Abstract: Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants contains what is commonly known by Latter-day Saints as the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. Priesthood leaders in the church are expected to teach and explain this Oath and Covenant to prospective Melchizedek Priesthood holders. However, the meanings of phrases within the Oath and Covenant are not well understood. For example: What does it mean to become the sons of Moses and Aaron? In what sense are bodies renewed? Are the promised blessings just for holders of the priesthood or for others as well? This paper discusses several ways that phrases in the Oath and Covenant have been interpreted. To identify differing interpretations, I conducted an extensive review of references to the Oath and Covenant in LDS conference addresses and the words of Joseph Smith using the LDS Scripture Citation Index1. After considering these interpretations, I explore other ways the phrases could be interpreted to provide greater understanding of what it means to hold the priesthood and “magnify” it.
About Mark Hamstead
Mark Hamstead was born in Sydney, Australia, where he still resides. He is married with four grown children and three grandchildren. Mark joined the Church at age 14, and his Church service includes a mission to England as a young man and he is currently serving a senior mission to Laos with his wife Denise. In between he enjoyed serving in a full range of Church callings including bishop and stake presidency counselor. Mark has bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering and worked for government water management agencies for 20 years before becoming an independent consultant in water resource management. He is co-author of a university textbook on water resource planning. He is semi-retired but continues to work as a consultant on a casual, part-time basis. Since he was a young man Mark has loved studying the scriptures and learning from the Spirit through doing so. He particularly enjoys spending time reading and discussing scriptures and the gospel with his wife.