Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Function of the Priesthood

In “There Are Save Two Churches Only,” we learned this:
D&C 10:67-68
Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.  Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.
And we learned this:
1 Nephi 14:10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.
In “The Teaching that Characterizes the Church of God,” we learned that the teaching that characterizes the church of God is this:
Mosiah 25:22 And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God.
This, of course, makes sense, since Christ also said this:
3 Nephi 11:31-40
Behold
verily verily I say unto you
I will declare unto you my doctrine
and this is my doctrine
and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me
and I bear record of the Father
and the Father beareth record of me
and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me
and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men everywhere
to repent and believe in me
and whoso believeth in me and is baptized the same shall be saved
and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God
and whoso believeth not in me and is not baptized shall be damned

verily verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine
and I bear record of it from the Father
and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also
and unto him will the Father bear record of me
for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost
and thus will the Father bear record of me
and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me
for the Father and I and the Holy Ghost are one

and again I say unto you
ye must repent
and become as a little child
and be baptized in my name
or ye can in nowise receive these things

and again I say unto you
ye must repent
and be baptized in my name
and become as a little child
or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God

verily verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine
and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them
and whoso shall declare more or less than this
and establish it for my doctrine
the same cometh of evil
and is not built upon my rock
but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation
and the gates of hell stand open to receive such
when the floods come and the winds beat upon them
Repent means turning from one’s own ways and thoughts to voluntarily bringing one’s thoughts and behavior into conformity law and commandments of God, which one will only do if one fully trusts Jesus Christ, which is what it means to believe in him.  Who but they who believe Jesus, and believe in Jesus, trusting in him, who place their faith and confidence in him, would give to every man that asks, yield in any lawsuit without a fight, not store up temporal substance for himself in this world, but distribute his substance to the poor, &c., as Christ commanded in the Sermon?

Which brings us to the next question: if the church of Christ is defined as all they who repent and keep the commandments of Jesus as delivered in the Sermon, that being the current law and commandments of God unto all mankind, and come to him, and if there is nothing preached among those who are of the church of Christ save it be repentance and faith in Christ, then what is the function of the priesthood of the church of Christ?

The short answer is: the function of the priesthood of the church of Christ is to teach the commandments of God that men may come into his presence in the eternal world through obedience to them.  Today that entails teaching the Sermon, which is the strait and narrow way.

Alma 13:1, 6 - high priests are called for the purpose of teaching the commandments of God unto men that they may enter into the rest of God as the high priests have.

D&C 84:23-24 - the rest of God is the fulness of his glory, apparently including his presence (see also D&C 76:116-118).

D&C 22 - nobody can enter in at the strait gate by the Law of Moses, which has been done away.

1 Nephi 13:35-36, 40-41; 2 Nephi 25:27-30; Mosiah 13:27; Alma 13:24, 16:16-17, 25:15; 3 Nephi 1:24-25, 12:19, 12:46-47, 15:1-10; 4 Nephi 1:12; Luke 16:16 - the Law of Moses is fulfilled and done away; the Sermon is the law and commandments of God unto all mankind: the rock of Christ, and his salvation.
Mosiah 23:14 And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.
Since we have the commandments of Jesus in Luke 6:20-49, Matthew chapters 5 through 7, and 3 Nephi chapters 12 through 14, it is not hard to discern who walks in the ways of God and keeps his commandments, so long as we are ourselves walking in the ways of God and keeping his commandments.