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Dear Gramps

Is there an office of President in Melchizedek Priesthood? In first printing of Bible Dictionary and on under Melchizedek Priesthood we find “From latter-day revelation we learn that within the Melchizedek Priesthood are the offices of elder, seventy, high priest, patriarch, apostle, and president (D&C 107)”.  Prophets have referred to being ordained President of the Church (see Gordon B. Hinckley, “This Great Millennial Year,† Ensign, Nov 2000, 7–71). In later Bible Dictionaries the Office of President has been left off.  Any help would be appreciated.


Dear Lee,

I refer you to the 107th section of the Doctrine and Covenants which is a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning the Priesthood of the Church.   Beginning in verse 22 “Of the aMelchizedek Priesthood, three bPresiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and cupheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.”   Further in verse 65 “Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the High aPriesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church;  66 Or, in other words, the aPresiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church.”

When a new President of the Church is chosen by the  he is ordained to that office.  President Benson was ordained President of the Church on 10 November 1985, and President Hinckley indicated in his Conference talk in October 2000 to having been ordained President in 1995, as you mentioned in your e-mail.

The following was given in in the Basic Priesthood Manual:  “Although each Apostle holds all the keys of the priesthood, it is the Lord’s plan that only one man at a time exercise these keys on behalf of the Church. For this reason the senior living Apostle (by date of ordination, not by age) is ordained President of the Church by the Quorum of the Twelve and given the right to exercise all the keys of the priesthood. When he dies, the remaining Apostles ordain the next senior living Apostle (the President of the Quorum of the Twelve) to use his apostolic keys in their fulness as President of the Church.

I am not aware of why the Office of President is not a seperate line item in the Bible Dictionary, but it is referred to in the definition of the Melchizedek Priesthood.


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