Just by looking at the title alone I can see how this could easily turn into a very, very long article, but for the sake of your time, and my sanity, I’ll try to keep it short. If you’d like to indulge in some further reading on Mormon Priesthood, I’ve provided some links below.
Okay, before we begin, and in case you’re not sure what the Mormons mean by “priesthood” here’s a short definition:
“priesthood is the power and authority that God gives to man to act in all things necessary for the salvation of God’s children. The blessings of the priesthood are available to all who receive the gospel.” (lds.org, Priesthood)
All temple worthy males in the Mormon Church can receive the priesthood, and act in the confines of its authority. Mormons believe that it’s through the power of the priesthood that they can be sealed to loved ones forever in the temple, and perform other temple ordinances for the dead, all of which brings salvation to those receive these ‘blessings’.
Women also benefit from the priesthood. In Daughters of My Kingdom (page 28) Sheri Dew said,
“The fulness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the house of the Lord can be received only by a man and woman together”
As I read over the message, and the other quotes from various Church leaders, I find it troubling. It’s troubling to me because they completely eliminate Jesus from the true covenant relationship of marriage between a man and a woman. Instead of having Jesus at the center of their marriage, they have the priesthood.
When I first came out of the Church I began studying, and comparing the biblical priesthood with the one in Mormonism. In the end, there was one thing I knew for sure, and that’s the Mormon priesthood has nothing to do with the priesthood of the bible.
One of the passages I think makes this very clear is found in the verses below:
“5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
How about that! We are His own special people, God’s own precious possession, and we bring glory to Him in all we do. In Jesus Christ, we have a royal priesthood, with Him as our high priest. All who have put their trust in Him have access to His presence.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we know we don’t need a mortal man to stand between us and the Father. My hope and prayer is that Mormons will learn this truth as well.
Sheri L. Dew, in Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 128