Scripture Roundtable 197: Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Lesson 8, The Restoration of the Priesthood

This is Scripture Roundtable 197 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Lesson #8, The Restoration of the Priesthood, discussing selections from D&C 13, 20, 27, 84, 107, 110, and Joseph Smith-History, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2016 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable are Martin Tanner, Bruce Webster, and Kristine Frederickson.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:

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Scripture Roundtable 12: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 8

(Originally published on 31 January 2013.)

This is a Scripture Roundtable from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #8, covering the restoration of the priesthood, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Ben McGuire, Andrew Smith, Craig Foster, and William Hamblin.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:

Play

Were We Foreordained to the Priesthood, or Was the Standard of Worthiness Foreordained? Alma 13 Reconsidered

Abstract: Alma 13:3–4 is often interpreted as Book of Mormon confirmation of the doctrine that all those who are ordained to the Priesthood on the earth were foreordained to receive that Priesthood in the pre-existence as a result of their exceeding faith and good works. That interpretation is inconsistent with the 1978 revelation on Priesthood. A contextual reading of the account of Alma2’s ministry to the people of Ammonihah also suggests that Alma2 was not telling the men of Ammonihah that they (or anyone else) had been foreordained to receive the Priesthood. Rather, Alma2 was teaching that what we now call worthiness was ordained as the standard for ordination to the Priesthood before the foundations of this earth were laid. If the people of Ammonihah demonstrated their worthiness by repenting of their sins, they could qualify to receive the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood and enter into the rest of the Lord as many of the ancients had done. The manner in which men were ordained to the Priesthood and in which its ordinances were administered was intended to show the people how they should look to Christ for redemption. Continue reading

Founded Upon a Rock: Doctrinal and Temple Implications of Peter’s Surnaming

Abstract: The famous Petros/petra wordplay in Matthew 16:18 does not constitute Jesus’s identification of Peter as the “rock” upon which his church would be built. This wordplay does however identify him with that “rock” or “bedrock” inasmuch as Peter, a small “seer-stone,” had the potential to become like the Savior himself, “the Rock of ages.” One aspect of that “rock” is the revelation that comes through faith that Jesus is the Christ. Other aspects of that same rock are the other principles and ordinances of the gospel, including temple ordinances. The temple, a symbol of the Savior and his body, is a symbol of the eternal family—the “sure house” built upon a rock. As such, the temple is the perfect embodiment of Peter’s labor in the priesthood, against which hell will not prevail. Continue reading

“The Restoration of the Priesthood”: D&C 13; 20:38-67; 27:12-13; 84:6-30; 107:1-20; 110:11-16; Joseph Smith—History 1:66-73

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

 “[The] priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.” (D&C 84:17)

Prelude to Receiving the Priesthood

After hundreds of years God’s priesthood power returned to the earth in a series of remarkable visions and angelic visitations.  Oliver Cowdery played an important role in the restoration of the priesthood.  He had come to Palmyra, New York in the winter of 1829 to serve as the teacher of a school over which Hyrum Smith was a trustee.  Upon his arrival Oliver asked to be a boarder at Joseph Smith, Sr.’s home.  In the process of time Oliver began to hear about the golden plates that Joseph Smith, Jr. had in his possession in Harmony, Pennsylvania.  Eager to learn more he continued to ask Joseph, Sr. all about the plates until his searching was satisfied.  Soon thereafter Oliver received the impression that it would be his opportunity to serve as scribe for the Prophet.  As soon as the school term was completed in early spring, Oliver put his affairs in order and set out for the 135 mile journey to Harmony, Pennsylvania with Joseph’s younger brother Samuel.  These two brethren were relatively young at the time, being respectively twenty-two and twenty-one years of age.  As a testimony of the zeal of these men, Lucy Mack Smith recalled: Continue reading