Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, May 18

“Was Abraham a High Priest before His Almost Being Sacrificed?” by grego

“Was Abraham a High Priest before His Almost Being Sacrificed?”

grego
(c) 2010

In the book of Abraham, it seems that Abraham becomes a high priest at the beginning of the record. I don’t believe that is what happened–that was just an introductional summary, and in fact, it’s not until *after* his “almost sacrifice” that he is ordained a high priest.

Here is what I believe is the introductional summary:
Abraham 1:1 In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence;
2 And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers…
4 I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.

Though it sounds like Abraham already has the priesthood before the next part, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Then, comes the beginning of the story. Note that at this time, Abraham is in Chaldea.
Abraham 1:8 Now, at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children.
20 Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea… and there was great mourning in Chaldea…

The priest tries to sacrifice Abraham, and he prays; then this:
Abraham 1:15 … behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;
16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;
17 And this because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship [false gods]; therefore I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abraham, my son, to take away thy life.
18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.

It seems like Jehovah promises him the priesthood, which means he didn’t have it yet.

Abraham had the records with him, which taught him concerning the priesthood; he kept it:
31 But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.

Then, Abraham leaves Chaldea. Note that he hadn’t left Chaldea before, and how this is the same time as Abraham 1:1:
Abraham 2:3 Now the Lord had said unto me: Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.
4 Therefore I left the land of Ur, of the Chaldees,…

Jehovah speaks about the priesthood and Abraham’s blessings:
Abraham 2:8 My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
9 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.

Abraham has found what he was looking for: to become a high priest.

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