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ANSWERS TO MANUAL QUESTIONS.
A friend in Nephi, Utah, asks: “Question 17, Lesson 5, Manual for 1899-1900, reads: 'In authority what quorum stands next highest to the Twelve? Should this be answered as above or below the Twelve?”
The answer suggests itself, the moment question 18 is read: “Next lower?” It is evident from this that question 17 means: “What quorom iş Higher than the Twelve?” The order of the first three quorums of The Church is as follows: First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, the Seventies. It is generally understood that the First Seven Presidents of Seventies with the senior president of the first sixty-four quorums of seventies, form the Quorum of Seventy, who, being unanimous, are equal in authority to the quorum of Twelve Apostles, or the First Presidency.
We have been asked to answer question 18, lesson 6, in this season's Manual: What is that sealed part (of the Book of Mormon) said to have contained? The following quotation from II Nephi 28: 10, 11, is a complete answer:
“But the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept back in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth: for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.
“And the day cometh that the words of the book which are sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ: and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be, even unto the end of the earth."
We have also been asked to explain question 8, lesson 5: "Until what time is this Priesthood to remain on the earth?” The intention of the question is evidently to draw out the statement of John the Baptist
that this Priesthood "shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” But the natural inquiry on rendering this answer, is: When the sons of Levi do offer such an offering, will this Priesthood then be taken away?
A number of explanations have been offered, some of which we give in order to show the variety of opinions:
1. Righteousness can not come by the law, therefore the sons of Levi can not under old conditions offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness; hence the statement of the heavenly messenger is equivalent to saying that this Priesthood will never be taken from the earth. This, however, does not make it much clearer, because the time may come when, under new conditions, under a Gospel dispensation, the sons of Levi shall offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. If such a time may come, the query still stands unanswered.
2. The words of Oliver Cowdery are quoted as the proper explanation: “He said, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this Priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.'” (Pearl of Great Price, p. 71; also note 2, Lesson 5, Manual 1899-1900.) This would seem to answer the question except for the fact that Brother Cowdery's rendition is not the authorized version of the words of John the Baptist. If Oliver was right, why not have the correct rendering in Section 13 of the Doctrine and Covenants?
The inference that the word "until” conveys the idea that the Priesthood shall not remain after the sons of Levi make their offering in righteousness, is erroneous. Evidently John the Baptist only intended to give absolute assurance to the Saints, or to those who might become Saints, that the Priesthood would remain upon the earth for a sufficiently long period to accomplish all they could desire in righteousness, without intending to leave the impression that after that time it was to disappear. The Priesthood is to remain forever.
4. The Priesthood of Aaron, conferred on Aaron and his sons, will be taken away and the Priesthood of Elias take its place, as before the Mosaic law.
5. The Aaronic Priesthood will not remain forever. The time must come when every son and daughter of Adam that will and can be saved, shall have been saved, when repentance and baptism, and the temporal duties now devolving upon us will no longer be necessary, when all the functions and duties exercised in the Priesthood will be in that higher division of God's authority which we are taught to call the Melchizedek Priesthood. When this time comes, although the same
Priesthood (that is, authority or agency delegated by God to man) will exist, there will be no need of the particular functions in which it is now exercised, and therefore will not be exercised on this earth when it has reached its state of celestial perfection. We may, therefore, practically say that it will be taken away, being an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood necessary for the temporal and imperfect conditions under which we now dwell. With Paul, we may conclude that when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part will be done away.
Whichever of these is right, if any, matters little. We incline to the last named view, because when the sons of Levi do offer again an offering in righteousness to the Lord, the time may have come when the particular functions of the Aaronic Priesthood are no longer to be performed. Some may say that if sacrifices are to be restored, this Priesthood will be needed, but it must be remembered that sacrifices were offered in the Gospel dispensations of Adam, Enoch and Abraham, long before the lesser Priesthood was conferred upon Aaron and his sons. Be that as it may, it matters not. It is wholly immaterial to the student of "The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times” whether or not the Priesthood is to be taken away at the time inferred, so long as he is assured that it is to remain until the sons of Levi make an offering in righteous
When that time comes, we will doubtless have further light upon it. In the meantime, question 8, lesson 5, should be answered by simply quoting the words of John the Baptist: "Until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”
A readable book, a useful addition to home literature, is “Sketches of Missionary Life,” by Edwin F. Parry, recently of the Presidency of the European Mission. The little volume is divided into fifteen chapters, each full of incidents and experiences which tend to awaken faith in God, while at the same time they teach valuable lessons. One good feature of the book is that it can be read and understood by the boys and girls, who become intensely interested in the stories of the hand-dealings of the Lord with his servants in the missionary field. The purpose in its publication was to supply “fresh reading matter of a wholesome character to the youth of Zion." The book well fills its mission. George Q. Cannon & Sons Co., Salt Lake City. Price, 50c.
EVENTS OF THE MONTH.
BY THOMAS HULL, SECRETARY OF THE GENERAL BOARD OF Y. M. M. I. A.
November 20th, 1899. Smallpox is reported to have broken out in Sanpete County. Five cases are said to exist in the town of Sterling, and the place is quarantined.
General McArthur enters Dagupan finding it deserted. General Wheaton's troops had already been there and had withdrawn.
The German Emperor and Empress arrive in England on a visit to Queen Victoria. An enthusiastic welcome is accorded them.
21st: Vice-President Garret A. Hobart dies at his home in Pater. son, N. J., at 8:30 o'clock this morning. President McKinley issues a proclamation to the people of the United States announcing the death, in which the following appears:
In sorrowing testimony of the loss which has fallen upon the country, I direct that upon the day of the funeral the executive offices of the United States shall be closed, and all stations of the
General Lawton is crowding the insurgent forces very hard. Reports from the field show great hardships suffered by the American troops on account of the rapidity of the advance. Many men and some officers are nearly naked, their clothing having been torn to pieces getting through the jungles, and are barefooted, their shoes being literally worn off their feet.
22nd: Joseph E. Taylor is fined $150 for unlawful cohabitation. The court asks the accused for a promise to obey the law hereafter, but he refused to commit himself as to the future.
23rd. The American forces continue to closely crowd Aguinaldo, and the rebellion is believed to be practically at an end.
A desperate battle is fought between the Boers and English at Belmont. The British win a great victory but it is dearly bought.
29th: In a great fire in Philadelphia, by which $2,000,000 of property is destroyed, the building of the great publishing house of J. B. Lippincott & Co., is completely ruined.
30th: By a telegram from his wife, received this morning, it is learned that Oscar Eliason, the celebrated young Utah magician, has been shot and killed in Australia. No particulars are given.
December 3rd: The report of the postmaster-general is made public. It shows the total expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1899, to be $101,632,160.92, while the receipts from all sources were $95,021,384.17, leaving a deficit of $6,610,776.75.
4th: Congress opens in Washington. In the House of Representatives David B. Henderson, Republican, of Iowa, is elected speaker. When the roll is called, upon reaching the name of Brigham H. Roberts, of Utah, Representative Robt. W. Tayler, of Ohio, objects to his taking the oath and the representative from Utah is ordered, by the speaker, to stand aside. Upon the completion of the roll call a resolution referring the question of Roberts' admission to a committee is presented by Mr. Tayler and by agreement goes over for one day.
5th: The House of Representatives adopts the Tayler resolution referring the Roberts' matter to a committee for investigation. President McKinley transmits his message to Congress. The message opens with a tribute to the memory of the late Vice-President Hobart. Reference is then made to the unusual prosperity of the country; the business with foreign countries; receipts and disbursements of the government. The President recommends the maintenance of the gold standard, suggests that additional powers be given to national banks, and urges that Congress confer “the full and necessary power on the Secretary of the Treasury and impose upon him the duty to uphold the present gold standard and preserve the coins of the two metals on a parity with each other, which is the repeatedly declared policy of the United States." He calls attention to the value of an American Merchant Marine and the necessity thereof to a proper national development. Indirectly the President favors subsidies to increase the merchant shipping. Trusts are referred to and Congress recommended to ascertain and assert what power it possesses to suppress unlawful and hurtful combinations. The message treats at length upon our fereign relations; the Philippine question; the peace with Spain; praises the volunteers; recommends liberal appropriation for the navy, and modifications in the pension laws; refers to affairs in Hawaii, and recommends a form of temporary government for Porto Rico.