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Enoch, Melchizedek had many similarities; exercised great faith

Next to Enoch, Melchizedek is probably one of the most enigmatic figures in the Bible. The debates are endless concerning the few verses in Genesis which speak of him. . . . Latter-day Saints . . . are blessed manifold because of the scriptural insights provided through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

For instance, in the Book of Mormon, Alma the younger delivered a masterful discourse which he devoted, in part, to life and ministry of Melchizedek. Abraham was a contemporary of Melchizedek, and the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price adds additional insight concerning Abraham's visit with Melchizedek. Several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants discuss important biographical facts relating to Melchizedek. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) provides valuable restorations of knowledge in both the Old and the New Testament concerning the role of the priesthood in Melchizedek's life. Finally, modern prophets supply many pertinent doctrines concerning Melchizedek and his priesthood.As one studies the Bible in light of these "Restoration Scriptures," a significant pattern emerges. Just as we seek to emulate the great examples of righteous leaders today, those who lived anciently also sought to be like their righteous predecessors and peers. . . . In my view, Melchizedek sought specifically to establish a Zion society patterned after that of Enoch. As he did so, he accomplished many of the same things that Enoch did. Moreover, because Melchizedek actively sought to become like Enoch, his life was in many ways similar to Enoch's. . . .

Melchizedek and Enoch held exactly the same priesthood. They were both ordained after the order of the greater priesthood (D&C 84:14-16) . . . originally called "the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God." (D&C 107:3.)

The priesthood enabled Enoch and Melchizedek to have great power to perform many of the same types of miracles. Melchizedek, too, was a miracle worker. When he was but a child, he "stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire." (JST Gen. 14:26.) The Lord had previously made a covenant with Enoch that those who received the greater priesthood would have power to perform many miracles. (JST Gen. 14:30.)

Along with specific powers of the priesthood, the lives and ministries of Melchizedek and Enoch were very similar. Enoch had a very close relationship with his mortal father, Jared, who taught him "in all the things of God." (Moses 6:21, 41.) . . . The scriptures say that "so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God." (Moses 7:13.)

Alma said that Melchizedek, as king of Salem, "did reign under his father." (Alma 13:19.) . . . The influence of Melchizedek's parents surely led to Melchizedek's righteousness and approval from God even as a young child. (JST Gen. 14:26-27.) . . . Both the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis state that Melchizedek was a man of great faith. (JST Gen. 14:26; Alma 13:18.)

The scriptures indicate that the building of temples was a part of Melchizedek's and Enoch's establishment of Zion. When Enoch climbed Mount Simeon, he was "clothed upon with glory" and was privileged to see and converse with the Lord face to face. (Moses 7:2-4.) . . . In the ancient world, mountains were associated with sacred space - temples. Brigham Young believed . . . "Enoch had temples and officiated therein."

Melchizedek was "the keeper of the storehouse of God; Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor." (JST Gen. 14:37-38.) . . . It is possible that Melchizedek's storehouse had close ties with a temple.

The last point of similarity between the lives of Melchizedek and Enoch is their establishment of a Zion community and eventual translation into heaven. The scriptural definition of Zion is "the pure in heart." (D&C 97:21.) Melchizedek knew that those ordained to the priesthood of Enoch "were translated and taken up into heaven." (JST Gen. 14:32.) So he actively "sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth." (JST Gen. 14:33.) Melchizedek, because of his priesthood power and mighty faith, performed miracles, preached righteousness, and established Zion, the same as Enoch had done before him. Melchizedek was blessed greatly for his and his people's diligence and righteousness, for they "obtained heaven" and found the city of Enoch which they sought. (JST Gen. 14:34.)

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