-Gary-
> You give some nice definitions, but can you show where these
> definitions come from?

Mostly from the scriptures themselves. I am pretty sure that the Bible 
never explicitly specifies that Enos was Adam's grandson, but the 
meaning is clear enough that I can say that anyway. Similarly, Alma's 
meaning is not easily mistaken.

> I agree that the term "high priest" can have more than one
> meaning, but there are many Church leaders who would disagree
> with your Alma 13 assessment, and say that those were, indeed,
> high priests in the "modern sense" as you so put it.

Name one. For my part, I name Elder Hilbig of the Seventy, who used the 
same gloss (if you care to call it such) as I have when he said last 
year in general conference:

"The prophet Alma explained that men ordained to the Melchizedek 
Priesthood on earth have been 'called and prepared from the foundation 
of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their 
exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose 
good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising 
exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling' (Alma 13:3)."

(I might also quote any number of other general authorities, e.g. Elder 
Maxwell, who in April 1986 general conference also followed this gloss, 
saying: "In fact, we learn that all faithful men of the priesthood were 
'called and prepared from the foundation of the world' (Alma 13:3)..."; 
or the reference in Elder Nelson's October 1987 conference talk: 
"Scriptures also relate that the Lord God foreordained priests prepared 
from the foundation of the world according to his foreknowledge. Thus, 
our calling to the holy priesthood was foreseen before we were born (see 
Alma 13:1-5)." But, I won't bother.)

> I say that the term is an ancient one,

No one disputes that the term "high priest" is ancient.

> that we were foreordained as high priests, according to Alma.

No one disputes this, either. The dispute is Alma's meaning: I (and 
apparently the general authorities) say this means a Melchizedek 
Priesthood holder, while you say it only refers to those who hold the 
office of high priest.

> I use Occam's Razor on this, as your definition requires a
> twisting of terms (or redefinition, anyway).

Perhaps you should tell Elders Maxwell, Nelson, and Hilbig about Occam's 
razor, so they can get their acts together.

> If Alma says faithful men were foreordained as high priests,
> why can't you accept it as it is written?

I do accept it **as it is written**, Gary. In my view, it is you who 
does not accept it as written, insisting instead on applying your 
anachronistic definition. Remember, the office of "high priest" did not 
exist at the time Joseph Smith translated Alma's words.

> I mean, there are different MP titles given in the BoM, even
> though I grant they aren't exactly the same as we have today
> (obviously "teacher" was an office in the MP for the Nephites).

Though this is off the main thread, it's an interesting side thread. I 
don't agree that "teacher" was a Melchizedek Priesthood office for the 
Nephites; the Melchizedek Priesthood was not generally held among the 
Jews, so I don't see why it would have been generally held among the 
Nephites, who were after all Jews and who were therefore under the law 
of Moses. If "teacher" was a Priesthood office, I expect it pertained to 
the Aaronic Priesthood; however, my supposition is that it was not a 
Priesthood office at all, but more like what we today would call a 
"calling". In other words, a teacher was simply one who was authorized 
to teach.

> And are you trying to tell me that Abraham's desire to be a
> high priest just means he wanted to hold the MP?

Yes. This is *exactly* what I'm saying.

> Why didn't he just say he desired to be a priesthood holder, then?

He did. He said that he wanted to be a holder of the Priesthood of the 
patriarchs, the high Priesthood. That is, he wanted to be a high priest. 
That's not a Priesthood office, it's a holder of the Priesthood.

> Why do we have to twist his terms, when they are clear enough
> without redefining them?

Because you are using an anachronistic application of the terms.

> Finally, we are told that there will be an ordination to become
> a god, that we will be set apart as "kings and priests." Since
> you already hold the MP as an elder, why must one be reordained
> a priest?

Let me turn the question back on you. Since you already hold the office 
of high priest, why must you be reordained a priest? Or are you 
suggesting that, as a high priest, you have no further need to be 
ordained a king and priest in the eternities, because you've already 
received all you need?

> BTW, I'm not teaching false doctrine.

Nor did I say you were. I said that if the doctrine you preach were 
taught (note the subjunctive) as gospel, it would be false doctrine. I 
assume you are not teaching this speculation as gospel, so therefore 
it's not false doctrine. It's just speculation -- palpably incorrect 
speculation, in my judgment.

> It may not be official doctrine of the Church, but it isn't
> rejected out of hand, either (except, of course, by you).

I have never observed that the Church authorities make an effort to 
point out and reject "out of hand" every speculative doctrine that the 
Church members think up or believe. So as Marc would say, your argument 
is an "argument from silence". For example, I've also never heard any 
Church authority reject out of hand the doctrine that Adam had two 
navels -- but that doesn't mean I believe it.

Stephen

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