-Mark- > Moroni talks about teachers and priests. This is several > hundred years after Christ, so the Nephites had the Melchizedek > priesthood at that time and were not under the law of Moses.
True enough. I was referring to earlier, pre-Resurrection references to teachers and priests. But you bring up an interesting point: > Several of the Brethren have stated that since the Nephites were > not Levites they never did have the Aaronic priesthood even when > under the law of Moses. I did not realize this, having never heard these statements; but now that you mention it, it seems pretty obvious that the Nephites would not have had the Levitical Priesthood. Duh. The Moroni reference is interesting. The term "priest" itself implies a Priesthood office, and Moroni 4-5 show that priests as well as elders could consecrate the sacrament, which as far as I know is purely a Priesthood function. Furthermore, Moroni 3 talks about the *ordination* of priests and teachers, the identical wording (or the same ideas, if the prayer is not meant to be verbatim) used in each, suggesting that both "priest" and "teacher" were Priesthood offices. Since the Nephite post-Resurrection office of priest had the authority to administer the sacrament, it's tempting to say that those two offices were identical to the Aaronic Priesthood offices of "priest" and "teacher" that we have today. However, your mention above of the teachings of our leaders, which I assume to be correct (do you have an actual citation(s)?), demonstrates that the Nephites were not in possession of the Aaronic Priesthood; so if "teacher" and "priest" were in fact Priesthood offices, as seems likely, they must have been offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood. Other possibilities? Maybe the Nephites had some other type of "lesser Priesthood", similar to our Aaronic Priesthood, and these were offices in that other Priesthood. Seems farfetched, but I have heard others talk about what they term "the Patriarchal Priesthood" as a separate thing from the Melchizedek Priesthood, or more correctly a subset of it. I have done no study of this issue, and the argumentation I've heard on it is most unconvincing; but if such a thing actually existed, then it's possible there was yet another Nephite Priesthood subset, similar to the Levitical/Aaronic and the Patriarchal. Another idea, one that to me seems more likely: If Joseph's use of the term "ordain" in translating Moroni 3 is taken more broadly, maybe as synonymous with "set apart", another possibilitiy presents itself. Perhaps "priest" and "teacher" did not refer to administrative/functional capacities that today we call "offices". Maybe they were more akin to what we today would term "callings", like "ward missionary" and "gospel doctrine teacher". The "elders" of the Nephite church in later times referred to the "disciples", meaning specifically the leaders selected by Christ, or the "virtual apostles" of the Nephites. Maybe all Nephite Priesthood leaders were called "elder". In that case, Moroni's statement that the elders or priests administered the sacrament would be like saying that the Church leaders or sacrament-administrators (i.e. those specifically authorized to administer the sacrament) took care of that ordinance. All speculation, of course; but knowing that the Aaronic Priesthood did not exist among the Nephites, and without further historical information, it may be the best we can do. > They further state (IIRC) that they could officiate in the > ordinances of the law of Moses through the authority of the > Melchizedek priesthood. This makes sense. Since the Aaronic Priesthood is a part of the higher Priesthood, it is reasonable that any holder of the higher Priesthood could officiate in a duty of the lesser Priesthood. Stephen ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^================================================================ This email was sent to: email@example.com EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n.YXJjaGl2 Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register ==^================================================================