- The Melchizedek Priesthood is not a status or a label. It is a divine power held in trust to use for the benefit of God’s work for His children.
- As President Joseph F. Smith taught, “Inasmuch as he has been ordained a high priest, [he] should feel that he is obliged … to set an example before the old and young worthy of emulation, and to place himself in a position to be a teacher of righteousness, not only by precept but more particularly by example—giving to the younger ones the benefit of the experience of age, and thus becoming individually a power in the midst of the community in which he dwells.”
He quotes Bruce R. McConkie about what an Elder is in the priesthood.
- “What is an elder? He is a shepherd, a shepherd serving in the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd.”
President Oaks discusses the seriousness of the calling to hold the priesthood. We have a divine calling that holds the keys to entering the Celestial Kingdom. We need to take this responsibility more seriously.
- Brethren, our responsibilities as holders of the priesthood are serious matters. Other organizations can be satisfied with worldly standards of performance in delivering their messages and performing their other functions. But we who hold the priesthood of God have the divine power that even governs entrance into the celestial kingdom of God.
Magnifying our responsibility is essential to the office we hold.
- President Harold B. Lee explained what it means to magnify the priesthood: “When one becomes a holder of the priesthood, he becomes an agent of the Lord. He should think of his calling as though he were on the Lord’s errand. That is what it means to magnify the priesthood.”
- If the Lord Himself were to ask you to help one of His sons or daughters—which He has done through His servants—would you do it? And if you did, would you act as His agent, “on the Lord’s errand,” relying on His promised help?
THE PRIESTHOOD IN THE FAMILY
President Oaks says that our priesthood responsibilities in the home are so important. We are to preside over our homes in righteousness and bless those in our homes by being worth of the responsibilities we have.
- A father who holds the priesthood presides in his family by the authority of the priesthood he holds. He has no need to have the direction or approval of priesthood keys in order to counsel the members of his family, hold family meetings, give priesthood blessings to his wife and children, or give healing blessings to family members or others.
- If fathers would magnify their priesthood in their own family, it would further the mission of the Church as much as anything else they might do.
- Fathers who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should keep the commandments so they will have the power of the priesthood to give blessings to their family members. Fathers should also cultivate loving family relationships so that family members will want to ask their fathers for blessings. And parents should encourage more priesthood blessings in the family.
- Fathers, when you are privileged to exercise the power and influence of your priesthood authority, do so “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.”
President Oaks concludes by encouraging us to magnify our priesthood responsibilities and assist the Lord in bringing about His eternal purposes.
- My beloved brethren, the magnifying of the holy priesthood you hold is vital to the work of the Lord in your families and in your Church callings.
The amazing thing about the priesthood is that exercising it is completely self-less. There is no blessing that a priesthood holder can give themselves. The priesthood is only manifest by someone on behalf of someone else. No priesthood blessing can be given to yourself. Father's blessings, presiding in your home, and blessing the lives of others are all things that are done on behalf of someone else. In my life, I need to continue to cultivate loving family relationships so my family will want to ask for fathers blessings. I need to make sure I am always spiritually ready to answer the call to help others no matter the circumstances I am in. I need to make sure I am always prepared to serve others and be spiritually ready to answer the call that can come at any time. What a great blessing it is to be able the Lord's work here on earth.