At 09:06 PM 10/23/2002, you wrote:
According to the Old Testament, the House of Israel is supposed to be a nation of priests. I assume that is still true. The lesser priesthood is called the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood. The higher priesthood from which all other priesthoods are mere appendages is called the Melchizedek priesthood. In Alma he talks about high priests being foreordained from before the foundations of the world. But elsewhere it is clear that this means all Melchizedek priesthood holders. So if you want to talk a High Priest, you are talking about an office. If you talk about a priest of the higher priesthood, you would have to include Elders, Patriarchs, Apostles, Seers, Seventies in that definition.I must confess I haven't thought much about this issue in the past. However, after reviewing the various posts on the subject I have to come down on the side of Stephen Beecroft and John W. Redelfs (sorry if I missed any others?) that the mere office of High Priest is not as important as being ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood.
I don't believe that the references to high priests in Alma refer to the office of a High Priest. Rather I believe that those references are to those men who hold the higher priesthood, ie. the Melchizedek priesthood. I see no indication in Alma that he is referring to the office. He is referring to one holding the high priesthood.
John W. Redelfs
"Nations are defined by their founders. George Washington set a standard of
selfless public service and heroic private virtue against which American
politicians continue to be measured - and found wanting - even today." --Steven W. Mosher
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