- Some of you live in wards and stakes where every position, from assistant to the high priests group leader to the deacons quorum secretary, is filled with an active priesthood holder. Yours is the privilege to participate in a ward organization that is well staffed. Others of you live in areas of the world where there is only a small handful of Church members and priesthood holders. You may feel alone and burdened with the weight of all that needs to be done. For you it may take a lot of personal hands-on involvement to get the engine of priesthood service started. Sometimes it may even seem that your branch or ward is not moving forward at all. However, no matter what your responsibilities or circumstances may be, you and I know there is always a special joy that comes from dedicated priesthood service.
He speaks of his joy of being a member of the church and having the opportunity to serve in the capacities he has. He has found true joy in these callings and relationships.
- As I have immersed myself in Church service, I have felt God’s almighty power as well as His tender mercies. As a pilot, I have touched the skies. As a Church member, I have felt heaven’s embrace.
The priesthood is given to us from God. He trusts simple men to use this authority for righteousness and to bless others.
- Our all-powerful Father in Heaven has entrusted priesthood authority to us—mortal beings who, by definition, are flawed and imperfect. He grants to us the authority to act in His name for the salvation of His children. By this great power we are authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, help build the kingdom of God on the earth, and bless and serve our families and our fellowmen.
The priesthood is available to all men. It's power is based on righteousness and God has given us the Atonement when we make mistakes so that we can get back on track.
- The priesthood of Almighty God is available to worthy men wherever they may be—no matter their ancestry, no matter how humble their circumstances, in the nearest or farthest reaches of the globe. It is available without money or any worldly price. And because of the eternal and unfathomable Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the priesthood of God can be available even if you have stumbled or have been unworthy in the past. Through the spiritually refining and cleansing process of repentance, you can “arise and shine forth”! Because of the boundless, forgiving love of our Savior and Redeemer, you can lift up your eyes, become clean and worthy, and develop into righteous and noble sons of God—worthy bearers of the most sacred priesthood of Almighty God.
He concludes with these suggestions on how we can be better priesthood holders.
- Let us embrace and understand the wonder and privilege of the priesthood. Let us accept and love the responsibilities we are asked to fulfill—responsibilities in our homes and in our Church units, no matter how large or small they may be. Let us constantly increase in righteousness, dedication, and priesthood service. Let us find the joy of serving in the priesthood!
- Let us be wise and act upon this gained knowledge constantly and honorably. As we obey God’s laws, discipline our minds and bodies, and attune our actions to the patterns of righteousness taught by the prophets, we will experience the joy of priesthood service.
- Let us deepen our faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let us take upon ourselves His name and commit each single day to walk anew in the path of discipleship. Let our works make our faith perfect. Through discipleship we may be perfected one step at a time by serving our family, our fellowmen, and God.
The priesthood is what God uses to bless those in need. We an instruments, are used by God to fulfill his purposes on the earth. I have seen righteous men make extraordinary decisions because they have lived their life to be in tune with the Savior. When we are worthy to perform priesthood ordinances, miracles occur, things beyond our mortal understanding happen in the lives of those we are privileged to bless. How grateful I am to a loving Father who knows we will make mistakes and still gives us a chance to get back on track. Even with our many flaws and mistakes, He can still use a guy like me to help bless His children.