In commenting on Looney's blog, I posted the following scripture:
"And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. " Hebrews 5:4
I wanted to write a little further about what this scripture means. I think it is helpful to back up and read more of the chapter.
1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. Hebrews 5:1,4
In this chapter, Paul is talking about how men are called to serve, and ordained to the Priesthood. He taught that men must be called of God as was Aaron, but how was Aaron called? For an answer to this question, we can go back to the Old Testament. In Exodus 28:1 we read what the Lord said to Moses,
"And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons."
Moses was the mouthpiece of the Lord at that time. Through Moses, the children of Israel were led out of Egypt. Another word for a "mouthpiece of the Lord is "prophet". Moses had received the Priesthood under the hands of his father in law Jethro. He had the authority to give the Priesthood to whomever God chose. And in this case, God chose Aaron and his sons, and his posterity after him.
From these scriptures we learn that there are some necessary things in order for a man to receive the Priesthood, and serve as a Priesthood leader. First, he must be called of God by someone who has the Priesthood authority to pass on to him. Second, Aaron did not decide for himself that he should have this position. There is no jockeying for position in the church of God. God calls whom he will. Elder N. Eldon Tanner said,
"The authority of the priesthood cannot be assumed or arrogated to oneself, but must be delegated by God through one having authority. One of the reasons for confusion in the churches today is that man has assumed this authority without proper delegation from the Lord. A man would have no more right to arrogate this priesthood authority unto himself than would one citizen or another decide to be a representative of the king or the parliament or the president of the United States. In fact, if one began to sign papers as their representative, without having been properly appointed, he would be accused of forgery and handled by the law. ...Only by the authority of the priesthood can the ordinances of the gospel be received or administered. Without it one cannot baptize, confirm, ordain, officiate, or hold any presiding office in the Church" N. Eldon Tanner, “The Priesthood of God,” Ensign, Jun 1973, 3