Do we as home teachers understand what the priesthood is and how it may bless the lives of those over whom we have stewardship? to bless one another with the priesthood we must continually strive to be worthy.
Spencer W. Kimball teaches us that “the priesthood is the power and authority of God delegated to man on earth to act in all things pertaining to the salvation of men. It is the means whereby the Lord acts through men to save souls. Without this priesthood power, men are lost.” From President Kimball we learn that the Priesthood is primarily comprised of two things, Power and Authority of God.
First, let me explain the meaning of priesthood authority and then attempt to explain its power.
We have been enormously blessed as members of the Church to have God’s Priesthood restored to worthy men on the earth today. By way of Joseph Smith and his association with John the Baptist, Peter, James and John we rejoice in having the authentic priesthood of God with us today. Man cannot assume this authority without being properly called and ordained by the laying on of hands. “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5:4).
In a common dictionary I often use at home, I discovered eleven definitions to the word power. Allow me to share a few of them with you while focusing on our callings as teachers.
The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively.
A specific capacity, faculty, or aptitude.
Physics define it as: The rate at which work is done, commonly measured in units –Those perennial monthly reports.
A measure of the magnification of an optical instrument.
You may, as I did, see a few key words that we use in describing the priesthood or callings which we hold.
After thoughtfully considering these definitions of the word power, I understood why it is important to have a positive attitude, carry out our callings effectively, and measure or account for our actions. I assume a lot of you have experienced each of these definitions of power in the priesthood. What I am suggesting is that we try to consistently possess each one of these definitions in our visits so that we might bless and save souls through this privilege of priesthood we enjoy. I believe the correct authority to act in God’s name is among us today and it is now our individual responsibility to develop priesthood power to bless one another.
Orson Pratt taught priesthood holders that “there is a difference between priesthood authority and priesthood power …all of us who hold the priesthood have the authority to act for the Lord, but the effectiveness of our authority — or if you will, the power that comes through that authority — depends on the pattern of our lives; it depends on our righteousness.”
During our lives, we should feel honored to be entrusted by the Lord and deemed worthy as a delegate to assist Him in His work. When living righteously, we will receive feelings of encouragement, motivation, confidence, humility, and an increased desire to bless others.
Remember, it is not necessarily difficult to receive the priesthood. It is, however, a challenge to live worthily each day and to continually develop priesthood power. One of the best ways we can do this is to be consistent and sensitive to our callings as home teachers. We must apply prayerful work and effort.
Tracy L. Stanger lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and two daughters. Recently released as Young Mens president, he is now a patient Sunday school teacher for the 15-year olds in the Valley View 8th Ward, Holladay Utah North Stake