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Scriptures Project


Gospel Topics

Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood

When discussing the responsibility and privilege of receiving the Melchizedek priesthood, we usually talk about the Oath and Covenant that come with ordination and suggest to the young man that if he is faithful he will receive as promised by the Savior, "all that may Father hath". But it is possible that we have not fully understood the scripture?

33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
What does it mean to "obtain" the priesthood? Does that just come from ordination? If you will notice in verse 42 that this priesthood is being conferred by the voice of God, "which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens". See also JST Genesis 14:29, "And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name."

34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
Does just being ordained mean that we "receive me, saith the Lord" That sounds like the Second Comforter. And in fact the rest of this Oath and Covenant sounds like it is talking about someone that has received the Second Comforter.

36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
After receiving the Second Comforter, the Son introduces us to the Father.

38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
This sounds very much like "the greatest of all the gifts of God" which is Eternal Life. But here again that is a promise to those that have their Calling and Election Sure. And if you receive "all that my Father hath" you surely must have also had your Calling and Election Sure. You would have Eternal Life. See D&C 14:7, "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." or D&C 6:11-13 "thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.".

39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.
41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.
In this penalty we see that we are not talking about simply an ordination to the priesthood.

42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you. (D&C 84:33-42)

How many young men have been taught that when they are ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood they have this wonderful privilege of having all that the Father hath by simply magnifying their callings in the church as they exercise the priesthood. But is that what the scripture is saying? Look at the penalty of those that "breaketh the covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom." It says that they "shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come." That sounds like the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost. This would surely not apply to some elder who went inactive.

All sins shall be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When a man begins to be an enemy to this work, he hunts me; he seeks to kill me, and never ceases to thirst for my blood. He gets the spirit of the Devil-- the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life,--the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance: they make open war like the Devil, and awful is the consequence. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 358)

Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. (Mark 3:28-29)

If we look further at this scripture in D&C 84 we can see that we have not understood. Notice in verse 42 that the priesthood that was being discussed was given directly from God. "which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens;" Which suggests that we need to go back to verse 35 and understand that verse to truly mean receiving the Lord, i.e. The Second Comforter.