Monday, May 3, 2010
My son, who is serving a mission in El Salvador, recently wrote and asked us for a copy of his Priesthood lineage. He was ordained to be an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood by his father. It's interesting to look at the rest of the lineage. My husband was ordained by a friend of ours. That friend was ordained by someone else. As we look at those ordained before, we eventually come to a place where we see that the person was ordained by Joseph Smith. Then we read that Joseph Smith was ordained by Peter, James and John. Peter, James, and John were in turn ordained by the Savior, Jesus Christ. These ordinations were all done by the laying on of hands. In ancient times this was often done "patriarchally", meaning that the priesthood was given from father to son, by the laying on of hands. But it can also be given to others by the same method.
"We believe that a man must be called of God by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof." Article of faith 5