I have a mission box. In this box is several things I kept from my mission. Photos, mission scriptures discussions, letters, and other things I had decided to keep a long, long time ago. Among those trappings is a sheet of paper I received when I was ordained an Elder of the Melchizedek Priesthood. I don’t know how many of the brethren have this. It’s not something I ever hear talked about, so I’m assuming it’s not all that common. (Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm not.) It is my Priesthood Lineage:
Peter, James, and John were ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Matthew 16:13-19, 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-10, Luke 9:28-36, 2 Peter 1:16-18)
Joseph Smith Jr. was ordained an Apostle of the Lord under the hands of Peter, James, and John in June of 1829. (Joseph Smith History 1:72, Doctrine & Covenants 27:12, Doctrine & Covenants 128:20, Church History in the Fullness of Times)
Brigham Young was ordained a High Priest 14 February 1835 by the First Presidency of the church: Joseph Smith Jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. He was ordained an Apostle by the Three witnesses the same day: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris the same day.
Joseph F. Smith was ordained an Apostle of the Lord 1 July 1866 by Brigham Young.
Joseph Fielding Smith was ordained an Apostle of the Lord 7 April 1910 by Joseph F. Smith.
Glen Obid Hamblin as ordained a High Priest 29 April 1940 by Joseph Fielding Smith.
Living Webb was ordained a High Priest 28 July 1966 by Glen Obid Hamblin,
Living Marcum was ordained a High Priest 8 February 1976 by Living Webb.
Living Peterson was ordained a High Priest 9 November 1986 by Living Marcum.
Living Mecham was ordained a High Priest 28 June 1987 by Living Marcum
I was ordained an Elder of the Melchizedek Priesthood 18 November 1998 by living Mecham.
As I look over this sacred lineage I find myself wondering, what is the Priesthood "DNA" I carry? How has the Priesthood that I carry been used by those who preceded me? What can I learn from them? Am I upholding my lineage? Would my fore-bearers approve of how I've carried on their heritage? I can only hope so.
Do you know your Priesthood Lineage? What great things have your fore-bearers done with their Priesthood? What are you doing to honor your Priesthood Lineage today?