Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16804
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Sep 2013, 19:16

The following was mentioned in another thread, and I didn't want to derail that thread, so I am copying it here:
a video about teenage boys temporarily losing their priesthood power for being unkind or stealing and then gaining it back when they apologized and set things right.


I'm wondering how many people see this as a bad or incorrect teaching - that people can lose their priesthood power through their actions and regain that power by repenting, which is how I read the description above.
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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7103
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Sep 2013, 19:35

Thanks for starting the new thread. I'm trying to find the video (it must be on the church site somewhere). I guess I'm a believer in once one has the priesthood, he always has it. I suppose the discussion could be about the power of the priesthood. As an inactive and questioning and doubting member, I have not used my priesthood in some time, but I'm not sure it would be any less effective - really, what do we do with it anyway? I haven't ever witnessed or even heard of an actual mountain mover, and while I believe in healing by the laying on of hands, I'm not actually sure I have ever witnessed that, either. maybe I'll chime in again after I find that video.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

conflicted testimony
Posts: 46
Joined: 05 Aug 2013, 15:34

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by conflicted testimony » 08 Sep 2013, 19:43

I don't know about losing the priesthood over minor things, but my husband believes he no longer has the power of the priesthood through being inactive, not tithing and not living the word of wisdom. He also believes that when he decides to go back to church and follows the commandments it will be restored to him. He is not one for reading anything, let alone scriptures, so his feeling either come from church teaching or personal revelation.

To teach that losing the priesthood for being "unkind" smacks of emotional blackmail aimed at youth to keep them in line. Not a good thing.

User avatar
MayB
Posts: 139
Joined: 15 May 2013, 10:01

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by MayB » 08 Sep 2013, 19:47

Yes, DarkJedi, there is a video like that. Admittedly, I wasn't paying super close attention to it and my summary might be a little negatively biased because I was irritated by the lesson as a whole.

The video clip came from a D&C supporting resources DVD that our teacher had. I don't know how recent it is. It portrays a teenage boy who, under peer pressure, steals something from the store. He is later asked by a little neighbor girl if he will baptize her next week. He feels guilty about stealing and decides he can't do the baptism until he straightens things out. He returns to the store, pays for the item and confesses to his dad. Then he prays and he is able to perform the baptism. There is also a young man who yells at his sister and belittles a smaller boy in a basketball game and then seeks forgiveness. All this is set against images of a dam and flowing water providing electricity to a home as an analogy for the priesthood communication with heaven. After the transgressions, the dam is shut down and the home no longer has any power. When things are set right again, the water starts to flow and the power is restored. We also hear a prophetic voice (not sure if it is a specific prophet) talking about how the priesthood power is given and can be taken away or something like that.
MayB

Tobin
Posts: 52
Joined: 01 Sep 2013, 13:04

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by Tobin » 08 Sep 2013, 20:00

I have a slightly different view of priesthood. I view it simply as different types of authority.

In my opinion, the priesthood that Mormons employ, the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood, are merely ecclesiastical (and man-made) in nature. They should never be confused with the real priesthood or authority of God. This authority comes from God himself and no man can give it to you. So I really don't understand those in the LDS Church that claim they have this priesthood and then lose it?!? They never had it in the first place. And it is self-evident in my view about who really has God's Priesthood. Signs follow them. The lame walk. The blind see. And all sorts of what we would call miracles follow them.

However, my own take on this is these people have the right to call upon God's technology to influence events on our planet. Few beings throughout our history have ever been given this right and for good reason. If I were an advanced species, I would not give a primitive species such as we are, the ability to utilize this type of technology. Almost none of us could control our desires to abuse such power and it would ultimately be destructive in our hands.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7103
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Sep 2013, 20:08

Thanks, May. I haven't found the video yet, and I do have to go to bed soon - seminary starts in the morning and it is my job to wake the boys.

I guess I can see the worthiness connection here. I consider myself fairly worthy, my "sin" being that I don't attend church - but I do live the gospel and keep the commandments at least as well as when I did attend church. Certainly a member's feeling of worthiness has to figure into how he feels about using the priesthood - whether the priesthood would actually be less effective if he did anyway is probably worth thinking about. Say, taking your description of the video, that the boy didn't repent and baptized the girl anyway. Is the girl's baptism not in effect or, for lack of a better word, "legal?" I'm thinking that since the girl had no idea of his worthiness, it would be no different than any other baptism, and maybe even if she did know - he does have the authority, which I think is mostly what the priesthood really is (although I don't deny that there is an actual power there).

So, is it a good thing to teach? The gospel is at least in part about repentance, doing good, loving your neighbor, loving God, so yeah, it's good to teach those things. Are there other and/or better ways to teach it? Sure. A theme I see on these forums often is people trying to deal with guilt piled on by teachings of the church (which may or may not be doctrinal teachings). I attempt to deal with that myself, and have not come to terms with it yet. Tying this in with another thread, was JS unworthy to exercise his priesthood because of his alleged polyandry? Maybe that's what was happening that leads some people to believe he was a fallen prophet (which I do not believe, to be clear). Time to ponder some more (and go to bed).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16804
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Sep 2013, 21:39

Just to make the point, the description of the video didn't say the boys lost their priesthood or their priesthood authority. It said they lost their priesthood power temporarily. I think that concept is taken from D&C 121, albeit in a passage about unrighteous dominion, and it is a distinction that has been made a lot lately about the difference between "having the Priesthood" and "having power in the Priesthood" - and I really like the fact that it was framed as a temporary condition that can be rectified through repentance (in the wording, by "making it right").

I don't want people to feel like they lose Priesthood power every time they make a mistake, and I don't believe in classic guilting or shaming, but I don't mind the message that doing things that are quite obvious in their severity (after all, not stealing is one of the Ten Commandments) can move me away from godliness and affect how I am able to be a channel for God's power to be manifested.

It's kind of a thin line for me, but I don't mind the wording of the description of the video. I think it's a simple reminder of a couple of important principles - and I actually like that being unkind was one of the examples used. That is a direct violation of the second great commandment, and we tend to ignore it so easily. I know I always regret it when I realize I have done so.
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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7103
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Sep 2013, 13:21

Tobin wrote:I have a slightly different view of priesthood. I view it simply as different types of authority.

In my opinion, the priesthood that Mormons employ, the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood, are merely ecclesiastical (and man-made) in nature. They should never be confused with the real priesthood or authority of God. This authority comes from God himself and no man can give it to you. So I really don't understand those in the LDS Church that claim they have this priesthood and then lose it?!? They never had it in the first place. And it is self-evident in my view about who really has God's Priesthood. Signs follow them. The lame walk. The blind see. And all sorts of what we would call miracles follow them.

However, my own take on this is these people have the right to call upon God's technology to influence events on our planet. Few beings throughout our history have ever been given this right and for good reason. If I were an advanced species, I would not give a primitive species such as we are, the ability to utilize this type of technology. Almost none of us could control our desires to abuse such power and it would ultimately be destructive in our hands.
I have to respectfully disagree, Tobin. I do believe the priesthood came from God and that he assigned his angels to ordain JS who passed it on. This is similar to the pattern with the ancient Hebrews and makes sense a similar pattern would occur in the restored gospel. And, as I stated earlier, I do think the priesthood is mostly about having the authority to do things, but I also believe there is an actual power sometimes associated with that authority. The closest I can come is blessing of the sick, which I admit I have never seen anyone actually healed that couldn't have just been attributed to medical practice, the body's own amazing healing power, faith, or a combination of those. I do believe it is possible, however, and I do believe it is possible for other priesthood power to manifest itself. I think the limitation is actually human and based on faith or lack thereof.

Ray, I agree. The first reference and more expanded reference to the video are quite different, no disrespect to MayB intended. There is a difference in the authority of the priesthood, the power of the priesthood, and worthiness to exercise either. I see no harm in emphasizing that one should feel worthy to exercise the priesthood, but I also believe that is a personal matter between the individual and God.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Tobin
Posts: 52
Joined: 01 Sep 2013, 13:04

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by Tobin » 09 Sep 2013, 13:30

DarkJedi wrote:
Tobin wrote:I have a slightly different view of priesthood. I view it simply as different types of authority.

In my opinion, the priesthood that Mormons employ, the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood, are merely ecclesiastical (and man-made) in nature. They should never be confused with the real priesthood or authority of God. This authority comes from God himself and no man can give it to you. So I really don't understand those in the LDS Church that claim they have this priesthood and then lose it?!? They never had it in the first place. And it is self-evident in my view about who really has God's Priesthood. Signs follow them. The lame walk. The blind see. And all sorts of what we would call miracles follow them.

However, my own take on this is these people have the right to call upon God's technology to influence events on our planet. Few beings throughout our history have ever been given this right and for good reason. If I were an advanced species, I would not give a primitive species such as we are, the ability to utilize this type of technology. Almost none of us could control our desires to abuse such power and it would ultimately be destructive in our hands.
I have to respectfully disagree, Tobin. I do believe the priesthood came from God and that he assigned his angels to ordain JS who passed it on. This is similar to the pattern with the ancient Hebrews and makes sense a similar pattern would occur in the restored gospel. And, as I stated earlier, I do think the priesthood is mostly about having the authority to do things, but I also believe there is an actual power sometimes associated with that authority. The closest I can come is blessing of the sick, which I admit I have never seen anyone actually healed that couldn't have just been attributed to medical practice, the body's own amazing healing power, faith, or a combination of those. I do believe it is possible, however, and I do believe it is possible for other priesthood power to manifest itself. I think the limitation is actually human and based on faith or lack thereof.
I understand your beliefs. However, I don't think they are borne out by the facts. I can not think of anyone in the modern Mormon era that possess this priesthood of God (as I described it). And yes, I know that Mormons bless the sick and do other such things and God may from time-to-time intervene (we have some urban legends at least to that effect). This is not what I'm talking about however. Someone who really possesses the authority of God (or priesthood if you like) commands a thing and it happens. There is no question about it what-so-ever. I do not believe this type of authority is possessed by anyone on the Earth at this time. All Mormons (and others of faith) have are man-made ecclesiastical priesthoods. They possess no authority outside of their religious role and can not demonstrate such an authority with the signs I've already pointed out.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16804
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Losing Priesthood Power and Getting It Back

Post by Curt Sunshine » 09 Sep 2013, 14:35

I understand your beliefs. However, I don't think they are borne out by the facts.


I disagree - and I also have a hard time with establishing "the facts" when it comes to things like this. "The facts" ends up being "the stuff I've experienced personally and the stuff of which I'm aware that I trust to have happened as someone else sees them". My experiences, for example, present different "facts" than yours appear to present.
Someone who really possesses the authority of God (or priesthood if you like) commands a thing and it happens.


This is a great example of what I said above. You haven't seen this, but I have. Thus, our "facts" differ.

Now, my definition of priesthood power is much more expansive than most members (more along the lines of "the priesthood of believers", including non-Mormons and Mormon women), but I really do believe in the concept of priesthood power.
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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Post Reply