Priesthood in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon stresses the importance of priesthood authority in establishing the church and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. The priesthood has existed for eternity and has several titles, including¬†the “holy order of God” or “the order of the Son.” Prophets before the days of Abraham were ordained after this order, and no doubt its inclusion in the Book of Mormon was to lay the groundwork for the subsequent priesthood-based organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The following is a list of references that highlight the doctrine of the priesthood as contained in the Book of Mormon.

  1. MANY BEAR THE TITLE OF HIGH PRIEST or PRIEST

“And they began to establish the church more fully; yea, and many were baptized in the waters of Sidon and were joined to the church of God; yea, they were baptized by the hand of Alma, who had been consecrated the high priest over the people of the church, by the hand of his father Alma” (Alma 4:4)

he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church” (Alma 6:1)

“Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God…” (Alma 13:10)

“Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken…” (Alma 13:14)

“But behold, they were more wise than many of the Nephites; for they took him, and bound him, and carried him before Ammon, who was a high priest over that people” (Alma 30:20)

2. THOSE WHO ARE HIGH PRIESTS ARE CONSECRATED, CALLED, OR ORDAINED

“I, Alma, having been consecrated by my father, Alma, to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things, behold, I say unto you that he began to establish a church in the land which was in the borders of Nephi; yea, the land which was called the land of Mormon; yea, and he did baptize his brethren in the waters of Mormon” (Alma 5:3)

For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus; yea, I am commanded to stand and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our fathers concerning the things which are to come” (Alma 5:44)

“And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land” (Alma 5:49)

“according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called…” (Alma 6:8)

“And he began to teach the people in the land of Melek according to the holy order of God, by which he had been called; and he began to teach the people throughout all the land of Melek” (Alma 8:4)

“And I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people” (Alma 13:1)

“I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi” (2 Nephi 6:2)

“Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God…” (Alma 13:16)

“Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified” (Alma 13:11)

3. ORDINATION INTO THE HOLY ORDER IS GIVEN BY LAYING ON OF HANDS

“he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church” (Alma 6:1)

4. CHURCHES ARE ESTABLISHED BY ORDAINING PRIESTS, ELDERS, ETC.

“And now it came to pass that Alma returned from the land of Gideon, after having taught the people of Gideon many things which cannot be written, having established the order of the church, according as he had before done in the land of Zarahemla” (Alma 8:1)

“Aaron and his brethren went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another, establishing churches, and consecrating priests and teachers throughout the land among the Lamanites…” (Alma 23:4)

“Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full” (Alma 29:13)

5. THE HOLY ORDER EXISTED FOREVER and THE HOLY ORDER IS IN SIMILITUDE OF JESUS CHRIST

“And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son…” (Alma 13:2)

“This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years…” (Alma 13:7)

“being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end…” (Alma 13:8)

“Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years…” (Alma 13:9)

“Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God…” (Alma 13:16)

“Yea, and behold I say unto you, that Abraham not only knew of these things, but there were many before the days of Abraham who were called by the order of God; yea, even after the order of his Son; and this that it should be shown unto the people, a great many thousand years before his coming, that even redemption should come to them” (Helaman 8:18)

6. PRIESTHOOD IS RECEIVED BY FAITH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND FOREORDINATION

“But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God…” (Alma 13:18)

“And this is the manner after which they were ordained–being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God…are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such” (Alma 13:3)

“Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God” (Ether 12:10)

7. AUTHORITY MUST BE GIVEN IN ORDER TO BAPTIZE AND GIVE THE HOLY GHOST

“And the lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize” (3 Nephi 11:22)

Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” (3 Nephi 11:25)

“And the multitude heard not the words which he spake, therefore they did not bear record; but the disciples bare recored that he gave them power to give the Holy Ghost. And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true” (3 Nephi 18:37)

7. ADDITIONAL BOOK OF MORMON REFERENCES

“And thus in the commencement of the ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, Alma delivered up the judgment seat to Nephihah, and confined himself to the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to the testimony of the world, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy” (Alma 4:20)

“who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit…” (Alma 5:54)

“That ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received” (Alma 7:22)

“And after he had eaten and was filled he said unto Amulek: I am Alma, and am the high priest over the church of God throughout the land” (Alma 8:23)

“Now we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation; and they preached after the holy order of God by which they were called” (Alma 43:2)