General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
LDS Videos
Critics' Questions
Submitted Questions
Scriptures/LDS Literature
LDS Temples
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Site Map

Suggest a Site
Now accepting banner ads!

Bookmark and Share

ANNVER - I need help with clarifying performing of priesthood ordinations. I've been in a debate with a friend who says it is wrong to say in beginning of any priesthood ordination after saying the persons name "and in the name of Jesus Christ" or when you say, "by the 'power' and authority of the holy Melchizedek priesthood" instead you should only say, by the 'authority' of the Melchizedek priesthood". I've thought when adding in those other things not mentioned within priesthood instructions of performing ordinations does not warrant a presiding officer to stop or have you restart and correct the ordination?
I've thought a better question to debate is "what warrants the presiding officer to stop or have ordinations to restart? My understanding are as long as the main steps are mentioned but if other things are added then it wont warrant that to be stopped or restart?
Also when a priest confers the Aaronic priesthood or ordains an office to another young man, would he say "by the authority of the Aaronic priesthood which 'we' or 'I' hold? (knowing there are Melchizedek priesthood holders in circle), visa versa what would a Melchizedek priesthood holder say when Aaronic priesthood holder is standing in circle? 'we' or 'I'? by the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood which 'we'/'I' hold?

JOEL - Here are some official instructions from the Church Handbook:
"Brethren who perform ordinances and blessings should prepare themselves by living worthily and striving to be guided by the Holy Spirit. They should perform each ordinance or blessing in a dignified manner, making sure it meets the following requirements:
1. It should be performed in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. It should be performed by the authority of the priesthood.
3. It should be performed with any necessary procedures, such as using specified words or using consecrated oil.
4. It should be authorized by the presiding authority who holds the proper keys (normally the bishop or stake president)

When ordinances or blessings are performed in sacrament meeting, the bishop ensures that they are performed properly. To avoid embarrassing a priesthood holder, the bishop quietly corrects errors only if essential elements of the ordinance or blessing are incorrect.

The bishop (or someone under his direction) may ordain the person to the office of deacon, teacher, or priest. Only priests and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may act as voice or stand in the circle.

To participate in an ordination, a person must (1) be a priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder and (2) have equal or higher priesthood authority than is to be given in the ordinance. For instance, an elder should not stand in the circle when a high priest is ordained or when a man is set apart to an office that requires him to be a high priest.

To perform a priesthood ordination, one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the personís head. Then the priesthood holder who performs the ordination:
1. Calls the person by his full name.
2. States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).
3. Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood, unless it has already been conferred.
4. Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers, and authority of that office. (Priesthood keys are not bestowed in conferring the priesthood or ordaining to one of these offices.)
5. Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ."

That's what's in the Church Handbook of Instructions, also found in the "Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood" manual

Steps 1 through 6 above are the prefered order and wording but like the instructions say earlier, as long as the essential elements are included it doesn't matter so much at what time during the ordinance they are said or if some of those few extra words you mentioned are added. In my opinion the situation you gave would not need correction during the ordinance to make it valid, but that would be up to the person in charge to decide.
One thing to remember is that the wording in such ordinances is not so strict as it is in the Baptism and Sacrament prayers. A Bishop can use his own discernment when deciding if a correction needs to be made during the ordinance, but as long as the essential elements are included, any other corrections can be suggested after the fact for future use.

If an Aaronic priesthood holder (Priest only) is confering the Aaornic priesthood and/or ordaining someone he would state that it is being performed by the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, even if a Melchizedek priesthood holder is in the circle. Joseph Smith said "All priesthood is Melchizedek" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 180-81, D&C 107). A Melchizedek priesthood holder also still holds the Aaronic priesthood, so you don't have to mention the Melchizedek Priesthood in the ordination.
To avoid confusion, you don't really need to say "which we hold", just state the priesthood. This is a more proper way to do it especially if, for example, a Melchizedek Priesthood holder is performing the Aaronic Priesthood ordination and a Priest is standing in the circle. In this case, he would only state it is being performed by the Melchizedek Priesthood, and should not say "which we hold". But for all other parts of the ordination he can use the word "we".
For any ordination (or ordinance) that requires Melchizedek Priesthood, someone who only holds the Aaronic priesthood should not stand in the circle.

Return to top
Return to Questions