We all know from Sunday School that the Aaronic Priesthood was restored on May 15, 1829, but what about the Melchizedek Priesthood? Why don't we know more details surrounding that even?
From historical records and first-hand accounts from prophets and apostles, we can learn a lot more about the restoration of this sacred priesthood than we might learn in Sunday School.
We have celebrated the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood from the time I was a young boy. We were in the St. Louis Missouri Stake and I remember gathering for wonderful fathers and sons outings in various places with amazing speakers and meals and campouts that commemorated this amazing event. I never remember once celebrating the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood. I think we didn’t because we didn’t know the exact date or many details of that sacred event. We actually know more than we think.
The Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood
There has been much discussion over the years about determining the exact date of the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood under the hands of the ancient apostles Peter, James, and John. In the broadest range, every evidence points to the fact that this sacred event took place sometime between Friday, May 15, 1829 and August of 1830. Specific evidence, however, points to a much narrower field.
We have always had the date for Section 18 of the Doctrine and Covenants listed as June 1829. This section seems to offer a clue to our search for the date of the event. Verse 9 may be a key:
And now, Oliver Cowdery, I speak unto you, and also unto David Whitmer, by the way of commandment; for, behold, I command all men everywhere to repent, and I speak unto you,even as unto Paul mine apostle, for you are called even with that same calling with which he was called (emphasis added). It appears from this language that the keys of the apostleship had already been given. But we don’t know the date of this section. Or do we?