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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The 12 Year-Old Elder » The 12 Year-Old Elder

The 12 Year-Old Elder

Guest - November 21, 2005

Submitted by GST

When my dad was twelve years old he was ordained an elder.  He sat in a chair in the bishop’s office, a group of priesthood holders gathered around him and put their hands on his head, and the voice for the group stated my dad’s name and then confidently intoned, "…I confer upon you the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordain you to the office of elder."  He then pronounced some brief words of counsel and blessing and closed in the customary way.

No one stopped the ordination, but someone was paying attention, so afterwards they huddled to determine how to proceed.  My dad tells me that during the deliberations he was afraid that someone would suggest that they had to start over, that is, excommunicate and then rebaptize him and then ordain him to the proper office.  I suppose you could call that the "ratchet" view of the priesthood.

Ultimately, it was decided that the ordination was an ultra vires act and therefore a nullity.  They reformed the circle and made him a deacon.


  1. This is hilarious. It reminds me of this post.

    Comment by Rusty — November 21, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

  2. Hilarious. I’ll share a similar story if you forgive the length.

    In one of my Districts on my mission a companionship was getting a family ready for baptism. The father wanted to be baptized first, and then wanted to baptize his family.

    The senior comp. said that would be great. His companion agreed. He had been baptized only a few years earlier in El Salvador and had stated that that is how it happened with he and his father.

    The senior comp explained that they would have to baptize him (the father), have him get get out of the font, confirm him, ordain him to the Aaronic Priesthoo and the office of a priest, and then have him return to the font and baptize his family.

    After hearing this, the Salvadoranian Elder’s got real big. “Uh oh.” he said.

    “What’s wrong?” his comp. asked.

    “When my father was baptized he never left the water to receive the priesthood before baptizing me. The Elder got out and I got in and my father just immediately baptized me .”

    This would, of course, make his baptism, confirmation, priesthood, and calling as a missionary (including all the baptisms he had performed during his mission) all invalid.

    When we asked Pres. what we should do, he just chuckled and said, “Well, maybe we could baptize him and count it towards our monthly goal!”

    Comment by Tim J. — November 21, 2005 @ 4:36 pm

  3. Not by accident my sister-in-laws grandmother recieved her endowment at 14. The patriarch told her to do it upon recieving a blessing and he sent her the Stake President!

    I don’t think things like this happen too much anymore.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 21, 2005 @ 4:36 pm

  4. Stapley– That would make junior high gym class even more uncomfortable.

    Comment by NFlanders — November 21, 2005 @ 4:53 pm

  5. Tim J,
    How can someone NOT love President Williams?

    Comment by Rusty — November 21, 2005 @ 5:40 pm

  6. Rusty,
    I don’t know. There were those that didn’t, but they were few.

    Comment by Tim J. — November 21, 2005 @ 6:48 pm

  7. My bishop growing up was made an Elder at 14 or so. His father was a mission president and during the summers my bishop went out as a full time missionary, so it was decided to make him an Elder.

    Comment by a random John — November 23, 2005 @ 11:14 am

  8. Poor kid. That’s not much of a summer break.

    Comment by NFlanders — November 23, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

  9. This made me laugh out loud. We are so funny.

    Comment by annegb — November 23, 2005 @ 12:28 pm

  10. When your bishop got his mission call at age 19 he should have asked for credit for time served.

    Comment by gst — November 23, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  11. 2 stories:

    * My father was nervous handling ward business in sacrament meeting. Twice, he had the ward sustain advancement from the office of a Teacher to a Preacher.

    * A friend served as a missionary in Florida when SLC was the closest temple. One member family there told of how blessed they were by their temple marriage. As they spoke, my friend and his companion realized that they’d gone through the initiatories, the endowment, and the veil — then had gone home and started their family.

    Comment by manaen — November 27, 2005 @ 12:53 pm

  12. A friend of mine told me this story. I’m not sure what its ultimate origin is (whether she witnessed it, or heard it from someone else), but I believe it.

    A man getting on in years was giving his grandchild a name and a blessing. He also proceeded to give the baby the Melchizedek Priesthood. It dawned on him what he had done, so he waved his hand over the baby and said “Undone!” and then proceeded with the rest of the regular blessing.

    Comment by Anna — November 27, 2005 @ 7:01 pm

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