Mormon’s two self introductions question


Quick question:

Why in 3 Nephi chapter 5 does Mormon introduce himself as a descendant of Lehi and tells us he is named after the Waters of Mormon,  but in the Book of Mormon chapter 1, he introduces himself as a descendant of Nephi, and implies he was named after his father?

 


“Priest unto”


I just want to think about that phrasing. What does it meant to be a priest “unto” someone or something?

A quick search shows that (I think) these are the references that have the exact words “priest unto”:

  • Judges 18:19

    19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?

  • 1 Kings 2:27

    27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfil the word of the Lord, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

  • Ezekiel 44:13

    13 And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed.

 

This quick (and not conclusive) search has two uses of “unto.” Two results seem to use “unto” to refer to who you are under, who you serve, what order you are apart of, etc. But one result seems to use “unto” to refer to which group you are over. I suppose these aren’t mutually exclusive uses here:

God

Priest (serves God) (serves people)

People

But I still want to think about what the difference really is by saying a priest serves unto God or a priest serves unto a people.

More to think about…


Priestess in my family


I’m a sloppy blog writer, so apologizes as always —

There are so many ways in which my role as a mom (parent) over my children is similar to the role of the priest over a group of people. The Book of Mormon’s priests considered the sins of the people to be their fault unless the priests taught the people sufficiently. D&C 68 states that if parents do not teach their children to understand the gospel by age 8, the sins of the children will be on the heads of their parents. That’s a striking similarity, I believe. And a serious one. I never want to just write about these things to say “hey look women are cool too” — I want to seriously think through what work God has given me.

In addition, the temple gives certain roles, gifts, powers, and knowledge  to me that certainly give me a responsibility. It may be that these are not exercised fully outside of the temple, or family, or callings within a priesthood structure, but they are certainly still serious.

In addition to those thoughts, I am so struck, maybe even convinced, that the Book of Moses sets up Eve and Adam as a two-person priesthood pair that presides over their family. It is only after there is a righteous son and grandson, in a sea of wicked family members, that the word “priesthood” actually appears. This priesthood seems to be a structure set up to induce preaching in each generation, by those called of God and with authority to perform ordinances. But within each family, there is potentially a mother and a father with the same roles and rights and responsibilities that Eve and Adam had.

That is, I think it is fair to say that each woman is a priestess within her own family, and this is especially the case if she has been to the temple to be initiated and endowed.

Recently I reviewed this Primary song. You’re familiar with it. It says, “Mine is a home where ev’ry hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow’r, With father and mother leading the way.” Mine is a home where every hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood power. That is your responsibility, sisters, to help your home be a home that is blessed every hour by priesthood power. It isn’t just when Dad is there. It’s not just when Mom is there. It’s not just when a priesthood ordinance or blessing is being performed. It’s every hour as covenants are kept. –Julie Beck

 

 


Priesthood lineage


I’ve thought a lot about D&C 107’s claim that the Melchizedek Priesthood was originally designed to be passed from father and son to the chosen seed. I’ve wondered how this is or isn’t connected to other promises about a chosen seed, such as ones to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Joseph. Lehi tells his son Joseph that Joseph of old was promised that his seed would never die out, and would be alive to the end of the earth. Not only that, he was promised that his see would be the  seed which was promised to be alive to the end of the earth.

D&C 107 says that the Melchizedek Priesthood — well, the keys of it — “rightly belongs” to the chosen seed. It’s stated something like “it should go to them, and belongs to them, but since they aren’t around right now, we’re going to let you guys help out too.” It sounds similar to the way thing work with the Aaronic priesthood keys. It rightly belongs to the descendants of Aaron, but in the meanwhile, anyone with the Melchizedek priesthood can fill in.

Today I found again that D&C 86 describes Joseph Smith of being in the chosen lineage. That is so very, very fascinating and I have to do some more thinking about that. If things work as it sounds like, that would mean he would be a part of the one, chosen, special line promised to prophets of old. It could also be that there are many many chosen lines, since Abraham was promised seed as numerous as the sands of the sea.

Either way, the promise of this chosen seed is that they have the responsibility to preach the gospel, administer ordinances, and bless all the families of the earth. Which is certainly what Joseph Smith did.

 


 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—

 For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—

 10 Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.

 11 Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.


Study updates/summaries


  1. I reviewed Moses 4-5 and other related scriptures, and I’m quite convinced that there’s some really interesting and real and important stuff going on there.
  2. Kylie pointed out to me that Gen 4:26 has similar language, and fits in well with what I’ve been thinking about priesthood
  3. We had a study group night on the connections between Moses 4:22 and Moses 5:23 (both talking about desires and rule). I gained a lot from that.
  4. The Book of Mormon is soooo clear about the Abrahamic Covenant. As I’m rereading 3rd Nephi with my daughter, I’m struck by how clearly Christ is teaching them — sometimes repeating the same thing over and over in the same 2 or 3 chapter block.
  5. Today I just looked up “Gentiles” in the D&C out of curiosity, just to learn a bit. I noticed a few places that sound a lot like The Book of Mormon, a few places that just use “Jew and Gentile” as a way of saying everyone, but then a few interesting ones that I’m just starting to think about. Like D&C 86:11.

Abrahamic Covenant in the JST/Book of Moses


This morning I was hoping to quickly review my reading of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Book of Moses. I was embarrassed that I had to look up an old post I had written in order to remember it.😦  But here’s the old post, for anyone who’s interested (or really, so I can have the link handy🙂 )

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 7: The Abrahamic Covenant (and how it relates to Adam & to us)

Joe has been working on the Abrahamic Covenant from the perspective of Genesis, and how that perspective plays out in Isaiah, Paul, and the Book of Mormon. It’s interesting to see how his work is similar but in many ways different from what I see going on the Book of Moses/JST. I’m interested to see what else he/we learn as his project moves forward.


Genesis 1 thought


I noticed that in verse 2, there are three things that are already there: darkness, earth, and waters. Then in the first 3 days, things get added to them: light gets added to darkness, air gets added to water, and plants get added to earth.

We pointed out last night that when light is added, it is really time that is added: daytime.

It’s like light divides one darkness from the next darkness, and air divides one water from next water, and plants divide one area of wilderness from another?