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My question is; John told Joseph he was acting on behalf of Peter, James, and John. Why did he not bestow the Melchezedik priesthood upon Joseph and Oliver? Did John the Baptist ever hold the higher priesthood?





Dear Dan,

In temples we perform all the ordinances required for salvation. They are:

1. Baptism

2. Confirmation

3. Melchizedek priesthood ordination (for males)

4. Initiatory and endowment

5. Sealing to spouse and parents

Because ordination to the higher priesthood is a required ordinance, and given that he is already resurrected (physically laying hands on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery), I tend to believe that John the Baptist would have received it at some point.

John’s subordination to the early apostles brings to mind that the Aaronic priesthood “is an appendage to the … Melchizedek” (D&C 107:14). It is also in keeping with the stewardship of dispensations. Peter, James, and John could have given Joseph the Aaronic and the Melchizedek priesthoods, as well as the authority over the gathering of Israel and the sealing power (after all, they received these keys on the Mount of Transfiguration). Instead, they delegated John to pass on the keys within his stewardship, and only passed on the keys under their stewardship. Ultimately, all keys are given under the direction of Adam, who is under the direction of Christ (“Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” page 157).






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