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Friday, July 1, 2011

The Priesthood Part 2: Offices

Color Key:
Quotes from the Ensign article in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.


Priesthood (Part Two): Offices
By Connie Raddon

Each Ensign Magazine has a section entitled, “What We Believe”.  In the June 2011 Ensign, this section has an article called “Priesthood is the Authority To Act In God’s Name”.  This is an official message from the leadership of the LDS Church. 

For references, the article cites
1.      LDS scriptures (mainly the Doctrine & Covenants),
2.      LDS teaching manual, “Gospel Principles 2009” pg 67-80
3.      LDS published book entitled, “True to the Faith”, pg 124-128

The article outlines the offices that worthy men can hold in each of the LDS orders of priesthood.

 “The offices and some of the duties of the Melchizedek Priesthood:
1.      Elders “confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.”  (D&C 20:41)
2.      High Priests “administer in spiritual things” and have “a right to officiate in” the offices of elder, priest, teacher, and deacon.” (D&C 107:12)
3.      Patriarchs give patriarchal blessings. (See D&C 107:53; 124:91-93)
4.      Seventies preach the gospel and are special witnesses of Jesus Christ under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (See D&C 107:25, 34)
5.      Apostles serve as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in the entire world.” (D&C 107:23)

There are ZERO “offices” in the Melchizedek Priesthood in the Bible.  Therefore, the LDS Melchizedek Priesthood is not a restoration of the Biblical Priesthood.  Restoring something is bringing it back to its original state.  The LDS priesthood is something completely different from the Biblical priesthood.  Many of the same words are used, but they have different meanings.

These office titles are found in the Bible, but not in connection with the priesthood.

ELDER: The purpose of an elder as set forth by Paul is similar to what the LDS call a bishop.  But there can be more than one elder for one church.  The qualifications and duties of an elder are found in Titus 1:6-9  “…above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of rebellion…God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick tempered, not addicted to wine… but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just devout, self-controlled… to exhort in sound doctrine, and to refute those who contradict.”

So according to the Bible, none of the prophets or leaders of the LDS church could qualify to be an elder until after Wilford Woodruff wrote the Manifesto in 1890 claiming that the LDS Church would no longer practice polygamy, and only then if they stopped practicing polygamy and became the husband of one wife

Another interesting point is that according to the Bible, an elder can drink wine, as long as he is not addicted to it.  (The LDS “Word of Wisdom”, which prohibits drinking wine is in contradiction with the Bible).

The Biblical purpose for an elder is to teach doctrine and refute any contradictions to it.

HIGH PRIEST: The High Priest is an office of the Aaronic priesthood – not Melchizedek.  The Bible also says that there can only be one living high priest.  His duty was to make a sacrificial atonement for the sins of all the people once a year.  The Bible also says that Jesus is our final and permanent High Priest.  So anyone claiming to be a high priest is not only in contradiction with the Bible, but is committing blasphemy.

PATRIARCH:  This word is just another way of saying ancestral father, or oldest living male in the family.

SEVENTY:  Jesus had approximately seventy disciples who abandoned him – is this what the LDS are referring to????  (There are no other references to an office titled “Seventy”)

APOSTLE: Jesus Christ Himself – personally called the twelve apostles.  Judas died before the mission of the apostles began, so Jesus called another to fill the vacancy:  Paul.  The other eleven apostles took it upon themselves to “vote” in a twelfth.  They chose Matthias.  But that is the last we hear of him.  Paul, whom Jesus called, went on to write most of the New Testament.  So a true apostle cannot be called of men, either by voting or working your way up through the ranks.  The apostles were also eye witnesses of the resurrected Jesus Christ. 

To my knowledge, none of the LDS apostles have had Christ appear to them.  If He has, they should be proclaiming it loudly to the world because that was the purpose and duty of an apostle. 

When I was a young Mormon, I heard things said during talks at General Conference that sort of, almost, in a roundabout way insinuated that the apostle speaking had seen Christ.  But I was always told that this kind of revelation was far too sacred to share with the public, so they couldn’t come right out and admit it.  Now I know that this is exactly the opposite of what an apostle is supposed to do!


The article then describes the offices in the Aaronic Priesthood.

“The offices and some of the duties of the Aaronic Priesthood:
1.      Deacons pass the sacrament.
2.      Teachers “watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them.”  (D&C 20:53)
3.      Priests “teach,… baptize and administer the sacrament and visit the house of each member.” (D&C 20:46-47)
4.      Bishops are presidents of the priests quorum and, as high priests, preside over all members in a ward.  (See D&C 107:87-88)


DEACON:  The office of a deacon in the Bible is not related to a priesthood.  It is very much like an elder.  Deacons must fulfill the same qualifications as an elder.  (Titus 1:6-9)

Since the LDS Church gives the office of “deacon” to twelve year old boys, the question begs to be asked… “Are they all husbands of one wife with believing children?”   Obviously not.

TEACHER: The only way the Bible refers to Teachers is when the person is actually teaching.  Once again, this title is not related to a priesthood. 

PRIEST:  The other article for the June 2011 Ensign (part 1) covers this in much more depth.  Priests must be able to prove their lineage to be from Aaron.  They also had to be at least twenty five years old.  The LDS church gives this office to any worthy male who is fourteen or older, regardless of their lineage.

BISHOP:  Bishops are the same as a pastor – and their duties include, training, teaching evangelizing, and appointing other leaders.  Bishops in the LDS Church hardly do any training, teaching, or evangelizing. 


On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the June 2011 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to explore this so thoroughly. It is so difficult to talk about the differences in beliefs with others when the same terms and words are used but have different meanings. I appreciate your forthrightness and honesty.

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  2. It's interesting what you said toward the very end of the article about the duties of a bishop...it's very true that they do very little, if any, training, teaching or evangelizing. What I have found they do VERY well is hold judgement on others. They are very quick to hand out punishment for infractions "unbecoming a member of the church" but aren't to interested in helping anyone...sad.

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