- Wherever I am in the day or night, there is nearby a small container of olive oil. This is the one which I keep in the middle drawer of the desk where I work. There is one in my pocket when I am working outdoors or traveling. There is also one in the kitchen cabinet in my home. The one I hold now has a date on it. It is the day when someone exercised the power of the priesthood to consecrate the pure oil for the healing of the sick. The young men of the Aaronic Priesthood and even their fathers might think that I am a little extreme in my preparation. But the call during the day or the knock at the door at night always comes as a surprise.
He says the preparation to exercise the priesthood starts way before we are asking to give a blessing or assist someone in need.
- The preparation begins in families, in Aaronic Priesthood quorums, and mostly in the private lives of young men. The quorums and the families must help, but the preparation that counts will be made by the young men making choices to rise to their great destiny as priesthood servants for God. The destiny of the rising generation of priesthood holders is far more than to be ready to bring God’s power down to heal the sick. The preparation is to be ready to go and do whatever the Lord wants done as the world is preparing for His coming. What you will need in the dramatic moment will be built in the steady performance of obedient service.
President Eyring gives us two points on how we can help ourselves and others to be ready for the priesthood responsibilities they will have in life.
- I will tell you two of the things you will need and the preparation it takes to be ready.
- The first is to have faith. The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God. It is the right to call down the powers of heaven. So you must have faith that God lives and that you have won His confidence to allow you to use His power for His purposes.
- Now, the second thing they will need is confidence that they can live up to the blessings and the trust which God has offered them. Most of the influences around them drag them down to doubt the existence of God, of His love for them, and of the reality of the sometimes quiet messages they receive through the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Christ. Their peers may urge them to choose sin. If young men choose sin, those messages from God will become more faint.
He offers some advice on what adults can do to help the youth preparing for the sacred responsibilities they will have.
- We can help them choose to prepare by loving them, warning them, and by showing confidence in them. But we can help them even more by our example of a faithful and inspired servant. In our families, in quorums, in classes, and as we associate with them in any setting, we can act as true priesthood holders who use its power as God has taught us.
He closes with encouragement that we can meet the tasks before us. The results will be that the rising generation will be better prepared for priesthood service than we were in our youth.
- As we meet our obligations as fathers and leaders, we will help the next generation rise to their glorious future. They will be better than we are, just as you have tried to be even better parents than your parents and better leaders than the great ones who helped you.
I have a son who will be receiving the priesthood in a couple years. We talk constantly about him preparing to serve others and help those in need. He sees me reach out to others and serve them. We get to church early each week to set up chairs because preparing the church building will be one of his responsibilities as a Deacon. When he becomes a Deacon, we will talk about getting to church early to prepare the sacrament. President Eyring's counsel rings true for me, the preparation needed to be a worthy and trusted priesthood holder begins long before we are asked for assistance or need help. With my son, it starts with recognizing that the Lord needs our help to make sure that others can enjoy the peaceful spirit that is found at church. In the future, it will be found in inviting others to come unto Christ. And later in life it will be found in become a father himself. That preparation begins when they are young and the Lord promises that we all will be blessed for our preparations.