Questions from my discussion with Joe yesterday about priesthood in the Book of Mormon


  1. Why does Helaman (the book, or the person) focus so little on Priesthood or regulating the affairs of the church, etc.?
  2. What about the timing of Amalickiah’s revolt? Did he wait until Alma was dead (the first non-king ruler) to make his move? And what is the connection between wanting to be a king and gathering against Helaman and his brethren? They weren’t the government rulers at the time, so why are they gathering against Helaman and not the chief judge?
  3. What about the baptism and church of Mosiah/Alma is so different from that in 3rd Nephi/Moroni?
  4. What does 4th Ne show us about the new order established by Christ?
  5. Is there a connection between the chapters of Malachi quoted and the resulting 4th Nephi life?
  6. Are the disciples in and after 3rd Nephi ever called priests?
  7. Why are there not 12 apostles/disciples before Christ? Nephi knows about that structure, but doesn’t implement it
  8. What does Nephi think about priesthood itself?
  9. Was Nephi a high priest and Jacob and Joseph were priests under him, like Alma and Alma the younger had priests under them? Or was Nephi the king without any spiritual, consecrated office?
  10. Abinadi seems to be a prophet but not a priest. Was Nephi the same?
  11. Is there really a change at all these steps: Nephi, Alma, Christ, Joseph Smith?
  12. Is Alma in borrowing the language of the “holy order” from the small plates? Is he rethinking his own priesthood in Alma 5-15 and that’s why we get the sermon in chapter 13?
  13. How is it possible to create a Zion city with so much internal political problems?
  14. But, as Joe pointed out, all of those problems seem to stem from priesthood.
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One response to “Questions from my discussion with Joe yesterday about priesthood in the Book of Mormon

  • Karen

    Reading Malachi quoted in 3 Nephi, it feels like the Nephites are finding themselves between two times when the Lord comes to the temple and purges the priesthood. It’s as if they are between chapters 3 and 4 (of Malachi).

    Is that a fair reading? If so, it would sound to them like God has just done a purging (so many died in the fires, floods, earthquakes, and so on) and here they are as the few faithful enough to remain. And then there will be a future, harsher judgment and only then will there be this offering in righteousness, etc. Maybe?

    Joe suggested to me that there are recurring times when God reorganizes the priesthood into new structures. I’m still wrestling with that & its implications, but Malachi here made me wonder if that reordering always happens at a temple, & if this Malachi text is a repeating, reoccurring event? God suddenly comes to his temple, purges the current priesthood by setting up a new structure that then leaves out the less righteous bunch? Nephi builds a temple, then consecrates Jacob & Joseph. Not sure about Alma & a temple, but he does initiate a new organization of priesthood (high priest vs. royal court priests). Christ comes to the temple & sets up 12 Disciples. Joseph Smith & early saints build temples, along with receiving more information about priesthood and setting up an order very different than the Christian denominations around them. See what I’m getting at? I don’t quite understand why there would be changing ways of organizing priesthood, but I do see that perhaps it is useful to purge the priesthood by just leaving the old group behind and starting something different. Same power, but hierarchically structured differently. Maybe?

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