Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ah, those pesky technicalities.

I'm putting the finishing touches on a talk I'll be presenting this Tuesday on Mormonism for NDSU's Science, Religion and Lunch seminar series and came across the most hilarious quote while trying to pin down the date of when the Melchizedek priesthood was restored. This is the account of what happened when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic priesthood, from, a Mormon apologetic site:
Joseph and Oliver Cowdery were told to re-ordain each other to the priesthood after being baptized. This was to follow proper rules of being a member before receiving the priesthood, but in their case they couldn't become members until having the priesthood to baptize each other.

It just reminds me of kids passing cooties to each other. "That's your priesthood!" "No, it's yours!" "Hey, no touch-backs!" It's also a sticky chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. They can't receive the priesthood without being baptized, but they can't be baptized without the priesthood. So they ordain each other, baptize each other, and then re-ordain each other, and then it's all good! God is so mysterious!

Anyway, for any of you locals who want to come hear my speak, it's this Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at noon, Peace Garden room of the Memorial Union on the campus of North Dakota State University. Shoot me an email if you need directions.


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  1. I wonder why they didn't have some angel, like Moroni, come down to baptize them and give them the priesthood...I mean, I wonder why that isn't the story.

  2. Angels are busy people, with all the dancing on the head of a pin and what not.

    Leah, I'm sure your presentation will be excellent.

  3. Yeah! What Amy said. That would make for a much more feasable story, even if it is all just fiction anyway.

    Talking of which, what's this dancing on pin heads business? Sounds like great fiction to me, Bud!

  4. Here's the history on the question:

    TL;DR (too long; didn't read): "In modern usage, this question serves as a metaphor for wasting time debating topics of no practical value."

  5. I would like to suggest that the conundrum presented here is not a result of the mysteriousness of God but that of Joseph Smith.

    All Christians are members of the royal Melchizedek priesthood wherein Jesus is the High Priest(Hebrews and I Peter). The hierarchy that exists in the Mormon church is not found in the Bible and thus the conundrum exists only for Mormons.

    Besides,vhow can one be an Aaronic priest when the Levitical law required you to be from the tribe of Levi? (I.e. Aaron was Moses' brother and they were from the tribe of Levi as were all the Levitical priests) Jesus replaced the Levitical priesthood with the Melchizedek priesthood when he became the High Priest.

  6. Mormons believe in a God, so I think that the term "God" is appropriate for those who used to be Mormon. There seems to be more than one definition of "God." (Catholic, protestant, Jehova, Mormon, etc.) The differences may be subtle, but they are different.

  7. Xuxana, it is fiction, although I'm not sure how "great" it is. :)


Religion, skepticism, and carving out a spiritual life post-Mormonism