Latter-day Saints understand themselves as people commissioned and empowered
to do God’s work. Biblical symbols of priesthood provide a language
through which that understanding is expressed. In the temple, women and
men follow an ancient pattern for consecrating priests (Ex.
29:4-9). They are washed and anointed, put on ceremonial robes,
and pass through the temple veil. These priestly rites symbolize that
participants have consecrated their lives
to God’s service and have been endowed with spiritual power to minister
Accounts of the restoration of the priesthood are another vehicle through
which Latter-day Saints learn that, as a church, we are called to continue
the work of God’s servants from biblical times. According to LDS
tradition, Joseph Smith received priesthood keys from John the Baptist;
Peter, James, and John; Moses and Elijah; as well as Michael, Gabriel,
Raphael, and other angels (D&C 13:1; 27:12-13;
110:11-16; 128:20-21). These traditions invite Latter-day Saints
to see ourselves as co-workers with angels, prophets, and apostles. Their
mission is our mission: to preach repentance; to proclaim the gospel;
to gather exiles; to bless all the families of the earth; to "turn
the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children
to their fathers" (Mal. 4:6). To say
that the priesthood has been restored is to say that the God of the Bible
works through us today. God's power flows through our service—the
power to create and to redeem.
| The Priesthood Is Restored (Children's
| I Will Be Valiant (Children's
The priesthood once
again extends its power
to teach and serve mankind throughout the world. . . .
The gospel light shines forth anew to bless the lowly earth.
|James Ira Young and
R. Whitney Groo, Jr.,
And It Came to Pass (1964)
John Taylor: To restore
creation to its pristine excellency and to fulfil the object of
creation. . . is the design and object of the establishment of the
priesthood on the earth in the last days. It is for the purpose
of fulfilling what has not heretofore been done—that God's
works may be perfected . . . and that, in conjunction with the eternal
priesthood in the heavens (who without us, nor we without them,
could not be made perfect), we may bring to pass all things which
have been in the mind of God . . .
|The Gospel Kingdom
(Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941), 131
We have conferred upon us the eternal Priesthood, by which our Heavenly
Father has created all worlds and redeemed all worlds and has performed
all His works from eternity to eternity.
|Journal of Discourses
B. H. Roberts: Truly
the dawning of a brighter day has arisen majestically on the world!
The dawn of that day began when God . . . announced the incoming
of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times, in which should be
gathered together all things in one, even in Christ, whether they
were things in heaven, or things on earth. . . . The direct result
of the dawning of that brighter day has been the restoration of
the holy Priesthood of God—the power of God given to man,
by which man may co-operate with Gods and angels in bringing to
pass the purposes of Jehovah.
|Conference Report, October
John A. Widtsoe: The
life and vitality of the Church are drawn from the Priesthood with
which the Church has been endowed.
Theodore M. Burton:
With the restoration of the gospel in our day also came a restoration
of the priesthood, a restoration of priesthood blessings, a restoration
of priesthood ordinances, a restoration of priesthood responsibilities;
for the chosen people were chosen to give service to others, to
assist those who needed help and to render aid to those who cannot
help themselves. This is why they were chosen—to be the servants
and handmaidens of God.
|BYU Speeches of the
Year, 1966, 7