A Royal Priesthood

The Priesthood is a big deal in Mormonism. At Mormon.org it is defined as “The power and authority of God, given to men on earth to act in all things for the salvation of God’s children.”

Fifteenth LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Without [the Priesthood], we have nothing.” (Ensign, Aug 1998, 72)

The April 2005 Visiting Teaching message suggested that the words of LDS priesthood leaders “are from the Lord Himself.” (Ensign, Apr 2005, 60)

Eleventh LDS President Harold B. Lee said the Priesthood is “the center and core of the Church and kingdom of God.” (Ensign, Jan 2002, 14)

Third LDS President John Taylor said that it is by the Priesthood “that all things are [upheld and] governed on the earth and in the heavens, and [it is] by that power that all things are upheld and sustained. It governs all things—it directs all things—it sustains all things…” (Ensign, Nov 2002, 7)

And, according to Mormonism, worthy Latter-day Saint men are given that astonishing power to carry out God’s will on earth.

Christians raise an objection to the doctrine of the LDS Priesthood, pointing out that the New Testament says all of God’s people belong to a “royal priesthood.” Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson explain,

“As for the authority of the Christian, 1 Peter 2:9 says he or she is part of ‘a chosen generation’ and ‘a royal priesthood.’ The believer is given the right to be called a child of God [John 1:12]. Indeed, when speaking of believers, 1 John 3:2 says that ‘now are we the sons of God.’ First John 5:5 adds that only those who believe ‘that Jesus is the Son of God’ have overcome the world. They, then, are the ones who have been given divine authority.” (Mormonism 101, 89)

To better understand the biblical doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, and to recognize the LDS Priesthood’s incompatibility with the biblical teaching, please read the following article from Tabletalk magazine (more of my comments follow this quoted article).


A Royal Priesthood in Christ

1 Peter 2:9-10: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

As we consider the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood, it is important to remember that although the tribe of Levi was set apart to perform the sacrifices and lead worship in the tabernacle and temple, God never intended the descendants of Levi to be the only priestly figures in the nation of Israel. In fact, the Lord originally called His people out of bondage in Egypt so that the entire nation would serve Him as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:1-6). The priestly institution itself was needed only because the sin of the people had not yet been finally dealt with, and an intermediary was required between Israel and God lest His holiness break out and destroy His sinful people (Ex. 19:24; Amos 5:6).

Only when the wickedness of Israel had finally been dealt with could the people of God truly become that nation of priests that requires no Levitical mediator between them and the Almighty. Having sanctified and perfected us in His Father’s sight forevermore through His offering of Himself (Heb. 10:10-14), Christ Jesus has made all who are in Him the priesthood that God always intended His people to be. No longer need we rely on an intermediary who is a sinner like us; rather, the Lord has become the mediator between Himself and His own in the person of the God-man Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:15).

Peter explains in 1 Peter 2:9-10 that we are that royal priesthood who need none but Christ to stand between us and the Father.  Martin Luther pointed out in his Babylonian Captivity of the Church that “all we who are Christians are priests,” and no believer has greater access to the Creator than any other. Pastors and elders are appointed to teach the church the will of God from His Word (1 Tim. 3:1-7), but they do not represent us before the heavenly throne like the Levitical priests did under the administration of the old covenant.

In Christ, there is a true priesthood of all believers. All of us who trust in Jesus alone for salvation have free access into His presence, and all of our lawful vocations are set apart for true God-honoring service. The janitor who does his work to the Lord is in no worse position spiritually than the most gifted preacher on the planet, for all Christians have been declared righteous servants of the creator God. (Devotional entry for May 12, 2010)


The biblical teaching regarding priests and priesthood is not about power and authority to act in God’s name, but rather it is about mediation, redemption, and admission into the very presence of God.

Nevertheless, Christians are not lacking divine power and authority. As the New Testament explains, through God’s New Covenant He has given His people the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that anointed Jesus Christ has also anointed the people of God (See Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4). Jesus offered the final physical sacrifice for sin, thereby fulfilling the Aaronic priesthood (Hebrews 9:11-15). God’s people, being filled with the Holy Spirit, have the authority and obligation to offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5, 9). Furthermore, this Holy Spirit, designated as “the Spirit of truth,” is promised to “abide with [them] forever” (John 14:16-17. See also 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 5:5). Christ, as the head of the body (the church), works through His people, using them to spread the Good News of the Gospel and thereby build His church (Colossians 1:18).

By God’s grace He has made His people a royal priesthood and endowed each one with power and authority. But, unlike the LDS Prophet who maintained that without the Priesthood Mormons would have nothing, Christians understand that without the priesthood we would still have Jesus — and He is all we need.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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72 Responses to A Royal Priesthood

  1. Helen, I’m guessing Rick B is referring to the statement you made last month (10 July 2011):

    “The true gospel, as taught by Paul (as well as Peter, James, John, the other disciplines, and even the Lord Jesus Christ himself) is the same one that is taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    Requirements for exaltation (defined by you as “life with God”) would seem to be included in “the true gospel,” therefore, Rick B is (probably) asking for biblical support that Paul, Peter, James, John and the other disciples taught this gospel/these requirements. However, you did finally admit on 15 July 2011, regarding many core LDS teachings, “none of that is in the Bible.” Perhaps Rick B has forgotten that admission.

  2. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    In my retort Rick B. I never mentioned anything about them being in the Bible, if you look a little closer you will notice I said our (LDS) Standard Works.

    Again Helen, Do you really think before you speak? Last I heard and it has not changed, the Bible is part of the LDS Standard Works. So Yes Helen that does include the Bible. Now maybe if you know I am right and it is not in the Bible, maybe next time instead of saying the STANDARD WORKS, Maybe you could say, The BoM, Or the Pearl, since we both know they are not taught in their either.

  3. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, gets you into the Kingdom. Eternal life and its requirements are not so complicated. Follow Christ, be obedient to the Covenants and Ordinances one makes in the Temple of God. Be sealed to your wife for time and eternity

    Helen, Lets try this again, First off, you said this so now back it up. You cannot prove this from the Bible, we both know it is not taught in the Bible, even though you implied it was by saying it is in the LDS standard works. So Show me these things from the BoM, are they their? I know Eternal Marraige is not, What about the rest of them? Then if you can show me from the BoM or the D and C or pearl, you need to answer the next question, Why Did Jesus say, the only thing we need to do to be saved is, Believe Upon Him. This means everything you said that is required is going against what Jesus said is required. So it seems you dont really know your scripture. Care to explain, because I also will not let this slide. Many times you have demanded answers from us, and have even accused people of not answering, so again, I will hold you to the standards you set for others.

    Remember, if you dont like your standards, then dont set them for others.

  4. Rick B says:

    Sharon said

    Perhaps Rick B has forgotten that admission.

    LOL, I dont forget things Helen said. I am not targeting her only, but I am tired of the way LDS treat us, by saying we twist facts, we have an agenda, we dont like them, or persacute them, etc. Yet they do to use what they claim we are doing to them. So I just make sure I hold them to the same standard they set for us, and remind them what I am doing when they get mad at me.

  5. helenlouissmith says:

    Rick B. lets start over. You took offense to a answer I gave back too Mike R. about all the requirements
    LDS most go through to receive Eternal Life.

    Membership in God Kingdom comes first and it’s explained in the Standard works which I then explained as Faith, Repentance, Baptism and Holy Ghost. Since you disagree that the Bible does not state this then we have to agree that we both disagree with the translation. But it’s still in our Standard works and in fact in the Book of Mormon. Now I followed this up by stating that the rest is Sacred, and it taught only in the Temple of God and only those who want to know the mysteries of Godhood and other things must qualify themselves to be worth of this great Doctrine.

    Part of it can be found in the Bible, to qualify or meet the requirements one must pay a honest tithing, one must be honest in their business dealings, one must believe that Jesus it the Christ, our Lord and Savior.

    Other requirements are that we must believe that the BOM is true and the word of God, that JS was a prophet of God, that we have a living prophet now directing the Church through and by Jesus Christ.

    So as much as you want to say I lie, please point out where I said anything to Mike R. that did not address his claim that Eternal Life for a Mormon is full of requirements.

  6. Rick B says:

    Helen, I was not offened by anything you said, I was saying that what your saying is not taught in the Bible. Starting over, your first reply to Mike R you said,

    Mike R. —- what are the requirements of eternal life? Life with God that is.
    Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, gets you into the Kingdom. Eternal life and its requirements are not so complicated. Follow Christ, be obedient to the Covenants and Ordinances one makes in the Temple of God. Be sealed to your wife for time and eternity.

    I believe we need Faith and repentance, but Those things along with Baptism, the Holy Ghost is not what gets us into the Kingdom of God. Jesus said the only thing we MUST DO is to believe in (Upon) Him. If I was on my death bed dying and did not know Jesus and died I would go to hell, yet If I was dying and did not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, but then called upon Him to save me, then died, I would be saved. I did not live a life of faith, I was not baptised, I did not enter the temple, etc.

    Your still avoiding my question, Show me with Chapter and verse from your standard works where these things save us. Then after you do that, since you said they are taught in their, then explain to me How according to Jesus the only thing we need to do is to believe on Jesus to be saved. So why did Jesus say that, but yet your church teaches as you say,

    Other requirements are that we must believe that the BOM is true and the word of God, that JS was a prophet of God, that we have a living prophet

  7. Mike R says:

    Helen, you said to Rick : “….please point out where I said anything to Mike R. that
    did not address his claim that Eternal Life for a Mormon is full of requirements.”

    Helen, you and Rick can work out your disagreement . But I need to make it clear that
    you did not address the point of my comments, which was that there are numerous
    “requirements” for eventually gaining eternal life with God that Mormon leaders have
    revealed since the alleged “restoration” of Jesus’ gospel that ARE NOT in your Standard
    Works. This all had to do with thread topic of Authority, and how despite their lofty claim
    of being trustworthy guides in spiritual truth Mormon leaders have been wishy-washy on
    vital issues, namely what is ” required” to actually make it all the way to live with God in
    heaven — eternal life.

    A recent event in the news can perhaps help explain this whole scenario . When it was found
    out that Tepco ( Tokyo Electric Power Co. ) , the operator of the Japan nuclear plant in the
    news after the huge earthquake had a record of problems that they did not disclose
    to the public etc. The Government talked of possible take over control of the plant.
    Reuter’s News reported this : ” A series of missteps and mistakes….has undermined
    confidence in the company.”
    Many Mormons are finding out the same scenario in relation to their leaders : through the
    track record of inaccurate teachings and pronouncements , many LDS are losing confidence
    in their prophets and apostles authoritative claims . Eph.4:14; Gal.1:8
    May these people come to see that eternal life is not in a Temple or prophet–Heb7:25

  8. helenlouissmith says:

    Mike R. I appreciate you patience with me. I thought I had pretty much explained that the requirements are not that many and very easy to understand, not so easy at times to live.

    To sum up all that is required would be just one principle, be obedient to all the commandment of God.
    Be obedient to God the Father as the Son was obedient to the Father.

    Lets say something about the Prophets of God. If they were to teach any other doctrine then the Plan of Salvation they would be removed from their office and replaced. The plan of Salvation is safely found and taught in all the Standard Works along with what is received in the Temple of God for a our personal progression to become Kings and Queens, God and Goddesses in the Celestial Kingdom.

  9. Rick B says:

    So Helen you going to keep avoiding my questions?

  10. helenlouissmith says:

    Show me with Chapter and verse from your standard works where these things save us.

    Keeping the Ten commandments first of all Rick B.

    1). The greatest commandment, according to Christ, is to worship the Lord our God with all our might, mind, and strength. The Lord should be first in our minds and hearts.

    Mormons: Six Saving Ordinances:
    confirmation and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost
    receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men)
    washing and anointing (initiatory)
    marriage sealing

    Christians: By Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    Bible? Ezekiel 11:20 states, “walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances.”

    Why does Ezekiel mention ordinances? Rick B.

    So the question is, Faith, Repentance, Baptism and Holy Ghost and Priesthood. Or just Grace alone?

    I say that the Bible is clear about Faith, Repentance and Baptism, you say Grace alone.

  11. Mike R says:

    Helen, I know that you are striving to serve God, and that you feel by following
    the Mormon prophet is the right path and inline with God’s will. You are sincere
    but sincerely mistaken [ Prov.14:12] . My heart aches for the Mormon people as
    I see the truth of Jesus’ warnings concerning future false prophets come alive when
    I see what Mormon prophets have taught their followers on issues concerning how
    a person can receive eternal life. I’m not going to drag this conversation on any longer
    but in closing I’ll briefly comment on your last reply. You stated that all that
    is required [ to gain eternal life] is summed up in one principle which is obedience to all
    the commandments of God. But Helen , it’s the Mormon prophet who determines what
    constitutes obedience to God, that’s the whole point here. Prophets who veer off of the
    plain teachings of the scriptures and “introduce” [ 2Pt.2:1] teachings coming from their
    own minds are false prophets no matter if they have good intentions or not. This is exactly
    what Mormon prophets and apostles have done. When these men proclaim that certain
    Temple rites are necessary to gain eternal life, and then proceed to issue the requirements
    to enter that Temple, that directly affects how a person eventually gains eternal life.
    So you are mistaken when you state that ” the plan of salvation is safely found and taught
    in all the Standard Works along with what is received in the Temple…” Mormon leaders
    have departed from this criteria consistently since the gospel was allegedly restored in
    1830. Mormons claim a “living” prophet who supersedes dead prophets[ Standard Works] ,
    in this way the Mormon people are manipulated into new “requirements” — 1 Jn4:1 ; 2Jn 1:9
    Take care.

  12. helenlouissmith says:

    Take care friend, 🙂

    Ezekiel 11:20 states, “walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances.”

  13. Rick B says:

    Helen, Jesus said all I have to do to be saved is believe upon Him. As far as keeping the 10 commandments, In the N.T. They are simply boiled down to Two according to Jesus, Love God and Love my Neighbor and I automaticly fufill the rest.

    Where is Eternal Marraige marraige mentioned, Funny How Jesus said we will not be married in heaven. The Issue of Ezekiel, that was for the Jews not the Gentiles, God was speaking to them, not us. Then you still have not explained How Jesus said we only need to believe on Him to be saved, yet you claim we must do all these other things, Now with the marraige issue tossed in, How do you explian you or your church stating we must be married and sealed for all of eterinty, yet Jesus said we will not be married in Heaven?

  14. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    Already there is a in house fight about the Doctrine of Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, Pre/Mid-Tribulation, Post-Tribulation. I mention this only in passing as a pattern I see in orthodox christianity of confusion and non-unity of faith and doctrine.

    Here is the problem, you dont believe or understand the Bible. These issues are NOT SALVATION issues. I am not saying Falcon or Sharon holds these views, I just need 3 people to make my point.

    Lets say I believe in Post trib, Falcon holds a Mid trib view, and Sharon hold a pre-trib view.

    It’s clear two of us are wrong, because not all three views can be correct. So when Jesus returns, he will not say, Sorry Rick and Falcon, your view of when I return was wrong so I guess you will go to hell. It does not work that way. What will happen is all three of us will go to be with Jesus no matter what view of the rapture we hold. This again is what we call an In-house debate.

  15. helenlouissmith says:

    Rick B. stated, “How do you explian you or your church stating we must be married and sealed for all

    “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.” Mark 12:25

    However, Mormon leaders have interpreted this passage quite differently than the historic Christian view. LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote: “What then is the Master Teacher affirming by saying, ‘in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven’? He is not denying but limiting the prevailing concept that there will be marrying and giving in marriage in heaven. He is saying that as far as ‘they’ (the Sadducees) are concerned, that as far as ‘they’ (‘the children of this world’) are concerned, the family unit does not and will not continue in the resurrection. Because he does not choose to cast his pearls before swine, and because the point at issue is not marriage but resurrection anyway, Jesus does not here amplify his teaching to explain that there is marrying and giving of marriage in heaven only for those who live the fulness of gospel law-a requirement which excludes worldly people” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:605,606).

  16. Rick B says:

    Wow, you guys simply just flat out dont care what Jesus says. Well I hope you are enjoying your life here on Earth, unless you repent this is as close to heaven as you will ever see.

  17. Rick B says:

    Helen, I just love how you pick and choose who to believe.

    You quote from Bruce as if he really has a clue to what he is talking about, yet your Church rejects what he said in the 1958 Mormon Doctrine, to the point so much was removed and is largly rejected by many LDS. Than years later the stopped printing and selling the newest edtions of the Mormon Doctrine.

    Funny how he was wrong on so much they had to get rid of the books, but he is so spot on this teaching, that you believe it. It’s no different than LDS, saying Adam God is wrong, yet King Follet is spot on, Same set of books, but one is believed and one is rejected, because you guys really choose to believe what you want to believe.

  18. helenlouissmith says:

    Rick B. yes we do pick and choose privately sometime what we choose too believe, but are careful to only teach out of our Approved manuals when teaching others of the Plan of Salvation. Since I sign my name at the bottom of each of my post, then I’m solely responsible for Helen’s opinion.

    I may quote someone who I agree with because their beliefs are in line with my own, sometimes like the Adam/God theory I also agree with, but definitely keep those teaching to my self and maybe with some personal friends will share my thoughts regarding this.

    Orthodox Christians seem to have the same problem, some doctrine is most likely regarded by you as truth yet another christian will advocate something else, hence the complex issue of Tribulation and Rapture being a highly debated concept.

    I happen to like Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R McConkie and would consider it 99% accurate. Your point is true, there is criticism within the Church about his opinions, we will continue as members too have a healthy debate with no real harm done to the real Doctrine concerning the Plan of Salvation, The Book of Mormon as being true, and Joseph Smith a Prophet of God.

  19. Kate says:


    “I may quote someone who I agree with because their beliefs are in line with my own, sometimes like the Adam/God theory I also agree with, but definitely keep those teaching to my self and maybe with some personal friends will share my thoughts regarding this.”

    What would happen if you boldly declared that Adam is God at church or in public? Why can’t you shout to the world who your God is and what you believe? Right. Church discipline and possible excommunication. Don’t you see the problem with having to “hide” your beliefs and feelings within the LDS system? I’m so thankful that I can shout out to the world that my God is the Holy Trinity! My God became man to redeem his people! My God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent! What freedom to be able to declare which God I believe in. If you have to hide or lie by omission Helen, something is VERY wrong.

  20. Rick B says:

    You know Kate is correct, you could not and would not admit openly to your church you believe Adam is God, you know that you would face church displine as stated.

    So I bet you wont take me up on this offer, but here we Go. Your Church is so full of lies and deciet and so full of problems so lets do this. Put your believe where your mouth is. I will go to my local LDS church, tell them I have a true blue Mormon that claims Adam is God and believes what many LDS view as a false idea. Then have a lds presdient or high authority come here and have you openly admit to them you believe this. Then you can contact them in private with you home Church and see what happens.

    Well Helen we both know this will never happen for many reasons, The least of which is, I’m guessing your not really Helen, I suspact your a man that was here once. But if that is true, you cannot expose yourself as a liar by having the church contacting you. Then I also suspect you will either avoid this question from me, or you will make excuse as to why this will never go down.

  21. helenlouissmith says:

    Rick B. here is what I would admit openly. BY made the statement, preached it, and stood by it.
    Not one Bishop, Stake Pres. will excommunicate me for something that was once preached. Now, they will warn me not to teach it as Doctrine and I will gladly agree not too. If I want to believe it that is my prerogative.

    I have taught the Gospel Essentials Class, many new converts and even some older ones come to this class. I was once teaching about the nature of God and one student said that there old church (orthodox christian) taught something else and that they still believed it.

    After class a older member came up to me and chastised me for not correcting her and allowing her to keep on believing in that concept. I stated to her, what difference does it make, she will eventually change her concept if she continues to study and pray the Mormon Doctrine. Do you think the Leadership is going to excommunicate this person for not changing? Nope we all are continuing to change as we learn more light and knowledge, we keep that which is true and discard that which is now false. The theory of Adam God is still being debated and just what BY meant by it.

  22. Rick B says:

    Funny how you said your leaders claim you cannot teach it as doctrine. Well it’s really sad that you and your church cannot tell what is doctrine and what is not, when BY himself said it was doctrine and we must believe it since our salvation hangs upon knowing these things.

    Funny how you guys have ongoing revelation and you guys pride yourselves upon having prophets and hearing from God. Yet the one thing you guys never hear from God on, are these things doctrine or not? And if not, then why did the people who taught it claim it was?

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