Known as the higher or greater priesthood, a special authority given to baptized Mormon men eighteen years and older through the Laying on of Hands. This priesthood authority is believed to have been originally given to Joseph Smith and his friend Oliver Cowdery sometime between May 15, 1829 and April 6, 1830 through the biblical apostles Peter, James, and John. This priesthood is named after Melchizedek, King of Salem (Genesis 14:18). Mormonism teaches this priesthood was handed down originally to Adam who received it from God (Priesthood and Church Government, 109). Although Genesis 14:18 speaks of a priest of the most high God named Melchizedek, nowhere does the Bible mention a Melchizedek Priesthood per se. Hebrews 5:6 states that Christ is a priest forever after “the order of Melchisedec,” not a Melchizedek priest as Mormonism implies. It is clear in Hebrews 7:24 that the priesthood held by Christ is unchangeable and does not transfer to another since He lives forever.
For additional information, see
Return to dictionary here.