For a deeper summary look into scriptural reference of the Melchizedek History, please visit Melchizedek Priesthood Power and Christ
A Brief History
The Melchizedek Priesthood is the Power of God. Through it the worlds and universes were and are framed, men are healed, the dead rise again, and under its authority the Kingdom of God on earth and its workings are organized. And as Christ taught Peter; the keys or power that what God’s servants bind or seal on earth, is also bound or sealed in Heaven. (Matthew 16:19)
However, unless you are familiar with the full and restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, you may not have even have heard of the Melchizedek Priesthood. This is especially intriguing since, in the New Testament, Paul mentions multiple times to the Hebrews (Jews) that Jesus Christ is a High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. How is it so many Christians can not be familiar with the Melchizedek Priesthood of Jesus Christ?
As with the Jewish faith leading up to the time of Christ, the church and religion Jesus organized also fell into errors and apostasy. Most of the Letters of Paul to the newly formed churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, and Thessalonica, comprising most of the New Testament, are pleading with the saints of Christ to return to the fold. Eventually, the Priesthood authority and many precious truths of the Gospel were lost. In modern times, God again has called “prophets, seers and revelators”, as biblically prophesied, (Amos 8:11, 12; Acts 3:19-21) to restore the knowledge lost in the great Apostasy. See the Story of Joseph Smith at this link for more complete history: Our Heritage.
Teaching the Jews about the Melchizedek Priesthood
Perhaps the best biblical reference to the Priesthood is found in Chapters 5-8 of Hebrews. Particularly in Chapter 7 Paul, talking to the Hebrews – or Jews – first tells them that the Christ they rejected is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:20) Paul then relates the Higher Priesthood, or Melchizedek Priesthood, to the Levitical Priesthood, or lower priesthood, with which the Jews are familiar, to help them understand that Christ’s higher authority trumps their claims to the lineal authority of the priesthood.
During the great Exodus, the Israelites (forefathers of the Jews) were disobedient, building a golden calf to worship instead of worshiping the Lord God. With that, the higher law of God’s priesthood was retracted and they were given a lower law, the Law of Moses, to keep them in strict remembrance of their God and the Savior He would send them. Accompanying that law he also gave them a lesser priesthood. The tribe of Levi was called to be the custodians of this priesthood, to officiate in the ordinances of the Law of Moses – hence this appendage of the priesthood is called the Levitical Priesthood. (Heb 7:5, 11)
Priesthood borne by the disciples of the Church of Christ:
Paul explains that the Melchizedek Priesthood is the “doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Heb. 6:2) Peter attributes this priesthood to the followers, or saints of Christ: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,’ and “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people”. Hence, the members of His restored Church carry on the doctrine and ordinances of the eternal priesthood.
Come Unto Christ: The Priesthood Today
That same invitation is available today. By understanding that the Priesthood of Melchizedek is the power of Christ, we can receive the hope of Paul towards the Jews, which was to turn them into the Salvation of the Lord. By extension, we hope the Seal of Melchizedek will serve that same purpose: an ancient and powerful symbol to remind us of the power of salvation in Christ, and the modern restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the church restored under its authority.
John K. Carmack
The priesthood of God is potentially a greater source of power than electricity. The sick are healed; the blind see, the lame walk, and evil spirits are cast out—all through faith and priesthood power in combination.
Ensign Magazine, May 1993
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff
Looking back on that day, he said, “My mission immediately commenced.” God performs all His works by the power of the priesthood. I do not know of any subject in the Church of more importance to the inhabitants of the earth and to us than the Holy Priesthood. 5By the power of [the] Priesthood, God, our Eternal Father, has organized all worlds, and redeem… The power of that Priesthood is with the Latter-day Saints. Priesthood holders should use the priesthood to give service and build up the kingdom of God, not to build up themselves. What a responsibility it is to hold this heavenly, this eternal, this everlasting Priesthood!
James E. Faust
Mankind had never before seen such destructive power. It is the priesthood power by which the world was created and the plan of salvation and happiness was put in place to bless our lives eternally if we are true to our covenants.
Ensign Magazine, December 2004
Elder Boyd K. Packer
Some years ago I gave a talk entitled “What Every Elder Should Know: A Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government.” Later, when it was to be published, I changed the title to read “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well.”22
I include the sisters because it is crucial for everyone to understand what is expected of the brethren. Unless we enlist the attention of the mothers and daughters and sisters—who have influence on their husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers—we cannot progress. The priesthood will lose great power if the sisters are neglected.
2010 April General Conference