatives" seminar, 7 Oct 1973, p.2.)
During the study of this topic, we will learn how and why the priesthood is organized, what is meant by the keys of the priesthood, and the duties of the various offices in the priesthood.
Gospel Principles: chapter 14
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, chapter 12.
Jesus the Christ, chapter 16, 23.
The Articles of Faith, chapter 11.
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A Chapters 1 - 11; Part B, Chapters 1 - 5
3 Nephi 12:1-2
"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.
2 And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins."
Moroni 3 "Elders ordain priests and teachers by the laying on of hands. Between A.D. 400 and 421."
D&C 20, 68, 107
"Revelation on Church Organization and Government, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, April 1830. HC 1: 64 70. Preceding his record of this revelation the Prophet wrote: We obtained of him [Jesus Christ] the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to his will and commandment, we should proceed to organize his Church once more here upon the earth."
1-16, The Book of Mormon proves the divinity of the latter-day work; 17-29, The doctrines of creation, fall, atonement, and baptism are affirmed; 29-37, Laws governing repentance, justification, sanctification, and baptism are set forth; 38-67, Duties of elders, priests, teachers, and deacons are summarized; 68-74, Duties of members, blessing of children, and mode of baptism are revealed; 75-84, Sacramental prayers and regulations governing church membership are given."
"Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, November 1831, at the request of Orson Hyde, Luke S. Johnson, Lyman e. Johnson, and William e. McLellin. HC 1:227 229. Although this revelation was given in response to supplication that the mind of the Lord be made known concerning the elders named, much of the content pertains to the whole Church.
1-5, Words of elders when moved upon by the Holy Ghost are scripture; 6-12, Elders are to preach and baptize, and signs shall follow true believers; 13-24, Firstborn among the sons of Aaron may serve as the Presiding Bishop (that is, hold the keys of presidency as a bishop) under the direction of the First Presidency; 25-28, Parents are commanded to teach the gospel to their children; 29-35, The saints are to observe the Sabbath, labor diligently, and pray."
"Revelation on priesthood, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, dated March 28, 1835. HC 2: 209 217. On the date named the Twelve met in council, confessing their individual weaknesses and shortcomings, expressing repentance, and seeking the further guidance of the Lord. They were about to separate on missions to districts assigned. Although portions of this section were received on the date named, the historical records affirm that various parts were received at sundry times, some as early as November 1831.
1-6, There are two priesthoods: the Melchizedek and the Aaronic; 7-12, Those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood have power to officiate in all offices in the Church; 13-17, The bishopric presides over the Aaronic Priesthood, which administers in outward ordinances; 18-20, The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys of all spiritual blessings; the Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels; 21-38, The First Presidency, the Twelve, and the Seventy constitute the presiding quorums, whose decisions are to be made in unity and righteousness; 39-52, Patriarchal order established from Adam to Noah; 53-57, Ancient saints assembled at Adam-ondi-Ahman, and the Lord appeared to them; 58-67, The Twelve are to set the officers of the Church in order; 68-76, Bishops serve as common judges in Israel; 77-84, The First Presidency and the Twelve constitute the highest court in the Church; 85-100, Priesthood presidents govern their respective quorums."
"13 ¶ And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
14 And when Moses father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
17 And Moses father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
27 ¶ And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land."
"1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way."
Acts 1:20-26; 6:1-4
"20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."
"1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."
"11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 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:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"
"7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
Articles of Faith 1:6 " We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."
High Priest-Aaronic Priesthood
High Priest-Melchizedek Priesthood
Jesus Christ, Head of the Church
Priesthood, Keys of
Priesthood, Magnifying Callings within
Transfiguration, Mount of
Guide to the Scriptures:
Aaronic Priesthood Aaron, Brother of Moses; Law of Moses; High Priest
Keys of the Priesthood
Melchizedek Priesthood, Elder; Melchizedek
Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood
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"4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
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