“To the Young Men of the Aaronic Priesthood,” New Era, Jan. 2009
Paul reminded Timothy of something very important—important to Timothy and to each bearer of the Aaronic Priesthood: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands” (1 Timothy 4:14). Paul was speaking of the importance of the priesthood.
What does it mean to “neglect not” our priesthood? First, it means to live worthy of the blessings that flow through the priesthood. We ensure that our thoughts, words, and actions are pure. We live so as to be “an example of the believers” in all that we do: praying and reading the scriptures daily, attending seminary, paying tithing, and, where possible, attending the temple to perform baptisms for the dead.
Second, it means to magnify the priesthood—to use the priesthood to serve and bless the lives of others. We can do this by fulfilling priesthood assignments; providing personal and quorum service; or reaching out to someone at home, school, or work who needs a kind word, a smile, or a pat on the back.
Third, it means learning about the priesthood and its duties. Read and ponder the scriptures about the priesthood, specifically Alma 13 and Doctrine and Covenants sections 13, 20, 84, 107, and 121. Read the talks given in the priesthood session at the most recent general conference, and then ask yourself, “How can I apply what I learned to help me magnify the priesthood?”
We love you. We have confidence in you. As you strive to magnify your priesthood, you will be better prepared to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary, and as Paul promised Timothy, your service and your example will bless your life and those around you. May God bless you in your efforts.