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Guest Soldier of God

In reflection of a great man may the Lord be with you and lift your spirit.

Pray for peace in the Holy Land.


The failure to solve the Palestinian-Israeli issue remains a permanent factor of destabilization for the whole region, not to speak of the indescribable suffering it has caused both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples. I will never tire of repeating to the leaders of these two peoples: the choice of weapons, the recourse, on one side, to terrorism and, on the other, to reprisals, humiliation of the adversary and propaganda loaded with hate, lead nowhere. Respect for the legitimate aspirations of both parties, a return to the negotiating table and the concrete commitment of the International Community alone can be the first step towards a solution. True and lasting peace cannot be merely reduced to keeping a balance between the forces in question; above all, it is the result of moral and juridical action.


Pope John Paul II - Monday, 12 January 2004

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  • 6 years later...
Guest dolfinguy

The Russian Times is saying that thousand of United States troops are being deployed to Israel.




Without much media attention, thousands of American troops are being deployed to Israel, and Iranian officials believe that this is the latest and most blatant warning that the US will soon be attacking Tehran.


Tensions between nations have been high in recent months and have only worsened in the weeks since early December when Iran hijacked and recovered an American drone aircraft. Many have speculated that a back-and-forth between the two countries will soon escalate Iran and the US into an all-out war, and that event might occur sooner than thought.

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The extreme religious right has been holding Israel's democracy hostage for too long and threatens democracy.




Within Israel, there is a steadily increasing minority who believe they can bypass civil authority and act as they wish, while wrapping themselves in airtight religious doctrine.


They can call other Israelis “Nazis.” They can attack bases of the Israeli armed forces. They can assault journalists. They can spit on Christian clergy, as well as eight-year-old Jewish girls. They can press for gender separation. In other words, they behave as if they can take the law into their own hands.


Like other religious extremists, they contend they have a direct line to a higher authority and, no less importantly, that their higher authority has a direct line back to them.

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The Haredi community in Israel has adopted a policy of cultural dissociation, but at the same time, it has struggled to remain politically active, perceiving itself as the true protector of the country's Jewish nature.


The issues date to the late nineteenth-early twentieth century, with the rise of Zionism. The vast majority of Haredi Jews rejected Zionism for a number of reasons. Chief among these was the claim that Jewish political independence could only be obtained through Divine intervention, with the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Any attempt to force history was seen as an open rebellion against Judaism (for a more complete exposition of this ideology see Three Oaths; Vayoel Moshe; Neturei Karta).


More important was the dislike that the political and cultural Zionism of the time felt toward any manifestation of religion. Influenced by socialism, secular Zionists looked on religion as an outdated relic, which should disappear (or, according to some extreme views, even be eradicated) in favor of Jewish nationalism. As with the nineteenth century Reform Judaism movement in Germany, the result was mutual recriminations, rejection, and harsh verbal attacks. To Zionists, Haredi Jews were either "primitives" or "parasites"; to Haredi Jews, Zionists were tyrannizing heretics. This kulturkampf still plagues Israeli society today, where animosity between the two groups has even pervaded both their educational systems.


Despite the animosity, it was necessary for the two groups to work out some modus vivendi in the face of a more dangerous enemy, the Nazis. This was achieved by a division of powers and authority, based on the division that existed during the British Mandate in the country. Known as the "status quo," it granted political authority (such as control over public institutions, the army, etc.) to the Zionists and religious authority (such as control over marriage, divorce, conversions, etc.) to the Orthodox. A compromise worked out by Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson even before statehood ensured that public institutions accommodate the Orthodox by observing the Sabbath and providing kosher food.


Notwithstanding these compromises, many Haredi groups maintained their previous apolitical stance. The community had split into two parts: Agudat Israel, which cooperated with the state, and the Edah HaChareidis, which fiercely opposed it. Both groups still exist today, with the same attitudes. The Edah HaChareidis includes numerous Hasidic groups, such as Satmar, Dushinsky and Toldos Aharon, as well as several non-Hasidic groups of Lithuanian and Hungarian background.

A small minority of Jews, who claim to have been descended from communities who had lived peacefully with their Arab neighbors during the 18th and early 19th centuries, took a different stance. In 1935 they formed a new grouping called the Neturei Karta out of a coalition of several previous anti-Zionist Jewish groups in the Holy Land, and aligned themselves politically with the Arabs out of a dislike for Zionist policies.


In 2010, the Sephardic Haredi political party Shas broke ranks with the aforementioned Ashkenazi Haredi organizations and joined the World Zionist Organization, becoming the first officially Zionist Haredi political party.


As part of the Status Quo Agreement worked out between prime minister David Ben Gurion and the religious parties, Haredi leader Rabbi Avraham Yeshayah Karelitz (known as the Chazon Ish) was promised that the government would exempt a group of religious scholars (at that time, 400) from compulsory military service so that they could pursue their studies.


Finally, the Agudat Israel party, supported by much of the Haredi population, was invited to participate in the governing coalition. It agreed, but did not appoint any ministers since that would have implied participation in non-religious actions taken by the government.


Haredim proved to be able politicians, gradually increasing their leverage and influence. In addition, the Haredi population grew substantially, giving them a larger power base. From a small group of just four members in the 1977 Knesset, they gradually increased the number of seats they hold to 22 (out of 120) in 1999. In effect, they controlled the balance of power between the country's two major parties.

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Guest Matthew 7:19-23

13 Enter in through the strait gate; for wide the gate and broad the way that leads to destruction; and many are they that go in through it;

14 for strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leads to life, and few are they that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but within are ravenous wolves.

16 By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17 So every good tree produces goodly fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot produce evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree produce goodly fruit.

19 Every tree that does not produce goodly fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Therefore, by their fruits you shall know them.

21 Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he that does the will of my Father who is in the heavens.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?

23 And then will I confess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

24 Every one therefore that hears these words of mine and does them, shall be likened to a wise man, who built his house on the rock.



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Guest Mrs. Pac Man

I always thought Zionism was Judism. Smoke and mirrors. They are just a nationalistic party like Republicans and Democrats.


I prefer the LDS doctrine Zionism myself




Jewish tradition warns that commitment to "sacred soil" without faith in the living God is a form of idolatry. Early in the twentieth century the Zionist movement advocated a compromise between secular Zionists, who envisioned a state without traditional Judaism, and religious Zionists, who argued that the state must be grounded in traditional Judaism. History in the modern political state of Israel has thus far implemented that compromise.


Spiritual Zionism among Latter-day Saints is advocated in the setting of concern for all of the children of God. It does not pronounce on specific geopolitical struggles or endorse speculations on the exact "when" and "how" of the fulfillment of ancient and modern prophecy. Many LDS leaders see events of the past 160 years as a preface. They continue to plead for peace and for coexistence with all the peoples who lay claim to old Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and others.

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Opposition to Zionism should not based on anti-Semitism.



Einstein Letter Warning Of

Zionist Facism In Israel

Letter That Albert Einstein Sent to the New York Times

1948, Protesting the Visit of Menachem Begin




Letters to the Editor

New York Times

December 4, 1948




Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.


The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughoutthe world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.



Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement. The public avowals of Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.


Attack on Arab Village


A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants ? 240men, women, and children - and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin. The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.


Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model. During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.


The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.


Discrepancies Seen


The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a "Leader State" is the goal.


In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.


The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.


































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I prefer the LDS doctrine Zionism myself


Spiritual Zionism among Latter-day Saints is advocated in the setting of concern for all of the children of God. It does not pronounce on specific geopolitical struggles or endorse speculations on the exact "when" and "how" of the fulfillment of ancient and modern prophecy. Many LDS leaders see events of the past 160 years as a preface. They continue to plead for peace and for coexistence with all the peoples who lay claim to old Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and others.


It appears that Jewish people are in great debt to the LDS for their help in establishing the idea of bringing them back to Isreal.




In 1842, Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr. sent a representative, Orson Hyde, to dedicate the land of Israel for the return of the Jews


From the Lord’s point of view the reconstruction began in America, rather than Palestine. On June 15, 1841, Orson Hyde, an apostle of the restored church, wrote a letter to the Reverend Dr. Solomon Hirschell, the leading rabbi in England, describing how the first intimation from heaven had already been received that the rise of modern Israel was imminent. Here is what he wrote:


“About nine years ago [actually 1831], a young man … in whose bosom the Almighty had deposited many secrets, laid his hand upon my head and pronounced these remarkable words—‘in due time thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the land of thy fathers, and be a watchman unto the house of Israel; and by thy hands shall the Most High do a great work, which shall prepare the way and greatly facilitate the gathering together of that people.’”


This part of the letter should not have surprised the rabbi, since at every Passover, and often in their daily prayers, the Jews solemnly expressed their supreme hope of redemption by saying: “Next year, in Jerusalem!”


They had been saying this ever since A.D. 70, when Jerusalem was demolished by the Romans and the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth.


However, the next part of Orson Hyde’s letter no doubt startled the rabbi:


“… in the early part of March, 1840, I retired to my bed one night as usual; and while meditating and contemplating the field of my future labors, the vision of the Lord, like clouds of light, burst into my view. … The cities of London, Amsterdam, Constantinople and Jerusalem, all appeared in succession before me, and the Spirit said unto me, ‘Here are many of the children of Abraham whom I will gather to the land that I gave to their fathers; and here also is the field of your labors. … The vision continued open about six hours, that I did not close my eyes in sleep. In this time many things were shown unto me which I have never written; neither shall I write them until they are fulfilled in Jerusalem.”


We have no record of any reply from Rabbi Hirschell, but we do know what happened to Orson Hyde. A month after this great revelation, he and John E. Page were called during the April conference of the Church to fulfill a mission “to the Jews.” They were instructed to go to Palestine and dedicate that land for the gathering of the house of Israel. As it turned out, John E. Page went only as far as the east coast of the United States, but Elder Hyde continued alone and fulfilled this mission as the Prophet had instructed.


After a long and tedious excursion, Elder Hyde finally reached Jerusalem. There he prepared to dedicate that land in the exact way he had seen himself doing it during the vision. Here is the way he describes it:


“On Sunday morning, October 24 [1841], a good while before day, I arose from sleep, and went out of the city as soon as the gates were opened, crossed the brook Kedron, and went upon the Mount of Olives, and there, in solemn silence, with pen, ink, and paper, just as I saw in the vision, offered up the following prayer to Him who lives forever and ever.”


A park honoring his visit called the 'Orson Hyde Memorial Garden' was dedicated in 1979. The park was funded by donations to the Orson Hyde Foundation through the Jerusalem Foundation. Hyde traveled home through Europe, stopping in Germany to produce the first LDS Church pamphlets in German.



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Watch this and read the words of my friend.

This is from my Buddy Raza

Our comparative religion study now turns to the concept of prophets. All three faiths accept the fact that GOD has sent messengers (prophets) to mankind.

The sixth basic principle of Judaism is that the words of the 55 prophets are true. Christians accept most of those prophets and believe that their words are true because they come from GOD. Islam accepts most of the 55 prophets and accepts their words as truth. Islam teaches that there have been many prophets sent from GOD.

The seventh principle is that Moses was the greatest prophet. Christianity does not deal with the idea of the greatest prophet. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last and greatest prophet.

Our comparative religion study continues with a look at the books of the three great religions.

The eighth principle is that the written and oral Torah was given to the prophet Moses. The Torah is part of the Old Testament section of the Christian Bible. In Islam the Torah is accepted as the words of GOD and are called the Tawrah.

The ninth principle of Judaism is that there will be no other Torah. This principle is rejected by both Islam and Christianity. In Islam, it is believed that GOD sent the Qu'ran and it takes the place of all other books. Christians accept the Torah as part of the Old Testament and believe that the New Testament was inspired by GOD. The Old and New Testaments together make up the Holy Bible.

In our comparative religion study we come to the final four principles of the Jewish faith. These concern the final days of life here on earth.

The tenth basic principle is that GOD knows the thoughts and deeds of every man. This is widely accepted as fact in Christianity as well as Islam.

The eleventh principle is that, on the last day, GOD will reward the good and punish the wicked. This last day (Youm al-Qiyama) or day of reckoning in Islam is one of their articles of faith. Christians accept this day and refer to it as judgement day.

The twelfth principle of Judaism is that the Messiah will come. Christians believe that the Messiah has come in the form of Jesus. Muslims do not believe in a messiah and see no need for one. Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet.

The last Jewish principle is that the dead will be resurrected. This means that the dead will be raised up for judgement. In this judgement, those who have righteousness will be rewarded and those who do not will be punished. Both Muslims and Christians accept this principle. The differences are found in how that righteousness is obtained.

Raza Ahmed

I believe that John the Baptist was the last prophet and Jesus was the Son of God. I consider the Trinity similar to the 3 aspects of Adi Parashakti in Hinduism. Muslims believe in Imam Mehdi. One aspect of Imam is a master of religion. Others Muslims believe in Muslim (non-Ahmadi) believe about Hazrat Essa (AS) Jesus will return again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Praise Jesus


Father Barron states Jesus was against the corruption of his time, but He was a law abiding Jew. Jesus time on earth was to fulfill the the mystical body of religion which is accepting the Holy Spirit. I plan to read 'Freedom of Religion' by Martin Luther.



Ephesians 2:8-9


King James Version (KJV)


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.

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Guest Soldier of God

Read this excerpt to understand that Jesus Christ is the eternal high priest of the Church.


The first thing always to remember is that Jesus was not a priest in accordance with the Jewish tradition. He did not come from a family of priests. He did not belong to the lineage of Aaron but rather that of Judah and was therefore legally barred from taking the path of the priesthood. Jesus of Nazareth himself and his activities do not follow in the wake of the ancient priests but rather in that of the prophets. And in this line Jesus took his distance from the ritual conception of religion, criticizing the structure that gave value to human precepts linked to ritual purity rather than to the observance of God's commandments: namely, love of God and of one's neighbour which, as the Lord says, "is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mk 12: 33). Even in the Temple of Jerusalem, a sacred place par excellence, Jesus makes an exquisitely prophetic gesture when he drives out the money changers and livestock vendors, all things that served for offering the traditional sacrifices. Thus Jesus was not recognized as a priestly but rather as a prophetic and royal Messiah. Even his death, which we Christians rightly call a "sacrifice", had nothing to do with the ancient sacrifices; indeed, it was quite the opposite; it was the execution of a death sentence by crucifixion, the most ignominious punishment, which took place outside the walls of Jerusalem.


In what sense, therefore, was Jesus a priest? The Eucharist itself tells us. We can start with the simple words that describe Melichizedek: He "brought out bread and wine" (Gen 14: 18). This is what Jesus did at the Last Supper: he offered bread and wine and in that action recapitulated the whole of himself and his whole mission. That gesture, the prayer that preceded it and the words with which he accompanied it contain the full meaning of the mystery of Christ, as the Letter to the Hebrews expresses it in a crucial passage that we should quote: "In the days of his flesh", the author writes of Our Lord, "Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek" (5: 8-10). In this text, which clearly alludes to the spiritual agony of Gethsemane, Christ's Passion is presented as a prayer and an offering. Jesus faces his "hour" which leads him to death on the Cross, immersed in a profound prayer that consists of the union of his own will with that of the Father. This dual yet single will is a will of love. Lived in this prayer, the tragic trial that Jesus faces is transformed into an offering, into a living sacrifice.


The Letter to the Hebrews says that Jesus "was heard". In what sense? In the sense that God the Father liberated him from death and restored him to life. He was heard precisely because of his total abandonment of himself to the Father's will: God's plan of love could be perfectly fulfilled in Jesus who, having obeyed to the end, to his death on the Cross, became a "cause of salvation" for all who obey him. In other words, he became the High Priest for having taken upon himself all the sin of the world, as the "Lamb of God". It is the Father who confers this priesthood upon him at the very moment in which Jesus passes over from his death to his Resurrection. He is not a priest according to the Mosaic law (cf. Lev 8-9), but "after the order of Melchizedek", according to a prophetic order, dependent only on his special relationship with God.


Let us return to the words of the Letter to the Hebrews which say: "Although he was a Son he learned obedience through what he suffered". Christ's priesthood entailed suffering. Jesus truly suffered and did so for our sake. He was the Son and did not need to learn obedience but we do, we did need to and we always will. Therefore the Son took upon himself our humanity and for our sake he let himself be "taught" obedience in the crucible of suffering, he let himself be transformed by it like the grain of wheat that has to die in the earth in order to bear fruit. By means of this process Jesus was "made perfect" in Greek, teleiotheis. We must pause to reflect on this term because it is very important. It indicates the fulfilment of a journey, that is, the very journey and transformation of the Son of God through suffering, through his painful Passion. It is through this transformation that Jesus Christ became the "high priest" and can save all who entrust themselves to him. The term teleiotheis, correctly translated by the words "made perfect", belongs to a verbal root which, in the Greek version of the Pentateuch, that is, the first five Books of the Bible, is always used to mean the consecration of the ancient priests. This discovery is very valuable because it tells us that for Jesus the Passion was like a priestly consecration. He was not a priest according to the Law but became one existentially in his Pasch of Passion, death and Resurrection: he gave himself in expiation and the Father, exalting him above every creature, made him the universal Mediator of salvation.


Let us return in our meditation, to the Eucharist that will shortly be the focus of our liturgical assembly. In it, Jesus anticipated his Sacrifice, a non-ritual but a personal sacrifice. At the Last Supper his actions were prompted by that "eternal spirit" with which he was later to offer himself on the Cross (cf. Heb 9: 14). Giving thanks and blessing, Jesus transforms the bread and the wine. It is divine love that transforms them: the love with which Jesus accepts, in anticipation, to give the whole of himself for us. This love is nothing other than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, who consecrates the bread and the wine and changes their substance into the Body and Blood of the Lord, making present in the Sacrament the same sacrifice that is fulfilled in a bloody way on the Cross. We may therefore conclude that Christ is a true and effective priest because he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, he was filled with the whole fullness of God's love and precisely "in the night on which he was betrayed", precisely, "in the hour... of darkness" (cf. Lk 22: 53). It is this divine power, the same power that brought about the Incarnation of the Word, that transformed the extreme violence and extreme injustice into a supreme act of love and justice. This is the work of the priesthood of Christ which the Church inherited and extended in history, in the dual form of the common priesthood of the baptized and the ordained priesthood of ministers, in order to transform the world with God's love. Let us all, priests and faithful, nourish ourselves with the same Eucharist, let us all prostrate ourselves to adore it, because in it our Master and Lord is present, the true Body of the Jesus is present in it, the Victim and the Priest, the salvation of the world. Come let us exult with joyful songs! Come, let us adore him! Amen.

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Guest Remmington P.

The Melchizedek Priesthood, also known as the "higher" priesthood, is named after the ancient patriarch and high priest Melchizedek, to whom Abraham paid tithes. Doctrine and Covenants 107:3-4 explains why the priesthood is called after him:


Before his [Melchizedek's] day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.


Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, mentions a number of times that Christ was "an high priest after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 5:10). The Melchizedek Priesthood was given to Adam by the Lord and has since been held by every patriarch and prophet authorized by God. This priesthood was taken from Israel as a whole during the time of Moses. Instead, Israel was given the lesser portion known as the Aaronic Priesthood. Christ restored the Melchizedek Priesthood through His apostles. After the death of the apostles, the priesthood was lost, and what is known as the Great Apostasy ensued.


In 1829, the resurrected Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery:


“He [Joseph Smith] was ordained by the angel John, unto the lesser or Aaronic priesthood, in company with myself (Oliver Cowdery), in the town of Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, on Friday, the 15th day of May, 1829, after which we repaired to the water, even to the Susquehanna River, and were baptized, he first ministering unto me and after — I to him. But before baptism, our souls were drawn out in mighty prayer — to know how we might obtain the blessings of baptism and of the Holy Spirit, according to the order of God, and we diligently sought for the right of the fathers and the authority of the holy priesthood, and the power to admin[ister] in the same: … the Lord … answered us out of the heavens, and while we were in the heavenly vision the angel came down and bestowed upon us this priesthood; and then, as I have said, we repaired to the water and were baptized. After this we received the high and holy [Melchizedek] priesthood.”


In September 1830 the Lord unmistakably confirmed this fact when he spoke to the Prophet Joseph Smith of “Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them” (Doctrine and Covenants 27:12).


Orson Pratt, who joined the Church on 1 September 1830, understood the restoration process very well. Later a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he affirmed: “It would be impossible for a Church to be re-organized upon the earth, unless God had bestowed the authority upon men to act in his name, that is, had spoken from on high and called them by revelation.”


Elder Pratt explained that John, the restorer of the Aaronic Priesthood, had taught while he was upon the earth that there was a greater priesthood—the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek—through which the obedient could receive the higher baptism, of fire and the Holy Ghost.


“Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery sought after this higher authority, and the Lord gave it to them, before the rise of this Church, sending to them Peter, James and John. What for? To bestow upon them the Apostleship.

“Now, who would be better qualified to administer the sacred office of the Apostleship than the three men who held it while they were here on the earth? … It has to be a man who holds authority in heaven that can bestow it here on the earth; and such men were Peter, James and John, who restored that authority to earth in our day, by bestowing it upon Joseph Smith. When this authority was restored, the Church was organized on the 6th day of April 1830, … and then there was power in existence, not only to baptize, but to confirm by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost; and from the authority then sent down afresh from heaven has this Church been enabled to pass along, and receive the great blessings which the Lord has bestowed upon it.”
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