read detailed handout on Priesthood, Click
How was Priesthood 'handed down?' in
did the world know in the 1830's, how Joseph Smith's words would be
verified in the 20th century....by genetics!
inspired Joseph Smith to write that men who could 'prove their lineage'
from Aaron (namely Jews today with Levitical ancestory), would be entitled
to priesthood. He also wrote that this linage would be passed from
'father to son':
but by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the priesthood
descending from father to son, they may claim their anointing, if
at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by
revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above-named presidency.
DC 104:18 The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father
to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen
seed, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted in the
days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:
Research in the last couple years has identified in the Cohen (Literal
descendants of the tribe of Lehi--the orthodox Jewish priesthood) have
found that a gene exists only within those who have priesthood.
is only transferred from father to son. It is on the Y-Chromosome.
Only men have Y-chromosomes; women do not.
A Nova (PBS) show made this
statement, almost identical to Joseph Smith's revelation nearly 160
years earlier, and nearly verifying it:
"...The results are
stunning. A group of genetic markers ...- is seen in about 10% of the
general Jewish population and in over 50% of the Cohanim. The
long-held Jewish belief that priestly status is passed from
father to son over the centuries seems to be confirmed
in the genes. "
No attempt in this paper will
be made to scientifically analyze the studies. The reader may
evaluate them personally.
Like any breakthrough of
science, however, the data ultimately raises far more questions than it
answers. The impact is clear, though, that there is much
more to the interactions of the Spiritual and Physical worlds than we
will understand in this lifetime.
A few other related articles on
genetic studies and the Levitical priesthood.