Saturday, October 07, 2006

Melchizedek: A Type of Jesus Christ

The purpose of The Book of Mormon is "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL God, manifesting himself unto all nations" (Title Page). The Book of Mormon is full of symbols of Jesus Christ and his mission. The prophets, the stories (including the wars), and the tribulations of the people all point us to Jesus Christ. See, for example, Alma 13:16:

"Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord."

One example of this symbolism is the prophet Melquizedek. He is a type of the Savior. Look at how he is described in Alma 13:

Alma 13:15

And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed.
  • Just as Abraham paid his tithes to Melchizedek, the tithing we give to the bishop is really being paid to the Lord. We are returning to Him a small portion of all that he has given us. (D&C 119:3-4)

Alma 13:17

Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem;
and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness;
  • Because of the Fall, all mankind is wicked and has gone astray. (Romans 3:23)

Alma 13:18

But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith,
and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God,
  • It is the priesthood of Jesus Christ. (D&C 107:3)
did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent;
  • Many have repented because of his call. (D&C 58:42)
and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days;
  • “In his days,” Christ taught the gospel of peace and atoned for our sins that we might all find peace. Through repentance, many have found peace. (John 14:27; Romans 10:15)
therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem;
  • Salem, later known as Jerusalem, is Hebrew for 'peaceful' or 'peaceable,' also 'perfect' or 'perfected.' Not only is 'King of Salem' a parallel of 'Prince of Peace.' It also reminds us that we should seek Christ to find peace and perfection.
and he did reign under his father.
  • Jesus Christ is our king but reigns under God, the Father. According to Luke, he also reigns under his father David. (Luke 1:32-33)

Alma 13:19
Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards,
  • Jesus Christ came during the meridian of time following many generations of great prophets and followed by many more. (D&C 20:26)
but none were greater;
  • Jesus did more for the salvation of men than anyone who ever lived on the earth. (D&C 135:3)
therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention.
  • All prophets have written of Jesus Christ, have preached of Christ, have taught of Christ because he is the author of our salvation. (2 Ne. 11:4; 2 Ne. 25:26; Jacob 7:11)

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