The Next Prophet or Spokeman of God


The post to which I am responding states that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church to interpret scripture. Had you said that originally or in your response to me / the Catholic poster, I would have had no issues. Sorry for the confusion.

The Sola Scriptura position is that “the Bible interprets itself” regardless of what name you apply to it. That was the confusion. But your clarification that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church to interpret scripture removes my confusion. That is the Catholic position.

LDS in particular and TOm specifically believe and attempt to “turn to the Holy Spirit in learning what the versed in the Bible really mean,” LDS truly believe “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
LDS like Catholics recognize that all members are not perfect in this endeavor and LDS like Catholics teach that when there is a conflict between what an individual member thought the Holy Spirit guided them to understand in scripture and what the Church was guided by the Holy Spirit to understand that the Catholic Church is right. This is also the same for LDS.

Charity, TOm


Order is to arrange like things. Melchizedek was a Priest-King without parents are children, who offers bread and wine. Melchizedek prefigured the reality of Jesus Christ; there is no other like him.

And what we say is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest, who hath been made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life: for it is witnessed of him, Thou art a priest forever After the order of Melchizedek. - Hebrews 7:15-17

These was no such thing as a Melchizedek Priesthood. It was an invention of Joseph Smith.


Yes, he made that claim, and it is recorded in Mormon scripture. And it was believed by all Mormons until science proved it to be false.


You are under the mistaken assumption that I am referring to Sola Scriptura when I speak of the Bible explaining and supporting itself. Neither I nor the Catholic Church believe in Sola Scriptura.

The Holy Spirit is our guide to understanding the Holy Bible. We don’t need books like the BOM which was written by someone who was not a prophet of God to explain and clarify the Bible for us. If the Holy Spirit truly guided your church, you wouldn’t need the BOM either.


Please note, TOm, that I said, “If Protestants share my view of the Holy Bible,” That means NO “Sola Scriptura.” I don’t believe in it. The Catholic Church does not believe in it. And the Holy Bible itself is clear that not everything is written down because there wouldn’t be enough books to contain everything.

I shouldn’t have to say to someone who used to be Catholic that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church in the interpretation of Scripture. My meaning should’ve been clear to you.


I understand that you meant to say that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church to interpret scripture.
Lily, I have had Catholics say things to me about the Catholic Church that I know are not true because they thought it would be beneficial to their apologetic case.
You suggested that “the Bible interprets itself” and that my church refuses to accept that the Bible interprets itself. When a Protestant says this to me, I reply with why it is clear that the Bible doesn’t interpret itself as vsedriver did. But when a Catholic says this to me, I merely need to point to the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning this because the Catholic Church AND the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints AGREE here.
Perhaps the issue was the you didn’t know we were in agreement here, but your words suggested that you disagreed with the Catholic Church (which is why a Catholic also told you that you were not correct).
I understand now that you meant that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Chruch to interpret the Bible, but you did not mean that the “Bible interprets itself.” So now I see that you agree with the Catholic Church and the CoJCoLDS. This is a good outcome for dialogue. I am sorry I wasn’t able to see it sooner without causing so much stress, but I hope we can celebrate it how!
Charity, TOm


Thank you @Stephen168 for this very clear explanation.


When do you claim science proved it false. I know I didn’t believe it in 1998. My Stake Sunday School president was Brant Gardner and he convinced me that there were “others” in the BOM before I even heard of Simon Southerton or DNA arguments.
The view you claim was believed by all LDS until “science proved it to be false” was spoken against by a member of the first presidency at General Conference in 1929.
The BOM does not demand the view you claim LDS abandoned because of science and many LDS left that view behind BEFORE the science existed.
Concerning this subject, you and I have discussed the claim made by doctor of the church St. Robert Bellarmine that he said was “de fide” or “of the faith” that science has proven wrong. I understand that Bellarmine is not infallible. I understand that you do not think the claim that Bellarmine said was “de fide” concerns faith and morals so the Pope(s) who agreed with him were not infallible either. Charitably I can accept this and it would not preclude me from being Catholic, but it is far from clear. BTW there are many modern Catholics who believe in geocentricism because they disagree with you that it does not concern faith and morals. One of the Catholic apologists that I very much liked (still do) Robert Sungenis is among them.
I suggest that you charitably accept that LDS leaders can be wrong about the ALL vs. some without causing issues for our faith commitment (and our commitment to science and evidence). Or you can stick to your position and continue your mistaken view of what LDS can and should believe.
Charity, TOm


Please provide your sources. Thanks.



If you are out there could you please answer a couple of questions about the Catholic priesthood.

  1. To which priesthood do Catholic deacons, priests, and bishops belong?
  2. How does this priesthood compare to the Levitical Priesthood from the Old Testament?
  3. How does this priesthood compare to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:17)?

Thanks in advance!


The Pearl of Great Price

  1. Catholics believe that there is one Sacrament of Ordination. A bishop (as a direct successor of the Apostles) receives the fullness of this Sacrament.

The three orders within the one Sacrament have different roles.

Generally speaking, we don’t speak of deacons as having the priesthood. Diaconate is instead the Order of service. Still, a deacon does receive a “part” of the fullness of ordination which belongs to bishops.

A priest is “one who offers the Sacrifice” meaning the Eucharist. Both bishops and presbyters are priests.

It can easily confuse a non-Catholic because we use the word “priest” in 2 different ways. All bishops are priests, but not all priests are bishops. To make a distinction, those who are not bishops are called presbyters; although we don’t use that word in everyday language. It would be odd to get a phone call and someone says “May I speak with the presbyter.”

When we need to make a legal distinction, we speak of bishops and/or presbyters. When speaking of both, we say “sacerdos” (Latin) or priest.

Also, certain other acts require what we call (formally) the “character of the priesthood” such as Absolution, Confirmation, Anointing the sick. Again, these apply to both bishops and presbyters, since both are priests.

In contrast, some acts require the “character of the episcopate” (a synonym for bishop). At the top of that list is the ability to ordain someone else.

The vocabulary can be very confusing in English because we borrow our words from both Latin and Greek.

So, we use the noun “bishop” but the adjective “episcopal” Confusing, I must admit!

I know that’s just a start. Yes, I know–lest someone jump all over me and post “you left out…” I know.

Lest I run out of space, I’m going to have to split this.



The Old Testament pre-figures the New Testament priesthood.

So, in a sense, the Christian priest is the successor to the Old Testament priests and Levites.

The Old Testament sacrifices were a “hint” of the New Testament one sacrifice of Christ.

The OT priests/Levites had their offices by virtue of family inheritance. The NT priesthood is passed along by each “generation” of bishops instead of by birth.

Melchizdek--Hebrews 7:3

That’s rather an oddity. It’s a popular poetic reference, but we do not make much of a big deal about it spiritually speaking. That’s important to note.

Melchizedek was actually a priest in the Old Testament who met with Abraham. He was a “priest of God Most High” We know practically nothing about him.

We really don’t know what exactly that means. We have to keep it in context here. He lived at the time of Abraham. The Jewish priesthood would not exist until the Exodus many centuries later.

The author of Hebrews is making the point that just as the OT Melchizedek was a priest, but NOT by descent from Aaron (who would live centuries later), the NT priesthood is likewise not descended (by family) from Aaron, but instead exists because of the eternal life in Christ.

Mostly, the references to Melchizedek are poetic. Do not read too much into it.


Very informative. Thank you!!


I’ll have to give gazelam some credit. In my 11 yrs on CAF, gazelam is only the second Mormon to even attempt a defense.

It is not unusual to find Joseph Smith ‘restoring’ something that never was.

P.S. Is that a picture of Venice?


I thought the apostasy occurred after the death of the last apostle but yet John still walks the earth? How much more backwards can your church be with its lies and deceit?


Father David, thank you very much for commenting here. I wanted you to critique the following if you have time.

I have seen a number of Catholics assert that the Catholic Priesthood is the priesthood after the "Order of Melchizedek.”
Father Kyle Schnippel claims exactly this here:

Catholic apologist Mark Shea essentially says it here:

And a reading of Thomas Aquinas would bear this out. “Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers.” So Catholic priests are ministers sharing / using / participating (acting in the person of Christ) with Christ’s priesthood aka the priesthood after the “order of Melchizedek.” This quote from Aquinas is directly used as I am using it in CCC1544 -1545. Christ is a priest after the “Order of Melchizedek” and all other “priests” are only his ministers, sharing in His priesthood.

Have I missed anything?

I am fine with the Melchizedek language being poetic, and I do believe nor assert that Melchizedek was divinely conceived “without Father or Mother.” I merely agree with Mark Shea, Father Kyle Schnippel, and Thomas Aquinas that the Catholic Church claims the Catholic priest is in the “order of Melchizedek.”

Charity, TOm

Are Mormons and Unitarians Christians?


First part:

The phrase “order of Melchizedek” is just a poetic phrase. That’s all it is. It is not a “form” of priesthood.

Yes, Melchizedek pre-figured the Eucharist by offering a sacrifice of bread and wine. That means that his appearance in the Old Testament was to give us (and Abram) a “hint” about what was to come later. It shows us that it was God’s plan from the very beginning that eventually there would be a Eucharist of bread and wine (consecrated into the Body and Blood). Other-than-that, other than the fact that the event was a hint of what was to come later, the phrase is nothing more than a literary device. Nothing more.

The priesthood does not start with Melchizedek. It starts with Christ. It is only pre-figured in the Old Testament. It’s a way of showing us that God knew that he would LATER institute the Christian Priesthood and so He tells us “see, I’ve known it all along, I’ve been hinting at it all along, it’s not something I invented at the moment, but something I’ve always intended to do.”

I know WHY you’re asking the question. Suffice to say that the Mormon understanding of the Melchizedek priesthood is completely different. You’re trying to see the Christian priesthood through that lens. Well, you’re not “trying to” but you are.

Please believe me, the words “order of Melchizedek” are just a poetic way of giving another name to the priesthood of Christ.

I am not going to deny that you’ll find the phrase in many different places, over the centuries, and used by the most trusted theologians. Of course not. We like the phrase.

As for Fr. K.S. comments, all I can say is that I’ve never heard anyone else make that same claim or connection. It seems to be nothing more than his personal musings on the subject. I find it forced. And finally, we do not believe that the people of the OT lived lives in centuries. Those numbers are meant to be symbolic. The idea that Shem would have met Melchizedek would be immediately dismissed by any modern Catholic theologian.

[sure enough, ran out of space]


Second part:

Yes, Christ Himself is the ONE priest. He is both the Lamb of sacrifice and the priest Who offers Himself, at the same time. There is only one sacrifice of Christ.

The Christian priesthood is a participation in that one priesthood of Christ. It’s not separate. When the Catholic priest acts (meaning “acts as a priest” not just walks down the street) he is acting in the person of Christ (in Latin we say in persona Christi) meaning that it is really Christ Himself acting, but the priest is the one physically present and Christ acts through him. So the priest cannot consecrate the Eucharist on his own. Only Christ, acting through the priest, is the one who consecrates the Eucharist. The priest is the minister of Christ.

All of the Old Testament references to priesthood exist as a way of showing us that it has been God’s plan all along that He would institute a Christian priesthood.

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