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Making a Case for Melchizedek Priesthood in 1831 (Part 4 of 9)

There has been a discrepancy as to when the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored.  Was it in June of 1829, 1830, or 1831?  Historian Dan weighs in on the controversy and makes a case for later than the official Church story.

GT: Okay, so it sounds to me like you’re making a pretty strong case for the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood being 1831, which really wasn’t known about until 1835. Is that what you’re saying?

Dan   Yeah, 1835.  Alma Chapter 13 talks about the high priesthood and associates the high priesthood with Melchizedek.  So in June 1831, it’s the high priesthood that is given to elders, and for time it was the elders with more authority. It wasn’t a separate office at first.  It takes several months before it becomes the high priest office, but it was elders that had the high priesthood. So, that high priesthood, of course, because Alma is going to be associated with Melchizedek, and that’s why it says for the first time.  The eldership wasn’t associated with Melchizedek. So in the church you had, for a while, elders.  Elders were the charismatic leaders of the church, and the teachers, priests and deacons. were under elders.

GT:  Yeah. So from what I understand, I spoke with Greg Prince about a year and a half ago, one of the things he said was when the church was very first organized, you had elders, priests and teachers. Those are the only three authorized.

Dan:  Right, deacon came a little later.

GT:  Deacon and Bishop came when Sidney Rigdon was baptized, and he said the Bible has Bishop and Deacon and so those were added later, both to the Aaronic priesthood, but it sounds like..

Dan:  There’s no Aaronic, yet.

GT:  So it was just the priesthood. Okay. I’m trying to remember because Quinn also delves into this and it sounded like elders were kind of like, “We’re not sure if they’re Aaronic or Melchizedek,” because it was kind of confusing.

Dan:  Elders and then the High Priests were separate.  Not until the expansion of D & C 107 were elders included in the High Priesthood and formed two layers.

Dan will also weigh in on Michael Marquardt’s claim that the Church was restored in Manchester, rather than Fayette.  Check out our conversation….

Historian Dan Vogel thinks the restoration of Melchizedek Priesthood dates to 1831.

Don’t miss our other episodes with Dan!

289 – Methodist Visions

288 – Why “Pious Fraud” Ticks off Everyone

287 – Dan Vogel Was a McConkie Mormon!


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German Police Monitored LDS Church

Today, December 11, marks the 76th anniversary since Germany declared war on the United States.  I’m sure that was a sobering time.  Dr. David Conley Nelson has written a book, Moroni & the Swastika, that details how Germans, as well as the LDS Church reacted to the war.  David has an interesting background.  He not only flies as an airline pilot, but has a Ph.D. in history as well.  He’s got some really interesting insights on German LDS history.  Did you know that the Whitmers, like David Whitmer and all those brothers that saw the Book of Mormon, spoke with German accents?

David:  Peter and Mary Whitmer both spoke English with a pronounced German accent.  Mary Whitmer, the mother, was born in Germany.  Peter was born in the United States.  Before they were converted to Mormonism, they were members of a reformed congregation.  Their first three children, their birth certificates are in German.  There has been a lot of German spoken in the United States for a long time.  There were official records in German language schools only up until about the First World War.

GT:  Here in the United States?

David:  Here in the United States, yes.

GT:  Oh wow.

David:  So yes it’s not surprising that the Whitmers brought a lot of their German heritage with them and hung on to the language for a while, but eventually they were Anglophones.  But at least in their lifetime they spoke it with a pronounced German accent.

We’ll learn more about the Mormon Church in Germany and see if Mormons suffered persecution.

David:  In fact the Germans and the Prussian secret police were so effective that they knew when missionaries were dispatched from Salt Lake City in making their way to the east coast to catch a ship to come to Germany.  They knew because they had a secret police network among immigrants in the United States.

Check out our conversation…..