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|Priesthood Validity: LDS vs. RLDS/CoC Rematch|
May. 23rd, 2007 at 1:40 pm
Yesterday, I published a post about the recent revelation received by Stephen Veazy, the CoC/RLDS prophet. I was surprised to see how many responses attacked the legitimacy of the revelation, either because it was too pedestrian or from the wrong prophet or part of the wrong scriptural tradition. For my part, I’m quite comfortable calling it revelation — and not just because I don’t want to refer to CoC scriptures using terms that I wouldn’t want used to describe our own.
In one comment, john f. points out that Veezy’s revelation is meaningful for Christians of all faiths. This is an important point. We’re told that the Apocrypha has some valuable stuff in it, even if it’s not part of our canon. We can, of course, feel comfortable respecting the value of Veazy’s statements (when we esteem them to have value), even if we don’t wish to sustain him as our own prophet.
But beyond this question of whether Veazy’s revelation has value, there are two good reasons to actually take it as a bona fide revelation on a personal level, if one is so prompted.
First, I believe that Veazy is capable of receiving revelation in his capacity as president of his church. God cares about the LDS and CoC alike, and it strikes me as wrong-headed to suppose that God is unwilling to offer guidance to CoC leaders who are earnestly seeking to bring their followers closer to Christ.
Second, I believe that Veazy is more entitled to such guidance than (say) the leader of the Southern Baptist Convention. Veazy’s priesthood lineage is of the same origin with our own. It is equally recent, and it overlaps with our priesthood lineage and the lineage of our own prophet, sharing at least a few of the same sources at the top — not the least of whom are Jesus, Peter, James, John, and Joseph Smith
Furthermore, it’s been speculated that perhaps the priesthood and priesthood keys that John the Baptist received from his father were still efficacious without divine intervention, in spite of the general state apostasy of within Judaism at the time. And using this authority, John was able to perform the baptismal ordinances. Whether this speculation is correct is beside the point — the fact is that it’s conceivable within the LDS framework of authority and apostasy that valid priesthood powers can be transmitted to some extant in the absence of worthy vessels for a limited period of time before there is a wholesale apostasy where all priesthood authority utterly vanishes.
I know that the official position of the LDS church is that the CoC priesthood and ordinances are null and void next to our own — it’s nothing personal; they feel the same way about us. But our church seems to believe that those who did not follow Brigham apostatized — a very broad-brushed point of view that is not born out by an even-headed analysis of the history of the schisms to which the 1844 succession crisis gave rise.
And, if you were in a pinch, who would you rather receive a priesthood blessing from: A Lutheran Bishop? or a Southern Baptist Leader? or President Veazy? Maybe I’m just superstitious, but my money is on Veazy.