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Monday, June 21, 2010

Ch. 13: The Priesthood

from Gospel Principles:

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.  Through the priesthood He created and governs the heavens and the earth.  By this power the universe is kept in perfect order.  Through this power He accomplishes His work and glory, which is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).  Our Heavenly Father delegates His priesthood power to worthy male members of the Church.  The priesthood enables them to act in God's name for the salvation of the human family.  Through it they can be authorized to preach gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern God's kingdom on earth.

We must have priesthood authority to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriages.  If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs.  Another reason the priesthood is needed on earth is so we can understand the will of the Lord and carry out His purposes.  God reveals His will to His authorized priesthood representative on the earth, the prophet.

The Lord has prepared an orderly way of His priesthood to be given to His sons on the earth.  A worthy male member of the Church receives the priesthood "by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof"... the same way men received the priesthood long ago, even in the days of Moses.  Furthermore, men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.  Nor can they take this authority upon themselves.

The priesthood should be used to bless the lives of our Heavenly Father's children here on earth.  Priesthood holders should preside in love and kindness.  The Lord has told us that the power of the priesthood cannot be controlled except in righteousness.  Such wonderful things a priesthood can do for his family and others such as baptize, confirm, and administer the sacrament, bless the sick, give priesthood blessings, perform ordinances, etc. (more detail in the next chapter).

The Lord has promised great blessings to righteous priesthood holders who use the priesthood to bless others (see D&C 121:45-46).  President David O. McKay promised every man who uses the priesthood in righteousness that he "will find his life sweetened, his discernment sharpened to decide quickly between right and wrong, his feelings tender and compassionate, yet his spirit strong and valiant in defense of right; he will find the priesthood a never failing source of happiness--a well of living water springing up unto eternal life".

I am grateful for the priesthood for much of God's blessings comes through it.  I have seen it in action and have benefited from its power.  One can really feel the hand of God when a worthy priesthood holder performs his duties.  I have high regards for righteous priesthood holders and find true comfort that the Lord is in charge.

especially to our Heavenly Father.

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