“Fireside Marks Priesthood Restoration,” Ensign, July 1990, 76
The potential for individual development through the priesthood—in both mortal and eternal terms—was the theme of a May 6 satellite fireside commemorating the restoration of the priesthood.
The three presiding quorums of the Church were represented by the fireside speakers: President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency; Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Elder Monte J. Brough of the Seventy, who is Second Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency.
“You have become a royal priesthood,” President Hinckley told those gathered in stake centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico for the broadcast. “There is no other power or authority comparable to [the priesthood]. We are prone to take it for granted. It deserves more than this. It deserves the very best within us.”
To illustrate how boys and men develop spiritually through service in priesthood quorums, President Hinckley looked back on his own experiences, from the time he was ordained a deacon.
“Brethren, as a boy in that deacons quorum I learned principles of Church government, principles of leadership, principles of brotherhood and service, principles of faithfulness before the Lord. As I look upon my work today, I sense those same principles in operation. The scale is different, but the essentials are similar.”
He expressed the hope that each priesthood holder in the Church could find in his quorum “that which the Lord intended it should be—a body of men who support and sustain one another, who know their duty and do it, who love the Lord and walk in His ways, who have been endowed with a measure of His divine authority to act in His stead in the name of His beloved Son, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.”
Elder Faust emphasized that faith, righteousness, and obedience are required to use the priesthood properly. We are called when we are ordained, “but we are not chosen until we demonstrate to God our righteousness, our faithfulness, and our commitment,” he said.
“Natural limitations” on our use of the priesthood include our lack of spirituality or knowledge. But as a man grows in spiritual strength and righteousness, additional ability to use priesthood power can come from the Lord, he explained.
A high calling in the Church isn’t necessary to receive all the blessings of the priesthood, Elder Faust said. “The promise of the oath and covenant of the priesthood to His worthy holders is that through their faithfulness they may be sanctified by the Spirit and may become the elect of God. (See D&C 84:33–34.) The further promise is that ‘all that the Father hath shall be given unto him.’ (D&C 84:38.) I pray that this may be so for all of us.”
Elder Brough told of receiving, while he was president of the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission, a letter that had been placed in a time box fifty years earlier by another mission president. The writer wondered how technological advancement would affect missionary work in the future. Elder Brough reflected that even though we could use the media to present the missionary discussions to much greater numbers of potential converts today, doing so would rob missionaries and future missionaries of the development that comes through service. He outlined ways in which young men grow through fulfilling their Aaronic Priesthood duties and called home teaching “the Lord’s missionary preparation program.”
Elder Brough commented that most of those present could probably quote the Boy Scout Oath and Law from memory. He pointed out that the twentieth section of the Doctrine and Covenants lists the duties of the Aaronic Priesthood. It would be wise, he suggested, for priesthood holders to be as familiar with these responsibilities as they are with Scout commitments.
“The Aaronic Priesthood,” he said, “is not just something to have and to be, but it is also something to do.”