15 October 2006

Abraham Part VI: Defining the Priesthood

Sought:

"...sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same..."
Abraham states what he desires, but it is not the same as what he seeks. This is not a foreign concept for those who have read Matthew 6:23:
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
In this manner, Abraham does not seek learning so that he can "possess a greater knowledge," he does not seek personal enrichment so that he can be a "greater follower of righteousness," and so on. In order to obtain the blessings he desires, he seeks the priesthood.

This gives us interesting insight into how Abraham viewed the priesthood and its effect on those who exercise it. If asked to define the priesthood, Abraham might agree with some of the answers we commonly hear: The power of God, An eternal principle, A form of government, An opportunity to serve. But this verse suggests that Abraham might give a different definition: The means by which God’s blessings are realized.

Thinking of the priesthood in this way brings new understanding to the promise made to Abraham in the following chapter (Abraham 2:9,11):
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal."

1 comment:

RobertC said...

So why wasn't Abraham's seeking of the priesthood power an unrighteous desire? My answer is that it has to be that the desire of his heart was pure in that he didn't desire it in a power-hungry way. So to me there is an implicit lesson about the desires of our hearts here (which I think is the ultimate purpose of the law of Moses which was only given later, and of course there is all the talk later by the OT prophets about how Israel was missing the point of the law and sacrifices by not changing their hearts like they should...).

Good points about the significance of the priesthood.