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Discussion With A Mormon About


Neil Armstrong B.A., M.Div.

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Beginning Of Discussion By Mormon Missionary
My current priesthood office is a High Priest in the Melchezedek Priesthood which I was ordained to last June by my father who also holds the same priesthood (I was also called to the Stake High Council which requires the office of High Priest). I do have 5 younger brothers who are Elders. In John 21:25, it says "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." From this we know that many things were not recorded but by other passages we know that they happened. We know in Mark 3:14-15 that "Twelve were ordained with power" showing that the apostles were ordained. After Paul's conversion, he was baptized by Ananias Acts 9:18 and Barnabas "introduced" him to Peter and James Acts 9:26-30. If Paul was an apostle and apostles are ordained, then we know that he must have been ordained when he met with Peter & James, who had been ordained by Christ. In Hebrews 5:4 we read "And no man taketh this honour unto himself but he that is called of God as was Aaron". How was Aaron called? By his brother Moses who was the prophet and who ordained the priesthood on him (i.e. "Levitical or Aaronic Priesthood). After the death of the Apostle Judas, the eleven who were left sought and received guidance to fill the vacancy. They chose Matthias Acts 1:21-26. The Lord directs his church in the same manner to day as he did in ancient times. Priesthood leaders are called and ordained under the direction of the Prophet and Council of the Twelve. Previously I said that the Prophet holds all the "keys" of the priesthood here on earth and that the Council of the Twelve Apostles all together hold the "keys" so that when a prophet passes on, a new Prophet can be called by the 12. Priesthood leaders are entitled to revelation for those under their stewardship, including for callings. The Lord speaks for the church only through his living prophet so that is the only recognized source of current revelation. You may compare it to an Israelite receiving "revelation" instead of Moses, it would not and did not happen. The 12 act as a "council" to the prophet, much as they did in the time of Christ. We are entitled to revelation over our stewardship, but not over the church. If you give me a reference on the Prophet Joseph Smith, I will look it up. Hope this sheds some light.
Response: Ordination In New Testament?
Your whole argument revolves around ordination in the New Testament. Upon a closer study you will find that ordination did not exist in the early church. It ended in the Old Testament. The word "ordained" may be used in the King James or the Mormon Bible but the practice of setting priests aside through special rituals can not be found. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is our High Priest and everyone becomes a priest when they believe in Jesus Christ by faith. A verse about Jesus being the High Priest. Hebrews 7:28 "For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever." There is no need for other High Priests. Hebrews 7:23-24 "Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood."

Please read the Book of Hebrews, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:5-10 "So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." And he says in another place, "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him  from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what  he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek." It is clear from the context of Hebrews that Jesus is the fulfillment of this high priestly order because one of the themes running through Hebrews is that he is 'better than" what has come before.

Several references that show all believers are now priests. Rev. 1:5-6 "and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." Rev. 5:9-10 "And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Unfortunately, ordination is practiced by almost all major Christian denominations. However, when one does a study in the Scriptures, the only teaching found in the New Testament is that of the "priesthood of all believers".

Many Christians today no longer believe in Apostolic succession. Filling the position left vacant by Judas was temporary. Some would say that the person whom God raised up was not Matthias, but Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. The Apostles were given the task of proclaiming the Gospel. When they passed away this role, occupied by the twelve, was not continued as an office in the church.

Please remember that the context of Hebrews 5:4 is Jesus being given the role of High Priest by the Father. Jesus in this passage is the fulfillment of the Levitical or Aaronic Priesthood. This is why we need no other priests except those who minister the Gospel of the High Priest, Jesus Christ. More...

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