Are Mormon males called by God as Levitical priests just like Aaron was?

Mormonism claims that most of its male members are Aaron/Levitical priests. How does this claim hold up?

Quoting Hal Hougey from “Latter-day Saints—Where Did You Get Your Authority?”:

  1. Qualifications for the Aaronic Priesthood:
    1. Limited to Aaron and his sons only Ex 28:1; 29:9; 29:44; Num 18:1-7; Lev 6:19-23; Ex 28:43; Neh 7:61-65
      1. The Levites helped – Num 3:5-6, 9-10; Heb 7:5
      2. Punishment for non-Levites who tried to become priests:
        1. Dathan and Abiram Num 16: 1-35
        2. King Uzziah – 2 Chron 26:1-3, 16-21
        3. Jeroboam’s priests- I Kings 13:33-34
      3. But Joseph Smith, of English stock, was not a Jew, a Levite, or a son of Aaron
      4. The Aaronic priesthood was hereditary, but not so in the LDS church
    2. Physical qualifications – Lev 21:16-23
      1. LDS ignore these qualifications today
      2. Joseph Smith had a leg operation when he was young, in which part of the bone was removed. He was, therefore, physically disqualified to be a priest (Lucy Mack Smith: Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith and His Progenitors for Many Generations Liverpool: 1853, p. 65)
    3. Other qualifications which LDS ignore: Lev 21:1-15: Num 4:35
  2. How Were the Aaronic Priests Ordained in the Bible? – Exodus 29; Lev. 8
    1. Were washed with water v. 4
    2. Were dressed in the priestly robes – v. 5-6 (These robes were for “glory and beauty”-Ex 28:2-but the holy garments of the LDS are neither glorious nor beautiful.)
    3. Were anointed with oilv. 7
    4. Laid hands on the head of a bullock – v. 10
    5. The bullock was killed, and its blood was poured out at the altar, while the fat and the kidneys were placed on the altar, and the rest was burned outside the camp, as a sin- offering v. 11-14
    6. Laid hands on the head of a ram V.I 5
    7. The ram was killed, its blood was sprinkled about the altar, and the body was offered as a burnt offering on the altar-v. 16-18
    8. Laid hands on the head of another ram v. 19
    9. This second ram was killed, and some of the blood was put on the tip of the right ear, right thumb, and right great toe of Aaron and his sons, while the rest of the blood was sprinkled upon the altar v. 20
    10. Some of the blood on the altar and some anointing oil was then sprinkled on the priests and their garments – v. 21
    11. Were given parts of the ram and three kinds of bread, and these were waved as a wave offering, then they were burnt on the altar – v. 22-25
    12. The breast of the ram was given to the one who ordained them v. 26
    13. The shoulder was given to them v. 27
    14. They were to eat of the ram and the bread, but no one else was allowed to do so-v. 30-33
    15. For the next seven days, one bullock and two lambs were offered daily v. 35-44
  3. How Do LDS Ordain to the Aaronic Priesthood?
    1. They lay hands on the priests being ordained and speak the words that are specified by the LDS church to confer the priesthood
    2. Nowhere in the Bible account do we find hands laid on the priests hands were laid only on the bullock and the rams!
    3. The LDS ignore completely the Biblical method of ordaining Aaronic priests
    4. It will not do to say these ordinances do not apply today; if the Aaronic priesthood exists today, the method for ordaining priests into that priesthood apply today
    5. LDS often apply Hebrews 5:4, “. . .as was Aaron,” to refer to the ceremony by which one is ordained to the priesthood, but they do not follow that ceremony in any way

Under a subsequent section (“F. The Mormon Priesthood Is an Assumption – Not a Restoration”), Hougey goes on to say:

  1. There Is No Biblical Authority for the Aaronic Priesthood Today
    1. The Aaronic priesthood was part of the religious system under the Law of Moses. This law and its ordinances came to an end when Christ died on the cross Gal. 3:19, 23-25; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 10:1-10.
    2. Christ’s will or testament came into effect after his death – Heb. 9:15-17
    3. There was a change in the priesthood; the Aaronic (Levitical) priesthood was taken away – Heb. 7: 1 1-12
    4. Even Christ could not be a priest of Aaron because he was of the wrong tribe Heb. 7:13-14. (How can non-Jewish LDS qualify if Christ could not qualify?
    5. If Christ were on earth he would not be a priest at all – Heb. 8:4
    6. There is no example of Aaronic priests in the church anywhere in the New Testament, amazing if such priesthood existed in the church. Rather, the New Testament teaches the universal priesthood of all believers I Peter 2:5, 9


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128 Responses to Are Mormon males called by God as Levitical priests just like Aaron was?

  1. While discussing Hebrews with Jason (the web master behind he said, “You may be giving too much credence to a book. Far better to get your own revelation.” Of course, the reason I take Hebrews so seriously is that I believe it is revelation, the very word and voice of God, what he is saying, telling, and speaking to us still today. So I would hope my Latter-day Saint friends would take it seriously. Hebrews has a lot to say to Mormons today (and to others, too, including me!).

  2. falcon says:

    I think two briliant moves on the part of Joseph Smith were the introduction of a “priesthood” and the concept of encouraging his followers to receive personal communication straight from God. All the men get to be priests and everyone gets direct revelations from God. This would be in contrast to most Christian denominations that have a formal clergy. In fact the clergy is seen by Mormons as part of the apostate corrupt Christian Church. Now the downside of course is with everyone hearing from God we have a quality control issue. There is no basis for the Mormon priesthood except for the fact that Joseph Smith established it with a revelation. That’s a nice way of saying he invented it. The lack of a systematic theology lends itself very well to things such as the priesthood and polygamy. A few verses can be supplied to provide support after the fact.

  3. Daniel says:

    Perhaps God changed his mind about how he wanted the Aaronic priesthood to be established and appointed? Or is this one of those “continuing revelation” things where they didn’t know the whole story back then, and now we know more, so it’s different?

  4. Arthur Sido says:

    Not to mention the fact that Mormon priesthood holders trace their priesthood authority back to the receipt of it by Joseph Smith by a gaggle of ghosts. You would be hard pressed to make the leap from a ceremony in the ancient middle east to a bunch of dead guys appearing to Joseph Smith and Olver Cowdery. Even when I was a mormon holding the Melchizidek priesthood, that whole notion of ghosts laying their hands on Smith and Cowdery and granting them the “priesthood” was a bit embarrassing.

    The more egregious problem with the mormon concept of the priesthood is the usurping of powers and rights reserved to Jesus Christ alone as our High Priest, misapplying or flat out ignoring the Biblical doctrines of Christ’s priesthood. Which all stems back to a misunderstanding of the person and work of Christ, which is where all mormon errors eventually find their genesis if you look deeply enough.

  5. All the men get to be priests and everyone gets direct revelations from God. This would be in contrast to most Christian denominations that have a formal clergy.

    Falcon, I’d use some more qualification so as not to confuse people. Christianity does not have a formal clergy that claims exclusive, authoritative personal revelation over the laymen. It rather looks to the public, special revelation of God, the Bible, as the only final authority under which all Christians should be. Christians are not bound to anything not explicitly or implicitly required in the Bible.

    Also, Mormonism has a formal clergy in its own way, and their order of authority is built into its (non-Biblical) priesthood authority structure. Christians instead look to the New Testament, especially the pastoral epistles, to “do church”.

    I’d have to agree that it was smart for Smith to get people to “confirm” his religion with feelings. But I of course disagree with Mormonism that it actually uses a “test” to see if Smith’s claims are true. I wrote in another article regarding this “test”:

    It is absolutely presuppositional to Mormons that: 1. If God were to communicate to man, this is how he would do it. This is the ultimate test of religious knowledge, and there is no need, if the result of the test is positive, to corroborate it. To Mormons, there is no more reliable test, and there is no way to test the validity of the test itself. 2. Since “the Church is true” (a presupposition behind the test itself), God will grant a sincere person a “burning in the bosom” if they seek it. Any negative feelings or thoughts toward the Church are presupposed to indicate the insincerity of the person inquiring.

    In other words, it’s a fake test, because the outcome is rigged.

  6. Daniel says:

    So Arthur, you said you held the Melchizidekan priesthood, correct? I am curious, according to Hebrews 7:14-24, Jesus held the Melchizidekan priesthood on the basis of an indestructible life. How do LDS reason that any of us can hold that office, since “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement” (Heb. 9:27)?

  7. Arthur Sido says:


    I did indeed hold that false priesthood. Just for kicks I posted my ordination letter and priesthood lineage back through Joseph Smith to Jesus Christ on my blog. You can see it here. Mormons don’t really hold to a die once, and then the judgment eschatology. There is a whole spirit world/spirit prison, mission work to dead people thing going on that space doesn’t permit me to cover here.

    The nature of the priesthood that mormons hold bears little resemblance besides names to the concept of the priesthood in the Old or New Testament.

  8. Arthur, are you going to this year’s “Together For the Gospel” conference? If so, I’d love to hook up!

  9. falcon says:

    After I posted my thoughts I was wondering if people would misunderstand that I was saying that the Christian clergy alone hear from God. I should have done a little better job explaining. Although, when being raised Catholic, we weren’t encouraged to read the Bible. The idea was that only the priest was qualified to do so and give a correct interpretation. When I got saved and started reading the Bible I remember thinking “Where did all of this good stuff come from?” I guess I previously thought the Bible was written in code.

  10. Arthur Sido says:

    Aaron, I am registered and I am there for T4G!

  11. Jacob5 says:

    I am wondering where any of your authority comes from.

  12. Jacob, Christians are authorized to have an assurance of eternal life based on God’s promises, and when God commands something, his word inherently authorizes us to carry the command out. I believe the watershed between Christianity and Mormonism is the nature of God. In Mormonism, God only has that authority which he himself received from other priesthood holders. In other words, God has no really important inherent authority but rather only has authority that is transmitted from his superiors. In Christianity, any authority that God has is authority he has eternally had in and of himself, inherently within his very being. God didn’t need ordained priesthood authority or power to create the universe. Instead, by the very word of his eternally inherent power he can call universes into existence within an instant.

    Our view of God obviously places a higher view on God’s inherent authority communicated through his word. When God says to do something, we dare not question his very word’s ability to authorize us by demanding some sort of succession of ceremonial ordination.

    That is a big reason why we do not feel so bound to ceremonial requirements that were allegedly “plain and precious” things lost from the Bible. Mormonism depends on there being a massive conspiratorial removal of what supposedly should have been a salient theme of the New Testament (the continuation of a radically overhauled, ordained Aaron priesthood authority), but the evidence simply isn’t there.

    Praying that you will be “born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23),


  13. Jacob5 says:

    So, simply your word tells me that you have authority. And I am supposed to accept that?
    Come on, show me evidence of your authority.
    “God only has that authority which he himself received from other priesthood holders.”
    That is utter hogwash and you know it. You cannot even back up that statement.
    So you believed that no one from the time of Christ’s death to today of your Christian history ever manipulated anything. Or are you going to blanketly say that simply, God would have prevented anything to go wrong. Can anyone say crusades, or inquisition. Good, I knew you could. What about the burning of witches? Under what authority did all that occur? How about when Galileo was condemned to house arrest for the rest of his life for simply saying that the sun and not the earth was the center of our solar system? Now if that was just a mistake of the church doesn’t that also point to other mistakes?
    Perhaps there could be enerrancy of the bible, but there seems to be a lot of human errors over the past few centuries. In which case, what is the proof of your view being the correct one? Where does it say in the Bible that your church (or at least your teachings) is the correct one?

  14. Any authorization I have to believe in the promises of God or to carry out his commands comes from the inherent authority in God’s very word, as is publicly found in the Bible. By demanding more evidence you show that you reject the inherent authority of God’s personal, recorded word.

    Jacob, if you want to deny that traditional Mormonism has as part of its larger worldview that God himself received priesthood authority from another (his own Father), then show me the evidence. Mormonism teaches that, “Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth.” (>>) And it has traditionally been understood, “As man is God once was, as God is man may be.” If you can show that Mormonism absolutely teaches that God the Father has always fully held his level of priesthood, then by all means, lay out all your cards on the table. It’d be news to us! Otherwise, why try to stir up a spirit of unnecessary contention by injecting confusion?

    So you believed that no one from the time of Christ’s death to today of your Christian history ever manipulated anything.

    You must know something about me that I don’t, because I don’t believe that. What I do know is that what Mormonism considers to be essential and fundamental to New Testament Christianity is entirely missing from the reliable manuscript reconstruction of the New Testament. I’m not even aware of any major compelling textual variant that would even hint of an early Christian belief in the Mormon conception of the continuation of the Aaronic priesthood. Again, if you have evidence to share, lay out your cards on the table. Even if it’s a 2 of spades, at least show it. We are here waiting, listening, willing to consider any serious evidence. But so far…


  15. Jacob5 says:

    So, Aaron, do you speak for God now, and since I reject you, I reject God?
    You still make an assumption with your statement. Where is the proof about anything in our teachings about “traditional Mormonism has as part of its larger worldview that God himself received priesthood authority from another” Show us the teaching where you get that from, otherwise it is a false statement and a false pretense. I thought we are to backup our statements here.
    You still fail to prove to me that what you say is the truth. Where does it say in the Bible that your faith is the correct one.?

  16. Jacob,

    I’m obviously appealing to traditional Lorenzo Snow Couplet theology. “As man is God once was, as God is man may be.” In 1982 it was written in the Ensign regarding this,

    “[T]his doctrine is accepted and taught by the Brethren… It is clear that the teaching of President Lorenzo Snow is both acceptable and accepted doctrine in the Church today.” (Hoyt W. Brewster Jr. (now serving as an LDS Seventy), “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Feb. 1982, 38)

    Just two years ago Henry B. Eyring said,

    “I bear you my witness that God the Father lives, a glorified and exalted Man. He is the Father of our spirits. He and His Beloved Son, both resurrected and glorified, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in a grove of trees in New York.” (“Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times”. CES Fireside for Young Adults. September 10, 2006)

    In the 1946 Melchizedek priesthood curriculum, The Gospel Through the Ages, Milton R. Hunter wrote:

    “Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became God-an exalted being-through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.”

    As George Q. Cannon taught,

    “Shall I startle you when I say that our Father himself controls the universe and occupies His exalted station because of the Priesthood? Whether it is startling or not, it is nevertheless true.” (Gospel Truth, chapter 19)

    I’m quite aware of the characteristic Hinckley-like-hedging and minimalism rising in frequency within Mormonism, but it doesn’t satisfactorily resolve the issue. Again, I’m waiting for:

    – Any textual evidence that shows that the allegedly once-salient theme of the succession of ordained Aaronic priesthood was taken out of the New Testament.

    – Any evidence that shows Mormonism has definitively renounced the traditional understanding of Lorenzo Snow couplet theology, and has embraced the view that God the Father has always, eternally, and inherently possessed the full level of priesthood that he now enjoys. If this is simply a personal view of yours that you feel free to hold within Mormonism, we would ask of you to demonstrate spiritual commitment and integrity by publicly, explicitly renouncing and repudiating the traditional understanding of Lorenzo Snow couplet theology as God-dishonoring heresy. If not, then we can’t really be confident of your loyalty to the view that God the Father has always fully had the priesthood.

    So far you won’t show your cards, and the stakes here are far more important than an earthly game of Texas hold ’em.

    Praying for your spiritual sensitivity to these issues,


    PS For a simple contrast between Mormonism and Christianity with plentiful Biblical appeal, see the front chart at

  17. By the way, to answer your first question in your previous post:

    Inasmuch as you reject what I explicitly and implicitly communicate from the word of God (as recorded in the Bible), you reject God himself.

    “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)

    In the end, this is about what God says. To the degree that we reflect and repeat and communicate what God says in the Bible, you ought to be trembling knowing that God Almighty will one day look you straight in the eyes—with the most penetrating gaze imaginable—and call you to give an account for how you responded to his message.

    “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

    Praying tonight that this will happen to you,


  18. chuck5000 says:

    It is evident in Luke 9:1-2 that Jesus himself “called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” Speaking to His Apostles, Jesus says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained, you…” (John 15:16) Paul and Barnabas continued this practice of ordination “when they had ordained them elders in every church.” (Acts 14:23)

    Tertullian, an early Christian father who introduced the term “trinity” to the world, and also the terms Old Testament and New Testament, is attributed to have accepted the practice of succession. “A valid Ministry rest upon succession, and not upon the whim or caprice of every one who may choose to usurp the sacred office. From the very outset, there has been law, order, custom, in regard to this matter. No man was ever allowed to minister in sacred things, under either dispensation, unless he had been lawfully called and set apart to the work by those who had themselves been so called and set apart. This is what we understand by succession.

    And yet there are multitudes in our day, as in the days of Tertullian, who began their career of guilt by trampling under foot all these sacred and time-honoured customs. … When we attempt to reason with them, concerning the presumption of impiety of their course, perhaps their reply will be, that they have just as good a right to preach the gospel, and administer its sacraments, as those who have received authority from a regularly authorized Bishop; alleging as a reason, that all Christians are Priests of God, and therefore qualified, by some inherent right, to do His work, without ‘the laying on of hands,’ if so be, their brethren choose to call them. ” (Rev. William M. Carmichael, D. D., The Early Christian Fathers: Or, Memorials of Nine Distinguished Teachers of the Christian Faith during the First Three Centuries, p. 174-175)

  19. chuck, no one is disputing that Christ gave authority. You’re not really contributing to the conversation by simply showing that. An issue is whether this authority was a delegated priesthood authority function of the Aaronic priesthood. But as Hebrews 7 shows (indeed, as Hebrews depends on as a premise for other arguments) Jesus was not of the Levites but rather of the tribe of Judah, and therefore wasn’t an Aaronic priest, and never will be. Besides, the Aaronic priesthood was “set aside because of its weakness and uselessness” (Hebrews 7:18).

    Not to mention that the Melchizedek priesthood is never even spoken of as being delegated from one human to another.

    As for Acts 14:13, the word “ordained” in the Greek (χειροτονέω) carries the meaning of appointing or choosing or electing. You’ll have to make a larger case that this should be understood within the modern Mormon theological framework. There is zero—zilch—evidence that New Testament church elders were required to be of the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods. As I said before, Mormonism depends on there being a massive conspiratorial removal of what supposedly should have been a salient theme of the New Testament (the continuation of a radically overhauled, ordained Aaron priesthood authority), but the evidence simply isn’t there.

    To my second hand knowledge, Theophilus of Antioch, not Tertullian, was the first to use the term “trinity” around 180 A.D..

    If by “succession” one merely means that elders normally appoint subsequent elders to lead up churches, then I have no problem with that.

    I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find some things early church fathers said that I disagree with. I’d be quick to admit that early church fathers got some things wrong, but

    1) You’d make more of a case by showing that the kind of strict succession aforementioned was even considered a succession of Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods.

    2) Even if you could show #1, which I highly doubt you even can, you’d still have to show that such a practice would be rooted in the New Testament to make it ethically normative and binding for Christians today.

    3) Since you can’t do #2, it’s quite revealing that you have to appeal to a man that Mormonism considers a part of the Great Apostasy.

    You can’t find compelling evidence in the New Testament for the LDS idea of successively delegated Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood authority because it simply isn’t there. It’d kind of like looking for a cross in an LDS temple, secret masonic hand-grips in the Old Testament, cosmic henotheism (fancy polytheism) in the Book of Mormon, the character of Abraham in Michael Chandler’s Egyptian papyri, or pre-1835 accounts of the First Vision that speak of two divine beings.

    Regarding these things, please seek and come to terms with not finding!

    Grace and peace,


  20. Ralph says:

    I am on a work conference and thus ahve little time for a full and proper answer which I will have to research about God and Jesus having the priesthood. But a few small introductions to my answer are that the Melkezidec (or however its spelt) Priesthood recieves its name because of the High Priest in the OT. However its proper name, as indicated in the D&C, is actually named after Jesus Christ. Just so we do not use His name too often and profane/commonise it we arbitrarily call the MP as we do now. But on this earth we teach that Jesus was and is the embodyment of the MP, meaning that He is it. From my understanding, all we have at this point in time is the permission to act in His name, we do not actually recieve the priesthood proper, just the authority. So this can and does fit into the scriptures that Jesus is The High Priest, because we are only acting in His name by His permission, we do not actually carry the priesthood.

    As for God and your supposition of His ‘ordination’ to the priesthood, the LDS believe that we lived before this life. It was during this time period that we learned and developed. Jesus is the embodyment of the MP on this earth so He had it in the preexistance. What is there to say that He did not hold it since He was spiritually formed? What is to say that all of us had it at that point in time? We do not know, there are no teachings for or against, except in the case of Jesus. But if we were formed spiritually with the MP, then God was likewise. Thus He did not have to wait on an ordination, and neither did we – its just for this life only. So yes Aaron, you are just reading into our doctrine and making it say what you want it to say.

    As for the Aaronic Priesthood, we all know that Jesus did not destroy the OT laws and prophets, just fulfilled them. Because of this everything changed. Can’t God then change the requirements of the AP? Or are you delineating what your God can and can’t do to prove us wrong?

  21. Ralph, I would heartily affirm that Christians do not possess the Melchizedek priesthood proper. In fact, there really isn’t even a priesthood by this name in the Bible. Jesus is simply compared to the person Melchizedek when described as the superior and final high priest and mediator. Christians act in Christ’s name with his permission, a permission communicated by his authoritative word.

    It wasn’t me who said that the Aaronic priesthood was “set aside because of its weakness and uselessness”. That is from Hebrews 7, a chapter I’m not sure Mormons here are willing to take seriously. The function of the Aaronic priesthood is fulfilled and the need for it is obselete. While Aaronic priests died, Jesus became a priest “by the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16). If you can show any Biblical evidence for the continuation of the Aaronic priesthood for New Testament Christianity, please, by all means, tell us. I am begging you, for the sake of a constructive dialog, to provide some evidence instead of providing personal speculation.

    And please, oh please, do provide some evidence that the Mormon tradition has ever promoted the idea that humans were even potentially automatically “spiritually formed” with the priesthood. That, my friend, is what we call shooting from the hip. With this kind of thing it approaches the height of hypocrisy for you to suggest that I am “just reading into [Mormon] doctrine and making it say what [I] want it to say”. No offense, neighbor, but it is you, Ralph, who seems to be inventing Mormonism as you go along, hanging onto the religion in a state of denial over what general worldview it has traditionally promoted.

    Your ambiguity isn’t edifying, and your unwillingness to directly answer my questions and concerns on such an issue isn’t loving.

    Hoping you will reconsider,


  22. chuck5000 says:

    To be honest, regardless of what any Mormon says Aaron, you will not believe. At best, since you claim the only word of God we need is the Bible, you only offer the philosophy of men, as you do not believe in revelation.

    Second, you seek evidence at every turn. Where in the bible does it teach that by “evidence” you will learn the truth of all things. I believe it is by “faith” (the hope for things that are true that are not seen). So if you lack faith by your definition (because you always want evidence), then you are not saved as you claim you are.

    Third, I find it interesting that in the few blogs I have participated in, you are always trying to get Mormons to renounce something from within their faith. That is not edifying.

    There are many things that require modern day revelation, a living God, speaking to his children for their benefit. Because you cannot understand revelation, it is hard to help you know what it is like. For example, can you tell me what salt tastes like? If you cannot, then this clearly means you have not tasted it and it does not exist because you cannot prove it. You cannot show me evidence that you know what it taste like.

    The priesthood is the power of God, the authority to act in his name. Most Christian churches, and you, claim that all men have authority given by God from the scriptures to preach the Gospel and baptize. “But commissions or callings given to one man never did, nor ever can, authorize another. Mankind have no more authority to preach, baptize, and administer the ordinances of the Gospel, by virtue of the apostolic commission, than they have to ascend to the throne of Great Britain by virtue of the commission given to King David.” Elder Orson Pratt, A Series of Pamphlets on the Doctrines of the Gospel, 1899, p.24)

    By the way, can you show evidence that you have the authority to act in his stead? What makes you a “chosen” witness of Christ? Correct me if I am wrong, but Christ himself chose his Apostles, not them?

  23. you do not believe in revelation.

    This assumes that the Bible, which I trust, is not God’s personal revelation. As I have written elsewhere, this is part of the package of evidence that Mormons do not generally truly believe in the inspiration of scripture (that the Bible is the God-breathed revelatory word of God, what he is speaking, voicing, and telling).

    Second, you seek evidence at every turn

    God-honoring faith is always rooted in some kind of evidence, and is always a response to what God has revealed about himself. Of course, that evidence isn’t all immediately accessible to the eye and hands—that is why faith is required. The 11 apostles didn’t need faith like we do concerning the resurrection of Christ. They saw the physically risen Christ with their own eyes. But those to whom they preached did need faith, and to encourage that faith the apostles gave eye-witness testimony, repeated the words of Christ, and appealed to the Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. All three of these things were a kind of evidence—a collective, corroborating, reasonable basis for faith. If you can show me where the New Testament promotes a blind faith devoid of any reasonable evidence, I would like to see it.

    Furthermore, even if (hypothetically speaking) God really did want us to put our faith in something we needed absolutely no evidence for, that wouldn’t make dialog very useful. In the context of this particular blog post, constructive dialog on doctrine primarily centers around objective topics/things/words we can hash out, test, talk about, dissect, collect, analyze, examine, etc. If you do not have any evidence that you are willing to provide to promote your position, you simply aren’t going to feel very welcome on this blog while making naked, unsubstantiated claims, because you have no intention on engaging in serious, constructive communication. I would be quick to admit that there is a subjective, personal, experiential element to conversion, but it certainly isn’t the only element, and it isn’t an element that can (even by your own admission) be transmitted over a blog. In other contexts/threads we might ask each other more personal questions, but remember that the title of this post is, “Are Mormon males called by God as Levitical priests just like Aaron was?”

    you are always trying to get Mormons to renounce something from within their faith.

    After years of learning the hard way, I am done playing games with people who use ambivalence and equivocation and hedging. It is edifying to help participants and lurkers see where someone stands. Showing that a person is unwilling to denounce the mutually exclusive position of what they suggest they might believe is edifying because it shows a lack of integrity and commitment to the positions they are merely toying with. I would hope that people who are concerned with truth would be seriously concerned with clarity. Indeed, one of Mormonism’s great selling points is supposed to be that it is a beacon of doctrinal and scriptural clarity—something that is sorely missing.

    The Pratt quote doesn’t really penetratingly deal with the evangelical doctrine of the authority of God’s word. Instead, it assumes that the commissions and callings mentioned are specific to a priesthood. What Pratt argues from this premise is not convincing, since I don’t accept the premise to begin with. The call to baptize and spread the gospel isn’t limited to any sort of Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood. If you can show me from scripture that it is, or at least show real evidence that a conspiracy to collectively remove it from the New Testament succeeded, I’ll listen. So far… nothing.

    Hoping you will “see the light”,


  24. [riffly_audio]79F39536DC6611DCBBFBD0A456B4F508[/riffly_audio]

  25. falcon says:

    Well folks, I’m back to my same old premise that the priesthood et al makes perfect sense within the confines of Mormonism. It is, however, quite painful to read our Mormon friends justification of the priesthood as some how being a part of original primitive Christianity. The twist, turns and contortions in trying to prove such a thing are embarrassing. I was watching a PBS documentary on the Masons the other night and what our Mormon friends are posting here makes more sense in the context of Free Masonry than the Bible and Christianity. Call your religion whatever you want, but don’t be so disingenuious as to call it a “restored gospel”. It is not. It is the product of a practioner of magic arts who drew equal (?) parts from the occult, Free Masonry, the Bible and his own fertile creative imagination. Take it (Mormonism) for what it is and enjoy it, priesthood rituals and all. But understand, Mormonism will not lead to salvation. We’re in a spiritual battle here, and the enemy is more than willing to accommodate something that looks and appears “religious” even up to the point of providing spiritual feelings and experiences.

  26. Arthur Sido says:


    “To be honest, regardless of what any Mormon says Aaron, you will not believe. At best, since you claim the only word of God we need is the Bible, you only offer the philosophy of men, as you do not believe in revelation.”

    That is like saying we don’t believe in prophets, a common bogus charge leveled by mormons. Aaron and all other Christians believe in revelation, the revelation of the Bible, God’s Word. What we don’t believe in are false prophets with false revelations, and the only way to judge that is to search the Scriptures. We are specifically warned again and again of the coming of false prophets, much of Paul’s writings deal specifically with that topic. No one here is claiming special authority to speak outside of the authority vested in the written Word of God. That is our authority. No need for ghosts to lay their hands on our head, we can just pick up His Word and read.

    The priesthood as conceived by Joseph Smith is the product of his vivid imagination. The point of Aaron’s post is that what mormons refer to as the Aaronic priesthood bears no resemblance to the priesthood held by Aaron in the Old Testament, in function, administration or in receipt. Using the same names doesn’t equate to being the same thing. Even the role of Aaron and his sons has been made obsolete, because of the complete and perfect sacrifice of Christ we no longer need to make sacrifices in the tabernacle/temple. Christ replaced the imperfect, temporal sacrifices that needed to be repeated over and over with a perfect sacrifice to redeem His sheep.

  27. chuck5000 says:


  28. falcon says:

    Hay Chuck,
    Just a couple of things. Mathias was chosen by “lot” not revelation (small point). “Authority was lost because of wickedness”……unsubstantiated claim, but it fits well within the context of a restored gospel. “Purification of the priesthood”…..I’m purified by the blood of Christ. “Succsession of apostles”……I thought it was all lost because of wickedness. Incidentally, Paul and Barnabas are identified as apostles but not the original ones. Read in Ephesians concerning apostles, prophets, teachers etc. Many NT churches identify these roles/offices within their denominations. And finally Chuck, you seem to be saying that bearing your testimony is the evidence. Testimony is definded as a statement given as evidence in court. Please take no offense because you sound like a nice sincere guy, probably someone I’d be proud to have as a friend, but someone’s testimony really means nothing to me in terms of the truth in these matter. My testimony would not be taken as evidence of the truth in your world because our concepts regarding the nature of God etc are different. Your testimony will be accepted within Mormonism as truth because it is within that closed system. But it carries no weight within orthodox Christianity. I think it’s a great technique though.

  29. chuck5000 says:

    Let me share with you some evidence of what you call “unsubstantiated.”

    “Not only the unlearned and simple, but the learned as wise, not the people only, but the bishops, not the sheep, but also the shepherds themselves, (who should have been guides in the right way, and light to shine in darkness,) being blinded by the bewitching of images, as blind guides of the blind, fell both into the pit of damnable idolatry. In the which all the world, as it were drowned, continued until our age, by the space of above eight hundred years.” (The Constitutions and Cannons Ecclesiastical, Certain Sermons or Homilies, Page 216)

    This great falling away, or “pit” the people fell into is known as the Apostasy. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

    Thank you for the kindness of your words, falcon; however, when it comes to testimony, this is the evidence that Aaron was requesting, referring to the “testimony” of the Apostles. I provided testimony, words of Jesus (scripture), and Prophecy (modern day). So now I am confused. I am providing the sources Aaron has asked for:
    1. Testimony
    2. Words of Christ
    3. Prophecy

    but now I am being told they are not acceptable.

    So are you now saying that there are only two measures for truth now? The words of Christ and Prophecy, so long as it fits into “your” context? That testimony no longer counts as “evidence”?

    I’m sorry, but the inconsistency of definition and the back and forth makes having constructive dialog extremely difficult. I have provided the evidence requested, and now it’s not the type of evidence required? How can I provide evidence within the context you require without being labeled as “carrying no weight”, “unsubstantiated”, or “no intention on engaging in serious, constructive communication”? Please help me understand because it seems the criteria continues to change.

  30. [riffly_audio]9BF77DF6DCC411DC96DED0A456B4F508[/riffly_audio]

    Okay, 10 minutes of audio should be enough for me 🙂 Just a couple more things:

    The Melchizedek priesthood is never spoken of as delegated from one human to another.

    Chuck, you misrepresented the kind of evidence I’m asking for. I’m not saying that you must have immediate physical proof for the kinds of claims involved. But you should either have evidence from the New Testament that there was a continuation of the kind of radically transformed, succession of delegated Aaronic priesthood, or at least textual evidence that there was a successful removal of such scriptural evidence (which according to Mormonism should have been a important, salient theme) from the Biblical manuscripts.

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 written by Paul in context to encourage believers that Christ had yet to return. Let’s quote the larger passage:

    Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

    There is simply no mention of a falling away associated with a loss of Aaronic or Melchizedek “priesthood authority”—something Mormons read into these passages. Indeed, as I keep saying, there isn’t a shred of evidence that the New Testament Christian males were even required to be of the Aaronic priesthood.

    In fact, the word translated as “set aside” in the ESV of Hebrews 7:18 (referring to what happened to the old priesthood law because of its “weakness and uselessness”), “ἀθέτησις”, can according a lexicon mean “abolition, disannulling, put away, rejection”. The KJV renders it “disannulling”. The same Greek word is used in the KJV of Hebrews 9:26 to speak of Jesus of having appeared to “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”. Wow, I would hope that “put away” really does mean “put away”, not simply “relegate”!

    So deal with the central Mormon claims concerning the main topic of the post: that the New Testament Christians were required to continue a succession of delegated Aaronic priesthood, but were allowed to reject almost everything the Old Testament says about the criteria for such priests. We are waiting, listening, watching, willing to consider any evidence of this, but so far…


  31. mikeb says:


    You quoted Biblical scripture as evidence and authority that the secession in Mormonism is true. My question to you is, what do you do with Biblical scripture that is in direct contradiction to Mormon theology? For example, John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth and, Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. Both statements were made by Jesus himself. Were they lies? Am I taking them out of context? or are they truth?

    I’m sorry Chuck but you cannot use the Bible to support one claim and then ignore it to dismiss another. You stated that in Mormonism the priesthood is part of a requirement for salvation and this is true because of divine revelation to the prophets and apostles in Mormonism. That is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches. Ephesians 2:8-9: 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. . The gospel message of the Bible is Jesus alone paid the price and we cannot add to it.

    You are also relying very heavily on the notion that the early church was killed off or in total apostasy. I would say there isn’t any evidence of that. The only evidence in the world is what the LDS teaches and to me that is just a little to convenient. I’ll leave you with what the Bible says…2 Peter 1:19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

  32. Ralph says:

    Aaron, You said God-honoring faith is always rooted in some kind of evidence, and is always a response to what God has revealed about himself. This totally refutes what Jesus taught to Thomas in John 20:29. Thomas said I see and I believe; Jesus answered that that is good but those who do not see but still believe are more blessed. In other words, those who have no evidence but still believe are more blessed.

    As for my comments about us being spiritually created with the priesthood within us, yes its my ideas, but they are from our church’s teachings. I cannot prove you wrong with your idea, but can you prove me wrong about my idea? Just as your ideas can fit in wth the LDS teachings, mine too fits in with what is taught about Jesus in our church. But as I said I am on a work conference and do not have time or opportunity to look up the scriptures and manuals to get together a proper argument yet. I am going home tonight so I will try and do something then.

  33. Ralph, I of course don’t buy into what you explain “[i]n other words”. The contrast made in John 20:29 is between seeing not seeing. Your assumption is that all kinds of “evidence” necessarily involve a kind of physical seeing (of a person), an assumption I reject.

    Example: I don’t need to meet Caesar. I can, not being able to personally meet him, look at evidence which shows he existed.

    As for my comments about us being spiritually created with the priesthood within us, yes its my ideas, but they are from our church’s teachings.

    If you would like to demonstrate where Mormon leaders have significantly promoted your own particular opinions on this matter, then by all means, “show your cards” (provide some evidence). Until then, I’m sticking with the accusation that a lot of naked, unsubstantiated claims are being made as your invent your Mormonism as you go along. Life is too short and these topics are too important to be simply shooting from the hip.

    I have already shown how the traditional Mormon understanding of Lorenzo Snow couplet theology has been promoted by LDS leaders. Mormon leaders will be held accountable before God Almighty for this. If you reject traditional Lorenzo Snow couplet theology, then you should have the integrity to publicly renounce it as heresy, and own up to the fact that when Mormon leaders promoted it they were speaking irresponsibly. If you’re going to take a non-traditional position within Mormonism, be open and honest about it, and let others continue to generalize “Mormonism” by its traditional teachings.

  34. Lautensack says:

    I have a question for the Mormons on this blog. Why do most Mormons attack the bible in the same manner that the Muslims do? Allow me to explain, both Mormons and Muslims say that the Bible was changed or corrupted and that their later “revelation” proves this, however if such a corruption occurred there would be several platforms (versions) of the Greek New Testament with major differences spread across Europe and the Middle East. Why you might ask, because prior to the 5th century there was no strong central body governing all the local churches. In fact many Christians were being martyred and certainly did not have time to gather all the books written and change them all or burn any that did not fit with their “theology.” Fortunately the texts from western Europe read very similarly to those of Alexandria Egypt and every place in between, allowing us to see where verses have actually been added, eg John 5:4.
    Also doesn’t this great apostasy mean one of two things, either God lied in passages such as Ephesians 3:20-21 and Matthew 16:16-18, or didn’t actually know the future, which would in fact make Him less than omniscient and a really lousy guesser, violating 1 John 3:20? Sorry I choose to believe in revelation that God keeps His promises, doesn’t lie, and knows all things, separating the End from the Beginning. Oh, and a side note on Islam, it too was started because of the “fighting” among the Christian Churches and because Muhammad couldn’t understand the Trinity, thinking it was Jesus, Mary, and God the Father, but see Surah 5:116 for more on that.


  35. falcon says:

    I would put the “great apostasy” and the “corruption of the Bible” slogans into the same category as I do conspiracy theories. Major scripture that supports Mormon doctrine was removed from the Bible? If that’s all the better that Mormons can do to justify the “restored gospel” they better cash in their chips. Again, as has been said countless times here, where is the evidence that any of this took place? It fits the Mormon template and is repeated over and over again. It’s the old line, repeat something often enough and some people will believe it.

  36. chuck5000 says:


    Mike b, I’m not certain what you are referring to, but read some of my earlier posts. Succession is not a notion in Mormanism. Early Christian fathers confirmed it as well.

    Lautensack, to help you understand why I believe there is error in the bible:
    “These writings [of the Bible] were of course all manuscripts, i.e. written by the hand, and that copies when needed had each to be written out, letter by letter, at a great expense of time and trouble, and of course, very often too at some expense of the original correctness. However careful the scribe might be, it was almost impossible, in copying a long a difficult manuscript, to prevent the occurrence of errors. Sometimes he would mistake one letter for another – sometimes, if having the manuscript read to him, he would confound two words of similar sound – sometimes after writing in the last word of a line, on looking up again his eye would catch the same word at the end of the next line, and he would go on from that, omitting the whole line between. Remarks and explanations, too, written in the margin might sometimes in transcribing get inserted in the text.” (J. Paterson Smyth, How We Got Our Bible (Harper & Brothers, April 1912), p.4)

    That should sum it up. Sorry about the long post but in the spirit of communication and dialog, I have tried to be as clear as possible.


  37. Arthur Sido says:

    Chuck, what is ironic is that when mormons can use a verse plucked out of context (i.e. baptism for the dead), they place enormous confidence in that verse. When a verse doesn’t match up with mormon doctrine, it must be mistranslated. Pretty convenient. It seems pretty hard to believe that the God who created and controls all things, who even in mormon theology is all pwerful, would leave His Word and yet be unable to keep it from being tainted. But you believe there are errors in Bible based on the word of a shyster and a quote from a book that you copied and pasted? The evidence that Smith created his “scriptures” from his own imagination, especially the book of Abraham, is overwhelming and yet you trust them and reject the most scrutinized ancient document in the world? Why would you trust the BoM, D&C and the Pearl of Great Price and yet not trust the Bible?

  38. Lautensack says:

    Hey Chuck,
    Lets do a little experiment, I’m going to give you seven different versions of a sentence and I want you to tell me what it was that you thought I was trying to express.

    1) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Christ Jesus.

    2) Therefore, since we have been justfied by faith, we have peace with God throug our Lord Jesus Chrst.

    3) Therefore, since we have been iustified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jsus Christ.

    4) Therfore, sincewe have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord JesusChrist.

    5) therefore,sincewehavebeenjustifiedbyfaith,wehavepeacewithGodthroughourLordJesusChrist.

    6) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    7) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Every single one of those sentences is different but I am pretty sure you can reconstruct the original. This is like the New Testament, because we have so much manuscript evidence we can with accuracy translate the Bible. I must also appeal to the fact that if we cannot trust the bible based upon the manuscript evidence then there is no way we can trust anything else written prior, or post according to your source (How We Got Our Bible, P.5), because printing errors or otherwise may have crept in, to take this route of skepticism can you truly trust that the BOM has not been corrupted or the D&C, PGP, or any of the Churches other writings? Your claim has no credible evidence supporting it, in fact while many scholars do not believe that the Bible is the word of God, they do believe that it is accurate to the original text. The burden of proof that it is not is actually textually accurate is on the critics.


  39. Eric the Red says:

    In Mormon theology much hinges on proper authority. Supposedly that authority comes through the successive laying on of hands and the passing on of the Aaronic and Melchizidekan priesthoods to subsequent generations of males. Without this authority, we supposedly are unable to adequately understand and preach the Gospel. Consider the following, what makes one an authority on the Constitution of the United States? Must one have been in a succession of laying on of hands that reaches back to Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers? If the answer is no, than what makes one an authority. Is there anyone in America that can speak with authority on the US Constitution? Of course there is. Why, first of all there is inherent authority in the writings themselves. We also believe in the general integrity of the writers. Those who speak with authority on the constitution build on the above premises with a diligent and balanced study of its grammar and meaning. As Aaron mentioned earlier in this thread, our authority is Scripture. God’s Word is far higher than any governmental document, yet we derive our authority from it in much the same way. God’s Word is inherently authoritative. Every believer receives an anointing from the Holy One (1 John 2:20) but this does not negate the necessity of the diligent study of this Authoritative Word (2 Timothy 2:15). If I read in God’s Word that there is only One God and always had been for all eternity, then I can authoritatively say so. If I read that justification in God’s sight is through faith alone in Christ alone, then I can authoritatively preach this. Where does my authority come from? From God’s authoritative Word! I find it unconscionable that numerous young MMs who have a superficial knowledge of the Bible (I don’t say this lightly) can claim authority because someone laid hands on their heads. God’s Word is authoritative; therefore it is my responsibility to know it so well that I can speak authoritatively!

  40. falcon says:

    Sorry, but even if there are some transmittal errors in comparing written manuscripts of the Bible, how would that account for the fact that the doctrine of the restored gospel isn’t in the manuscripts. Get my drift? There would have to be one huge conspiracy to leave out information regarding Mormon doctrine such as the restoration of the priesthood, progression to godhood and polygamy, for example. If such teachings were a part of the early church, they would show-up some where in the early texts. But they don’t.

  41. Jacob5 says:

    I would like to ask all you out there, do you believe the bible? If so, why? Aside from evidence of manuscripts, how can you prove all the miracles that have occured in the bible? And, even if you can’t prove them empirically you still believe, right?
    Now why is it that you having a belief in the bible yet cannot not physically prove every single occurance, find it impossible when members of the LDS church profess a belief in something we cannot always physically prove yet believe in?
    Simply your own belief of whether something is right or wrong does not negate our beliefs no matter how you chose to deride our testimonies.
    By the way, I enjoyed the comment on how testimonies are only used in court. The reason we have testimonies in court is because not everyone has a knowledge of the situation, so we have to rely on the words of two or more “witnesses” to make a sound judgement of the situation. Isn’t that the point of religion, often have to rely on the words of others until we can find the truth ourselves?
    Did all of you know right away what the truth is? Or did you have to rely upon your first teacher of your faith to build your own testimony?

  42. chuck5000 says:


    Looks like I was cut off… but I said what I wanted to present.

    Aurthur, I never once said I reject the Bible. Please do not put words in my mouth. Do not pretend to speak for me. I believe the Bible. I trust the Bible. I whole heartedly accept the word of God. It is MAN I do not trust. Are you claiming the Bible is perfect and there are NO errors, none whatsoever?
    Again, stop with the stories. Provide evidence that the Book of Mormon is made up or came from imagination. Show me the evidence that God would never provide additional scripture to his children. Show me evidence that Jesus Christ did not visit the people of the American Continent after his resurrection. Show me evidence that he did not call 12 Apostles. Show me evidence that the Bible is the ONLY word of God.
    If you are going to hijack the this blog and take it off topic, at least provide evidence and not personal opinion. You cannot simply put personal opinion out on the table and attempt to pass it off as fact. Did you not read what Aaron wrote? I will quote it for you…
    “If you do not have any evidence that you are willing to provide to promote your position, you simply aren’t going to feel very welcome on this blog while making naked, unsubstantiated claims, because you have no intention on engaging in serious, constructive communication.”

    You should have to adhere to the same requirement as us “Mormons.” Wouldn’t you agree?

    Lautensack, don’t be ridiculous. There are words that can translate into something completely different by changing or omitting 1 letter or an entire word. Let me provide a better example:

    1. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.
    2. Therefore living the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on into perfection.
    3. Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.

    These better clarify my point. Peace.

  43. Lautensack says:

    This is why I love the fact that the Lord of the entire universe cares so much about His Word that He provided us with over 5500 manuscripts of the New Testament in the Original Greek, so such “changes” or “corruptions” may be known and taken into account. This is why many modern translations provide a footnote for John 5:4, as this verse does not show up in the earliest manuscripts.

    Also your example is not an accurate one, as with most hand written copies errors that occur are not due to changing of letters, but removing, adding, or rearranging them. Also try to translate the following into a single sentence in any language:

    1)For the wages of sin is death, the free gift of God iss eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    2)For the wags of sin is dath, but the free gift of God is eturnal life in Christ Jeus the Lord.

    3)For the wages of sn is death, but the free gift of Good is eternal life Christ Jesus our Lord.

    4)the wages off sin is death, but the fee gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

    5)For the Vegas of sin is death, but te free gif of God is eternal life in or Lord Christ Jesus.

    Thus omitting or adding one letter does change the word in some places rearranging the letters does change the word in some places, but it is clear from only 5 copies, none of which are correct, to see that I was trying to write the following:
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Now imagine the textual criticism of having over 5500 copies at your disposal. Thus your argument is nonsense because any work that does not have a living author must be thrown out on the basis that we do not know what they said if we do not have their original writing or printing. However you never addressed my original argument, that is why are there not two, or more, different textual platforms for the New Testament? According to Mormonism there should be many different platforms, where are they?


  44. Arthur Sido says:

    Chuck, I am not putting words in your mouth, I am only saying what the mormon church teaches (see the 8th article of faith) I didn’t say you rejected the Bible as a whole, only that mormons selectively believe the Bible when it suits you. Once you start to pick and choose what parts of the Bible you want to believe, you eventually end up rejecting the whole thing because your doctrine is based on what you want to believe, that what the Bible says. Before you get all indignant, reread what I am saying. And yes I am saying that the Bible is perfect and without error. It is called being inerrant and infallible.

    As far as proving all of the events of the Bible, of course there is an element of faith involved but at least many of the places and people and events described in the Bible exist. The langauges the Bible is translated from exist, we can look at real manuscripts and work through them. I can show you where Jerusalem is, can you show me where any place that supposedly existed in the BoM is?

    Proving that the events that Joseph Smith made up didn’t happen is like proving the events of the Lord of the Rings didn’t really happen. Sure I can’t show you where the Shire or Gondor was, sure there is no evidence of hobbits living in America but I have faith that they did because an angel told J.R.R. Tolien that they did. That is a bit of a flippant response, but the premise is the same. There is no evidence for any of the events of the Book of Mormon outside of the BoM, so you rely on the word of Joseph Smith that an angel gave him a book that conveniently disappeared and a subjective experience when you prayed about the BoM. That is it. That is what you place your hope of salvation in, because if you are wrong about the BoM and mormonism, you are outside of saving fellowship with Christ. When you compare the Bible with mormonism, mormonism doesn’t complement the Bible, it contradicts it. One or the other is right.

    (BTW is posting a comment ‘hijacking’ the blog?

  45. Arthur Sido says:

    Jacob, many of the same questions you asked are answered in my response to chuck. There are tons of great resources I can refer you to that explain the way the Bible was translated, why it is reliable and how we got the canon of Scripture. If you are really interested in looking at the topic from an evangelical viewpoint, there is no lack of resources.

    There is a huge difference, at least in my mind, between comparing Biblical manuscripts written in Greek and translated from those thousands of documents and the transmission of the book of mormon. You have nothing to fall back on except the BoM itself, the plates are gone and there are no copies or facsimiles of the writings. The originals we DO have of mormon scripture, the papyrus used to “translate” the Book of Abraham not only exist, but have been studied and show that Smith had not a clue about what they really said and just made up the “Book of Abraham”. If he made up the Book of Abraham and lied about it, why would you believe him about the Book of Mormon?

    I have said before, you cannot reason yourself into salvation. There is a great deal of faith involved, and that faith is a gift of God. To the unregenerate person, the Bible is foolishness. But there is a world of difference between faith and blind faith. This conversation does seem to be a bit off the original topic, but the point of Aaron’s original post does deal directly with the Biblical record compared to modern mormon doctrine and practice.

  46. David says:

    Let us examine just how shallow this argument is. One church father (one who was later condemned as a heretic) has a view of apostolic succssion that appears close to what Mormons hold to. You guys (Protestants) don’t have the same view of succession so you are wrong and your churches are illegitimate. This is desperatation. This is a reason to be Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic, or any other church that holds this view of apostolic succession (and all of these churches pre-date Mormonism) but not Mormon. The church fathers differed on how they viewed successsion, church government, and Matt 16:18. However, you cannot find a church father anywhere that ever took a view of Matt 16:18 that actually has the gates of hell prevailing against the church! This is what Mormonism is based on: a total apostasy. The verses Mormons use to justify their view of a total apostasy only show a limited one. And yes . . . we think you all are part of that apostasy.

    The problem tradtional Christians have with Mormons using the Bible is with one breath they say it is corrupted and with the other they call it scripture. Which one is it? To take the position that it is both seems dishonest and illogical.

    In lieu of evidence we have faith but we do not have faith (we beleive) that contradicts the evidence. Thomas didn’t say, “Your not the Messiah” when he beheld the risen Christ. He believed because of the evidence. You Mormons continue to believe lethal contrary evidence like the Book of Abraham.

    To bring this thread back on topic, the Aaronic and Melkizidec priesthoods were never part of primitive Christianity. They are novel introductions by Joseph Smith.

  47. chuck5000 says:

    Aurthur, “Proving that the events that Joseph Smith made up didn’t happen is like proving the events of the Lord of the Rings didn’t really happen.” This is the type of errant response I am referring to. Have you ever read the Testimony of the 3 witnesses? Have you ever read the testimony of th 8 witnesses? These men saw the plates, handled them, and testified they were interpreted by the power of God. Many of them left the Church like yourself, but never denied their testimony. This is the “eye witness” evidence Aaron referred to. This goes to show what I said from the beginning. Because YOU don’t have the physical proof, you will not believe. That is completely different that making unfounded statements that it was “made up.”

    Lautensack, it is painfully apparent you only speak English because you do not understand conjugation and word changes within languages. I will not continue to beat a “ded hrse”. The point I have been trying to clarify is that the fallacy and error is with man… not with the bible. I do not have confidence in man, only in God.

    Back to the subject of the Priesthood. I will say no more concerning the other topics that are sidetracking the main topic.

    I have provided the scriptural evidence requested. I have shown a clear succession within the Apostolic calling. I have shown “every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God” (Heb. 5:1). I have shown that not only Jesus Christ held the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, and that it is an unchangeable priesthood (Heb. 7:24), but that others held this priesthood (Heb. 7:23). This is the evidence I have provided on the topic as requested.

    So to use Aaron’s words, “By demanding more evidence you show that you reject the inherent authority of God’s personal, recorded word.”

  48. falcon says:

    Did the witnesses see with their physical eyes or with “spiritual” eyes. A bunch of years back Oral Roberts claimed to “see” a 50, 60, 80 foot, whatever size Jesus. I believe this was to indicate to Oral that he should build the city of hope medical center. As I recall much later he said he saw it with his “minds eye”. The city of hope eventually went down the tubes.
    With Joseph Smith’s propensity for the magic arts, I don’t doubt he could either conjure or convince the gullable that they saw his golden plates (see Messmerism). The fact that Smith’s doctrines are in direct opposition to Biblical Christianity should be enough for the average person to put the brakes on. Add in the lack of evidence regarding the accuracy of the BoM (DNA, archeological, lingustic,historical) and the farce surrounding the Book of Abraham and the Kinderhook plates, there is more than enough information to reject him as a fraud. Joseph Smith’s doctrine puts Mormons on one side of the spiritual battle and Biblical Christianity on the other. It’s an easy choice for me.

  49. Arthur Sido says:

    “Have you ever read the Testimony of the 3 witnesses? Have you ever read the testimony of th 8 witnesses? These men saw the plates, handled them, and testified they were interpreted by the power of God.” Yes and yes. They are not exactly a neutral bunch are they? I love how they use the same King Jamesy langauge that Smith used in the BoM to make it sound more Scriptural. This is way off topic, but those men allegedly held the golden plates, and still they left mormonism. Makes you kind of wonder about their testimony doesn’t it?

    As far as your scriptural evidence, you are really saying that Heb 7:23 proves that other men held the Melchizidek priesthood. Are you sure that the other priests spoken of were not the Levitcal priests, and that this is comparing their priesthood with the superior priesthood of Christ? That is quite a leap to equate those passages with the modern mormon priesthood orders. Having the word “priesthood” in a verse doesn’t mean it is talking about the mormon concept of the priesthood, esp. when the verses contradict the mormon version.

  50. Lautensack says:

    I actually read both Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew but for the sake of those on this blog who do not I used examples from the English language, as this blog is English, and the point is the same. The bible is accurate, however for your faith to work it must not be therefore you make the same argument that most Muslims use when they attack the bible, and from what you have personally posted on this blog you continue to do so. The textual variants of the New Testament when coupled with the amount of manuscripts we have for the New Testament. Think of it this way, a group of heretics grabbed up some BoM’s changed em a bit and republished them as the originals, we’d be able to note the difference, and if the LDS Church made wholesale changes to the BoM we’d also be able to note that. The same is true of the bible and it’s textual platform. That is the point I am trying to make. A point that you seem unable to accept. Feel free to email me lautensack[AT]gmail[DOT no spam]com if you would like to use actual examples from the original languages where translation or transmission is faulty. But Please, don’t simply use Strong’s to try to piece together your argument. As for my original question where are the multiple textual platforms that would exist from this sort of corruption?


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