Problematic Perquisite of the Priesthood


Today, in Elder's Quorum, the lesson was on the Priesthood. Or rather, the lesson would have been on the Priesthood had we time. After Sunday School had gone over, people had taken 15 minutes to socialize, and all the announcements were said, we had about twenty minutes to feast on the good word. This is typical for this ward and it really pisses me off. Not so much because I love the lessons, but because it's frustrating the reason for the meetings. We meet together oft to build up the Saints, yes. But socializing for ten to fifteen minutes between each meeting isn't' necessary, surely. What could possibly have happened during Sunday School that requires that much discussion?

At any rate, the lesson was on the Priesthood. We only as far as the conversion story of W. Woodruff. The story goes that Zera Pulsipher was working one day and received direction from God to head north for He had "some business" for him there. So, Elder Pulsipher gets his neighbour and they head out. The first house they stop at happens to be a relation of Wilford Woodruff's. Elder Pulsipher later baptizes Bro. Woodruff.

So, here's the issue: the guy teaching the lesson asks did Zera Pulsipher need the Priesthood to get that revelation. I feel no. Others in the quorum said yes, and starting saying how the Priesthood is the power to teach and so on. Someone took my side by giving the example of sister missionaries. If messengers needed the Priesthood, there wouldn't be any of them. The teacher then said Elder Pulsipher needed the Priesthood else he couldn't baptize. True.

Now, I'm not Zera, but the way it's described it sounds to me that he hadn't a clue why God called him north. God just had "some business" for him there. He didn't know he was going to baptize or even necessarily preach the Gospel. Why would he need the Priesthood to do God's errand? I can think of several examples of God inspiring non-Priesthood holders to do his will. Solomon in building the temple, Paul in being struck down on the way to Damascus, and Abish to run and get all the people to come and see the power of God. They didn't need the Priesthood to receive this revelation, why would Z. Pulsipher?

I was a bit offended by the notion that God only gives revelation of this sort to Priesthood holders. I understand the teleological conclusion behind sending Priesthood to W. Woodruff, but surely the guy would have sought them out had those not holding the office of priest found him. The discussion just lacked any notion of a God who works in mysterious ways. I wonder how President Woodruff would have felt about us denying the message of his favourite hymn.


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