What does it mean to hold the priesthood?
May 2015

“What does it mean to hold the priesthood?” Friend, May 2015, 46–47

Special Witness

What does it mean to hold the priesthood?

Adapted from “The Powers of Heaven,” Ensign, May 2012, 48–51.

The members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are special witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Special Witness

The priesthood is the authority of God delegated to men on earth to act in His name.

  • Worthy men and boys receive priesthood authority and are ordained to a specific office “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Articles of Faith 1:5).

  • Men and boys do not need any special experience or education to receive priesthood authority. They do need to be worthy and willing to serve, bless, and strengthen others.

  • A priesthood holder can be blessed with priesthood power when he is faithful, obedient, diligent, and righteous. Someone who is disobedient, unworthy, or unwilling to serve will have no priesthood power.

  • Priesthood holders young and old need both authority and power—the necessary permission and the spiritual capacity to represent God.

The Restoration of the Priesthood

After Jesus and His Apostles died, no one else held the priesthood on earth. Many years later the priesthood was restored in May 1829. John the Baptist ordained Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood on May 15, 1829. Peter, James, and John ordained them to the Melchizedek Priesthood soon after that.