I have a problem when giving blessings by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood when the priesthood is the priesthood of Jesus Christ. We say that we don’t want to use his name too much. I think we don’t say his name enough. When was the authority changed and by who? Brigham Young never used the Melchizedek Priesthood name. He always said the priesthood of the Son of God.
Let me quote the relevant scripture, then talk with you a bit.
Doctrine and Covenants 107:1-4
1 There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.
2 Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.
3 Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.
4 But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Okay, so guess who told Joseph Smith this? That’s right, Jesus Christ himself. I understand that you feel uncomfortable with using a mortal man’s name in connection with authority that actually comes from Christ. However, the purpose behind the change is honorable. Also, the very fact that Christ never objected to the practice shows that he accepted the gesture for what it was, and that was sincere reverence for his name.
The change actually occured either during or shortly after Melchizedek’s mortal life, so it’s been in effect nearly from the beginning. Joseph Smith recieved the Melchizedek Priesthood under the hands of Peter, James, and John.
The Aaronic Priesthood is also named after a man, and it comes from the same source as the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Law of Moses was nothing of Moses’ creation, nor was the Book of Mormon anything of Mormon’s creation so much as of his editorial labors (With the noted exception of his own book within the Book of Mormon).
The one thing Christ is inseparably connected to is the Atonement. Even the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in books titled “The Gospel according to…Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”. Why? Because if Jesus did write down his Gospel, there is no surviving record of it happening, much less a copy to translate. Does this detract from the record we do have in the bible?
In other words, there is a practice throughout scriptural history that significant items be named after the men in connection with them. It is not to slight the name of Christ, but by omitting it the intent is to honor the name of Christ and what he has done from the beginning through these great men, and I hope you can see this.