“A Great Work—and You’re Doing It,” New Era, June 2016, 14–15
Heads up! This question is for young men and young women, so no fair tuning out once you read the subject (imagine your favorite smiley emoticon here). The question: what comes to mind when you hear the phrase “the work of the priesthood”? Do you imagine a bunch of guys hefting a piano from a moving truck to a second-floor apartment? a group of deacons passing the sacrament?
Or, do you instead envision much grander things, such as the creation of worlds without number (see Moses 1:33)?
Those are indeed examples of the work of the priesthood. But what about this situation: let’s say your friend just had the worst day ever at school. You decide to send her a quick text of encouragement. Does that also fit under “work of the priesthood”? Absolutely! And that applies whether or not you actually hold the priesthood.
As we learn in the Come, Follow Me lessons, “The work of the priesthood includes more than the duties of priesthood holders. It is God’s work—the work of blessing and exalting His children—accomplished by His covenant-keeping children. Women are essential in accomplishing the work of the priesthood.”1
One way to bless the lives of others is through service. Let’s not get hung up, though, on the first thoughts that tend to come to mind with that word. We often think of service as something we do with our hands, even better if it requires work gloves and almost-worn-out blue jeans. Rake, shovel, brownies after the activity.
The truth is, service opportunities come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Reading a book to an eager sibling is service. Lending a listening ear to a friend with a lot on his mind is service. So is praying for someone in need.
President Thomas S. Monson said, “You can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people.”2
When we obey God’s commandments, including His commandment to serve one another, we feel greater love for those around us—and we feel more of God’s love for them too. That’s a wonderful truth because the opportunity to serve comes often and in many ways. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said that “Latter-day Saint volunteers are in great demand in education, local government, charitable causes, and countless other efforts.”3 The world needs you in God’s work—and that’s no small statement.
When you hear about the work of the priesthood, remember that you have a big part to play in that work. Share a smile. Share your talents. Build up those around you and help lead them back to God and the ordinances He wants all of us to receive.
It’s the most important work we can do.