Saturday, April 4, 2009

LDS 179th Annual General Conference, Saturday Evening Priesthood Session; Magnifying One's Priesthood By Example And Through Service

Note: Full transcripts of all Conference addresses now available in English HERE.

The Saturday evening priesthood session of the 179th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just concluded, and if one was to pick a theme, it would appear that the General Authorities who spoke were urging Priesthood holders to magnify their priesthood as much as possible by example and through service. Story published in the Deseret News.

While the Aaronic Priesthood is important in its role as a preparatory, or apprentice priesthood, it is the Melchizedek Priesthood that is not to be trifled with. Quite literally, it is the power to act in God's name; it was by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood that Jesus Christ walked upon the surface of the Sea of Galilee. The Melchizedek Priesthood is considered so sacred that when the Israelis got impatient waiting for Moses to descend Mount Sinai and built a golden calf for worship, they immediately forfeited any chance to have it, and instead were required to abide the much more carnal and cumbersome Law of Moses.

But having the priesthood requires its bearer to exercise righteous dominion. In Doctrine & Covenants 121:34, Joseph Smith wrote, ".....the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man......"

Visit this static page to find out how you can watch or listen to remaining conference sessions. KSTU Channel 13 news video of the day's events embedded below:

Once again, Messenger and Advocate provides an excellent summary of the talks, and Times and Seasons provides their own input. More detailed summaries of the talks are also posted by the Mormon Times, at the following links, which reflect the order in which the speakers appeared:

-- President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, said the offices in the priesthood require humility. Most of this address was directed towards the younger Aaronic Priesthood holders, as Elder Packer reminded them that they are to take care of the mortal tabernacle given to them. He counseled them to treasure and protect the masculine part of their nature, and to have respectful, protective regard for all women and girls. He also urged them to avoid pornography and narcotics, and not to decorate their bodies with tattoos or by piercing it to add jewels.
-- Bishop Richard C. Edgley, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, said there is no better organization to respond to humanity's challenges than the church's priesthood quorums. He called upon the Church to mobilize the priesthood quorums in response to the employment and financial challenges facing the members.
-- Elder Claudio R.M. Costa of the presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy said priesthood holders are responsible for their families, to their employers, for the Lord's work and for themselves. Elder Costa stated that it is the responsibility of fathers to lead their families in daily family prayer, daily study of the scriptures and in family home evening. We must prioritize and preserve these opportunities to build and strengthen the spiritual underpinnings of our families.
-- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, said the tendency to focus on insignificant things comes at the expense of everyone's happiness. Imagine what could be accomplished if we 'put away childish things' and gave ourselves, heart and soul, to becoming worthy priesthood bearers and true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ.
-- President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, said a feeling of responsibility for others is at the heart of priesthood service. Satan sometimes seems to inject a deadening agent while inflicting a spiritual wound, which means that priesthood holders responsible for the spiritual survival of some of Heavenly Father's children should move to help without waiting for a cry for help. Priesthood holders are responsible for whatever they do or fail to do for the salvation of others.
-- President Thomas S. Monson, president of the church, said boys and men who hold the priesthood of God must be worthy of the privilege and responsibility. To ensure worthiness, he urged members to study diligently, pray fervently and live righteously.

See the following links for summarization of the other Saturday sessions:

-- Saturday morning general session discussed HERE.
-- Saturday afternoon general session discussed HERE.
-- Sunday morning general session discussed HERE.
-- Sunday afternoon general session discussed HERE.

No comments: