What do Christians and Mormons say about Priesthood Powers?

The following was originally printed in the June 2010 edition of MRM’s Update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here.  The letter is presented exactly as it was sent.

A Reader Asks:

I grew up Mormon, but am Christian now. My grand-father was a Patriarch, so my family is pretty strong in the faith. My mother and aunts used to always say that I should marry a Mormon with the priesthood power, because what if my child is sick one day and I need a priesthood blessing? Well, what do Christians and the Bible say about priesthood powers? Do we really need that to heal?  Aren’t we just playing God if we try to heal people?  What is the authenticity of the patriarchal blessings (I never got mine)?  My grand-father was a good and righteous man, so how was he able to give patriarchal blessings if they are false?

MRM’s Sharon Lindbloom Responds:

Thank you for contacting Mormonism Research Ministry. You ask some good questions about the Mormon priesthood and Christian authority. Let me see if I can help shed any light on the topic.

The New Testament does not support the type of priesthood promoted by the LDS Church. Instead, the Bible tells us that all those who follow the true God are granted spiritual authority. We are a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:4-5, 9). As believers we are given the right to be called children of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:2), and with that right also is granted the authority to act in God’s name (Matt. 28:18-20). When Peter was asked about the authority he used to heal a lame man, he pointed to Jesus as the only source of power and salvation (see Acts 4:5-12).

When it comes to the issue of healing, as Peter taught, God Himself is the healer — not man and not any other power. Every believer has the power, right, and authority to enter into the presence of God and seek His help through prayer. If your child is sick, you do not need a priesthood blessing; you need God’s mercy poured out over your child. The Bible tells us to bring our needs before Him; He will hear us and answer — according to His goodness and His perfect plan. (Luke 11:9-13; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; 1 John 5:13-14).

If you would like to read more about this issue in relation to Mormonism, I invite you to visit here and here.

Another question you raise, Melanie, is about patriarchal blessings. I do not believe LDS patriarchal blessings are valid expressions of truth from God. The MRM website has some good information about both the LDS patriarchal blessing in Mormon culture, and the Old Testament patriarchal age. You will find that info here.

Finally, you ask about your grandfather’s ability to give (what I believe were false) patriarchal blessings. The question really comes down to this: Can good people be deceived? When Jesus walked the earth He often warned that we must beware — false apostles and deceitful workers would disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. In fact, Satan himself would appear as an angel of light (1 Cor. 11:13-15). Jesus said, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). The Bible gives us a clear answer which is also borne out in our own observations of the word in which we live: Yes, all people are vulnerable and must guard against being deceived. I hope this helps.

Read more answers to common questions here.