top of page

Exploring the Holy Order and Adoption Part 2 - Adoption

          The word of God or “iron rod” revealed in Lehi’s dream may be misconstrued unless we understand the source from which it emanates. Christ is the word of God and the literal embodiment of the Father’s image. He is the namesake for the “Order after the Son of God.” Following Jesus, the next member or “Patriarchal Father” is Adam, who was also a Son of God and first man on Earth. 

Adam, who was the first man, who is spoken of in Daniel as being the Ancient of Days, or in other words, the first and oldest of all, the great grand progenitor, of whom it is said in another place he is Michael, because he was the first and father of all, not only by progeny, but he was the first to hold the spiritual blessings, to whom was made known the plan of ordinances for the salvation of his posterity unto the end, and to whom Christ was first revealed, and through whom Christ has been revealed from Heaven and will continue to be revealed from henceforth. Adam holds the keys of the dispensation of the fullness of times; i.e., the dispensation of all the times have been and will be revealed through him, from the beginning to Christ, and from Christ to the end of all the dispensations that are to be revealed (T&C 140:3).1 The creation of the man Adam was primarily and specifically “in the image of my Only Begotten” — meaning Jesus Christ — and secondarily in the image of God the Father. God the Father was the Father of Jesus Christ in the spirit, as well as the biological Father of Jesus Christ in the flesh. God the Father was also the Father of the spirit of the man Adam, but the biological Father of Adam in the garden was “in the image of my Only Begotten.” Christ and His companion were the physical Parents of the man Adam.2 Adam, the son of God (see Genesis 3:23; Luke 3:38 KJV), possessed the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God, which was given to him in the beginning, before the world began (see Abraham 1:1,3).3 Included within this order is the right to preside over all of the human family and the right to minister to Adam’s posterity. Adam continues to hold this presiding position and will do so until the end of time.4 “The keys [of the Holy Order] have to be brought from Heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from Heaven, it is by Adam’s authority…. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before him (Adam), and there is given Him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as the head of the human family.”5See also EVE.

1 The entire sermon from which this has been taken was dictated by Joseph Smith to his scribe, Robert B. Thompson, who read it to the saints in general conference and is “apparently the only discourse for which the Prophet ever prepared a text.” See WJS, 50, 5 October 1840, note 1” (A Glossary of Gospel Terms, Adam, p.565-566, emphasis added).

The Father of Heaven and His Help Meet are the parents of Adam (or Michael’s) spirit and the Savior and His Wife are parents of Adam’s physical body in the Garden of Eden. Adam was temporarily given the right of dominion, “the right to preside over all of the human family and the right to minister to Adam’s posterity.”

“Adam, the son of God, possessed the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God, which was given to him in the beginning, before the world began” (Ibid).

As the head or “firstborn” among men, Adam presides over the family of man and holds the right to minister to them through all generations. Whenever the Holy Order inducts a couple into the “Order after the Son of God,” it is by Adam’s authority. When a man and his wife are inducted into this order it is because they follow the pattern established by Adam and Eve after being driven out of the Garden of Eden.

“And Adam called upon the name of the Lord, and Eve also, his wife; and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden speaking unto them, and they saw him not, for they were shut out from his presence [as most of us now are]. And he gave unto them commandment that they should worship the Lord their God and should offer the firstlings of their flocks for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord [they demonstrated their faith and obedience to God through prayer and sacrifice in obedience to His commandment].

And after many days, an angel of the Lord [one who qualifies in pre-mortality for the Holy Order or “Powers of Heaven”][1] appeared unto Adam, saying, Why do you offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him, I know not but the Lord commanded me [faith, obedience and sacrifice]. And then the angel spoke, saying, This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father who is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, you shall do all that you do in the name of the Son. And you shall repent and call upon God in the name of the Son for ever more.

And in that day the holy ghost fell upon Adam, which bore record of the Father and the Son, saying, I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and for ever, that as you have fallen, you may be redeemed — and all mankind, even as many as choose. And in that day, Adam blessed God, and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying, Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again, in my flesh I shall see God. And Eve his wife heard all these things and was glad, saying, Were it not for our transgression, we should never had seed, and should never had known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God gives unto all the obedient. And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters” (RE Genesis 3:2-4, emphasis added).

If we desire the holy ghost to fall upon us, follow the pattern of ordinances established by Adam and his wife Eve. It requires faith to call upon God when they are not within our view. Obedience both before and after we gain understanding, and sacrifice [doing difficult things that require personal sacrifice] forms the pattern.

          After receiving the holy ghost they blessed God [gratitude], were “filled” with light and knowledge which led them to prophesy concerning all their posterity that fill the Earth. Adam and Eve rejoiced as they came to the understanding “because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again, in my flesh I shall see God.”

          While Adam rejoiced that his eyes were open and in this life he would see God. Eve heard all Adam said and her wisdom led her to focus on forgiveness of their sins, the opportunity to have children, discern good and evil, rejoice in their collective redemption and the blessing of Eternal Life for those who obey God’s commandments.

          This is similar to the outcome of a another angelic ministrant [Holy Order member] who delivered a message to king Benjamin calling his people to faith in the Savior and repentance.

“And now it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them. And they all cried with one voice, saying, Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us! And also, we know of their surety and truth because of the spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. And we, ourselves, also through the infinite goodness of God and the manifestations of his spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things. And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceeding great joy. And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.

And now these are the words which king Benjamin desired of them, and therefore, he said unto them, Ye have spoken the words that I desired, and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant. And now, because of the covenant which ye have made, ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you. For ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name, therefore ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free; there is no other name given whereby salvation cometh. Therefore I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ” (RE Mosiah 3:1-2, emphasis added).

Following this process and the accompanying ordinances the subjects of Benjamin experience what is similar to Adam and Eve after being cast out of the Garden of Eden. The ability of Benjamin’s people to “prophesy of all things” is what Adam and Eve experienced when they were “filled.” I suspect the endowment of knowledge given them from Heaven is associated with receiving their “record of Heaven” or restoration of their knowledge of our pre-mortality that is veiled at birth. The revelation of this record to individuals is a function associated with the “Powers of Heaven.”

“As this vision closed, the Heavens were again opened to their view, and they saw and beheld, and were endowed with knowledge from the beginning of this creation to the ends thereof. And they were shown unspeakable things from the sealed record of Heaven, which man is not capable of making known, but must be revealed by the Powers of Heaven” (RE T&C 157:30, emphasis added).

Man is incapable of sharing sealed records from Heaven unless they are part of the “Powers of Heaven.”[2] Not all men and women belonging to this Holy Order are on the other side of the veil.[3] The scriptures are written by mortals who dwell on Earth and have a mortal ministry. After Adam and Eve received the holy ghost she declared they were given the ability to discern between good and evil. Those familiar with the writings of the Holy Order may discern between good and evil because they become knowledgeable in discerning between what is intellectually stimulating or emotional and truth that edifies.[4]

          When those moments occur is when the great test that is always the same for all men is in play. Will we embrace truth from the Holy Order, or respond as Satan and propose another way to find God? Will we receive God’s appointed servant or seek to supplant, thwart or persecute them?[5] How we react to this test determines whether the door to God open’s to us. Disrespecting a member of the Holy Order is disrespecting all those of the Order. Satan was cast out for his disrespect of the Father and the “one who was like unto God.”

Adam and Eve Made All Things Known to Their Posterity

          After receiving the holy ghost, Adam and Eve made all things known to their posterity. Not all received what Adam and Eve offered but the responsibility to share remained with Adam and his heirs to the right of the firstborn and Holy Order.

“And this is the genealogy of the sons of Adam, who was the son of God, with whom God himself conversed. And they were preachers of righteousness, and spoke, and prophesied, and called upon all men everywhere to repent. And faith was taught unto the children of men” (RE Genesis 3:23, emphasis added).

Adam and his sons were designated “preachers of righteousness.” They spoke, prophesied, called upon men to repent and taught men to have faith in Christ.

Continuing: "In fact, that Priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam." [Because once again there is always an underlying genealogical function. It is always going to become familial by restoring a broken family tie. It has always been "turning the hearts of the children back to the fathers." The final father in that chain being Adam, the first man.]” (Priesthood, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.20, emphasis added).

The ”sons of Adam” are those sons from Adam’s posterity who accepted the teachings of Adam and Eve, entered the Holy Order by honoring their father and mother. That explains why the ten commandments includes  honoring our father’s and mother’s. Without it, we cannot receive the Holy Order. They bear responsibility for the salvation of Adam’s posterity through time and eternity.

The Holy Order is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation, and every important matter is revealed from Heaven.”1 Among other things, the purpose of the Holy Order is to put in place a mechanism by which God can reveal from heaven what is necessary for the salvation of man on Earth. In every generation, when God has provided salvation for mankind, it is the Holy Order that is used by God to fix what is broken, restore what has been lost, repair, heal, forgive, and reconnect those who are willing to give heed to the message sent from Heaven to enable mankind to become sons of God.2 It conveys blessings and information that are withheld from the world.3

The Holy Order commenced before the world with Adam. He obtained the Holy Order in the beginning and before the world. Included with it is the right to preside over all of the human family and the right to minister to Adam’s posterity. Adam continues to hold that presiding position and will do so until the end of time.4 The Holy Order was much greater in scope than later priesthoods. Later priesthood functions should not be used to define the original. Something as narrow and limited as a man (or angel) laying hands on another man did not and could not convey the original Holy Order.5 After the time of Eden, conveying the original Holy Order required either a temple or an ascent into heaven.6 The other fathers were holders of the order, but it is the role of the oldest living holder of it to ordain others into the line.7

Many think that the renaming of the Holy Order to the Melchizedek Priesthood (in order to avoid the too frequent repetition of the name of the Son of God), was done out of respect for the Messiah, Jesus Christ — and that is true enough. But the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God includes the first man, Adam, who is also identified as a “son of God.” There are other “sons of God.”8 The Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God makes those who inherit it, by definition, the sons of God. Therefore, in a way, calling it the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God is a way of identifying the recipient as someone who has become one of God’s sons.9

The Holy Order, in its truest sense, is much more comprehensive and far reaching than just laying on hands to convey permission to perform ordinances.10 When the return of the original Holy Order is contemplated, it will involve restoring great knowledge that is hidden from the world. The fathers knew it would be restored in the last days. Joseph Smith also prophesied of its return and explained the forefathers of mankind anxiously anticipated its return.11 Priesthood, in its most meaningful sense, involves the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God. The restoration at the end of creation must return to the beginning. Before the return of Christ, everything — including the original Holy Order with all its components — must be restored. That has not yet been revealed to the world.12 It will return before the Lord comes again in glory. It will be necessary before the return of the Lord for the original Holy Order to exist in all of its ramifications. It must be established on the earth and include all of the rights that originally belonged to Adam. It must be accounted for and returned back to Adam and then to Christ.13

It will include men and women, as husband and wife. They will be given understanding of things which the world cannot know.14 Initiation into the Holy Order provides greater knowledge and fortifies the soul for one’s ministry.15 It includes the right of dominion over all creation — the same right originally given to Adam that belonged to God. The right of dominion over this creation is why God is God. In essence, the Holy Order is to create of flesh and blood a living, mortal surrogate for the Father and Mother.16 It is the nature of this Holy Order that it is conferred upon the man and woman jointly (see 1 Corinthians 1:44).17 The Holy Order is familial. It does not involve establishing a church but, instead, connecting together the Family of God, or in other words, the Government of God. This can only be done in a temple prepared for that purpose.18 Because there is still a great conspiracy to destroy the souls of men and to capture this creation, the Holy Order is guarded by carefully qualifying those who receive it and is under God’s control and supervised by Adam and Eve.19  (A Glossary of Gospel Terms, Holy Order, pp. 681-683, emphasis added).

The Holy Order is comprised of husbands and wives sent by God to become His sons and daughters by adoption. They gather God’s children by restoring Their [God’s] family through ministering to them in word and deed. They become nurturing parents in mortality who prepare the children of God to return to God’s presence. Those who acknowledge the Patriarchal Fathers are given the blessings promised to Abraham becoming his heirs to God’s promises through him by adoption.

          The test for us is to recognize the Patriarchs sent by God and show respect for the Holy Order by obeying their instructions in scripture and following their example while alive in mortality.

“And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children. And I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests after his Holy Order, which was after the Order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the Order of his Son in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. And this is the manner after which they were ordained: being called and prepared from the foundation of the world, according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works in the first place [pre-mortal cycles], being left to choose good or evil; therefore they, having chosen good, and exercising exceeding great faith, are called with a holy calling — yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such. And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds (while, if it had not been for this, they might had as great privilege as their brethren — or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren — thus, this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son who was prepared), and thus, being called by this holy calling and ordained unto the High Priesthood of the Holy Order of God to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest — this High Priesthood being after the Order of his Son, which Order was from the foundation of the world, or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity according to his foreknowledge of all things. Now they were ordained after this manner, being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the High Priesthood of the Holy Order — which calling, and ordinance, and High Priesthood is without beginning or end; thus, they become high priests for ever after the Order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.

Now as I said concerning the Holy Order, or this High Priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God. And it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish. Therefore, they were called after this Holy Order and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the holy ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence. And there were many, an exceeding great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God. And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest. Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same Order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the High Priesthood for ever. And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes — yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his Order, or it being his Order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord” (RE Alma 9:10 & 10:1, emphasis added).

This order was established for those who would not harden their hearts when God presents these men and ordinances to them. Alma’s exhortation to those listening to his sermon was to humble themselves before God multiple times. Only those with broken hearts and contrite spirits are receptive to the Lord and those whom He sends.

“And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart — yea, with great anxiety even unto pain — that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance, but that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the holy spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering, having faith on the Lord, having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life, having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest. And may the Lord grant unto you repentance, that ye may not bring down his wrath upon you, that ye may not be bound down by the chains of hell, that ye may not suffer the second death. And Alma spake many more words unto the people which are not written in this book” (RE Alma 10:4, emphasis added).

Alma admonishes all men to repent, be humble, meek and submissive to the Lord and His servants from the Holy Order. Men of the Holy Order reveal things on Earth that can only be revealed by them and repair and “set in order[6] God’s house. To accomplish those things he encourages us to be humble and submissive. Not because of Alma’s authority, but because what Alma offers makes him a doorway to Eternal Life for those who heed his teachings.

Like Enoch, Moses, and others who are “gods, even the sons of God,” Alma is now a living doorway for salvation. The Lord trusts him with His (God’s) message. Therefore, the words taught by Alma are delivered as the messenger of God. Whoever receives Alma likewise receives Christ. Jesus taught: “He who receives you, receives me. And he who receives me, receives him who sent me. He that receives a prophet, in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he that receives a righteous man, in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” (Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.63, emphasis added).

When the Lord sends a servant, those receiving the servant with diligent heed receive the same reward as the servant. They become heirs to the promises and knowledge endowed upon the servant by God. They are adopted in the family of the servant and gain access to God through the teachings and example of the servant. In this manner they are adopted into God’s family through the righteous ministry of the servant.

“Joseph Smith first mentioned “adoption” in a discussion about the Kingdom of God in October 1843, eight months before his death. He began the actual practice of adopting men, but it did not get well enough defined for the rite to continue following his death.1 Joseph’s original instruction connected the living faithful to the “fathers” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This connection was through Priesthood, not genealogy. Joseph was connected by his Priesthood, becoming a “father” to all who would live after him. Families would be organized under Joseph, as the father of the righteous in this dispensation. Accordingly, men were sealed to Joseph Smith as their father, with they as his sons. This was referred to as “adoption” because the family organization was priestly, according to the law of God, not biological. As soon as Joseph died, the doctrine began to erode, ultimately being replaced by the substitute practice of sealing genealogical lines together. In between the time of original adoptive sealing to Joseph Smith and the current practice of tracking genealogical/biological lines, there was an intermediate step when families were tracked back as far as research permitted, then the line was sealed to Joseph Smith. That practice is now forgotten and certainly no longer practiced. The growing uncertainty, redefinition, and abandonment of the practice of “adoption” has been traced in an article which appears in the Journal of Mormon History.2 It demonstrates how quickly the topic became confused.3 When Joseph died, all understanding of the practice of “adoption” was quickly lost. Joseph Smith regarded adoption to be important for salvation. It was lost when he died. Before the Lord’s return, this will need to be clarified by the Lord returning to a place on the earth in which He can come and restore again that which was lost…even the fullness of the Priesthood (T&C 141:10) and its attendant rites. This is an orderly process that was ordained in Heaven before the creation and implemented at the time of Adam, and it must be followed in every generation. Until mankind receives the “kingdom” (or Family of God) and the Fathers in Heaven, in strict order, they will remain unprepared for the Lord’s return. The hearts of the Fathers and hearts of the children must be sealed together. Pretenders cannot accomplish it, because they will neither know how nor have the authority. (A Glossary of Gospel Terms, Adoption, pp. 566-567, emphasis added).

          The restoration of the Holy Order and practice of adoption through a Patriarchal Father with attendant rites must be restored.  The restoration begins when the Holy Order is brought by Elijah, turning the hearts of the children to the Father’s to avoid the Earth being smitten with the curse of apostasy and destruction.[7]

          Enoch led his people to repentance and the city repented and received the blessing of translation into Heaven through him. The same is true of Melchizedek and his city.

          The Savior taught this concept to the Jews who challenged Him on His assertion they had been in bondage to sin.

“If the Son sets you free from sin, you are free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you conspire to kill me because my teachings have no place within you. I teach you what the Father has shown to me while I was in his presence, and you follow the teaching of your father. They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus replied to them, If you were really Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But instead you plan to kill me. And why do you plan to kill me: I am a man that has only told you the truth that I have heard from the Most High God; Abraham would never do such a thing. You follow the example of your real father. Then they said to him, You are the product of extramarital fornication involving an unknown number of men, and we are not. We have one Father, even God. Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I am sent by and represent God. I am not speaking my own words or pursuing my own agenda, but the Father’s words and agenda. Why do you fail to comprehend my words? Your refusal to hearken and submit to my teachings makes you deaf indeed. Your father is the accuser [because they accuse Jesus], and you share the envy and rebellion of your father. He [Satan][8] was a rebellious destroyer from the beginning, and fought against the truth, because he prefers lies. When he spreads a lie, he advances his agenda. He is the source of deceit in this fallen world. And because I am the Source of truth, you are unable to believe me. Which of you can truthfully show that I have missed the mark? And if I teach the truth, why do you refuse to believe me? Everyone who follows the Most High God hearkens to God’s words. Because you do not follow the Most High God, you cannot hear him[9] (RE T&C 171 The Testimony of Saint John 6:19, emphasis added).

The Savior’s point that Abraham’s children do the works of Abraham is a subtle reference to adoption. Regardless of our lineal descent, our spiritual lineage is determined by who we give heed to. If God sends a messenger in our generation and we heed their teachings in word and deed, we are adopted into their spiritual lineage and receive the promises God promised them. Through them, we gain access to becoming the sons and daughters of God. Rejecting their teachings subjects us to Satan, the accuser and father of lies. In essence, we are children of whom we choose to follow.

          This doctrine was alluded to in T&C 82 when the Lord gave the following revelation:

“Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses, for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed. And the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord upon Mount Zion, in the Lord’s house, whose sons are ye, and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church. For whoever is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the spirit unto the renewing of their bodies, that they become the sons of Moses and of Aaron, and the seed of Abraham, and the church, and kingdom, and the elect of God.

And also, all they who receive this Priesthood receive me, says the Lord, for he that receives my servants receives me, and he that receives me receives my Father, and he that receives my Father receives my Father’s kingdom; therefore, all that my Father has shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and the covenant which belongs to the Priesthood. Therefore, all those who receive the Priesthood receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved. But whoever breaks this covenant after he has received it, and altogether turns therefrom, shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come, and all those who come not unto this Priesthood which you have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, namely the twenty-third day of September, A.D. 1832, eleven high priests, save one, by my own voice out of the Heavens. And even I have given the Heavenly host and my angels charge concerning you” (RE T&C 82:16-17, emphasis added).

The Priesthood of Elijah or Holy Order after the Son of God is the second Priesthood necessary to become “sons of Moses and Aaron, and the seed of Abraham, and the church, and kingdom, and the elect of God.” Under their direction and example God gathers by adoption his family in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.


[1] “A title referring to a specific group with status on the other side of the veil; a proper noun, not just an abstraction. In the afterlife there are different rungs on Jacob’s ladder where different Powers are fixed: Angel, Archangel, Principality, Power, Dominion, Throne, Cherubim, and Seraphim — they may all be called Powers of Heaven. These Powers [men] have no desire to control or compel others to rise on Jacob’s ladder. Each rung is a developmental stage of growth through which all must pass if they want to ascend nearer to God. Each individual on Jacob’s ladder should be moving toward perfection” (A Glossary of Gospel Terms, Powers of Heaven, p.755, emphasis added).

[2] “The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ produces faith in the Savior and will save you if accepted and obeyed. The Book of Mormon reports that some of what Jesus Christ taught “cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man.” Joseph Smith could not write all that God revealed to him. Much of those unspeakable things belong to the fullness of the Priesthood, but will not be publicly available before the Lord’s return” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.2, emphasis added).


[3] “Preaching repentance was and is the distinguishing role for the Holy Order in this world. In this description we should ask who was identified as “his people?”—meaning Melchizedek’s people. I do not think it was just a random audience who heard him teach. I think “his people” were those few who heard him teach and responded by repenting. There were likely far more who heard him than who repented. As with any age in history, few will be gathered because only few ever respond and repent. Melchizedek was qualified to teach and preach reliably and truthfully by his knowledge of God’s great mysteries. Similarly, a messenger like Joseph Smith had far more experience beyond the veil than he ever taught or revealed. His First Vision ends with this comment: “and many other things did he say unto me which I cannot write at this time.”179 Melchizedek and Joseph were no different from many other messengers who likewise knew far more than they revealed. God does not trust a gossip. Nor are the heavens supposed to be the object of voyeurism” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.54, emphasis added).


[4] ”Every one of these professes to be competent to try his neighbor’s spirit, but no one can try his own, and what is the reason? because they have not a key to unlock, no rule wherewith to measure, and no criterion whereby they can test it; could any one tell the length, breadth, or height of a building without a rule? test the quality of metals without a criterion, or point out the movements of the planetary system without a knowledge of astronomy? certainly not: and if such ignorance as this is manifested about a spirit of this kind who can describe an angel of light: if Satan should appear as one in glory? Who can tell his color, his signs, his appearance, his glory? or what is the manner of his manifestation? Who can detect the spirit of the French Prophets, with their revelations, and visions and power and manifestations? or who can point out the spirit of the Irvingites with their apostles, and prophets, and visions, and tongues and interpretations, &c, &c; or who can drag into day light and develope the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter Day Saints? We answer that no man can do this without the Priesthood, and having a knowledge of the laws by which Spirits are governed; for as “no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God,” so no man knows the spirit of the devil and his power and influence but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the Priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices; without knowing the angelic form, the sanctified look, and gesture, and the zeal that is frequently manifested by him for the glory of God:— together with the prophetic spirit, the gracious influence, the godly appearance, and the holy garb which is so characteristic of his proceedings, and his mysterious windings. A man must have the discerning of spirits, before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors: for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit, when they think they have the spirit of God” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., pp.58-59, emphasis added).

[5] “This refusal to respect God’s choice doomed them and their descendants to continual apostasy. That apostasy led to open warfare beginning with the first generation. Centuries later, Lamanite fighters were inspired by hatred because they believed, “your fathers did wrong their brethren, insomuch that they did rob them of their right to the government when it rightfully belonged unto them.”29 This hatred was grounded in religious resentment. Father Abraham was nothing like Laman. Instead he willingly accepted and honored the Holy Order” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.8, emphasis added).

[6] “Because of the failure in Joseph’s day, the Family or House of God still needs to be set in order. As is always the case, there will need to be a temple prepared for the Holy Order to function. It was first given to Adam and Eve in sacred space and therefore, sacred space like the Garden of Eden is required for its function” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.4, emphasis added).

“Joseph Smith spoke often about these things, but the Lord knew there would be no Zion or New Jerusalem in his day. After the murders of Joseph and Hyrum, the church was corrupted and morphed into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. That allowed the Book of Mormon, Joseph’s revelations, and historical materials to be preserved long enough for the Lord to resume the work. That organization has now fulfilled its purpose, and will not be replaced. The state of Zion will not invite corruption by ambitious, aspiring souls. It will require eternal words, a fountain of truth, to set in order the House of God”[see RE T&C 83:4] (footnote 86, The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., pp.23-24, emphasis added).

“The Holy Order was and is intended to establish a “house of order.” In 1836 the saints were invited to reestablish the Lord’s house of order. They hoped to accomplish that by their own initiative: The Lord wanted His House, “Even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a House of God.” They were offered the Holy Order, or fullness of the Priesthood, but it was “lost unto [them]” and taken away from that generation. This was not unexpected. The Lord knew they would fail and had previously promised there would come a time when His House would be “set in order.” This will happen when the Lord reestablishes the Holy Order. The Lord’s “House” is not merely a physical building, but includes His Family/House as well” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.28, emphasis added).

[7]Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall seal the heart of the Fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their Fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (RE Malachi 1:12, emphasis added).

This world was organized to provide an opportunity for every soul sent here to be “added upon.” But it was never expected that souls would develop equally. Because of apostasy, an overwhelming number of mankind have lived without any opportunity to receive and accept the Gospel. It will nevertheless be “tolerable” for them in the resurrection. But when the Gospel is taught to and rejected by people, the resurrection will not be “tolerable” for them. People who live and die without learning of God’s law are also redeemed and unaccountable for what was never shown to them” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.35, emphasis added).

“From among the few who have the Gospel preached to them, the “fullness of the Priesthood” has been available to teach very few indeed. How often God would have gathered people as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings? But mankind has continually returned to a state of apostasy, rejecting the gift that was (and now is) continually offered by a gracious God: You who are quickened by a portion of the Celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And also, they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who remain, shall also be quickened. Nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what does it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. 121 If there is a need to fix blame for the limited opportunities mankind has had for being gathered by God and protected by Him, then the blame is upon our ancestors who rejected the Gospel. The blame is not on a willing God. Our unwillingness to let Him govern us through the Holy Order has resulted in this world descending into chaos and sin. The path back is through repenting and returning to God’s path” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., pp. 35-36, emphasis added).

“Because mankind refuses to allow God to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, this has been the condition of the world generation after generation. Mankind prefers apostasy. The Holy Order has not generally appealed to the children of Adam. Rejecting teachers from the Holy Order results in being cut off from God. When God appointed Nephi to be a “ruler and a teacher” over his brethren, it was accompanied by this condemnation: “And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.”199 Rejecting Nephi as a teacher was rejecting the Lord’s presence. God’s presence is made available to the faithful through His messengers” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.65, emphasis added).


[8] “Satan’s title is “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12: 10).  Of what does he accuse them?  The answer is of all their natural failings, mistakes, shortcomings and errors.  We are all ample examples of such shortcomings.  No matter how good a life we may lead, we all fall short.  The answer to this problem is not to accuse others but to forgive them.  We cloak others in a robe of charity, and we in turn merit charity” (Accuser of our brethren, blogpost March 10, 2010, Denver Snuffer Jr., emphasis added).

[9] “Those who become part of the Holy Order necessarily recognize Abraham as a Father to them, and they in turn become his “seed” or descendants. Abraham was adopted as son to Melchizedek, which made Melchizedek father to Abraham. Subsequently, all those who were added to the line holding the fullness of the Priesthood became adopted descendants to Abraham. That is why it is written they “shall rise up and bless you, as unto their Father.” Melchizedek was “Father” to the righteous at the time Abraham was seeking for the blessing of the Fathers. Because Abraham honored the position occupied by Melchizedek, heaven took notice. As stated before, Abraham was faithful and unaspiring, but also seeking and willing. If he hoped to displace, or compete, or stand independent of Melchizedek he would not have been qualified, nor even considered by heaven. If Lehi had not respected Jeremiah as the Lord’s messenger, the heavens would not have opened for him. If Nephi had not respected his father Lehi as God’s messenger, Nephi would not have had the heavens open for him. An aspiring spirit is toxic, and while aspiring men may gain some measure of spiritual understanding, they forfeit any blessing that might have been gained by accepting and honoring the Holy Order” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.7, emphasis added).

Scott Roderick

July 4, 2024

Exploring the Holy Order and Adoption Part 2
Download PDF • 360KB

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Exploring the Holy Order and Adoption Part 1

I don’t profess to understand all that has been taught about the Holy Order. I have read Denver’s talks multiple times and continue to try and sort it out. This is a continuation of that effort. It sh


bottom of page