I am grateful to be here. When I first found out I would have the opportunity to speak to you today, I felt very excited but at the same time very humbled. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I could share, and I hope the Spirit speaks to you directly through my message.
In the Book of Mormon, Lehi gives a blessing to each of his sons before he passes away that helps them to see their strengths and eternal potential. I am the youngest of eight children, and this past year I have been the only child at home for the first time. Not having my siblings close by and not always having someone to talk to has been hard for me. There have been nights when I have felt very lonely. I’m grateful for my parents, who have tried their best to help me. An example of this is when my dad offered to give me a priesthood blessing of comfort during a particularly challenging time. After his blessing, things didn’t change right away, but I was able to feel peace and love from my Heavenly Father and from my dad. I feel blessed to have a worthy father who can provide priesthood blessings whenever I need them and who helps me to see my strengths and eternal potential, just as Lehi did when he blessed his children.
Regardless of your circumstances, you can always have access to priesthood blessings. Through family members, friends, ministering brothers, priesthood leaders, and a Heavenly Father who will never fail you, you can receive the blessings of the priesthood. Elder Neil L. Andersen said: “The blessings of the priesthood are infinitely greater than the one who is asked to administer the gift. … As we are worthy, the ordinances of the priesthood enrich our lives.”1
Don’t hesitate to ask for a blessing when you need extra guidance. It is in our difficult moments that we need the Spirit to help us the most. No one is perfect, and we all experience hardships. Some of us might suffer with anxiety, depression, addiction, or feelings that we are not enough. Priesthood blessings can help us overcome these challenges and receive peace as we move forward into the future. I hope that we strive to live worthy of receiving these blessings.
Another way the priesthood blesses us is through patriarchal blessings. I have learned to turn to my patriarchal blessing whenever I feel sad or lonely. My blessing helps me to see my potential and the specific plan God has for me. It comforts me and helps me to see beyond my earthly perspective. It reminds me of my gifts and of the blessings I will receive if I live worthily. It also helps me to remember and feel at peace that God will provide answers and open doors for me at exactly the right moment when I need it most.
Patriarchal blessings help prepare us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know patriarchal blessings come from God and can help us turn our weaknesses into strengths. These are not messages from fortune-tellers; these blessings tell us what we need to hear. They are like a Liahona for each one of us. When we put God first and have faith in Him, He will lead us through our own wilderness.
Just like God blessed Joseph Smith with the priesthood so that the blessings of the gospel could be restored, we can receive the blessings of the gospel in our lives through the priesthood. Each week we are given the privilege and opportunity of taking the sacrament. Through this priesthood ordinance, we can have the Spirit to always be with us, which can cleanse and purify us. If you feel the need to eliminate something from your life, reach out to a trusted leader who can help you get on the right path. Your leaders can help you to access the full power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Thanks to the priesthood, we can also receive the blessings of ordinances of the temple. Ever since I’ve been able to enter the temple, I have made it a goal and priority to attend regularly. By taking the time and making the sacrifices necessary to be closer to my Heavenly Father in His holy house, I have been blessed with receiving revelation and promptings that have really helped me throughout my life.
Through the priesthood, we can be lifted. The priesthood brings light into our world. Elder Robert D. Hales said: “Without the power of the priesthood, ‘the whole earth would be utterly wasted’ (see D&C 2:1–3). There would be no light, no hope—only darkness.”2
God is cheering for us. He wants us to return to Him. He knows us personally. He knows you. He loves us. He is always aware of us and blesses us even when we feel we don’t deserve it. He knows what we need and when we need it.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8).
If you don’t already have a testimony about the priesthood, I encourage you to pray and ask to know for yourself of its power, then read the scriptures to hear God’s words. I know that if we make an effort to experience the power of God’s priesthood in our lives, we will be blessed. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.