"Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.
"And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.
"For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.
"And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.
"And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world; And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.
"And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace." (Genesis 14:26-36, Inspired Version)
When Joseph and Oliver commissioned and ordained twelve Apostles, there were told they were not actually Apostles until they had obtained their own knowledge of Christ. When one is baptized by water, they are not baptized by fire until a time of God's choosing. When one goes through the veil of the temple, the person does not enter heaven on the other side until they actually fulfill the blessings offered to them in the temple. When one is ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood, he does not actually have that most Holy Priesthood until he proves himself acceptable and God Himself gives it to him.
Alma discourses on the Melchizedek Priesthood
"And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
"And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
"Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared—And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest—This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things—Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end—Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.
"Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.
"Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.
"And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest. Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever.
"And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.
"Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention." (Alma 13:1-19)
"He then read the 7th chap. Hebrews....I say to all those who are disposed to set up stakes for the Almighty, You will come short of the glory of God.
"To become a joint heir of the heirship of the Son, one must put away all his false traditions.
"I prophesy and bear record this morning that all the combined powers of earth and hell shall not and cannot ever overthrow or overcome this boy, for I have a promise from the eternal God....
"The power of the Melchizedek priesthood is to have the power of "endless lives;" for the everlasting covenant cannot be broken....There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to here.
"1st. The King of Shiloam. (Salem) had power and authority over that of Abraham, holding the key and the power of endless life. Angels desire to look into it, but they have set up too many stakes. God cursed the children of Israel because they would not receive the last law from Moses.
"The sacrifice required of Abraham in the offering up of Isaac, shows that if a man would attain to the keys of the kingdom of an endless life; he must sacrifice all things. When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law.
"What was the power of Melchizedek? 'Twas not the Priesthood of Aaron which administers in outward ordinances, and the offering of sacrifices. Those holding the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, that priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam.
"Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man; so Melchizedek ordained Abraham and sent him away. Abraham rejoiced, saying, Now I have a priesthood.
"Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.
"How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah the prophet. The law revealed to Moses in Horeb never was revealed to the children of Israel as a nation.
"Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers.
"The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure.
"Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of 'life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.' The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right from the eternal God, and not by descent from father and mother; and that priesthood is as eternal as God Himself, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.
"The 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood.
"The 3rd is what is called the Levitical Priesthood, consisting of priests to administer in outward ordinance, made without an oath; but the Priesthood of Melchizedek is by an oath and covenant.
"The Holy Ghost is God's messenger to administer in all those priesthoods.
"Jesus Christ is the heir of this Kingdom—the only begotten of the Father according to the flesh, and holds the keys over all this world.
"Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens.
"I know a man that has been caught up to the third heavens, and can say, with Paul, that we have seen and heard things that are not lawful to utter." (Joseph Smith, HC 5:28)
There are three priesthoods: Aaronic, Melchizedek and Patriarchal. To be rightly called a priesthood, they must include associations with the powers of heaven.
This priesthood was given for condemnation; to seal up the children of men to the hardness of their hearts, or to lift them. When the children of Israel refused to come into the presence of God they were cursed with this lesser priesthood. This priesthood includes the association of angels which include true messengers that have authorized messages. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jacob, King Benjamin and Joseph Smith are examples of these. The office of the calling of angel is to call men to repentance, to declare the conditions of repentance such that they may enjoy a greater priesthood if they are true and faithful.
Melchizedek (The Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God)
This priesthood is an association with the Savior or Second Comforter. It is not obtained by father or mother or by the will of men, but comes directly from God himself who employeth no servant there. The purpose of this priesthood is to help those who are true and faithful to enjoy a greater priesthood.
This priesthood brings us into association with the Great Patriarch, God the Father. We see an example of this priesthood when Nephi is having a dialogue with both the Father and the Son.
Joseph sought for the saints to obtain these last two priesthoods, which they had previously forfeited. The Lord set the conditions, and Joseph delivered the conditions of repentance to the saints. Those conditions were never fulfilled. (D&C 124)
These associations, or priesthoods are not limited to men, and indeed cannot be obtained by men without a woman.
We can continue to assert that the Nauvoo saints were faithful and that we have a fulness now, but by doing so we damn ourselves because we do not seek for what we could obtain, by the means appointed to obtain them.
As relevant today as when it was uttered.
"All men are liars who say they are of the true Church without the revelations of Jesus Christ and the Priesthood of Melchisedek, which is after the order of the Son of God.
"It is in the order of heavenly things that God should always send a new dispensation into the world when men have apostatized from the truth and lost the priesthood; but when men come out and build upon other men's foundations, they do it on their own responsibility, without authority from God; and when the floods come and the winds blow, their foundations will be found to be sand, and their whole fabric will crumble to dust." (Joseph Smith, HC v. 6)