This week in the Book of Mormon we’ll look at chapters 10 to 13 in Alma, but focus on chapter 13 where Alma teaches about God’s Holy Order. Alma presents a number of concepts about this Holy Order that we will discuss and then we’ll expand the concept of holiness by defining what holiness means and detailing the process of Exaltation that we see in the Bible.
Holiness and God’s Presence
Essentially, holiness is to qualify to be in the physical presence of God the Father. The Bible records no account of any mortal man seeing God the Father or being in His physical presence. After Genesis chapter one, the god represented in the Bible is Yehovah-Yeshua. All we really have is Yeshua declaring that if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father – John 14:9. So, the hope of qualifying to be in the physical presence of the Father is to reach the full stature of Yeshua the Messiah, who is holy – Ephesians 4:13.
The Holy Order of God
As the term Holy Order indicates, holiness is a whole paradigm that defines what God is and the kind of existence He has. We can begin to get an idea of what that paradigm is by considering the theme of threes that was previously posted with Eternal Life and the Theme of Threes, which we’ll repost here.
Alma’s Main Concepts
The first concept that we see Alma present in chapter 13 is ordination at v1. Ordination is not an essential action to receive the priesthood – the priesthood oath is essential. Some see that being ordained by another man with authority is the conferring of priesthood authority, but as we saw previously with Alma in the Book of Mosiah, it is God’s Holy Spirit that grants authority. Ordination then is primarily the act of setting a priesthood holder apart to function in a specific role in a community of believers.
The next concept we see in v2 is proxy-salvation. The manner of the priesthood is associated with the Messiah’s redemption, which is proxy salvation. Those who obtain this order of the priesthood function as proxy-deliverers/saviors.
These received a holy calling during the foundation of the world to complete during mortality at v3. We can link this concept with having one’s “calling and election made sure” – 2 Peter 1:10.
In v6, they are commissioned to teach.
Verse 7 we can link directly to Hebrews 7 where this priesthood is “without beginning of days or end of years”. So this is the Melchizedek Priesthood, which Alma refers to is after the order of the Son of God.
And finally, we see that theses are high priests in v9. So to be in God’s Holy Order, requires to hold the office of a high priest. The office of a high priest is to administer the Gospel to a community of believers and not to families. The father as a priest to his family administers the Gospel to his family. Moreover, high priests can also be the patriarch of a family clan or organization.
Obtaining God’s Presence
God provides, in the Bible, the process for those who are diligent enough to put the work in and make the sacrifices to qualify to be in His presence. We have laid out that process in general terms with the process of transformation – Redemption, Sanctification and Exaltation. To receive God’s presence a person first needs to be Redeemed and Sanctified, which we discussed in our last post. Next, comes Exaltation.
John, the Apostle, said that we could come to know the truth of all things through God’s Spirit – John 16:13, and that includes the pathway and process to know God. Once, we have obtained that knowledge, the work begins. Here is that process.
The Millennial Presence of the Son
When the Messiah returns with His immortal and glorified body the wicked will be destroyed because they will not be able to endure His presence. Prior to that blessed day the Endtime events will force all Humanity into a choice to rise to be the Messiah's Zion people who have been redeemed and sanctified or to succumb to their carnal and base desires.