Let’s see if I can accurately put into words how much I’ve learned about this subject lately.
Being a full-proselyting sister (not currently working at the sites) we’re surrounded by only Elders. It has motivated me to study their calling in great detail. As you can imagine, having the Kingdom of God on speed-dial is pretty great. Yes, the Kingdom of God on Earth is the priesthood. I know that is true, because I can feel it at Zone Conferences, District Meetings, while receiving blessings, and even stuff as little as playing basketball at the stake center on P-days.
The “Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” is to restore the proper authority straight from Jesus Christ back on the earth. Joseph Smith said, “That priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy…it is no other than the Priesthood of the Son of God Himself…It is a channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the Plan of Salvation, and every important matter is revealed from Heaven.” What does a baptism mean if your clergy just woke up that morning and decided he had power to baptize you? The whole idea of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to let the faithful, worthy men be called, by God, to bear His authority. They do not give the honor to themselves. It is a process by which the Lord has promised blessings to those who strive to live worthy.
The phrase, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” keeps ringing in my ear. Especially after personally hearing Elder Bednar speak recently, I noticed how much he must make himself available to the Spirit at all times. In Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage says, “Their inner natues, not their outward accomplishments, were taken into prime account in the Lord’s choosing.” The Lord can’t choose anyone who won’t give themselves up completely. Even before they were chosen, they had to become close disciples of the Lord. They had to openly confess Jesus Christ was the Son of God, with a sincere desire to serve. They physically could not be chosen unless they first dedicated themselves to His work.
Biblical apostles have spent time stating some of the duties and direct blessings of the priesthood–when these men fulfill their callings. If they are willing and ready to “feed the flock of God which is among [them,]” they will “receive a crown of glory that will never fade” (1 Peter 5.) If they are “true, honest, chaste, just, and pure,” they will be promised that “the God of peace shall be with [them].” (Phil 4.) If they “fight the good fight of faith…and lay hold on eternal life,” they will have “charge in the sight of God,” and a good foundation for the future. (1 Timothy 6.)
Now, keep in mind, that men aren’t the only one who have to fulfill these duties. Our job as women is to magnify what they’ve been given. For example, in order for me to access the atonement, I need to go through the priesthood. Joseph Smith said, it is a “channel through which…all important matter is revealed from heaven.” We have been created equally in order to fill every measure of the creation God has intended. God would never create anything without giving it the chance to receive all blessings He’s promised. Different talents in different people make up what we need to become gods ourselves. We each can’t pass “GO” and collect $200, unless we have the other side that balances it out. That means we all have to expand each talent we have been given so they will work together properly.
Okay, this isn’t even half of what I have learned. I hope you’ll all go study it and find some more duties and direct blessings the priesthood can receive. Having a dad, a brother, and best friends who hold the priesthood not only makes my life easier, but it makes it much more peaceful. And having peace in this insane world of ours…only comes from the One who gave it to us in the first place.