Melchizedek Priesthood. Known as the higher or greater priesthood, a special authority given to Mormon men eighteen years and older, designed to enable them to gain exaltation into the highest heaven. It is taught that this priesthood was restored sometime between May 15, 1829 and April 6, 1830, although there is no written documentation for such an event prior to late 1834. Peter, James, and John appeared to both Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and bestowed the Melchizedek (also spelled Melchisedec) Priesthood on them. It 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.
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