- The power of the priesthood is a sacred and essential gift of God. It is different from priesthood authority, which is the authorization to act in God’s name. The authorization or ordination is given by the laying on of hands. The power of the priesthood comes only when those who exercise it are worthy and acting in accordance with God’s will.
Elder Ballard talks about the need for equality in priesthood. Men and women play different roles but in the priesthood, each or necessary to exercise the full power that the priesthood holds.
- In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife. And as husband and wife, a man and a woman should strive to follow our Heavenly Father. The Christian virtues of love, humility, and patience should be their focus as they seek the blessings of the priesthood in their lives and for their family.
Elder Ballard shares a story of a little girl who grew a tomato plant but put it in a closet and didn't water it. It eventually wilted and she thought she had killed the plant and the potential for that plant to produce tomatoes now and in the future. He mother encouraged her to set it in the window and plant it and like a miracle, it grew back to it's full potential. He uses this story to say that we are sometimes like the plant in our priesthood service. We can drift away but can be brought back when we receive living water and light from the Savior.
- As the literal spirit children of our loving Heavenly Father, we have unlimited, divine potential. But if we are not careful, we can become like the wilted tomato plant. We can drift away from the true doctrine and gospel of Christ and become spiritually undernourished and wilted, having removed ourselves from the divine light and living waters of the Savior’s eternal love and priesthood power.
He shares what should be done with the priesthood power that we gain through our righteousness.
- The primary purpose of this priesthood power is to bless, sanctify, and purify us so we can live together with our families in the presence of our heavenly parents, bound by priesthood sealings, participating in the marvelous work of God and Jesus Christ in forever expanding Their light and glory.
Finally, he gives advice to those that feel they are not living up to their full potential.
- If any one of you feels your faith or your testimony of Heavenly Father’s plan is less than you know it should be, then turn more fully to the Savior.
The story of the tomato plant is great. It creates a great analogy about how we can be like the plant with our testimonies but with a little light and living water, we can be brought back to life. When I look at my life, there are areas that I am not fully grown in my potential. I have many areas I can do better at and if I can find the strength and desire to improve in those areas, the power of the priesthood will grow stronger and allow me to bless more of Heavenly Father's children.