What follows are all of the Book of Mormon verses which contain the word priestcraft. How does the Book of Mormon define priestcraft?
"2 Nephi 10:4": 4 For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their God.
"2 Nephi 10:5": 5 But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified.
"2 Nephi 26:29": 29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.
"2 Nephi 26:30": 30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love, and except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.
"2 Nephi 26:31": 31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.
"Alma 1:2": 2 And it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of Alma in the judgment-seat, there was a man brought before him to be judged, a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength.
"Alma 1:3": 3 And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.
"Alma 1:4": 4 And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.
"Alma 1:5": 5 And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.
"Alma 1:6": 6 And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.
"Alma 1:7": 7 And it came to pass as he was going, to preach to those who believed on his word, he met a man who belonged to the church of God, yea, even one of their teachers; and he began to contend with him sharply, that he might lead away the people of the church; but the man withstood him, admonishing him with the words of God.
"Alma 1:8": 8 Now the name of the man was Gideon; and it was he who was an instrument in thehands of God in delivering the people of Limhi out of bondage.
"Alma 1:9": 9 Now, because Gideon withstood him with the words of God he was wroth with Gideon, and drew his sword and began to smite him. $ Now Gideon being stricken with many years, therefore he was not able to withstand his blows, therefore he was slain by the sword.
"Alma 1:10": 10 And the man who slew him was taken by the people of the church, and was brought before Alma, to be judged according to the crimes which he had committed.
"Alma 1:11": 11 And it came to pass that he stood before Alma and pleaded for himself with much boldness.
"Alma 1:12": 12 But Alma said unto him: Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction.
"Alma 1:13": 13 And thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man, yea, a man who has done much good among this people; and were we to spare thee his blood would come upon us for vengeance.
"Alma 1:14": 14 Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law which has been given us by Mosiah, our last king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law.
"Alma 1:15": 15 And it came to pass that they took him; and his name was Nehor; and they carried him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious death.
"Alma 1:16": 16 Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor.
"3 Nephi 16:10": 10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from
"3 Nephi 21:19": 19 And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes,
and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.
"3 Nephi 30:2": 2 Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.
My understanding of priestcraft as defined in the Book of Mormon is when an individual or group promote themselves as God's special mouthpiece, or as it says in 2 Nephi 26:29 as a light to the world.
If we look at 2 Nephi 10: 4-5 and I'm not claiming this is literally true but only as a means of defining priestcraft, would giving the Levites money cause them to reject Jesus or would it be claiming that the Levite are God's special mouthpiece? In the account given in Alma 1:2 was the false prophet attempting to rob Gideon, or was he attempting to force him to believe in his status with God, and to accept his revelations. In 2 Nephi
26:29 "He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion."
what part of this is the actual definition of priestcraft? If someone wrote fishing is when people try to catch fish, that they may eat, and don't care about the welfare of the fish. Which part of that definition would be the definition of fishing?
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