The fact that there was anciently a quorum of Twelve Apostles did not necessarily imply that there should be no more than that number, any more than the fact that there were at least two quorums of Seventies implied that there should be no more of that grade of priesthood. This will be clearly seen by reference to one example. Although Matthias had been called to fill the vacancy caused by the fall of Judas Iscariot, Paul was afterwards called to the Apostleship, when the quorum was full. There was also a full quorum on this continent, while there were at least thirteen Apostles in the old world. In fact, there must have been more even in the old world; for, as already quoted, when Jesus "ascended upon high * * * * he gave some apostles," with other authorities. The quorum was full long before his ascension, except the place of Judas, and that one vacancy was filled soon after. Those that he gave when he ascended were not numbered with the Twelve, Matthias being chosen afterwards.
These remarks are to show our young readers that the statement of religious teachers in the world, (with whom many of them may have to cope in a few years) that there were but twelve, and never to be any more, is incorrect and unscriptural. What we have quoted from the fourth chapter of the Ephesians shows plainly that wherever the Church of Christ is, there must be Apostles to aid in uniting and perfecting the Saints.
What is true with regard to the continuance of Apostles is equally so with regard to all grades of priesthood named in the Old and New Testaments. They are not all named in the above chapter. Those not named directly are given under the general head of helps and governments, and mentioned in other places. In the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th chapters of Hebrews we have a pretty fair explanation of the priesthoods of Melchisedek and Aaron.
Many religious persons in these days take upon themselves to preach. In fact, all the hundreds of different denominations, except the Latter-day Saints, are men-made churches, and have nearly all broken off from the Catholic Church or the Church of England, and, as they deny revelation, have no right to preach, and, in fact, do preach but very little of Christ's gospel. Paul says, while speaking of being called to the above priesthoods, "No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." By reading the 4th chapter of Exodus, 14th, 15th and 16th verses, you will learn how Aaron was called. It was by revelation through an inspired man; and that is also according to the pattern given to Joseph Smith. Not only were Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon and others called in this way, but the Lord, in giving His plan for ordaining men to different offices in the Church, says they shall be ordained according to the gift and calling of God in the one who ordains them. The manner of calling men to preach, we see, is precisely the same as in the days of Moses and of Christ. In fact, it was always the same whenever God had a people on the earth, and always will be.
The patriarchal priesthood, although equal in importance with the other grades, is not so much written about. It seems to have been more of a family than a general church government, although the President of the church held this as well as all other grades of priesthood. Thus, Adam governed the righteous portion of his posterity by this priesthood as long as he lived: and several of his descendents did the same thing.
If children who have good, faithful Latter-day Saints for their parents understood this principle they would never wish to get beyond their control in time nor in eternity. The law of celestial marriage is connected with this priesthood. Not only are men and women sealed for time and all eternity, but the results or offspring of that marriage are just as eternal as the covenant itself. I will say further that it was no more designed in the economy of heaven that children should break off and be independent of their parents than it was that the woman should forsake and be independent of her husband after having been sealed for time and all eternity. It not only places the man at the head of the woman, but constitutes him a father or patriarch to his posterity forever. Of course, he is expected to prove himself worthy to retain his wife or wives and children.
This does not take any blessing from the children, although at first sight it may so seem. It is, in fact, a great blessing to them to have a lather to look up to; not only for the short space of eighteen or twenty-one years, but to all eternity. The children, when they become men and women, and have families, will stand at their head the same as their parents stand to them.
Now, children, is not this lovely? Who would want a better heaven than this? Suppose all the inhabitants of the earth from Adam had observed this law, would not this have been a happy world? If you think it would, I will ask few other questions. Suppose all of you who have good Latter-day Saints for parents, always take their counsel, no matter how old you are. Then suppose they are adopted or sealed to great and good men, and they to others until all the righteous, both the living and the dead, are united in one great family, with Adam and Eve at the head as they would have been if people had remained righteous. Then, suppose Satan should be bound and the wicked destroyed, and Jesus, our elder brother, should come and reign over and with us for a thousand years. Would we not have a happy millennium? Let us try it and see.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Daniel Tyler on Priesthood - Part III
The following is taken from Daniel Tyler, "The Gospel Principles: The Priesthood", The Juvenile Instructor 13/08 (15 April 1878): 86-87.