The scriptures give fairly specific descriptions of the duties of a bishop, and as we discussed last week, that the bishop should be paid for his duties. This week we review just what the scriptures dictate that a bishop should do, and compare that with what the current role of the bishop is.
1 Timothy 3:1-6
1 Peter 2:25
D&C 42:30-35, 71-73
D&C 51:1-6, 10-15
Thanks for another great podcast guys! On my mission I was the first and only counselor of a small branch (the branch president had just returned from his mission, lived in another city, and only was in town on Sundays, so I basically ran the branch 6/7 days). This was my last area and it was by far my favorite calling that I ever had, because I actually felt like for the first time in my mission that I was able to do what Christ did during his ministry. I went from village to village meeting with the members and finding out what help they needed. I bought groceries and medicine for the sick and the poor. I gave them blessings when they were in need of comfort. I worked with men to overcome their alcoholism. I helped people carry washing machines up flights of stairs, and I taught nonmembers English so that they could get a better job. It was awesome to be able to do what I thought Christ would do for those people if he had been there.
The parts I didn’t enjoy though were interviewing people by reading scripted questions out of the worthless handbook. Those were super awkward. The meetings were alright I guess, but usually not super useful or exciting.
I remember as a kid growing up in Utah that sacrament meetings were usually pretty boring and most of the time I would be either spacing out or reading my scriptures/the hymn book and looking at what scriptures the songs were referencing because I couldn’t stand how boring the talks were. I never liked giving talks as I don’t personally enjoy standing in front of hundreds of people for 10 minutes or more, or even for one minute. However, I remember that almost every time I gave a talk I would have at least one person and often times multiple people to thank me for my great talk because they felt the spirit. And I always wondered why, because I never noticed anyone thanking anyone else for their talks for the most part. It was only later that I think I finally realized why. Whenever I was assigned a topic for a talk I would study the scriptures to find out what I could about the topic and I would write a bulleted list of a few key phrases I wanted to mention, maybe a quote, and then the scriptures I felt were most important for that topic. And that was it. Just one little scrap of paper and I would take my scriptures. I didn’t rehearse anything in advance I simply asked God to help me say what he wanted me to say, and that someone would be able to learn what they needed. And that’s what I always tried to do. As you quoted today, God himself said, “Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man. (84:85)” I have always tried to live by that scripture and it is quite amazing how I usually don’t even end up saying what I wrote down on the page, but instead I will have scriptures pop into my mind, which I will then read, and then that scripture reminds me of another one, and so forth. God doesn’t lie, his words are truth if we will just believe in them, or as Christ said if we will not be of little faith but be believing then all things are possible.
Thanks Paul for sharing your wonderful experiences from your mission being a true disciple of Christ. Truly, when we treasure up continually the words of life, the Lord gives us what to say in the very moment of need. The command and control that is exercised by the LDS church over its members via the Bishop and other authorities is true astonishing when you actually sit back and compare our situation with Scripture. We have effectively managed the Spirit out of the process. We are entirely like the Pharisees of old, but are so blinded that we don’t see it.
Yea, my mission president and I didn’t see eye to eye at all. And at the end of my mission they asked us to write about our experience so I sent him like a five page paper on how the mission rules and handbook had stopped me from being an effective missionary most of the time. And that the way we did missionary work was unscriptural and pharisaical. Obviously they never said anything back to me. My mission was what started me on my long journey of having my eyes opened.
I enjoyed this podcast and liked the topic of priesthood, which I think is very confusing. Growing up in the LDS church, I only ever learned about 2 priesthoods, and not 3. So it makes it difficult to figure out which is which.
We have the Melchizedek, the Patriarchal/Aaronic, and the Levitical; or is it the Melchezedek, the Patriarchal, and the Levitical/Aaronic? I tend to believe it is the first, with Aaronic and Patriarchal being synonymous.
If that is the case, then I don’t believe the LDS church has the Patriarchal priesthood today. I am only aware of two priesthoods being restored:
1) John the Baptist restoring the Aaronic (Patriarchal) in D&C 13
2) Melchizedek and the office of High Priest at the Morley Farm in June 1831
There is no record of the Levitical priesthood being restored, and I think there is a good chance that is the only level of priesthood still around today.
We know the fulness of the priesthood was lost according to D&C 124:28. I believe this is in reference to the highest, the Melchizedek. We also have a declaration by John the Baptist in D&C 13 when he restores that priesthood that it WILL be taken again from the earth when the sons of Levi offer a sacrifice in righteousness.
As a side note, I’ve seen the LDS church point to D&C 13 to claim that the priesthood would never again be taken from the earth when it says just the opposite!
The question is whether the sons of Levi have made an offering unto the Lord in righteousness? Another question is why would this priesthood be taken from the earth when they do so? The answers, I believe, are that D&C 13 is referencing the atonement statute. The reason why this offering happens in conjunction with this priesthood being removed is because it is due to a temporary suspension of God’s wrath because of the rejection of the Gospel by the saints.
I believe that Joseph, Hyrum, Oliver, and Sidney were among those sons of Levi who made this offering. And it was recorded in D&C 110. With that atoning sacrifice, to extend the time of the saints, the priesthood John the Baptist restored would be removed from the earth. If it were to persist through this dark time of apostasy, then why would John the Baptist say what he did in D&C 13?
I believe there is additional support in your discussion of the office of Bishop. The only people who are authorized to hold that office are High Priests of the Melchizedek Priesthood and literal descendants of Aaron. We have lost the Melchizedek Priesthood, so the only options today are literal descendants of Aaron. The church does not search them out and appoint them to the office of Bishop. All of those currently put in that office by the church are not authorized to be there!
The office of the Bishop presides over the Priesthood of Aaron. The LDS church doesn’t have or need valid Bishops because it is lacking the Priesthood of Aaron (Patriarchal) for it to preside over.
I believe the reason we don’t have a record of the Levitical priesthood being restored is that it didn’t need to be restored. It is the preparatory priesthood for Israel when it is in apostasy, both in ancient days and in modern days. It may persist on earth no matter the amount of light or darkness the people live under.
Appreciate your work that goes into these podcasts and I’m interested in your thoughts on the priesthood.
Thanks Mike. I’ve been waiting to see if Searcher, Watcher, or MD might weigh in on this. I’m still seeking to understand priesthood, and God’s intended purpose & function for each of those 3 or 4 different types of priesthood, and for the offices & titles pertaining to each. For example, to which priesthood does the office of Elder belong, since there were already Elders in the church prior to the ordinations at the Morley farm that bestowed the higher (Melchizedek) priesthood for the first time in the latter-day church? Regardless of ranks, titles, offices, etc., it seems to me that genuine “power in the priesthood” (true priesthood power, to work miracles as Jesus did) only comes directly from Heaven, as happened to Adam (Moses 6:64-68); another example the Apostles in the time of Joseph Smith were told that their ordination wouldn’t be complete until God laid his hands on them. And I was wondering if being baptized with fire & with the Holy Spirit is the same thing as being “endowed with power from on high”? The events in Acts 2 are called a baptism of fire, yet other passages say an endowment of power from on high took place there, so apparently these two phrases describe the same thing (the baptism of fire = the true endowment). Is this also the same thing as the unspeakable gift? and same thing as power in the priesthood being bestowed from heaven upon one’s head? We have been told that even the ordinance of baptism isn’t complete until we receive the second part, from God: the baptism of fire & the holy ghost from on high. So, when we actually receive that heavenly gift (of the Holy Ghost), is the fire/spirit, the mind of God that we are filled with, also the priesthood power? Making us God’s son/daughter, begotten of him spiritually, being born again? I experienced what i would describe as a baptism of fire at the hands of robed heavenly beings of light, whom i saw encircling me & gently laying their hands on me bestowing a sphere of light, or in other words, of spirit matter, which, as soon as it touched the crown of my head, flowed into & penetrated “every fiber of my being”, carrying incredible love, light, truth, testimony, the presence of God, etc. It happened in an instant but changed my life forever. I was a mother of 4 young boys at the time, and one more son was born exactly 9 months later. I’m still trying to unwrap & understand this gift 25 years later, because so much was downloaded into me so quickly, & it came as such a totally unexpected overwhelming shock and surprise (i was praying on the floor in a totally broken state of mind at the time, praying for someone else not for myself), suddenly these beings of light were around me, bestowing the light, & immediately after the light touched me & “whooshed” through me & filled me, i perceived the presence of “an innumerable company of angels” above me, who were of one heart & one mind — i was brought into that oneness with them for a brief moment, & i tasted of that communion; i felt amazing love & “knowingness” from each of them individually as well as collectively, and from God himself, IN and THROUGH them. It really can be best described as sharing ONE mind and heart. It was an amazing, indescribably holy & wonderful experience. I never dreamed or imagined something like that could happen. I wasn’t asking God for that type of thing, or for anything at all for myself for that matter, but he just gave it to me out of the blue! I felt like everything in my life up till then had been a dream, and suddenly i was really awake for the first time. Or, like i had been dead before, & was brought to life. Or, like i went from the darkest night into the brightest day. God lives! He loves and cares for even a big dummy, a nobody, a sinner, like me. I’m nothing, but God is everything! All glory, honor, & credit be to him —- for every good thing that is said, done, or that exists. He possesses all love, all power, all knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence, and he wants to transform each of our lives and make us new in his image if we will allow & not deny his spirit (his words, his voice) to enter into our minds & hearts. Thank you Searcher, Watcher, and MD; please clarify the subject of priesthood some more for us if possible.
Here is a link to a very interesting article depicting the church’s current policy on the role of a bishop.
Clearly there are well-meaning intentions and a strong focus on others providing support for those in need. The alarming thing is how the scriptures conflict with this policy. Especially because ‘caring for those in need’ is specifically removed from a bishop’s primary responsibilities.
Only point of contention being who takes the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper first. Who presides receives it first to ratify that it has been properly blessed. This allows an interrupt should it need to be redone. And that’s why it is the presiding officer who is served first, and it follows no particular order from there.