When Adam gathered together his righteous posterity he blessed them, that he might bring them into the presence of God (TPJS, p. 161).
“They looked for a city, etc., ‘whose builder and maker is God’ (Heb. 11:10). Moses sought to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God, through the power of the Priesthood, but he could not. In the first ages of the world they tried to establish the same thing; and there were Eliases raised up who tried to restore these very glories, but did not obtain them; but prophesied of a day when this glory would be revealed” (ibid.).
Eliases have been sent from God unto man since the beginning. They are preparers and restorers, and point men to Christ. Though they themselves are tried and tested while here and are vulnerable to failing, they were among the Noble and Great Ones, and have descended to the earth to test and prove others (Abr. 3:25).
There have been continuous attempts at helping men obtain the presence of God. Men have almost always failed to obtain what has been offered. Perhaps there is no greater opportunity to obtain these glories than when these Eliases walk among men in the flesh. After their deaths, however, men fall further and further from the truth. They lose light through iniquity and through their unbelief; through disobedience and the traditions of their fathers (D&C 93:39). As generations pass, blindness is no longer recognized, and sight into these things is no longer desired. It is a pitiful state. God sends more messengers to teach and redeem his children.
Some men and women have been successful in their efforts to obtain Zion. When Melchizedek was among men, he and his people obtained peace. They sought for Enoch and his city. Joseph Smith's translation of Genesis 14 is fundamental in restoring an understanding of these things to those who receive his work.
“And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.
Is this "blessing" the same kind of thing spoken of above, wherein Adam "blessed" his righteous posterity that they might be brought into the presence of God? Is it the same blessing Adam gives to Enoch at age 65, a blessing he received long after his "ordination," who thereafter walked with God 365 years (D&C 107:48-49)? What blessing is this?
“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.
“And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,
“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;
“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.
Melchizedek's faith and righteousness is not common. His life is unparalleled by men and women in our day. He was approved of God, and received covenants from God. God had made these same covenants with Enoch. This order came not by man, but of God. It came by the calling of God's own voice out of the heavens. Melchizedek knows God, whom to know is Eternal life.
“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;
“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.
God swears with an oath to those who receive this Priesthood. This oath does not come to recipients through the words of a book gathering dust on millions of peoples' bookshelves, but from His own voice. Those who are after this order obtain the power of God. They stand in the presence of God. They do all things according to the will of God. They are approved of him. They obtain Heaven, and have communion with the angels of Heaven. They become the sons of God.
“And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.
“And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.
“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;
“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” (JST Gen. 14:25-40).
As we take a look at a number of other passages of scripture you should look for these same elements to appear in the text. It is startling to realize how many times these same themes and patterns show up in scriptures that we cavalierly apply to every male "Melchizedek Priesthood holder" in the church. We're all mixed up.
God established his Holy Priesthood in the beginning. This order of Priesthood that has been ever since the beginning will come again before the coming of the Son of Man (Moses 6:7). The history of man, the Holy Priesthood, the presence upon the earth of men and women who walk with the God of Heaven, a Holy City, etc., are all a divine Chiasm. That which has been shall be. That which was in the beginning shall be in the end. The course of the Lord is one eternal round.