More specific questions and thoughts on D&C 84


  • There’s a lot here that can be thought in context of temple. And, perhaps that is appropriate, since the whole revelation is given in the context of the commandment to build a temple!
  • v. 6 – sons of Moses. I think this should be understood in the same way that “seed of Abraham” is understood (not literally, or not always or limited to literally)
  • v. 6 begins a huge tangent, that ends with verse 30. V. 31 picks back up with “Therefore as I said concerning the sons of Moses”
  • Esaias also lived “in the days of Abraham” (v. 13) – what does that mean about the Abrahamic Covenant? Does Jethro have a place in that?
  • Why does Abraham receive priesthood from Melchizedek yet in Abraham chapter 1 there is no mention of him? It sounds like he received it straight from God? Or, are we talking about two different events?
  • This holy priesthood began with Adam – here we are talking about Melchizedek priesthood, right? Moses is symbol for that in this section, right?
  • v. 17 sounds like Moses 6:7. But in the book of Moses, are we talking about Mel priesthood or some other order? (D&C 107 seems to link this to the patriarchs.) Or are they wrapped up together, or is the Patriarchal priesthood the umbrella for all of them? Or what about being the one person on earth with sealing power? or the promise of the one chosen seed alive until the end? How do these promises or orders of the priesthood overlap?
  • v.18 I liked the word “holiest”
  • Greater priesthood = sons of Moses = administer the gospel (how does this compare with v.26-27?) and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom =/including the knowledge of God (=beholding face? or knowledge about?)
  • why administer and holds? what to make of those words?
  • v.20 “therefore … ordinances” why are ordinances so important and what do they have to do with the Mel priesthood specifically?
  • poor Moses sought so diligently, it says! He wanted them to see and talk to God, too?
  • v. 25 okay, so he took Moses out and left Aaron & that priesthood. For how long? Apparently until Christ came (27-28). But what of the prophets that visited the children of Israel? What of prophets that held the sealing power to seal wives to King David etc?
  • Lesser priesthood = sons of Aaron = holdeth the key of ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel. (note minister vs. administer in v. 19)
  • Note that Mel priesthood administers the gospel (v. 19) and yet Aaronic holds key of preparatory gospel? (v.26)
  • Preparatory gospel = repentance and baptsim, and the remission of sins
  • But no gift of Holy Ghost? Is that really the only difference between the gospel administered by Mel and the one held by Aaronic?
  • And if that is so, then the gift of the Holy Ghost is the beginning of the power of godliness being manifest? (v.20 etc)
  • And so, were there any who received that gift between Moses and Christ? And is that why Christ is trying to explain the Comforter? And is that why we have the talk of John baptizing with water and another coming to baptize with fire?
  • Nephites had gift or not? They had prophets who had Mel priesthood at least (they were high priests) and Nephi seems to say that everyone who comes to baptism can have the gift of the Holy Ghost. Was this decree that the Mel priesthood be gone not the same for the Nephites? (or is it in both cases only held by the prophets?) Is this part of the promise that Nephites would not be cut off from His presence? His presence = coming to God through ordinances of the Mel Priesthood?
  • What of the Lamanites being baptized by fire but not knowing it? Ether 12 says it was by faith, and doesn’t mention priesthood? Is that a sign that the Nephites didn’t give gift of Holy Ghost?
  • Did Christ need to restore that ordinance to Nephites? Had it been lost? I have a lot more work to do there!
  • 3 Nephi 18:37 Christ gives disciplines power to give Holy Ghost (and right after they learn how to do the sacrament, interestingly)
  • 3 Nephi 19:9 “And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.” Then they are all baptized and in v. 13 the Holy Ghost falls upon all of them (no ordinance mentioned, even though the disciples had just received power to give that gift)
  • v. 28 John prepared way for Christ just like Aaronic priesthood generally prepares people to receive the Mel which prepares people to receive face of God himself?
  • See Luke 3:16 and Matt 3:11 where John says one is coming to bapt with fire
  • v. 29-30 these offices are appendages, but necessary  appendages? Interesting!
  • Temple, men ordained to Mel Priesthood, not both. Also, ordained to office of elder! Apparently it is necessary.
  • Yet, in this section, it is the sons of Aaron (priests?) and sons of Moses (high priests?) that need to be offering sacrifice in the temple. Why then ordain them to elder?
  • v.31 picks back up with main message of the section
  • v. 33 – Obtain both priesthoods
  • “And the magnifying of their calling” – what does the “their” refer to? Are we magnifying ourselves when we are called to the priesthood? or are we magnifying the priesthood in that we fulfill the purpose of each priesthood? (administer ordinances, etc.?)
  • Does their calling = offering sacrifice? (v. 31)
  • “renewing” their bodies. “as if” seed of Abraham? Not renewing physically, but our body has a new past, a new history. Our body’s life is rewritten, becomes new. Reborn. Etc? Perhaps?
  • The word “renew” is also used in verse 48, about the new and everlasting covenant. It is something that existed before, but becomes new again. Are our bodies similar then? How?
  • v. 34 – the Priesthood is what makes sons of Moses and Abraham, and seed of Abraham. Why the word seed instead of sons? this includes women, too?
  • v. 34 like Abraham 2:10, where all who “receive this gospel” are “accounted thy seed”
  • Why though in Abraham is the moment of adopting receiving the gospel, but in D&C 84 it is when both priesthoods are “obtained”?
  • Why the word obtained instead of received anyway? Are we seeking after these two priesthoods and catching them? 🙂
  • v. 35 and v.36-38 seem to compare priesthood to a servant? when we receive each we receive God?
  • why the talk of receiving again, rather than obtain?
  • should we understand v. 36-38 in light of the temple? angels teach us and bring us to the veil (Christ), who brings us to heaven (the Father)?
  • To sum up: Those who obtain the priesthoods become sons of Moses and Aaron and seed of Abraham. Those who receive gospel are seed of Abraham. Those who receive servants can be led right to the Father.
  • (This pattern is repeated in verses 46-48. The Spirit enlightens everybody, if we hearken to Spirit  we come to the Father. But then it’s also added that the Father teaches about the covenant.)
  • v. 39 “And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood”
  • What is included in the word “this”? The whole section so far? Just verses 35-38? Is it to enter into God’s presence? See God’s face? What Moses sought dilligently to do? Is that the promise and covenant?
  • Or is it something else from this section so far? Is it that those who accept the gospel are Abraham’s seed, which would be according to the promise and covenant that Abraham had?
  • Or does it have to do with the decree that the sons of Moses and Aaron need to offer sacrifice in the temple?
  • v. 40-42 – why such a strong warning to go with this Covenant? Now it sounds like something more serious, something that only a few have. It sounds like the sealing power (in the D&C 132 sense, power to seal everything that only one person holds at a time) or, someone seeing God and having a calling and election made sure? Or what exactly?
  • If we receive priesthood we receive God. Is that the oath and covenant? And if we turn from that (meaning, turning from God? From the chance to see God? From the priesthood b/c we are afraid of seeing God? Why no forgiveness of sins? This is something way more serious than a deacon receiving the opportunity to preside in a quorum and pass the sacrament.
  • So it seems that the Oath and Covenant is something serious, something beyond the normal day-to-day priesthood we have in the Church. It may, however, be connected with the Priesthood we have in the temple.
  • So is this information on the Oath and Covenant preparing them for the temple again? Same context?
  • How are those received in the temple in such a way that sins would not be forgiven if a person walked away? Walk away from covenants in temple? Walk away from calling/election or second endowment or whatever other names we have for the fuller sense of what’s promised in the temple?

So does any of this help or are these all the same ideas and questions I’ve had before???

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2 responses to “More specific questions and thoughts on D&C 84

  • Nephites and the Holy Ghost | WHAT I'm thinking about

    […] a tangent to my study on Priesthood in D&C 84 and elsewhere, I decided to look for a bit at how the Nephites talked about the gift of the Holy […]

  • Karen

    Oath and Covenant-
    Promise to Adam that the Priesthood will remain in the world until the end thereof? (Moses 6:7)
    Promise to Abraham that his seed will have this Priesthood? (Abraham 2:11)
    Promise to Abraham that those who receive the gospel will be accounted his seed and also/therefore have the Priesthood? (Abraham 2:8-11)
    Promise that this Priesthood can bring people into God’s presence? (D&C 84:22-23) Is that related to Adam’s promise that the Priesthood will remain in the earth until the end?

    I think Adam would be concerned that is posterity are all going astray and will be lost (as he was probably concerned about himself initially!). The promise of a chosen seed that preaches the gospel to all the other kids would be a great reassurance and gift to Adam. Along with that preaching, though, needs to be the priesthood ordinances that can pass along the things the angels taught him, or else all that preaching still won’t bring the children back to Heavenly Father.

    There is a promise given to Adam and renewed with his kids, right down through Enoch, Noah, and Abraham, about the seed receiving the gospel (the knowledge that if we repent, Christ can take us to the Father) and also the priesthood. See this post on scriptural references: https://whatimthinkingabout.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/references-for-scriptures-on-the-covenant-divided-by-three-promises-the-gospel-the-families-and-the-priesthood.

    So it seems like that might be a fair interpretation of the phrase “according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.” Perhaps?

    But how does someone break this covenant? (v. 41) That’s the next question I have.

    Is it that they know they have the responsibility to preach and save souls but they decide not to?

    Is it that they receive temple covenants and don’t keep those?

    The wording is thus:
    39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.

    40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.

    41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.

    42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.

    ?????? Questions for another morning….

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