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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 to others.

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 Songbook 89)
 I Will Be Valiant  (Children's Songbook 162)

 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

Wilford Woodruff: 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 23:329

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 1903, 97

John A. Widtsoe: The life and vitality of the Church are drawn from the Priesthood with which the Church has been endowed.

Improvement Era, April 1938

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

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