- Today I would like to suggest four titles that I believe apply to all priesthood holders around the world—titles that may help us recognize our individual roles in God’s eternal plan and our potential as priesthood holders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Son of Heavenly Father
- One title that defines all of us in the most fundamental way is son of Heavenly Father. No matter what else we are or do in life, we must never forget that we are God’s literal spirit children. We were His children before we came to this world, and we will be His children forevermore. This basic truth should change the way we look at ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and life itself.
Even through we are sons of God, we are not perfect. God knows this and doesn't want us to be discouraged.
- It can be discouraging at times to know what it means to be a son of God and yet come up short. The adversary likes to take advantage of these feelings. Satan would rather that you define yourself by your sins instead of your divine potential. Brethren, don’t listen to him.
God wants us to be more like Him. He has given us the path to walk, but we have to commit to living it daily.
- Compared to the perfection of God, we mortals are scarcely more than awkward, faltering toddlers. But our loving Heavenly Father wants us to become more like Him, and, dear brethren, that should be our eternal goal too. God understands that we get there not in an instant but by taking one step at a time. I do not believe in a God who would set up rules and commandments only to wait for us to fail so He could punish us. I believe in a Heavenly Father who is loving and caring and who rejoices in our every effort to stand tall and walk toward Him. Even when we stumble, He urges us not to be discouraged—never to give up or flee our allotted field of service—but to take courage, find our faith, and keep trying. Our Father in Heaven mentors His children and often sends unseen heavenly help to those who desire to follow the Savior.
Disciple of Jesus Christ
- All who strive earnestly to follow the Christ are called His disciples. Although we recognize that none of us are perfect, we do not use that fact as an excuse to lower our expectations, to live beneath our privileges, to delay the day of our repentance, or to refuse to grow into better, more perfect, more refined followers of our Master and King. Remember that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built not for men and women who are perfect or unaffected by mortal temptations, but rather it is built for people exactly like you and me. Without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, life would be a dead-end road without hope or future. With the Atonement, life is an ennobling, inspiring journey of growth and development that leads to eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
- As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences. The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples.
Healer of Souls
- It is our job to build up, repair, strengthen, uplift, and make whole. Our assignment is to follow the Savior’s example and reach out to those who suffer. We “mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” We bind up the wounds of the afflicted. We “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” As home teachers, we are healers. As priesthood leaders, we are healers. As fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands, we should be committed and dedicated healers. We carry in one hand a vial of consecrated oil for blessing the sick; in the other we carry a loaf of bread to feed the hungry; and in our hearts we carry the peaceable word of God, “which healeth the wounded soul.” This is our first and foremost responsibility as priesthood holders—and it applies to both Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders.
Heir of Eternal Life
- The fourth title we all share returns us to the first title in our list. As sons of our Heavenly Father, we are heirs to all that He has.
- Serving God and our fellowmen will challenge us and transform us into something greater than we ever thought possible. Perhaps you might think that you are not needed, that you are overlooked or unwanted, that you are nobody. I am sincerely sorry if any priesthood holder feels this way. Certainly you are not overlooked or unwanted by your Heavenly Father. He loves you. And I tell you with certainty that you are needed by your Church.
He provides advice about what we are called to do in the church. It doesn't matter where we serve, we need to be willing to provide the help that is needed to build up the Lord's kingdom.
- Don’t wait for a particular calling before you become fully engaged in building the kingdom of God. As a priesthood holder, you are already called to the work. Study the word of God daily, pray to Heavenly Father every day, internalize the principles of the restored gospel, give thanks to God, and ask for His guidance. Then live what you learn, first in your family but also in all situations of your life.
He ends with this great advice.
- Rise up to your true potential as a son of God, and you can be a force for good in your family, your home, your community, your nation, and indeed in the world.
These four titles provide a clear picture of how God sees us. He sees our abilities, our potential, or shortcomings, and our triumphs. He is there to support us. He is there to help us in our journey to eternal life. As we look to increase our identities in these four areas, the Lord will bless us to be stronger, more diligent, and more aware of the things we need to do to be better disciples of the Savior.