Now I have email questions about priesthood. Before setting this aside for more important things, let me add only:
Priesthood has never been confined to one individual. Remember that from Adam to Enoch there were seven living generations with many unnamed priests. Every righteous son of the family of Adam held the priesthood. He led a priestly family. But the names of these other righteous sons have not been fully preserved. Nevertheless, they were “the residue of his posterity who were righteous.” (D&C 107:53.)
The sons of Adam who were named were descended in a direct line from Adam. All of those sons held the same Patriarchal Priesthood, at the same time as their father Adam. There was not a “single individual” who held priesthood. But in each generation, from Adam until Noah, there was one who stood at the head of that generation. This direct line were the Patriarchal heirs, and stood in the position of the Patriarch for that generation. Only one on earth occupies that role for each generation, unless there is an apostasy. In that case, the one would default back (a completely different topic not important to us nor worthy of causing a lot of speculation if I were to give only a brief explanation).
The first seven generations of Patriarchs all held exactly the same priesthood and lived concurrently. Gentiles, in their pride, always want to be “top-dog.” They are unwilling to be saved in the Kingdom of God unless they, like Lucifer, can be at the top of the sides of the north sitting on the Throne of God. (Isa. 14:13.) Fools all. No comprehension of how great a price will be required to ascend there. Utterly forgetting that you must be “exactly” like the “prototype of the saved man” to be there. (Lecture Seventh, ¶9.)
Try to keep a few things in mind about priesthood:
There are three different degrees of priesthood. Two of those were in the church in 1835. (D&C 107:1.) Discussed in the Orem talk. (Transcript and audio links on the website)
Although there are different degrees of priesthood, the Patriarchs all held the same at the same time. Check who did the ordaining in the scriptures (D&C 107:41-53), and you will discover that it is always the oldest living (most often Adam during the Patriarchal era) because he stood at the head.
Priesthood can be given, held, and spread widely even though only one will stand at the head of a generation. It is also possible to have generations who have priesthood without a return of the original order held by the Patriarchs. Priesthood and the organization of God’s family on earth are NOT the same thing. Throughout history the absence of this order is the rule. The return of this order is the exception.
As things wind down, there will need to be a return to the beginning. The term “Adam-ondi-Ahman” is a description of an event, not merely a name of a location. When the event happened the first time, the event was used to identify the place. When the final ceremony occurs, it will be “Adam-ondi-Ahman,” no matter what spot in the mountains it is located. It will require a living heir with the same rights as the original Patriarchs, so the return of governance can authorize Christ to return as the “King of kings” and “Lord of lords.” (Rev. 19:16.)
These things are explained in scripture. Study them. If you can’t figure it out, then PRAY AND ASK GOD, who gives to all men liberally and does not upbraid. He will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things. But ask in faith, for if you waiver you will be tossed to and fro like the waves of the sea.
Ordination can and does happen in the Spirit World. (D&C 138:30–this is why it is unnecessary to “ordain” on behalf of the dead; because they can be ordained in the afterlife.)
For the most part this is terribly unimportant for now. It is something I mentioned in passing ONLY for one purpose: to suggest that Joseph Smith had a much bigger concern than just getting women into bed when he rolled out the idea of sealing, eternal families, exaltation and the eternity of the marriage covenant (all part of Section 132). A tiny, tiny part of that picture involved the subject that subsequently fixated Mormonism. Brigham Young wanted to breed, and wanted to establish it as a “fundamental part of his religion” so it would pass the legal challenge under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Joseph Smith was not Brigham Young. Brigham Young did not comprehend the things Joseph comprehended. It is time to throw away the detour Brigham Young imposed on Mormonism and to search into and reclaim what began with Joseph. You cannot get into heaven without sealing, eternal families, exaltation through the eternity of the marriage covenant. Satan has controlled Mormonism through this distraction and caused incalculable harm to the work God began with Joseph Smith. Plural marriage is hell.
It is a distraction to be fixated on the issue of how to get what the Patriarchs had. We are like Abraham, our “fathers, having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them,” (Abr. 1:5) and are now left to go back across the apostate generations separating us, like him, from the Patriarchs. We must become “one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge.” (Abr. 1:2.) He had to first search for the truth. THAT is our big challenge. Until it is accomplished we needn’t concern ourselves with how to obtain the ordination from the last holder (Melchizedek in Abraham’s day D&C 84:14). Melchizedek had tarried to hand off the Patriarch’s status to a descendant, and when Abraham finally returned to claim the right, Melchizedek conferred it and then departed. Do not worry about how God plans to accomplish this. Just know He will.
Before any of this is important a great deal more pressing challenges must be addressed. In fact, the more fully it is explained, the more likely it is that pretenders will begin to make false claims to hold something God has not given and will not give to the vain, ambitious, aspiring, and proud gentiles who think themselves chosen by Him. God requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Love one another and serve one another and leave God’s work for His hand to accomplish.
We need to repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and learn to become “one” with each other through the Doctrine of Christ. That is a formidable challenge. It will require patience and kindness towards one another. Community participants are much abused, hold many legitimate complaints and are fearful that abuse will continue in yet another gathering of believers. We need to be patient and loving to one another. We need to give each other the opportunity to come out from the corrupt, manipulative and compulsive congregations we have fled or been cast from.
Learn from our errors. Give each other the kindness and respect of allowing legitimate fears gained by sad experience to be overcome. The return and reconstruction of God’s family will not be necessary unless we are worthy of it. Leave it for God to decide when we have done enough to justify Him moving His hand again to restore that which was lost. What need is there for a family head if there is no family to organize? When He does that, it will be through “a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.” (D&C 113:6.) There will be people “whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel, and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.” (D&C 113:8.) God will send one who “holds the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.” (D&C 85:7.) Become that person. Work on your own faith, spirit and challenges and allow God to fulfill His promises in His own due time through His way.
It will happen. But you may be left without a part of that inheritance if you neglect the duties now devolving on you. Stop running about to hear every new thing offered by those willing to fill your itching ears. Stop listening to toxic flattery about your greatness. Stop listening to fables, conjecture, half-truths, vanity, foolishness and the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. We are a failure until we see Zion. And we are a long, long way short of that mark.