Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Melchizedek

There is a tradition in the church (based on a statement in the Lectures on Faith) that Melchizedek was Shem, son of Noah. While this may or may not be true, there is a great deal more that we know about him from the Joseph Smith Translation of the bible. For example, we know that:

He had strong faith, and even as a child stopped the mouths of lions.

Through his faith, he quenched the violence of fire.

He was a high priest in the Melchizedek (or Holy) priesthood.

He was the King of Salem, and was called a prince of peace.

He and his people sought to join their city with that of Enoch.

Having obtained such peace, he was called by his people the king of heaven, or the King of peace.

He was keeper of the storehouse of God, and collected the tithes of the people.

Obviously, Melchizedek was a great man, and though we know little about the details of these facts, they certainly cast a light on the righteousness of the man, and his closeness to the Lord.

Here’s the record:

Genesis 14:25-40

25 And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.

26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.

27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;

29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;

31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

33 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.

34 And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world;

35 And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.

36 And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace.

37 And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God;

38 Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor.

39 Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.

40 And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him.

Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Lamech

The story of Lamech is hardly an inspirational one, but it carries a very important warning. The Lord has no toleration for secret combinations, and Lamech was what you might call the heir to Cain’s secret society. We know little about what happened to Cain after he was cursed, except that he was a fugitive and a vagabond, and had to constantly watch his back for fear someone would kill him.

Anyone who was leader of this secret combination was called Mahan, master of the great secret, and from the Pearl of Great Price, we learn that this combination didn’t end when Cain was “discovered” and cursed. Lamech, one of Cain’s descendents, became Master Mahan.

Lamech murdered a man for the sake of the oath, and as is common for evil leaders, Lamech became prideful in his position. He thought that as Master Mahan, he could boast to his wives about the murder he had committed. He was sure that in his position, and as devoted to his secret society as he was, he was more dangerous than Cain ever was. He thought that the combination would take vengeance on anyone who tried to stand in Lamech’s way. Big mistake. He forgot that satan has no concern for his own, and hates his own followers just as much as he hates the Lord’s people.

When Lamech’s wives made the secret of Lamech’s crime known to the people, he was in big trouble, because it meant that Lamech had exposed the secret. In fear of his own band, Lamech had to flee. He became a fugitive and a vagabond like Cain.

Often it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished.

The secret combination grew, and became like a deadly cancer to the world, destroying souls. I guess the point of the story is that satan will not take care of the wicked, and he will destroy anyone he can, whether they are helping his cause or not. There can be nothing gained by alliance with evil. So stick with the Lord and His prophets!

Here’s the scriptural account:

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