“Priesthood Holders Told to Honor Sacred Trust,” Ensign, Aug. 1987, 73–74
Priesthood holders need to prepare with purpose, teach with testimony, and labor with love, said President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, during the Priesthood Restoration Commemorative Fireside broadcast from the Salt Lake Tabernacle May 17.
The satellite fireside was telecast to more than one thousand meetinghouses in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted.
“May I express to you in behalf of President Ezra Taft Benson and all General Authorities our great love and appreciation for you, our brethren in the priesthood, who, with diligence and faith, walking in virtue and integrity, seek to live the word of God,” President Hinckley said. President Benson was in Scandinavia at the time of the fireside.
Also addressing the fireside were Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
“We’re part of a royal army,” President Monson said. “Standing at the head is our prophet, seer, and revelator, President Ezra Taft Benson. In supreme command is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our battle orders are clear. They’re concise. They came as recorded in Matthew 28:19 to the early disciples, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.’” [Matt. 28:19]
President Monson said the early disciples did not equivocate, hesitate, or procrastinate. “They went forth preaching everywhere, and the Lord was with them. This solemn charge to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people has not been rescinded,” he said. “In fact it has been reemphasized, particularly by our beloved President.”
President Monson outlined a three-part formula to help priesthood holders carry out the charge to preach the gospel.
“Prepare with purpose,” he advised. “Missionary work is difficult. It requires long, arduous hours. It taxes our physical strength, our mental capacity. But we find that anything worthwhile is generally accomplished through difficulty.”
The second point is to “teach with testimony,” President Monson said. He told of a new elder who returned to the door of a hostile prospect after being told that he and his companion didn’t really believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The missionary bore his testimony so strongly that the man was later baptized.
“Labor with love,” was President Monson’s third point. “Love is the noblest attribute of the human soul,” he said. “We must learn to love one another, to love the work of the Lord. Through love, the souls whom we help save may well be those we most love.”
Elder Ashton spoke of the sacred trust of the priesthood and the God-given right and responsibility to share its blessings with others. He told of an incident in which he visited President Marion G. Romney, now president of the Quorum of the Twelve, when President Romney was in the hospital recovering from eye surgery. The nurse told President Romney that Elder Ashton was there, and asked if he would like a blessing.
“Even though President Romney was weak and under sedation, I will never forget his reply,” Elder Ashton recalled. “‘No, I don’t want Elder Ashton to give me a blessing,’ President Romney said. ‘My home teachers gave me a blessing last night.’”
Elder Ashton noted that President Romney was following the pattern and order given for priesthood blessings. “The power of the priesthood is greater than an individual or his calling,” he added. He reminded priesthood holders that the priesthood gives the right and authority to lead, heal, bless, bind, set in order, organize, bear special witness, home teach, baptize, confirm, and perform other God-given obligations and duties.
Elder Featherstone expressed pride in the young men who are active in the Church. “Thanks for your participation,” he said, smiling, “and for holding fast to the iron rod.
“It means a great deal to us that you are not rebellious, that you have tended to your duty,” he said. “We love you, and we are humbled by your goodness.”
He added that “we know you are being tempted and that it is not easy to maintain your purity, but you are doing the right thing.”