Yesterday in Sunday School Joe taught about D&C 84 and priesthood, so today I’m back to looking at some of my favorite mysterious verses in scripture!
Here’s what I’ve learned this time.
Verses 36 and 37 are a quotation or paraphrase of John 13:20:
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Also, interestingly, in John the next verses go on to tell the story of Judas leaving the last supper dinner to betray Jesus. D&C 84: 40 talks about severe consequences for breaking oath and covenant received. Maybe a connection, maybe not.
While sometimes it says “obtain” priesthood and sometimes “receive” priesthood, today I think it means the same thing.
At times I’ve wondered if receive priesthood could mean receiving those individuals with priesthood who offer knowledge and ordinances. The reason I wondered this is because verse 33 talks about “obtaining” priesthood. It’s only 2 verses later that we read the words “receive this priesthood.” I checked Webster’s 1828 dictionary, and it emphasized a difference between the two words — obtain means some sort of effort was required, but receive could go either way.
I did some more looking around scripture, and realized that “receive” the priesthood is the language throughout the genealogy of priesthood lineage earlier in this section, as well as throughout scripture. So I settled on the idea that v. 35 and v.40, etc., are talking about receiving the priesthood itself, as in, being ordained.
So what is point of vs. 35-40?
Perhaps this is how to read these verses:
All those who receive the priesthood become the “sons of Moses” “sons of Aaron,” and “seed of Abraham” mentioned in scripture. But not only that, they receive me. Do they see me? Well, not necessarily. Remember he that receiveth my servants (such as Joseph and Oliver), receive me.
And also, remember that all that receive me, receive my Father too — just like I said in John 13:20.
And those who receive the Father receive all he has. This is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
That is, it is possible to receive this oath and covenant because once you receive him, you can receive the oath and covenant of the Father
I still don’t know what to make of the words “according to” and “belongeth to.” I’ve spent many a study and blog post coming up with possible meanings. Today, I just don’t know. 🙂 I could see it meaning that receiving the Father is what the priesthood promises. This is in accordance with vs. 22-25.