What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

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SilentDawning
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by SilentDawning » 09 Dec 2018, 20:07

When I realized that everything is subject "to the will of God" in exercising the power of God, I realized I don't really have any power at all -- unless somehow I'm able to guess at what God wants, and say it -- all while having a baseline of righteousness I probably am not perceived to have right now.

Do you really have power in that situation? I guess -- limited power.

In terms of being able to act in the name of God for the administration of the kingdom, this gives you power to make decisions. However, this is not much different than what is called "legitimate power" in the management literature on power. There are five sources - -referent, coercive, legitimate, expert and reward power. Legitimate power comes from being installed in a position of authority, in which you inherit power by sheer virtue of your position. This is the sort of power I think BP and SP have.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 09 Dec 2018, 21:08

I can't answer the central questions in any unique way. I certainly don't have special insight into them. However, I can say that there have been a few special times in my life when I truly felt an open connection to the divine and felt like I had been a conduit through that connection.

That doesn't answer your questions, but it is tied somehow to our conception of Priesthood.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Heber13
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Heber13 » 12 Dec 2018, 00:34

My wife is scheduled for surgery in the morning.

Lots of people in my ward are being nice to reach out to us. We have good people in my ward.

Some offered to come help me give her a priesthood blessing. I appreciated it.

I told my wife I was willing if she wanted a blessing. She said thanks but no thanks. I don't think either of us really think there is any magic in it that will change the outcome of the surgery.

Why do you think people want blessings before surgeries? Do they think God will be bound by a priesthood person asking for blessings so he will whisper to the soul of the surgeon or guide his/her hand?

Why do we do that? What is the teaching behind it?

Do you believe it matters? What blessings does the priesthood offer?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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dande48
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by dande48 » 12 Dec 2018, 07:48

Heber13 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 00:34
Why do you think people want blessings before surgeries? Do they think God will be bound by a priesthood person asking for blessings so he will whisper to the soul of the surgeon or guide his/her hand?
I think there are two reasons: Comfort and serenity. It helps people to get in tune with the bigger picture. It helps them to remember, no matter what happens for good or ill, it's all going to be OK. It lets them feel loved, watched over, and cared for by the Supreme Creator.

There is definitely a supernatural belief behind it, where they believe God has his hands in all the little details which lead to the desired outcome. Maybe the holy ghost will whisper to the surgeon to notice a troublesome aspect before it's too late, or prompt them to eat an extra snack beforehand, preventing low-blood sugar and subsequent shaking. Maybe the surgeon's assistants will have good traffic on the way to work, giving them a little more time to spend on their surgical preparations. Maybe God will magically smite troublesome bacteria, or speed up the healing process.
Heber13 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 00:34
Why do we do that? What is the teaching behind it?
Why do we teach this? I think it's because many priesthood holders, mostly Jesus, but also the 12 apostles, right down to Joseph Smith and probably your grandfather, have facilitated miraculous healing through priesthood blessings. The lame could walk, the blind could see. The demons causing mental illness were cast out, and the disease was smitten. I think most members believe any priesthood blessing would do this, if it were God's will (always that caveat).
Heber13 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 00:34
Do you believe it matters? What blessings does the priesthood offer?
It matters because it matters to the person receiving the blessing. I don't believe in any of the supernatural aspects and divine intervention of priesthood blessings. But don't fault anyone for believing in it. I think it can lead into the first two reasons I mentioned, which are very good reasons. When it comes to things outside our control, it's important to accept them, and recognize no matter what happens, it's all part of the "Grand Plan". Everything's going to be OK.

If your wife believes in it, I'd say a blessing would do her some good. If she doesn't, it wouldn't. It might still do a lot of good for the person giving her the blessing, since service allows a person to step outside themselves, and giving a blessing helps the giver to align themselves with the will of something greater. Overall, I'd say the priesthood is a wonderful doctrine, even if in reality it doesn't function the way we teach it functions.
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nibbler
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by nibbler » 12 Dec 2018, 08:15

Heber13 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 00:34
Why do you think people want blessings before surgeries? Do they think God will be bound by a priesthood person asking for blessings so he will whisper to the soul of the surgeon or guide his/her hand?
I think it's related to anxiety. We ask for a blessing because we have anxiety and the blessing helps to calm that anxiety.

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SamBee
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by SamBee » 14 Dec 2018, 14:20

nibbler wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 08:15
Heber13 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 00:34
Why do you think people want blessings before surgeries? Do they think God will be bound by a priesthood person asking for blessings so he will whisper to the soul of the surgeon or guide his/her hand?
I think it's related to anxiety. We ask for a blessing because we have anxiety and the blessing helps to calm that anxiety.
Or because you have pain you want to stop. Remarkably it seems to help with abcesses. I had one greatly relieved by a blessing (I did have dental work too!) and someone else in our priesthood class mentioned a similar experience. The blessing was the one thing which seemed to deaden the pain until I got to a dentist a few days later.

In that case, it wasn't anxiety as such which drove me to get one.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
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Heber13
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Heber13 » 17 Dec 2018, 16:29

dande48 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 07:48
I think there are two reasons: Comfort and serenity. It helps people to get in tune with the bigger picture. It helps them to remember, no matter what happens for good or ill, it's all going to be OK. It lets them feel loved, watched over, and cared for by the Supreme Creator.
I like this thought. Well said. I also agree, that is where the power in it comes from. It is based on faith.
dande48 wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 07:48
If your wife believes in it, I'd say a blessing would do her some good. If she doesn't, it wouldn't. It might still do a lot of good for the person giving her the blessing, since service allows a person to step outside themselves, and giving a blessing helps the giver to align themselves with the will of something greater.
Agreed. And it can connect people together through these things.

Bottom line...it's on the buffet...we can choose to have it be part of our spiritual journey for these reasons, or not.

In our home, we kind of choose not needed.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Roy » 17 Jan 2019, 09:49

I find it interesting to realize that most of the world defines priesthood as a body of priests or brotherhood of priests.

In this context it would be completely accurate to refer to a group of priests as the priesthood (whereas we LDS have lately been discouraged from referring to priesthood holding bodies as "the priesthood").

Does HF hold the priesthood? Does he need to? On earth the LDS priesthood is the authority to act in God's name. I suppose God does not need any kind of authority to act in his own name. The authority to act in one's own name is inherent. Does Heavenly Mother have priesthood? I suppose she likewise has authority to act in her own name … and could potentially delegate that authority (priestesshood?) to her children.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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AmyJ
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Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by AmyJ » 17 Jan 2019, 14:57

Roy wrote:
17 Jan 2019, 09:49
I find it interesting to realize that most of the world defines priesthood as a body of priests or brotherhood of priests.

In this context it would be completely accurate to refer to a group of priests as the priesthood (whereas we LDS have lately been discouraged from referring to priesthood holding bodies as "the priesthood").

Does HF hold the priesthood? Does he need to? On earth the LDS priesthood is the authority to act in God's name. I suppose God does not need any kind of authority to act in his own name. The authority to act in one's own name is inherent. Does Heavenly Mother have priesthood? I suppose she likewise has authority to act in her own name … and could potentially delegate that authority (priestesshood?) to her children.
Interesting. I think that culturally we have defined the "authority" of a Heavenly Mother to physical child-bearing and "nurturing" functions [And are silent about the what-if you aren't able to bear children or be traditionally nurturing]. It is paradoxical because these are usually seen as more passive - but tick off a women enough that she goes all Mama Bear on you, and it is not passive at all.

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