The Priesthood – Gospel Study Sesh
We’re on to a new topic – the priesthood. There’s lots to cover with this topic and we hope that you’ll all take your time to write out your thoughts and read the references we provide.
- Why do we need the priesthood? Sounds basic, right? Flesh out everything you know.
- “The Power of the Priesthood” – President Boyd K. Packer
- D&C 131
- “The Doctrine of the Priesthood” – Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Reader Ashley had this to share with us regarding yesterday’s question: Why do we need the priesthood?:
“I first answered it as “Why do I need the priesthood?
“I recently started a brand new job that is very much out of my comfort zone. The first few weeks have been tough- but, a wise co-worker plainly said “Ash, you need to get a priesthood blessing.” So I did. I also recently moved… I don’t know who my home teachers are and my brother lives a ways away. I called a friend who lives nearby- he knows a little about my new job but not much. The words said in that blessing I know came from God. I need the priesthood to give me the power I need to become who God needs me to be. I know that what was said in that blessing is what God would have said were he here. So thank you brethren for being worthy priesthood holders! We need you!
“From a more general perspective- We need the priesthood because we need the temple. As I listened to the McConkie talk you referenced I was constantly thinking about the temple and the ordinances performed there. Everything done in the temple is for our salvation and exaltation.”
Thanks for your great insights, Ashley!
- What are the ordinances of the priesthood and how are they administered?
- Why do we use ordinances, anyway?
- “Receive the Temple Blessings” – Elder Richard G. Scott
- D&C 84:19-21
- Ezekiel 43:11
- “An Outpouring of Blessings” – Julie B. Beck
In answering one of yesterday’s questions – Why do we use priesthood ordinances, anyway? – it is because ordinances are a vehicle by which God enables us to enter into covenants. The added symbolism and weight that comes from an ordinance helps us to appreciate it all the more.
There’s an interesting article over at Mormon Matters that talks about why God created ordinances. Definitely worth checking out. One line of thought stuck out, in particular: “Altrhough an omniscient God doesn’t need ordinances, vacillating humans do.” Ordinances help us memorize our eternal commitments. That’s pretty rad.
- How does the priesthood work in a celestial marriage?
- Abraham 2
- D&C 131
- “Celestial Marriage” – Elder Russell M. Nelson
- “Brethren, We Have Work to Do” – Elder D. Todd Christofferson
In answering one of yesterday’s questions – How does the priesthood work in a celestial marriage? – I had two scriptures that I zeroed in on. The first was D&C 121:46 – after talking on the priesthood, if we do everything right, we get the Holy Ghost, our scepter will be an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth (yay for scepters!) and then this “thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever”(emphasis added for dramatic effect – I hope it worked). So you get the priesthood, get to heaven, your dominion, which is to say your posterity or family unit, will be everlasting, but guess what, you can’t compel them to be with you, they have to choose. Sorry chauvinist pigs, priesthood doesn’t make your wife and kids love you.
The second scripture, probably more on point, was D&C 132:19 and into 20. 19 is probably the longest verse in America, and it goes through how to know if your calling and election is made sure. So if you’re married to a wife by God’s law (celestial marriage as it were) and yada yada yada, you’re set. Then verse 20 – Then shall they (husband and wife) be gods because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue … and more they’s and so on. So understand, if you plan on getting the blessings of the priesthood (all the Father hath, and so on) there’s no man gets X and woman gets Y jibberish. It’s all they. I’m guessing decisions will be as a pair, ideas as a pair, and on it goes.
- Read Abraham 1:2-4, 18 and think about the “name” of the Lord and how that might relate to the Priesthood.
- Read Moses 5:1-12 and pay attention to how they use “the name”. Maybe consider the new testament call to bear witness of His name, or sacrament prayers, or prayers in general.
- Is there a connection between “the name” of God and the priesthood that I haven’t understood very well? What other places in the scriptures is this applicable?
In answering one of yesterday’s questions – How the “name” of the Lord and how that might relate to the Priesthood? – I feel like I understand the priesthood better after this question, it puts it in context for me. I wish we would have asked this one at the beginning of the week instead of at the end. A friend of the show, Lauren, wrote in with this quote that I thought articulated this understanding really well (thanks Lauren!)
“An angel explained to Adam nearly six millennia ago: ‘Thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore’ (Moses 5:8; emphasis added). This is a call to action for Adam and all of his posterity. We are to do all things in the name of the Son. We are to speak and act and worship and perform the labors of the kingdom and the labors of life in the name of the Son. Whenever the gospel has been on the earth, he has empowered others to act in his holy name, extending an investiture of his divine authority to chosen servants and recognizing the acts they perform by his word. Likewise, the everlasting gospel has been restored in our day “that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world” (D&C 1:20). It is an awesome responsibility. We must seek to think and speak and act as though we were the One whose blessed name we bear, so that our words and acts may become his words and acts.” (Robert L. Millet, “Honoring His Holy Name,” Ensign, Mar. 1994,)
Perhaps the priesthood has much more application than I had originally understood it to have. Love it.
- What blessings have come into your life through the priesthood? (hopefully yesterday’s question will be an additional lens to look through)
- Your own dang journals
- “Blessings of the Priesthood” – Elder Robert D. Hales
This might sound sort of backwards or self-congratulatory, but I don’t mean it that way at all. One of the best blessings that has come into my life through the priesthood is how much I’ve grown to appreciate its value in a single mom situation. My parents divorced when I was a preteen and while my father was and still is around, there was no priesthood in the home. I didn’t think much about having the Aaronic Priesthood or anything like that, but as I grew older and eventually became an elder, I distinctly remember my mom calling on priesthood power and telling me how grateful she was to have the fullness of the priesthood in her home again.
Another related incident happened at the close of my mission (to Spain, btw – the best country on earth. And I speak a better form of Spanish than any of you.) My family picked me up from Barcelona and after traveling around the country a bit, we closed out in Madrid, staying at the temple apartments. My siblings were not endowed at the time, so all of us did baptisms. I, being the only Melchizedek priesthood holder, baptized my two siblings and my mom. It was a wonderful experience. All of them rotated and took turns, but as we finished up, my mom was last. And when it was done, she hugged me and said, “Thank you for being worthy to do this.” I can’t tell you how many times her voice echoes in my head whenever I err or come close to erring. It means the world to me.
- What have you learned in this study of the priesthood? What do you feel you still lack in knowledge?
- Your own notes. Stop needing us for everything!
- “Priesthood Power” – President Thomas S. Monson