31737

5 Ways Women Are Already Given Priesthood Authority & Officiate in Priesthood Ordinances in the Church


5. In the temples we enter into the Holy Order of the Son of God.

The Melchizedek Priesthood was originally known as the Holy Priesthood, After the Order of the Son of God. What is this order “after” which the High Priesthood is named and structured? Wikipedia tells us that “religious orders exist in many of the world’s religions and that a religious order is a community of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion usually characterized by the principles of its founder’s religious practice.”

Thus, the Order of the Son of God would be a community of people set apart and organized according to the principles and religious practices of Christianity’s founder, who is Jesus Christ. That is why it’s not called the Order of St. Luke or the Order of St. Joseph or the Order of the Jesuits, but The Order of the Son of God. The Holy Priesthood is “after” this order.

In President Ezra Taft Benson’s stunning article, “What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple,” we read more about this Order. I am quoting him at length:

“When our Heavenly Father placed Adam and Eve on this earth, He did so with the purpose in mind of teaching them how to regain his presence. Adam and his posterity were commanded by God to be baptized, to receive the Holy Ghost and to enter into the Order of the Son of God. To enter into the Order of the Son of God is the equivalent today of entering in to the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is only received in the House of the Lord. Because Adam and Eve had complied with these requirements, (and those requirements again: to be baptized, to receive the Holy Ghost to enter into the Order of the Son of God) God said to each of them, ‘Thou art after the Order of Him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.’”

President Benson then refers to Adam gathering his righteous posterity in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman to give them his last blessing and then says:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith said that Adam blessed his posterity because he wanted to bring them into the presence of God.
How did Adam bring his descendants into the presence of the Lord? By entering into the Priesthood Order of God. Today we would say, ‘They went to the House of the Lord and received their blessings.’ The Order of Priesthood spoken of in the scriptures is sometimes referred to as the Patriarchal Order because it came down from father to son.”

Still quoting:

“But this order is otherwise described in modern revelation as an order of family government where a man and woman enter into a covenant with God just as did Adam and Eve, to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity, and to do the will and work of God throughout their mortality. Adam followed this order and brought his posterity into the presence of God. Moses taught this Order of Priesthood to his people and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God, but they hardened their hearts and could not endure His presence. The Lord further instructed Moses, ‘I will take away the Priesthood out of their midst, therefore, my Holy Order and the ordinances thereof.’ My purpose in citing this background is to illustrate that this Order of Priesthood has been on the earth since the beginning and it is the only means by which we can one day see the face of God and live. Even though the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood have been restored to the earth, the Lord urged the Saints to build a Temple to receive the keys by which this Order of Priesthood could be administered on the earth again, even the fullness of the Priesthood.”

I hope you’ve noted, as I have, that President Benson specifically and ubiquitously refers to both men and women, Adam and Eve, in his description of the Holy Order of the Son of God. “The ordinances and covenants of the temple guide the participation then of both men and women in this Holy Order, culminating in eternal marriage.”

Children, male or female, born to such a union are born in this covenant. And they become legal heirs to all the priesthood blessings, privileges, and responsibilities of that covenant just as the sons of Aaron did in his day. This is contingent, as it was in that period of time, on their later being vested with those priestly identities in the temple. This makes such a birth, to a child born in the covenant, equivalent to a priesthood ordinance for it bestows upon the covenant woman’s posterity a birthright that is both essential and otherwise attainable only through the sealing power of the priesthood.

A child not so born can turn to someone with this sealing power to receive this blessing and birthright through a priesthood ordinance in the temple.

Giving birth may be one way that covenant women participate in the priesthood power of binding on earth what shall be bound in heaven, acting in the earth for the salvation of the human family. So, women can hold priesthood authority, act with priesthood power, perform priesthood ordinances, be vested with priestly identities, and enter the Holy Order of the Son of God which can, alone, bring us back into God’s presence.


Image title

Get more profound insights from Wendy Ulrich with her latest book, Let God Love You: Why We Don't; How We Can.