This is the Joseph Smith treatise on priesthood that I talked about in my last post. I wanted to save it so I can read it again. Sometimes I read something great and then I forget just where it was. So I often use my blog to catalogize all my studies and notes. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog — I needed a place for my Hugh Nibley audio files.
Joseph Smith had so much knowledge to impart. He talks quite a bit about Enoch and explains, “the doctrine of translation is a power which belongs to this priesthood.” He even says that he will talk about translation more in depth later.
Another interesting subject Joseph explains is the law of sacrifice — he says it was not fulfilled with the death of Jesus Christ. In fact, he explains the restoration spoken of by Malachi includes the sons of Levi offering sacrifice to the Lord.
It will be necessary here to make a few observations on the doctrine, set forth in the above quotation, As it is generally supposed that Sacrifice was entirely done away when the great sacrife was offered up—and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of Sacrifice in future, but those who assert this, are certainly not aquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the priesthood.
Another interesting concept here is Joseph’s discussion on dispensations — I noted that the fulness of times is really all of the dispensations — and is yet in the future:
Adam holds the Keys of the dispensation of the fulness of times, i.e. the dispensation of all the times have been and will be revealed through him from the begining to Christ and from Christ to the end of all world the dispensations that have [been and] are to be revealed…
Adam receiving his presidency and authority from Christ, but cannot receive a fulness, untill Christ shall present the kingdom to the Father which shall be at the end of the last dispensation.
Instruction on Priesthood, 5 October 1840
- Source: JS, Instruction on Priesthood,Nauvoo, IL, 5 Oct. 1840; handwriting of Robert B. Thompson; ten pages; JS Collection, CHL.
In order to investigate the subject <of the Priesthood> so important to this as well as every sl succeeding generation, I shall proceed to trace the subject as far as I possibly can from the Old and new Testaments. There are two priesthoods spoken of in the scrip tures, viz, the Melchisadeck and the Aaronic or Levitical
Commencing with Adam who was the first man of whom it is spoken of in Daniel as being “the Antient of days” or in other words the first and oldest of all, the great grand progenitor of whom it is said in another place he is michael because he was the first and father of all, not only by progeny, but he was the first to hold the spiritual blessings, the plan to whom was made known the plan of
and that all things whatsoever that should be gathered together in one in those dispensations, unto the same fulness and eternal glory should be in Christ Jesus; therefore he set the ordinances to be the same for Ever and ever and set Adam to watch over them to ◊reveal them from heaven to man or to send Angels to reveal them Heb 1 Chap. 16  verse. [“]Are they not all ministring spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.” These angels are under the direction of Michael or Adam who acts under the direction of Christ
From the above quotation we learn that Paul perfectly understood the purpose of God in relation <to> his connexion with man, and that glorious and perfect order which he established in himself whereby he sent forth power revelations and glory. God will not acknowledge that which he has not called, ordained, and chosen.
In the beginning God called Adam by his own voice See Genesis 3 Chap 9 & 10 verses. [“]And the Lord called unto Adam and said unto him where art thou, and he said I heard thy voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and hid myself.[”] Adam received com mandments and instruction from God, this was the order from the begining: that he received revelations, Commandments, and ordinances at the begining is beyond the power of controversy, else, how did they begin to to offer sacrifices to God in an acceptable manner? [p. 3]
And if they offered sacrifices they must be authorized by ordination. We read in Gen 4thchap. V.4 that [“]Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof and the Lord had respect to Abel and to his offring.[”] And again Heb 11 chap 4 verse. [“]By Faith abel offered unto God a more excellent Sacrifice than Cain by which he obtained witness that he was righteous God testifying of his gifts and by it he being dead yet speaketh.[”] How doth he yet speak? Why he mag nified the priesthood which was confired [conferred] upon him and died a righteous man, and therefore has become a righteous man an angel of God by receiving his [p. 4]
body from the dead, therefore holding still the keys of held his dispensation and was sent down from heaven unto paul to minister consoleing words & to comnin [communicate?] unto him a knowledge of the mysteries of Godliness and if this was not the case I would ask how did paul know so much about able Abel and why should he talk about his speaking after he was dead. now that he spoke after he was dead must be, by being sent down out of heaven, to administer. This then is the nature of th priesthood, every man holding the presidency of his dispensation and one man holding the presidency of them all even Adam. and Adam receiving his Presidency and Authority from Christ, but can not receive a fulness, untill Christ shall pre sent, the Kingdom to the Father which shall be at the end of the last dispensation—The power, Glory, and blessings of the Priesthood could not continue with those who received ordination only as their righteousness continued, for Cain also being Authorized to offer sacrifice but not offering it in righteousness, therefore he was cursed. It signifies then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed, otherwise their priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing. If Cain had fulfilled the law of righteous ness as did Enoch he could have walked with God all the days of his life and never faild of a blessing. Gen [blank] [“]And Enoch walked with God after he begat Mathusalah 300 years and begat [p. 5]
Sons and Daughters and all the days of Enoch were 365 years and Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him.[”] Now this Enoch God reserved unto himself that he should not die <at> and app that time and appointed unto him a ministry unto terrestrial bodies of whom there has been but little revealed, He is reserved also unto a the pres idency of a dispensation— of and more shall be said of him and terrestrial bodies in another treaties [treatise]
Now the doctrine of translation is a power which belongs to this priesthood, there are many things which belong to the powers of the priesthood and the keys thereof that have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world. they are hid from the wise and prudent to be revealed in the last times. many may have supposed, that the— [p. 6]
It will be necessary here to make a few observations on the doctrine, set forth in the above quotation, As it is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away, <when the great sacrif[ic]e was offered up—> and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in future; but those who assert this, are certainly not aquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the priesthood. <or with the prophets> The offering of sac rifice is has ever been connected, and forms a part of the <duties of the> priesthood. It began which with the priesthood and will be continued untill after the coming of christ from generation to generation——
We frequently have mention made of the offering of Sacrifice by the servants of the most high in antient days prior to the law of moses, See [blank] which ordinances will be continued when the priesthood is restored with all its Authority power and blessings. Elijah was the last Prophet that held the keys of this priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the Authority and delive[r] the keys of this priesthood in order that all the ordinan[c]es may be attended to in righteousness. predjudi[ced]>>
It is a very prevalent opinion that in the sacrifices <sacrifices> of <which> were offered were entirely consumed, this was not the case if you read Leviticus [blank] Chap [blank] Verses you will observe that the priests took a part as a memorial and offered it up before the Lord, while the remainder was kept for the benefit <maintenance> of the priests— So that the offerings and sacrifices are not all consu med upon the Alter, but the blood is sprinkled and the fat and certain other portions are consumed These sacrifices as well as every ordinance belonging to the priesthood will when the temple of the Lord shall be built <and the sons [of] Levi be purified> be fully restored and attended to then the Sons of Levi shall be purified. all their powers raniffications [ramifications], and blessings— this ever was did and will be exist when the powers of the Melchisadc Priesthood are sufficiently manifest. else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by all the Holy prophets be brought to pass be brought to pass, It is not to be understood that, the law of Moses will be fully established again with all its rights and <variety of ceremonies> ceremonies <this has never been spoken off by the prophets> but those things which existed prior to Mose’s day viz sacrifice, will be continued— It may be asked by some what necess sity for Sacrifice since the great Sacrifice was offered? In answer to which if Repentance Baptism and faith were neccessary to Salvation <existed> prior to the days of christ what necessity for them since that time———The priesthood has descended in a regular line from Father to Son through their succeeding generations See Book of Doctrine & Covenants