“Women and Covenant Power,” Liahona, January 2021, 22–24
President Russell M. Nelson taught that “the heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood.
“I pray that truth will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life,” he said. “I would like to leave a blessing upon you, that you may understand the priesthood power with which you have been endowed and that you will augment that power by exercising your faith in the Lord and in His power.”
President Nelson invited the women of the Church to “study prayerfully” about priesthood power and “discover what the Holy Ghost will teach” us. I love that our living prophet invited each of us to learn and to receive revelation and to better “gain, understand, and use the power with which [we] have been endowed.”1
Many times throughout my life, I have experienced the promised blessings that come from following the counsel of the prophets. This instance was no exception. In thinking about President Nelson’s invitation, my mind immediately turned to the temple—the place in which I was endowed with priesthood power—and the gift that power has been in my life. Yet it has taken me years to recognize how that power has been manifest.
Priesthood power, much like the gift of the Holy Ghost, comes from our loving Father in Heaven and from our personal righteousness. In keeping our covenants, we have the opportunity to receive revelation about our lives, about our families, jobs, school—everything for which we seek guidance. There is nothing that is important to us that is unimportant to the Lord. And when we invite the Spirit to teach us, we can come to a greater understanding of priesthood power through the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
The more I’ve learned about priesthood power through personal study and experience, the more I understand how relevant it is to all facets of our lives. Priesthood power helps us receive revelation for our daily challenges, whatever they may be.
In my callings, because I am serving with priesthood authority given to me by one who has keys, there have been numerous times when I have been prompted to say and do just what a young woman or Relief Society sister or Primary child needed to hear or see. I know that those promptings came because of the priesthood authority I was given when I was set apart for that calling.
In marriage, as in any relationship, people go through stages and phases of learning and growing. I have learned that when I remember who my husband is eternally and who I am and what we are supposed to be doing together as children of God, it has changed my heart. Being sealed together through priesthood authority has empowered and motivated both of us to become more united. When the Savior said, “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:27), He doesn’t just mean in a Church setting. He means in our family relationships as well.
And as a mother, I remember worrying about a young adult child who was doing things that I knew were not going to make that child happy. We had agreed to discuss the concern and had set a time to talk. Before the appointed time for our phone call, I had my lecture ready; I knew exactly what I was going to say. I prayed to have the Spirit with me. What came out of my mouth from the beginning of our conversation and throughout the call was completely different than what I had planned to say. But it was exactly what that child needed. The gift of the Holy Ghost made it possible for hearts to be softened and a better solution identified. That is a demonstration of how priesthood power works in our lives.
One of the things I’ve learned about the priesthood is that women and men do best when we work interdependently with one another. That’s how the Lord designed it; that is the divine pattern. We don’t need to compete because all those different gifts and talents and abilities are needed—from both men and women. The Lord is leading us gently along that path so all of us can gain a better understanding of how to work together and how to value each other’s contributions. It truly is the best way to accomplish His work.
Too often, women compare themselves with others. But none of us feel good in those comparisons. Each woman has a unique blend of abilities and talents, and all have God-given gifts. Just because you and I are not the same—or any number of women aren’t the same—doesn’t make us any less or more. We need to discover our individual gifts and develop them, remembering who gave them to us, and then use them for His purposes. As we share our gifts to bless others, we are experiencing the power of the priesthood in our lives.
I have had the privilege of meeting many outstanding women who demonstrate faith and power through their actions. Covenant women give of their talents and abilities in incredible and diverse ways. They make a huge difference in the lives of all those around them—in their families, work, school, church, and wherever else they spend their time.
Women don’t need to wait for someone to tell them what to do with their gifts, talents, and power. We have the ability to receive revelation for ourselves. We shouldn’t wait to be acted upon; we need to have the courage to act on the revelation that we receive. Seeking inspiration and responding to that spiritual guidance is evidence that we are drawing upon the priesthood power we have been promised when we keep our covenants with God.
As President Nelson taught, “What could possibly be more exciting than to labor with the Spirit to understand God’s power—priesthood power?” He promised, “As your understanding increases and as you exercise faith in the Lord and His priesthood power, your ability to draw upon this spiritual treasure that the Lord has made available will increase.”2 I know these promises from our living prophet are sure.