Thursday, April 19, 2012

Through which lineage?

So priesthood lineages are recorded through the person who ordained a priesthood holder to the highest office they hold. That is, if someone’s a priest, the priesthood lineage goes through whoever ordained them a priest; if they’re an elder, it goes through whoever ordained them an elder; and so on.

However, since an apostle is an elder (no, seriously—it’s canon), why are apostles’ lineages traced through whoever ordained them apostles, rather than whoever ordained them elders (and also, most likely, conferred the Melchizedek priesthood on them)?

3 comments:

Idiot, Village said...

Couldn't this be explained away by something as simple as "An apostle is an elder but an elder is not an apostle?"

David B said...

Possibly. It’s the same priesthood (i.e., Melchizedek), though.

Idiot, Village said...

I'm not sure that what branch of the priesthood really matters. The Church records line of authority through the _office_ of the person performing the ordination, not the priesthood.

For instance, if you are ordained an elder by my father, who was a high priest. My official line of authority goes through my father, to the person that ordained him a high priest, and onward--not to the person who conferred the Melchizedek priesthood on my father.

Another way you might think of it: each office grants the recipient additional rights, powers, and authorities. The line of authority is traced through the person who conferred the rights of the office, not of the priesthood.

This doesn't hold true in all cases, however. The line of authority of Seventies and Patriarchs are both traced through their high priest ordination.

Bet you didn't think you would get that much of a discourse, now did ya?