Friday, July 4, 2014

Ordained to Expound Scriptures

And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.
What a gift this would be, to be ordained to expound scriptures.  So many times, scripture is difficult to understand.  It takes careful listening for the mind of God to really get a good grasp of the meaning of some verses.  Being ordained under the hand of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, would be quite a marvelous privilege.  To have it written permanently in scripture an additional confirmation of the truth of it.

(Joseph Smith, acting as voice)
And what an honor, to be qualified to exhort the church members.  It would be humbling to be given such, as not all are given this ability.  And to be given instructions of the Lord by His Spirit would be even more qualifying.  It's as if He is saying, "I trust you to hear my voice well enough to share what I want shared."

Would this not be a privilege?  A sacred calling?  A holy ordination?

And what of the word ordained?  There's a lot of hubbub going on right now over what this word means.  Perhaps its interpretation is key.  What does the word ordain mean?  What qualifies one to be ordained for anything?

Perhaps understanding the true meaning and context of it would help.  This verse was part of a revelation given to Emma Smith, the prophet's wife.

In this revelation Emma is given the following titles:

  • my daughter
  • forgiven
  • elect lady
  • called
  • ordained

The Lamanites were kept from the truth because of the incorrect traditions of their fathers.  Laman and Lemuel were taught the truth, however when they got off on their own, they changed things up.  The switched the meaning of truth, and taught their children things which they in turn believed as truth.  When they turned to God instead of the traditions, their skins became white.  Sometimes I wonder where our traditions have taken us, and how much of what we believe it truth vs tradition.  Are the beliefs which allow us to disregard scripture making our skins white or darkened in unbelief?  At what point will we let go of traditions that keep us from the full measure of God's glory?

Pushing the issue further...

What if Emma had said, "Wait a minute, Joseph.  You used that precious word 'ordain'...  Um, that's not kosher in Christ's true church.  Maybe you'd better re-write that?  It doesn't flow with the policy of no women receiving any sort of ordination.  That's priesthood terminology.  Perhaps we could use the word "called" or "calling" instead?  If I roll with this as the real deal, I'm not in alignment with the Church Handbook of Instructions and I don't want to lose my temple recommend for believing false doctrine.  Then I would go to hell and not be saved and my family would fall into apostasy for generations, damning them.  So can we just switch out that teensy word 'ordain'?"

Joseph would have likely rebuked her for not having faith in the revelation.  He was, after all, a Prophet who communed with God, FACE to FACE on more than one occasion.

And Joseph would have also likely explained that the word "ordain" meant something different than it does in 2014.

Interestingly enough, the revelation ends with these words:
And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.
I wonder if that means "all" as in everyone?  Or everyone as in women?  Or everyone as in women and men?  Maybe we'd better read the whole thing and get some more context.  The scriptures are pretty awesome when we read and believe them in full.  Here's hoping this post inspires someone to open theirs up.

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