What is the Priesthood?
The priesthood is God’s power and authority given to man to act in his name according to his will. Jesus Christ gave authority to his apostles in the New Testament Mark 3: 14-15 “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:”.
The Great Apostasy
Eventually the apostles were killed and the people apostatized, meaning the church became corrupted and the authority was lost. Over centuries there were many disputes within the church and several denominations broke off and began to teach different things or tried to bring their followers back to the truth.
Restoration of the Gospel
In 1820 a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith was growing very confused and wanted to know which church was true. He read James 1:5” If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Joseph Smith determined to ask God which church was true. He went into the woods to pray and ask God which church was true. In his own words he said “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. … When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Jesus Christ told him that none of the churches were true and called Joseph Smith to be the prophet to restore his church.
Restoration of the Priesthood
Joseph Smith was entrusted to translate sacred records know today as The Book of Mormon, during his translation he read about the authority of the priesthood to preform the ordinance of baptism. Joseph Smith and his scribe Oliver Cowdry went into the woods to pray and inquire of the lord concerning this priesthood authority. They were visited by apostles of the lord jesus Christ who ordained them with this authority. That same authority has been passed down to every man young and old who holds the priesthood today. Through the records of the church every priesthood holder can trace their authority directly back to Jesus Christ.
Everything that is done through the priesthood is done to bless the lives of others and to glorify God. Nothing can be done for one’s self with the priesthood. The priesthood is used to perform saving ordinances such as baptism and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost. The priesthood is also utilized for the healing and comforting of the sick and afflicted.
The priesthood is used to preform saving ordinances such as baptism, and conferring the gift of the holy ghost. Theses ordinances as well as other ordinances preformed ion the holy temples are necessary for us to be able to live with our heavenly father again and live with our families forever. The priesthood is also used for the healing and comforting of the sick and afflicted.
Who can receive the Priesthood?
Much like the way our heavenly Father has chosen his daughters to bear children, our heavenly father chose his sons to assume the responsibility of the priesthood as fathers in their families. All men everywhere who have prepared themselves through righteous living are eligible to take on this great blessing and responsibility. All of our heavenly father’s children can be blessed by power and authority of the priesthood and those who prepare themselves can receive the ordinances of the gospel.
How to receive the priesthood
The first step to receiving the priesthood is to be baptized a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a member of the church it is important to learn about the priesthood, how to exercise the authority properly and how to live worthily and respect your priesthood. Those who are living Gods commandments are consider worthy to receive the priesthood. This authority is received by the laying on of hands from another priesthood holder and is called ordaining. Ordaining a priesthood holder must be under the direction of the Bishop or Stake President of the ward or stake in which that person presides.
Organization of the Priesthood
In the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, priesthood holders are organized into quorms to learn together and to serve their congregations and communities together. A quorum is a group of priesthood holders lead by a president and two councilors who act as one under God’s command. Our Holly Father gave them the authority to act in his name. There are many different quorums in the church. Each quorm has different responsibilities. In a ward for example there is the deacons quorum deacons are age 12-13 and their responsibilities include passing the sacrament to the congregation, and collecting fast offerings for the poor and needy. The teachers quorum age 14-15 help by preparing the sacrament and assist the Elders in visiting members in their homes and home teaching them. The priests quorum age 16-17 bless the sacrament and can baptize new members of the church and ordain deacons, teachers and priests. The elders age 18+ are able to confirm new members of the church and bestow the gift of the holy ghost as well as give priesthood blessings of comfort and healing. The high priests quorum which is comprised of older adult priesthood holders who have shown a level of spiritual maturity, they are to preside over the elders, when someone is called to be a bishop, stake president, or high councilor they are ordained a high priest. There are also quorums that preside over the whole church such as the quorum of the seventy, and the quorum of the twelve apostles. The prophet and his two councilors, known as the first presidency, preside over the entire church.