- Elder Dale G. Renlund taught that the purpose of the priesthood is to provide God’s children access to the atoning power of Jesus Christ. To receive Christ’s atoning power in our lives, we must believe in Him, repent of our sins, make and keep sacred covenants through ordinances, and receive the Holy Ghost. These are not principles we engage in just once; rather, they work together, reinforcing and building on each other in a continuing process of upward progression to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.”
He shares that providing access to the atonement can be done by understanding that the Aaronic Priesthood contains the keys to the ministering of angels.
- To preach the gospel is a priesthood duty. And the power associated with this duty is not just for prophets or even just for missionaries. It is for you!
- Young men, you are authorized messengers. Through your words and actions, you can bring faith in Christ to the hearts of God’s children. As President Russell M. Nelson said, “To them you will be as a ministering angel.”
Before we can teach someone to repent and minister to them of the need to repent, we must be an example of what the atonement can do for us.
- As you study your Aaronic Priesthood duties, you will see a clear charge to invite others to repent and improve. That does not mean we stand on a street corner shouting, “Repent ye!” More often, it means that we repent, we forgive, and as we minister to others, we offer the hope and peace that repentance brings—because we have experienced it ourselves.
Brother Holmes teaches us that there is a difference in repenting of our sins and having our sin remitted. Although I had heard this before, I didn't have it touch me as clearly as it did in this talk.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “It is one thing to repent. It is another to have our sins remitted or forgiven. The power to bring this about is found in the Aaronic Priesthood.” The Aaronic Priesthood ordinances of baptism and the sacrament witness and complete our repentance for a remission of sins.
- Brethren, it is a sacred privilege to administer ordinances that bring a remission of sins to repentant hearts through the Savior’s atoning power.
Our duty as Aaronic Priesthood holders is to partner with God to bring about the work of salvation for the children of men. As we honor our priesthood, we will have opportunities to baptize, provide the sacrament to others, and minister to His children.
- Young men, as you diligently engage in your priesthood duties, you participate with God in His work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Experiences like these increase your desire and prepare you to teach repentance and baptize converts as missionaries. They also prepare you for lifelong service in the Melchizedek Priesthood.
He provides some advice for parents and priesthood leaders helping to bring up these Young Men in the gospel.
- Parents and priesthood leaders, can you sense the importance of President Monson’s counsel to help young men understand “what it means … to be bearers of the priesthood of God”? Understanding and magnifying the Aaronic Priesthood will prepare them to be faithful Melchizedek Priesthood holders, power-filled missionaries, and righteous husbands and fathers. Through their service, they will understand and feel the reality of priesthood power, the power to act in the name of Christ for the salvation of God’s children.
Finally, he speaks to the Young Men about the sacredness of the priesthood that they have been entrusted with. He promises as we are faithful, we will feel the power of God in ways that we have never done before. We will begin to see ourselves as God sees us when we are faithful and true to the covenants we have made.
- Young men, God has a work for you to do. Your Aaronic Priesthood ordination is central to helping His children receive Christ’s atoning power. I promise that as you put these sacred duties at the center of your life, you will feel the power of God as never before. You will understand your identity as a son of God, called with a holy calling to do His work. And, like John the Baptist, you will help prepare the way for the coming of His Son.
The plain truths shared in this talk are so important to remind ourselves us over and over again. The partnering we do with God on behalf of the children of men is vital to their salvation as well as ours. We are ministers to God's children, providing important ordinances and blessings that can't be obtained without the priesthood. What jumped out at me was the difference between repenting and having our sins remitted. I am going to ponder on that idea for the next couple days and believe I will find deeper meaning the sacrament Sunday when I put those two concepts side by side in review of my week. I believe I have been forgiven of sins, but maybe I need to gain a deeper understanding of whither those sins have been remitted by my Savior. What a deep and profound concept to ponder upon this week.