Hole-y Mormon Priesthood

Who’s On First? What’s On Second? I Don’t Know’s On Third!

View PDF Tract  / The Older The Bolder – Marshall Almarode 

Mormon Priesthood – Who’s on first?

Mormonism has two priesthoods. The lesser is called “The Aaronic Priesthood” and the greater is called “The Melchizedek Priesthood.” Joseph Smith claimed that he and Oliver Cowdry received the Aaronic Priesthood in the Susquehanna River by the resurrected John the Baptist. The details of just how this Priesthood was received is recorded in the History of the Church and in the Pearl of Great Price. The account of the receiving of the greater priesthood, the Melchizedek Priesthood is not recorded anywhere in anyone’s diary or in any historical document anywhere. It is as if it never happened. The fact is, there is no known recorded account in all of the history of the Mormon Church of anyone receiving the Melchizedek priesthood from Peter, James or John. This is puzzling because this is the greater priesthood and should have been even more important and glorious. Many Mormons are perplexed by this fact. Mormon logic goes something like this: “We have the restored Melchi-zedek Priesthood, therefore we must have received it.” With no witness and no testimony, the Mormon Church claims that Joseph Smith received the Melchizedek priesthood from Peter, James and John.

There is a difference when it comes to the Mormon Aaronic Priesthood. Joseph Smith recorded receiving the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist. The Pearl of Great Price contains the modernized record of the only story of Joseph receiving any priesthood.


Pearl of Great Price 

Joseph Smith History 1:68-73

68 We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:

69 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

70 He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he should baptize me.

71 Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me–after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthood–for so we were commanded.

72 The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.

73 Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.



The following questions are designed to help you discover for yourself the errors in this story.

  1. What did Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey go to pray about?
  2. Who was the messenger and who did he baptize first?
  3. Since they were praying about baptism for the remission of sin, why didn’t John the Baptist baptize the two of them for remission of their sins?
  4. The original Aaronic Priesthood was designed to sacrifice animals to God. Why wasn’t this priesthood restored like the original?
  5. What are the three keys of this Priesthood?
  6. What power does this priesthood not have?
  7. How did Oliver Cowdrey get his authority to baptize Joseph Smith?
  8. Who gave Joseph Smith the authority to baptize Oliver?
  9. Who was the first to be baptized?
  10. Who was the first to be ordained?
  11. Who is called the first elder?
  12. Who became an elder first?
  13. Who was ordained to the priesthood first?
  14. Who was the first person to ordain Joseph Smith?
  15. Who was an elder second?
  16. Who was the first to ordain both men?
  17. Why did they re-ordain each other?
  18. Why was there a need to be re-ordained so soon?
  19. Why does Joseph Smith get to be called the “First Elder” when he was ordained and Baptized “Second?”
  20. Who’s on first?


  1. Verse (vs.) 68 Baptism for Remission of Sins
  2. 72 John the Baptist – Neither person
  3. It never states that John baptized Joseph or Oliver for remission of their sins. They seem to be sidetracked to receiving the priesthood rather than getting their sins forgiven.
  4. This priesthood looks like the original Aaronic Priesthood in its name only. The original Aaronic Priesthood was only given to a very select few men who had to be Jews and then only from the tribe of Aaron. The purpose of this original priesthood was to offer plant and animal sacrifices to God. The Mormon priesthoods don’t do sacrifices at all. If it doesn’t look the same, maybe that’s because it is not the same.
  5. Ministering of angels, gospel of repentance, and baptism by immersion
  6. Laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost
  7. From John the Baptist or Joseph Smith
  8. From Oliver Cowdrey through baptism
  9. Oliver Cowdrey
  10. Oliver Cowdrey
  11. Joseph Smith
  12. Oliver Cowdrey
  13. Oliver Cowdrey
  14. Oliver Cowdrey
  15. Joseph Smith
  16. John the Baptist
  17. No one knows
  18. They lost the ordination through baptism?
  19. Joseph Smith is always first even when he is actually second!
  20. ? ? ?
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Webmaster