LugiaLvl138

What is Command over the Elements?

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When I was 15, in a Teachers Quorum lesson about the power of the Melchezidek Priesthood, I was told that among plenty of other things, I would have access to something called Command over the Elements. I immediately pictured the Periodic Table, and then quickly realized that if I heard right, the Melchezidek Priesthood would allow me to turn a bar of Lead into Gold. I imagined the looks on the faces of alchemists who have attempted that for centuries as I did so in front of them. Any why stop at Lead I thought. Water is simply Hydrogen and Oxygen mixed together, so I could turn bottles of water into bottles of Gold then too. I raised my hand and said out loud "Could I use the Priesthood to turn a bar of Lead into a bar of Gold?" The teacher told me that first it would have to he God's will for the Lead to turn to Gold and that second I would need a righteous reason for doing so. I knew I just wanted to make myself rich and see the look on people's faces so that put me in my place, and I have never actually attempted to use the Melchezidek Priesthood to practice Alchemy.

The phrase Command over the Elements, still puzzles me though. Outside that lesson I don't think I've ever heard that phrase used again. Some have told me that Elements refers to Earth, Water, Air, Fire. Which would signify that Melchezidek Priesthood holders have access to all 4 of Earthbending, Airbending, Waterbending, and Firebending then. I do hear the phrase The Faith to move Mountains from time to time, which taken literally would mean Earthbending.

Edited by LugiaLvl138

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9 minutes ago, LugiaLvl138 said:

Earthbending, Airbending, Waterbending, and Firebending

Please try not to mix the priesthood with concepts from fantasy fiction or games - IMO, the mixing will only harm in the long run.

Other than that, I refer you to the hymn "Master, the Tempest Is Raging" (and its linked scriptures) as a starting point.  "Elements" in this context would usually mean the weather - as when Jesus calmed the stormy sea.  But could also refer to incidents such as when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry ground (and Joshua with the river Jordan), or those described in Moses 7.

A study of scripture will show more than casual cause for such events.

IMO, a far greater power would be the power to love God with all your heart and mind, and to then go share that love with those around you.  The sooner one figures out how to gain this power, the sooner one will have more than enough power to do everything one could really want.

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2 hours ago, LugiaLvl138 said:

When I was 15, in a Teachers Quorum lesson about the power of the Melchezidek Priesthood, I was told that among plenty of other things, I would have access to something called Command over the Elements. I immediately pictured the Periodic Table, and then quickly realized that if I heard right, the Melchezidek Priesthood would allow me to turn a bar of Lead into Gold. I imagined the looks on the faces of alchemists who have attempted that for centuries as I did so in front of them. Any why stop at Lead I thought. Water is simply Hydrogen and Oxygen mixed together, so I could turn bottles of water into bottles of Gold then too. I raised my hand and said out loud "Could I use the Priesthood to turn a bar of Lead into a bar of Gold?" The teacher told me that first it would have to he God's will for the Lead to turn to Gold and that second I would need a righteous reason for doing so. I knew I just wanted to make myself rich and see the look on people's faces so that put me in my place, and I have never actually attempted to use the Melchezidek Priesthood to practice Alchemy.

The phrase Command over the Elements, still puzzles me though. Outside that lesson I don't think I've ever heard that phrase used again. Some have told me that Elements refers to Earth, Water, Air, Fire. Which would signify that Melchezidek Priesthood holders have access to all 4 of Earthbending, Airbending, Waterbending, and Firebending then. I do hear the phrase The Faith to move Mountains from time to time, which taken literally would mean Earthbending.

I think this sort of thing to be a misunderstanding of the sealing power and keys (Helaman 10, D&C 110). A good example is the keys for the resurrection entail connecting spirit and element (93: 33-35; 131:7-8). Similarly, sealing covenants through the generations ultimately bind spirits and bodies to Christ (e.g. "power over this people"). Both Christ and Nephi had to pray to the Father to use it (3 Nephi 17: 15-25; Helaman 10:5).

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2 hours ago, LugiaLvl138 said:

The phrase Command over the Elements, still puzzles me though. Outside that lesson I don't think I've ever heard that phrase used again. Some have told me that Elements refers to Earth, Water, Air, Fire. Which would signify that Melchezidek Priesthood holders have access to all 4 of Earthbending, Airbending, Waterbending, and Firebending then. I do hear the phrase The Faith to move Mountains from time to time, which taken literally would mean Earthbending.

If using anime terms helps you to understand principles/truths in the gospel I have no problem with it. As your intelligence increases these terms will be insufficient and they will slowly fade away from your gospel vernacular when describing the authority and power of the priesthood.

Let's review the following verse of scripture, "Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea." (emphasis mine)

Another example would be when Nephi prays to the Lord (as already provided) that a famine would replace the war, or cause the war to stop and entice the people to repentance. This is another example of having command over the elements that are upon this earth, and therefore can command a change at is smallest building block.

In our New Testament we are provided with Christ's first miracle the turning of water into wine. This is obviously different from commanding a famine upon the land. The is different than calming a storm, or (as has been already mentioned) causing a great east wind that divided the Red Sea into two while the children of Israel walked on the ground to cross the Red Sea.

Water into wine would be an example of changing one element into another element at its core. If a scientist were to research and test would the scientist have said, "This was never water, it has always been wine"? (But that is a different topic) So, yes, God could easily have command over one element (i.e. copper) and change that element into another element (i.e. gold). He knows the workings at the smallest unit that makes up the element.

When Christ said to the Pharisees, "that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham," I believe to be both literal and figurative.

Faith to move mountains was accomplished by the Brother of Jared. Yes, as God is able to create universes and planets, surely he can move anything within them. :)

 

Edited by Anddenex

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Word meanings change. The word "power" has a specific definition in physics; it means the rate of energy delivery. It doesn't mean anything else, just that. "Solar power", as the term is usually used, is a misnomer that physicists roll their eyes at, to say nothing of "political power" or "girl power" or "the power of love". How do you suppose "Priesthood power" fits into that definition? (Hint: It doesn't.)

"The elements" mean the essential, basic things around us. The fact that 19th-century chemists assigned a specific definition of the word element, namely a species of atom with a certain positive number of protons in the nucleus, doesn't mean that the old definitions don't work any more. They do.

Consider: The book of Leviticus lists unclean birds that the children of Israel were to avoid eating. The final entry of unclean birds in that list is `atalleph (עֲטַלֵּף), Hebrew for "bat". Now—and I am not making this up—I once heard someone (an atheist) mock the Bible because the book of Leviticus says that bats are birds. No kidding. This guy seriously thought that since ancient Palestinians did not follow our modern taxonomy, but instead counted the bat (a small, winged, flying creature) as a type of bird, that meant that the Bible was made up.

People understand things based on previous experience. But any reasonably intelligent and open-minded person will also understand that words can be used in different ways and with different meanings. The fact that a certain word, e.g. "element", means one thing in Context A and another thing in Context B really shouldn't faze anyone.

The power of the Priesthood—yes, power, even if that doesn't mean rate of energy usage—is not water bending or any other comic book idea. It's the reality of how the universe is put together. It gives control over the elements, where the elements has a much more expansive definition than simply the list of types of atoms with increasing atomic numbers.

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Three stories:

One year, all the Young Women went off to Young Women's camp.  One of the highlights of that camp, is parents write the young women personal letters, and the folks running the camp send them off individually into the woods, to read the letter and then kneel and pray in the beautiful privacy of nature.  It rained a lot.  The spiritual experience was in danger of being cancelled it was raining so hard.  So the Stake President gathered everyone together, and led them in prayer.  He commanded the rain to stop falling, so the YW could have the opportunity of the solo spiritual experience.   The rain stopped falling, and the YW all wandered off into the forest where they had their spiritual experiences in that crisp clean sunny calm you find right after a big storm.  Afterwards, the rain started again.  I heard about this the next testimony meeting, where 3-4 teary YW got up and bore their testimony about the experience.

Back in the mid '80's, Salt Lake was getting hammered by snow in one blizzard after blizzard. Road crews couldn't keep the roads open, power outages were a thing, people were stuck in their homes.  It was getting dangerous, there had been a couple of deaths.  The brethren asked all the saints in the area to join in prayer at a specific time to beseech God to stop the snow so the people might have relief.  I remember the next day it snowed - it made the news as folks guffawed and snorted, and you could tell which local weathermen were LDS and which weren't, by the look of embarrassment or snugness on their faces.  It snowed an inch, maybe two.  Everyone went back to life as usual.  But a few days later, the news was giving a weather report on the next massive blizzard hitting the area.  The weathermen were pointing at the map, describing how this one was missing Salt Lake county.  The radar image showed the whole state mostly covered in white, with this little arc of break in the front, where SLC/Orem/Provo was.  Nobody else seemed to link the praying with the break, but I made the link.

Last story, a few years back, forest fires caused our entire ward to be evacuated.  One of our zealous-to-the-point-of-foolishness High Priests lived in the trees, and decided not to evacuate.  The way he told the story, he had the priesthood and a tractor, so he didn't need to heed any civil authority's call to flee.  He would just command the elements in faith.  He told us he sat there on his tractor watching the fire approach.  When it got close, he bowed his head in mighty prayer and beseeched God to divert the flames from around his property.  Then the flaming ash started falling from the sky.  As he told the story, he was a little embarrassed to say he had to drive his tractor around and put out the dozen or so little fires that started.  He lost a few trees.  I remember wanting to ask him why he asked God instead of commanding the elements.  Did he not have sufficient faith, as he had boasted about going into the event?  But he was telling us the story at a ward social, and I didn't want to get him mad or riled up enough to start a preachy monologue.  Dude is lucky he didn't die.  That fire was the most expensive in Colorado history, and killed two people.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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I will add something to @Vort's post in this thread.  When I was in college we studied what was called the Bohr Atomic Theory.  That was 50 years ago and scientific thinking has evolved a great deal since then.  Elements are "well ordered" despite that there are many things that remain unexplained concerning the structure and order of matter (elements).  Beyond the physics that is defined - forces of gravity, electromagnetic force, weak and strong atomic forces - there appears to be actions (order) that indicate intelligence as an element of thermal dynamics  that define the structure of the elements - especially at the subatomic level (quantum physics).  We find a very interesting "word" in scripture - which is WORD.  I submit that priesthood is order -which order is related to how the term "word" is used in gospel of John that then describes the creation spoken of in Genesis.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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