The Why of Priesthood Service
Elder Uchtdorf states that , " It is in the why of the priesthood service that we discover the fire, passion, and power of the priesthood."
When reading this statement in this conference talk by Elder Uchtdorf it is my prayer that we can all go away with a little more fire and passion, as he describes.
Elder Uchdorf states in this talk to the Priesthood of the church, " Applying priesthood doctrine will qualify us as husbands, who understand the why of the priesthood it's power to recapture and secure the beauty and holiness of eternal families."
I hope you all do walk away feeling priesthood power recapturing and securing the beauty and holiness of eternal families, in your heart. I am very thankful for any opportunity to teach.
When reading about this power that can come from knowing the why of the priesthood, I came to the conclusion that the best way to know the why of the priesthood, is to figure out why knowing the why, could have such an amazing effect on a person?
So why does this power of the priesthood ignite your soul? It is a power from Heaven....
Imagine you are speeding down the freeway and suddenly you hear the blaring music of an ice cream truck and you come to realize this ice cream man is right behind you and trying to flag you down, and waving at you to pull over. You pull over and he gets out of the ice cream truck, comes to your window and tells you that he is going to write you a speeding ticket for speeding. But you say, " Where do you get your authority to write me a speeding ticket? "
So under which authority or order of the priesthood do most Christian churches claim to operate- the Aaronic or Melchizedek? It wouldn't be expected for these Church's to answer either of those Priesthoods. The only reason we are in a position to make proper explanation is that John the Baptist brought back to this earth the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood and conferred it upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowldery. The apostles Peter, James and John brought the Melchizedek Priesthood in a like manner. - A Marvelous Work and Wonder , Legrand Richards
I want to share a portion of a talk by president Boyd K. Packer, The Honor and Order of the Priesthood
" In 1976 an area general conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Following the closing session , President Spencer W. Kimball desired to visit the Vor Frue Church, where the Thorvaldsen statues of the Christus and of the Twelve Apostles stand....
" To the front of the church, behind the altar stands the familiar statue of the Christus with his arms turned forward and some what outstretched, the hands showing the imprint of the nails and the wound in his side clearly visible. Along each side stand the statues of the Apostles Peter, at the front to the right and the other apostles in order.
" In Peters hand depicted in marble is a set of heavy keys. President Kimball pointed to those keys and explained what they symbolized. Then in an act I shall never forget he turned to president Benthin and with an unaccustomed firmness pointed his finger at him and said, I want you to tell everyone in Denmark that I hold the keys! We hold the real keys and we use them every day."
" We walked to the back of the chapel where the rest of the group was standing. Pointing to the statues, President Kimball said to the kind custodian, These are the dead Apostles, pointing to me he said, Here we have living apostles. Elder Packer is and Apostle. You read about the Seventies in the New Testament, and here are two of the living Seventies, Elder Rex D. Pinger and Elder Robert D. Hales."
" The custodian who up to that time had shown no emotion, was suddenly in tears."
" The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven can not be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness."
President Joseph F. Smith further clarified: " The priesthood...is...the power of God delegated to man by which man can act on the earth for the salvation of the human family, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and act legitimately , not assuming that authority , nor borrowing it from generations that are dead and gone, but authority that has been given in this day in which we live by ministering angels and spirits from above, direct from the presence of the Almighty God.
So we understand that we are immensely blessed to have CORRECT authority of the priesthood. What are some of the blessings that we receive from the priesthood?
Sacrament: is blessed and administered to us by someone holding the Aaronic Priesthood. When we partake of the sacrament we are renuing all covenants entered into with the Lord and we are blessed to always have his spirit to be with us.
Baptism: Is performed by someone holding the Melchizedek priesthood. We can receive remission for our sins. We can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Temple Endowments : The Lord himself made this promise D&C 84:19-21
This greater priesthood of Melchizedek holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom...Therefore in the ordinances thereof ( in example temple ordinances ) the power of godliness is manifest.
Elder Russell M. Nelson stated, " The power we receive through making and keeping covenants is both protective and enabling."
Brigham Young used the same word enable when speaking of the endowment. He said, " Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord , which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens pertaining to the holy priesthood and gain our eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell."
Temple Sealing: James E. Faust stated, " Children of eternal sealing may have visited upon them the divine promises made to their valiant forebears who nobly kept their covenants. Covenants remembered by parents will be remembered by God. The children may this become the beneficiaries and inheritors of these great covenants and promises. This is because they're are the children of the covenant."
From this we see that the priesthood is absolutely necessary for us to receive eternal salvation.
There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world upon which all blessings are predicated and when we obtain any blessing from God it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
This is congruent with keeping our temple covenants as well. When we keep our temple covenants the power of the priesthood is displayed in our life as we receive the promised blessings, that come with keeping our covenants.
How can you know if you will receive these divine promised blessings made possible by the priesthood?
Elder Uchtdorf says, " Divine blessings for priesthood service are activated by our diligent efforts, our willingness to sacrifice, and our desire to do what is right. Let us be the ones to act and not be acted upon. Preaching is fine, but sermons that do not lead to action, are like fires without heat or water that can not quench thirst."
" We all know that it takes self-discipline to remain focused on the matters that have the greatest power to increase our love for God and fellow man, invigorate marriages, srenghthen families, and build the kingdom of God on earth. Like a fruit tree with abundance of branches and leaves,our lives need regulare pruning to endure we use our energy and time to accomplish our real purpose- to "bring forth good fruit."
"So how do we know what to select? We each have the responsibility to determine this for ourselves. However we are commanded to diligently study the scriptures, heed the words of a phrophet and make it a matter of serious dedicated prayer."
I want to remind you of the parable of the talents in Mathew chapter 25
When the servant whom the Lord had given him five talents came back and brought another five talents he said, " Lord thou deliverest unto me five talents, behold I have gained beside them five talents more."
His Lord said to him, Well done though good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord."
We have the blessing of the priesthood in our lives, let us remember where much is given, much is expected.
I would like to remember what a blessing it is that we have the restored Gospel on the earth and that we have the opportunity to share the blessings of the priesthood not only with ourselves, but also with our ancestors or just those other special souls that never got a chance to receive the necessary ordinances.
I would like to remember that we need to share our testimony that we have the real keys of the priesthood in our lives and teach and invite others to come to church with us to receive these eternal rewards along with us.
I want to share this why that we need this priesthood service with my family, and teach my children to respect their opportunity of having priesthood ordinances in their lives by acting as if it is a treasure everyday to be able to be baptised a member of God's church and to be able to be sealed to families for eternity.
I want to share a video of Joseph Smith. I can't imagine how excited everyone in heaven must have been to know the earth would once again receive the authority of the priesthood on it once again.
I hope we can all go to Cumorah....and feel why this priesthood is such a blessing in our lives....
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.