Wednesday, March 5, 2014


A descriptive banner from the Dead Sea Scroll Exhibit currently on display at the Leonardo in Salt Lake City. 

Salt Lake City is one of only six cities in the United States to display a collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls. On display is one of the largest collections of the priceless 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls and can be seen at the Leonardo Museum through April 27, 2014.

 Discovered by a shepherd in the Qumran caves in 1947, the Scrolls contain the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible. Qumran, was home to a community of a religious group called the Essenes, who devoted much of their time to writing and preserving sacred texts. The Essenes refer largely to those people who left Jerusalem after the destruction of Solomon's Temple and  went into the desert to continue to practice the ancient temple religion.

Part of the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit on display is the War Scroll popularly known as "The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness," is one of the seven original scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947. The scroll sheds light on the New Testament Book of Revelation, in which a final war is described between earthly and heavenly forces.

Above is a photo of one of the banners above the War Scroll display. I found the information contained on the banner to be really interesting. It reads:
"The authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls were intimately familiar with Jerusalem. It is likely that some of them lived in the city at one time. Many scrolls mention both the contemporary city and messianic visions of it in a perfect future age. For these writers, the city was polluted and profane. It was  place from which they had spiritually and physically withdrawn because of its religious corruption, "the city in which the evil priest has undertaken abominable actions so as to render the Temple impure." 

The Temple was the seat of an illegitimate priesthood, which would be delivered into the hands of the Kittim, probably the Romans. At the same time, the scrolls speak of Jerusalem's future restoration, it would again be worthy of the divine presence at the end of days, when God would build a perfect Temple there."

I think this is the first place I have read the words " illegitimate priesthood." The word illegitimate means not authorized or in accordance with accepted principles or standard. It is not recognized as valid or sanctioned.  A question to think about is... what makes the Priesthood illegitimate?  Some answers can be found in D&C 121.



Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Can't wait to visit the Leonardo.
I think Ezekiel also had something to say about the illegitimate priesthood of the last days in Ezek. 34.

Anonymous said...

I think saying priesthood was given to you when it wasn't would make it illegitimate.

Researchers who have closely examined the D&C and primary source accounts found that the official narrative of priesthood restoration contains numerous gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions. Scholars also raise important questions that expose potential weaknesses in Smith and Cowdery's story of their miraculous ordinations. For example, if Joseph and Oliver had experienced events as remarkable and life-altering as divine visitations by John the Baptist and three of Christ's apostles, why would they not tell others? These miraculous ordinations were not publicly revealed or documented until five years after they supposedly occurred. Moreover, if the restoration of the priesthood is a fundamental tenet of the LDS Church, why was this revelation excluded from the Book of Commandments when it was originally published in 1833, only revealed in the revised and re-named Doctrine and Covenants in 1835?

Anonymous said...

Here is some interesting history about priesthood

Anonymous said...

There is only one priesthood. It is received under the Hand of God. It is not passed from man to man. It is empowered by the Holy Ghost. Without the Holy Ghost there is no power in the priesthood. It is eternal. It is not controlled nor given thru any organization.
The church's claims of having the fullness of the priesthood are just hot air designed to empower an organization created and maintained by men, based on the philosophies of men minged with scripture.

Aaron said...


How truth can bring light to darken minds!

The truth of how priesthood developed in the church could certainly crush many people's testimonies in the church and it's leaders. What is taught in church materials as truth is a manipulated and completely misleading narrative of church history. I now understand why church leaders insist people look to them as a source of truth and authority, it the best way they can maintain their influence and power over people.

Toni said...

Reading Daymon Smith's books (A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon) have really opened my eyes. Well, I'm only on the second one (he is offering them for free for a short time - see ). It has been quite the mind-blowing experience.

Toni said...

Received from "God's own voice" according to JST Genesis (I forget which chapter, but it's the one talking about Melchizedek priesthood).

Anonymous said...

Church members and missionaries talk so much about how blind catholics are to never look into their own history to see that their authority and Priesthood were lost, while those mormons themeselves don't do it either, and have no idea, nor do they want to know, that the authority and Priesthood was lost when Joseph died, and Brigham Young didn't have any more authority to continue the true church then did any Catholic pope.

It's too ridiculous, too frustrating to worry about, just walk away from it all. For most people will never accept or see the truth about church history, for then they would have to be responsible for finding truth on their own and discerning right from wrong themselves, which requires righteousness, which they don't want to have to really be, thus they prefer the temporary bliss of following blindly and not really having to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it just asks way too much of them.

Anonymous said...

Priesthood lost? From link above it seems it is questionable that it was even restored!