What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

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SilentDawning
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What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by SilentDawning » 26 May 2019, 16:18

Had an interesting Priesthood meeting today.

The teacher told an interesting story about a stake presidency in a well-educated part of America. Apparently, it had crept into the culture of that area that if someone was to be called to a high profile leadership position, they had to have at least a Master's Degree.

The teacher indicated Dallin H Oakes came to the area, learned about it, and told the Stake Presidency that they had fallen into priestcraft as a result. He also made that point that if JS was alive in their stake, as an ordinary member, that SP would have denied him a calling. So, he rebuked them as a result.

My question -- recognizing it's unacceptable to limit leadership callings to people with a certain level of education, would you call this practice priestcraft? What is the definition of priestcraft, and would this practice qualify as priestcraft?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 May 2019, 19:37

Priestcraft is understood to be preaching for personal profit. With that definition, your example wouldn't fit that term.

Having said that, I am happy it was rebuked by Elder Oaks. It absolutely goes against the foundation of our history regarding local leadership and fits the description of apostate teachings, as well as the entire story of the the class divisions of Ammonihah.
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

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SilentDawning
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by SilentDawning » 26 May 2019, 20:40

I agree that their unwillingness to call anyone to a leadership position unless they had a Master's Degree was something worthy of rebuke. However, I wouldn't call it priestcraft.

Different forms of exclusion occur in the church when callings are under consideration. In one area all the big callings were held by people in certain families, and they rotated...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

BJE
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by BJE » 26 May 2019, 21:09

I’d be curious to know how many general authorities do not have college degrees.

BJE
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by BJE » 26 May 2019, 21:11

From lds.org

Priestcraft
Men preaching and setting themselves up for a light to the world that they may get gain and praise of the world; they do not seek the welfare of Zion (2 Ne. 26:29).

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DarkJedi
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by DarkJedi » 27 May 2019, 05:16

I agree this was not priestcraft and I agree with the rebuke.

FWIW I believe almost all of the GAs have at least a bachelor's degree with the possible exception of some of those from SA and Africa - but they generally do as well. I guess the only way to figure that out is to go read al of their profiles, and I don't want to spend time doing that. I will say on the local level here, my SP actually has a doctorate but most people don't know that and he doesn't flaunt it. The HC does consist of a couple college professors, a lawyer, and a dentist, but we also have a contractor and a guy who I don't know what he does but it's a run-of-the-mill job. There are a couple others who I don't know what they do, and when I was called I was unemployed. Most of them don't know what I do now or my level of education.
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."

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SilentDawning
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by SilentDawning » 27 May 2019, 07:08

I don't mind if you find, that through luck, the people with advanced degrees end up in leadership positions. But to make it a conscious requirement is clearly wrong.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by Roy » 27 May 2019, 09:03

I am currently pondering the ways that the LDS church and membership is elitist. We are the cream of the cream of the cream.

However, we are also fairly egalitarian and universalist. In our temple worship all are alike, priesthood is given to all male members 12 and up, and our theology grant nearly everyone into a heavenly kingdom of glory.

I understand why many leadership calling would tend to go to wealthy individuals. Because those people are wealthy they might be good organizational managers (uncertain correlation to be sure ;) ), they may be less likely to be tempted to steal from the church, and they may have time to "volunteer" time to the church without risking their livelihood. I also understand why leadership callings tend to go to relatives of current leadership - Those you know and trust tend to be top of mind. I also understand that there might be a preference for lifetime members "BIC" over converts by thinking that lifetime members are more firmly entrenched in the church.

I think most of those trends in callings are unspoken and certainly not strict requirements.

I honestly do not understand what a requirement of a master's degree would hope to gain. Given that this appears to be an uncorroborated anecdotal story, I am rather suspicious. Church culture as I understand it would lean heavily against an individual leader creating such an additional requirement. It is hard for me to imagine a place in America where the local culture could differ so strongly from broader Mormon culture.

However, it does not seem to be priestcraft from my definition.

Some callings, including EQP, require the individual to be a full tithing payer. Could that be said to be priestcraft?
Temple ordinances require the individual to be a full tithing payer. In some situations, the only barrier to temple attendance is tithing payments. Could that be priestcraft? Or is it only priestcraft when an individual is deriving personal enrichment from their controlling the access to godly rituals?
"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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"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by SilentDawning » 27 May 2019, 14:54

Roy wrote:
27 May 2019, 09:03
Some callings, including EQP, require the individual to be a full tithing payer. Could that be said to be priestcraft?
Temple ordinances require the individual to be a full tithing payer. In some situations, the only barrier to temple attendance is tithing payments. Could that be priestcraft? Or is it only priestcraft when an individual is deriving personal enrichment from their controlling the access to godly rituals?
If you accept Curtis' definition of ministering for personal profit, then you could argue that anyone in a paid, ecclesiastical position is engaging in priestcraft. We know that many people at the top are paid, and it seems appropriate -- how do you expect someone to work full time for the church and sustain themselves and their families? You can't, so they have to be paid.

The term 'priestcraft' therefore has no consistent meaning to me anywhere. So I reject the concept as something I can detect.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What is Priestcraft? Is THIS Priestcraft?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 May 2019, 19:14

I think we over-apply the term to people who are getting paid for their service but aren't doing it with the motive of "getting gain or recognition". To me, a humble preacher, minister, priest, etc. who does it for the love of God and to serve isn't involved in priestcraft; that person simply is getting paid for full-tile religious service (like our top leadership).

OTOH, a minister who appears to be doing it solely or primarily for fame and fortune (like one I knew who bought a new Cadillac every year and went on an expensive vacation every year - or like so many televangelists) . . . To me, that is a perfect example of priestcraft.
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

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