D&C 84. The Key of the Knowledge of God.
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So if there is no priesthood, there is no knowledge of God. And that is why the world is in darkness today, because they have no priesthood. They have lost the knowledge of God. And so they have been teaching all manner of tradition, all manner of false doctrine, all manner of man-made philosophy in relation to God and the principles of truth pertaining to the salvation of men. These principles can only be received, if you please, through the power of the priesthood, for it is by the power that the keys of the knowledge of God are obtained.
When we read things of this nature, it ought to make every man among us who holds the priesthood rejoice to think that we have the great authority by which we may know God. Not only the men holding the priesthood know that great truth, but because of that priesthood and the ordinances thereof, every member of the Church, men and women alike, may know God. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1956, 3:142-43.)
The Aaronic Priesthood remained with Israel and also the law of Moses, or the law of carnal commandments, until the coming of Jesus Christ, when again the fulness of the Gospel and the Priesthood were given to Israel. The Prophets of Israel and Judah, however, from the time of Moses until Malachi, held the Melchizedek Priesthood, but it was not conferred upon others during that time. Elijah, who held the fulness of the Priesthood, was a prophet during that time when the people of Israel were restricted to the preparatory Gospel. (Joseph Fielding Smith, CHMR, 1948, 2:104.)
Answer to the question, Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died? All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away, but that which brought the ministry of angels remained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself. (TPJS, January 5, 1841, pp. 180-81.)
“…means seeing with the eyes of faith the enlarged possibilities of priesthood service to one’s family, flock, friends and others” (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, 9/93, 66).
The Father has promised his sons who receive the Holy Priesthood and faithfully abide by the conditions of its oath and covenant that they are to share in all that which the Father hath. The Father possesses kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions, and exaltations. These the faithful will receive of him as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. This promise—and the Lord will not fail—is a challenging encouragement for all to do his will. It is natural for a father to share his estate with his children. Our Heavenly Father is no exception. He does so with a binding covenant with his faithful sons: Listen to the words of this promise: [Sec. 84:40, quoted.]
The number sharing these great and choice blessings will be limited. It is unfortunate that so few will worthily prepare themselves and enter the strait gate and faithfully follow the narrow way to the end to earn the promising reward of eternal life and its joint-heirship with Christ of all that God the Father possesses. (Delbert L. Stapley, CR, April 1961, pp 66-67.)
“The Book of Mormon has not been, nor is it yet, the center of our personal study, family teaching, preaching, and missionary work. Of this we must repent” (ET Benson, CR, 4/86, 4).