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Were We Foreordained to the Priesthood, or Was the Standard of Worthiness Foreordained? Alma 13 Reconsidered
|Title||Were We Foreordained to the Priesthood, or Was the Standard of Worthiness Foreordained? Alma 13 Reconsidered|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Thompson, A. Keith|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture|
|Keywords||Alma the Younger; Ammonihah (Polity); Foreordination; Melchizedek Priesthood; Missionary Work; Ordinances; Premortal Life; Priesthood; Redemption; Standard; Worthiness|
Alma 13:3–4 is often interpreted as Book of Mormon confirmation of the doctrine that all those who are ordained to the Priesthood on the earth were foreordained to receive that Priesthood in the pre-existence as a result of their exceeding faith and good works. That interpretation is inconsistent with the 1978 revelation on Priesthood. A contextual reading of the account of Alma2’s ministry to the people of Ammonihah also suggests that Alma2 was not telling the men of Ammonihah that they (or anyone else) had been foreordained to receive the Priesthood. Rather, Alma2 was teaching that what we now call worthiness was ordained as the standard for ordination to the Priesthood before the foundations of this earth were laid. If the people of Ammonihah demonstrated their worthiness by repenting of their sins, they could qualify to receive the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood and enter into the rest of the Lord as many of the ancients had done. The manner in which men were ordained to the Priesthood and in which its ordinances were administered was intended to show the people how they should look to Christ for redemption.
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