Gospel Essentials Class Notes 7-30-2000



(See also Handout on Priesthood:  Click Here)




Who gets it?


Hebrews 5:4 And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.


What is it?  What is it for?


From the Beginning, God’s Spirit rested on others so that they would share their learning, experience, with others.

Passage: Genesis 6:2 - Genesis 6:12

5 And then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord; and the Lord blessed them; and a book of remembrance was kept in the which was recorded in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God, to write by the Spirit of inspiration;
6 And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.
7 Now this same priesthood which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.      


Does it change?

Hebrews 7:23 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.


Where in time

Genesis 6:7 Now this same priesthood which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.      



When?  (from the foundation of the world)

Alma 9:49 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world;

Alma 9:65 And this is the manner after which they were ordained: being called and prepared from the foundation of the world, according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil;

Alma 9:68 Or in fine: in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the only begotten Son, who was prepared;

Alma 9:70 This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world:


Why?  Perfecting of the saints:


DC 107:46b The above offices I have given unto you, and the keys thereof, for helps and for governments, for the work of the ministry, and the perfecting of my Saints,

DC 136:3a The movements toward better understanding of ministerial responsibilities, duties, and goals, and toward unity of endeavor in teaching, preaching, evangelizing, and the perfecting of the Saints, are pleasing to the Lord.

DC 137:4b And let the church be admonished that the functioning and work of this order is of great importance in the work of perfecting the Saints, and the appointing authorities be reminded that the members of the order so far as possible are to be relieved of administrative work and keep themselves in condition for better functioning as evangelists whose task is to build up faith in the gospel and the church and its work.



How is it to be conferred? Must have Spirit (pattern established in ordinations)


Acts 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

(Ordaining priests in new testament)


Moroni 3:2 After they had prayed unto the Father in the name of Christ, they laid their hands upon them, and said, In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest; (or if he be a teacher;) I ordain you to be a teacher, to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.


What are duties? How is it to function?

Hebrews 7:3 For this Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.


DC 17


Why is there an Aaronic Priesthood?  Melchisedek?

Acts 6
Intro Seven men chosen -- Stephen accused of blasphemy.
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch;
6 Whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.


(to wait tables translates to the word ‘Deacon’—here they ordained aaronic priesthood to do the work of home ministry.


Was is really only to the Levites?  Which popular person in the Bible held priesthood and was not of the tribe of Levi?  (Jesus, of Judah).  Nay sayers to BOM say that Lehi could not have had priesthood.  Not so..

Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.


Was Melchisedek priesthood taken from the earth?


Exodus 34:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.


Melchisedek found during BC times in America:


Alma 2:11 Now this was the cause of much affliction to Alma, yea, and to many of the people whom Alma had consecrated to be teachers, and priests, and elders, over the church;


Alma 2:23 And he selected a wise man who was among the elders of the church, and gave him power according to the voice of the people, that he might have power to enact laws according to the laws which had been given, and to put them in force, according to the wickedness and the crimes of the people.

Alma 4:1 And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church

Mosiah 13:63 And it came to pass that Alma was appointed to be the chief judge; he being also the high priest; his father having conferred the office upon him, and had given him the charge concerning all the affairs of the church.

Alma 2:5 Yea, they were baptized by the hand of Alma, who had been consecrated the high priest over the people of the church, by the hand of his father Alma.

Alma 9:73 Thus they become high priests for ever, after the order of the Son, the only begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.

Alma 10:1 Now as I said concerning the holy order of this high priesthood: there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God;

Alma 10:7 Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchisedec, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood for ever.

Alma 10:12 But Melchisedec having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood, according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people.




Offices found in Bible?


I Timothy 3:8 Likewise the deacons must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

I Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

I Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses will.



I Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

I Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;





Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.


I Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed;


James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;




High Priest






What about turning from priesthood?

Passage: DC 83:6c - DC 83:7d

6c for whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies:
6d they become the sons of Moses and of Aaron, and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom and the elect of God;
6e and also all they who receive this priesthood receiveth me, saith the Lord, for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father, and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom.
6f Therefore, all that my Father hath shall be given unto him; and this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
6g Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved;
6h 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.


 How about Deacons?
Some concepts in the Bible and the words which describe them need to be rescued from man-made distortions which, through the accretions of the centuries, have completely or seriously clouded their meaning. The word deacon (and the concepts which surround its usage in ecclesiastical circles) is one of those words.

In order to gain renewed perspective on such a word we must review its use in the total context of the Bible, endeavoring at the same time to cast off our ingrained preconceptions, to arrive at a wholly biblical understanding of the word and its use.

We propose to do this with the word deacon and then relate it to the life of the church, hopefully as God intends us to understand it.

Deacon is a loan word which we have borrowed from the Greeks. In the Greek New Testament it takes three forms:

(1) diakonos, from which we get deacon.

(2) diakonia, usually translated service or ministry.

(3) diakoneo, to serve or to minister, the verb form.

We would like to trace the meaning of this word through its use in secular Greek, the changes in meaning effected by Jewish thought, and finally the meaning derived from its use by the Lord Jesus and throughout the New Testament. We will refer to the word diakonia as representing the other forms as well for the sake of brevity of expression, so keep in mind that diakonia is the service; diakonos is the one who serves; and diakoneo is the act of serving.

Diakonia in Secular Greek

In secular usage, diakonia has its origin in the idea to wait at table, but it broadened from this to the idea of providing or caring for the needs of another. From there it became the service of love rendered to another on a personal basis. Lest we read into this definition too much of our current Christian thinking, we need to add that in the Greek mind this was not a very worthy of worthwhile activity-more demeaning than dignifying.

The Jewish view

Jewish thought patterns, for obvious reasons, considered service of this sort not unworthy or lacking in dignity, but thought it rather a work of merit before God, not really an unselfish sacrifice for another. So in the Jewish view it became acceptable to serve only those who were worthy. The unworthy and despised were not to be recipients of their service, is evidently portrayed in our Lord's story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37).

"Service" in the words of Jesus

It took the ministry of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament record to elevate diakonia to its full expressiveness. By his life and in his teaching he elevated this word above its usage in both Greek and Hebrew thought patterns.

Jesus completely reversed the existing order when he said:

"Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes, truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve [diakoneo] them" (Luke 12:37).