JST Genesis 14:31 quoted below includes “stand in the presence of God,” as a power that belongs to this higher priesthood order.
31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.
(JST Genesis 14:31.)
And, enjoying the presence of God is elsewhere clearly defined as a potential blessing that is a part of the Melchizedek priesthood common among us today.
The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church—To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. (D&C 107:18-19)
Thus, our present Melchizedek Priesthood is the doorway to entering the Holy Order. Our present priesthood gives us the right, and the ability, to seek the presence of Deity, and the Holy Order is a society of those who have thus obtained.
Obtaining the Melchizedek Priesthood is an ordinance performed by the laying on of mortal hands, and, as we have discussed previously, entering the Holy Order is an ordination performed by God Himself.
We have discussed the following verse at some length previously, but let us look at it again in a new light. The promise of this verse is that we may become ordained of God—which is viewed in this context as being an ordination by God, under His hands, and by the calling of His own voice. (see JST Genesis 14:29)
26 He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all.
27 Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son. (D&C 50:26-27, italics added)
By this ordination “of God” we become possessors of all things because all things are subject unto us. The Lord personally ordained Noah and Enoch this same way, and they both possessed miraculous priesthood power.
19 And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch. (Moses 8:19)
Elder Oliver Cowdery made this powerful statement to the early apostles:
Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid his hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid his hands upon his disciples, why not in latter days? . . . (Oliver Cowdery, HC, 2:192-98)
Commenting upon Elder Cowdery’s statement, Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
Few faithful people will stumble or feel disbelief at the doctrine here presented that the Lord’s apostolic witnesses are entitled and expected to see his face, and that each one individually is obligated to “call upon him in faith in mighty prayer” until he prevails. But the Twelve are only a dozen in number. There are seldom more than fifteen men on earth at a time who have been ordained to the holy apostleship, which brings us to another statement made by Elder Cowdery in his apostolic charge: “God does not love you better or more than others.” That is, apostles and prophets do not gain precedence with the Lord unless they earn it by personal righteousness. The Lord loves people, not office holders. Every elder is entitled to the same blessings and privileges offered the apostles. . . . All of the elders in the kingdom are expected to live the law as strictly as do the members of the Council of the Twelve, and if they do so live, the same blessings will come to them that flow to apostles and prophets.
(Bruce R. McConkie, TPM, 594., italics added)
This is the second comforter, the great personal appearance of Christ to those who enter the Holy Order. While in His glorious company, He will lay his hands upon our heads and ordain us to the new and grand order.
How can mortal men and women arise to an accomplishment which is so unthinkably wonderful that it can only reside in the human psyche by virtue of powerfully revealed truth? The answer is supremely simple:
Begin where you are. Take the Holy Spirit for your guide. Be faithful in all things. Be as fearless and constant in obedience as you are able, constantly moving toward the light. Do this, and you will, in the due time of the Lord, arrive in His presence.
24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. (D&C 50:24)
The “perfect day” will dawn when we become perfect by the continual reception of light, which grows brighter and brighter within us until we are like unto God, purified and worthy. Then, all darkness will depart, and the pure in heart will see God. The very next verse states:
25 And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you; (D&C 50:25)
And in that purified and rarified atmosphere of light and total absence of darkness, we will be:
26 . . . ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all.
27 Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son. (D&C 50:26-27)
Such a powerful and incredible outcome to mortality! We shall be changed into the Christ pattern (which is godliness), be ordained to the Holy Order (of Enoch and Zion), and be sent forth by the will of the Father, through Jesus Christ, His Son, to become and to build Zion.
And according to JST Genesis 14:30 quoted above, the privilege of being in the presence of God belongs to this higher order and calling of the priesthood.
Then in the next verse the promise of power in the priesthood is given. We shall ask whatsoever we will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done!
28 But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin.
29 And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. (D&C 50:28-29)
And in that state of righteousness, with our hearts and souls, mind and might dedicated to Christ, with the fullness of priesthood power, as members of the Holy Order, as citizens and practitioners of Zion, we shall not ask amiss because we shall know the will of Christ with perfect clarity:
30 But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask;
Then, we shall have this greater priesthood power that Moses exhibited when he divided the Red Sea, which Enoch employed to move mountains and protect his people; which Christ used to walk upon the water and raise the dead, and which all the righteous of every dispensation have enjoyed when they climbed the mountain of unbelief and arrived at the face of God.
Those who do surmount this one grand priesthood precipice will become a member of an eternally elite and very exclusive order of those who have been ordained under the hands of God in mortality. They will be members of The Holy Order after the Son of God.
It follows that the priesthood is the power, authority, and means that prepares men to see their Lord; also, that in the priesthood is found everything that is needed to bring this consummation to pass. Accordingly, it is written: “The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church—To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” D&C 107:18-19) (McConkie, TPM, pp. 587, italics added)
© May 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.