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Relationship to Section 84 The relationship of Verses 84:31-52 to the rest of Section 84 is discussed at D&C 84.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 84:31-42 include:
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- D&C 84:33-42: The oath and covenant of the Priesthood. Like other covenants contained in the scriptures, the priesthood covenant described in these verses creates a specific relationship between God and his children. By entering into this covenant, promises are exchanged and obligations created. These promises and obligations in turn establish a relationship of reliance between the parties. The priesthood holder relies upon God for the spirit (verse 33) and, eventually, for exaltation (verse 38). God relies on the priesthood holder to help establish his church and kingdom (verse 34). This reliance draws them together in a mutual effort.
- The oath portion of the "oath and covenant" apears to be coupled with the covenant and thus probably relates to the same promises as the covenant. An oath can be distinguished from a covenant in that, traditionally, the performance of an oath is not contingent upon the performance by another person (as is the case in a covenant relationship). This perhaps suggests that the promises in these verses are also to be made by oath--i.e., regardless of what others may say or do, or not do.
- Generally, the priesthood covenant is understood to be a covenant involving only priesthood holders. However, verses 35-38 repeatedly use the term "receive," which could certainly be read more broadly to be applicable to anyone who "receives" the Lord's priesthood in the same sense as receiving the Lord's servants (i.e., by accepting its/their teachings and authority).
- D&C 84:33-42: The oath and covenant of the Priesthood. While we often talk about the oath and covenant of the priesthood as if it were a legally binding contract, with promises offered on both sides, perhaps it is more appropriate to think of it as entering into a higher relationship with the Lord. We are indeed promised blessings, including "all that my Father hath," making us sons and heirs. While baptism makes us children of Christ by our taking upon us his name, perhaps we should see receipt of the priesthood is our entering into heirship. This relationship involves our working with the Lord to fulfill his purposes on this earth. Rather than seeing priesthood as primarily the authority do act in God's name, perhaps we should view it more as a working relationship with the Lord, with authority given us to conduct the ordinances and other activities needed to further that relationship.
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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- D&C 84:33. Is acceptance of the priesthood necessary for sanctification?
- D&C 84:35. How do we "receive" the Lord?
- D&C 84:35. What distinction, if any, exists between obtaining the priesthood (v. 33) and receiving the priesthood?
- D&C 84:39. The material in the foregoing verses are said to "accord" with the "oath and covenant" in an apparent reference without clear referent. Is it possible that Moses 7:51 is what is here in question? What would that mean for this most important passage (meaning verses 33-42)?
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- D&C 84:38. Craig A. Cardon, "Moving Closer to Him," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 94–96. Elder Cardon declares: "While the priesthood is given to worthy sons of God, His daughters are also a part of His people to whom He reveals His priesthood ordinances. And the promised blessing of 'all that [the] Father hath' is available to both men and women who exercise faith in Jesus Christ, receive the ordinances, and endure in faith to the end."
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.