I read through the manual, started skimming through "Women and the Priesthood," and mulled over how I was going to approach this topic. I wanted to do it justice. After spending some time talking with my dad, he has to give the same lesson to the High Priests (a very scriptural deep-doctrine style lesson), I found that our conversation was able to put me on the right path -- to spend more time in the scriptures.
What is the Priesthood?
- Well, to understand that we have to start with He to whom the priesthood belong. In D&C 88:12-13 we learn that from God "proceedeth forth" His power, all law, and live-giving light. This eternal being, because of who He is, has a power (which we find out in D&C 29:36 is His honor [there's a lot there eh?] and that Heb. 5:4 no one can take this honor on himself unless called) and it is the power of heaven. This power is "inseparably connected" with the "rights of the priesthood" (D&C 121-36) which rights have the responsibility "in administering spiritual things" (D&C 107:10). These are the ordinances of the Gospel.
- In these "ordinances of heaven" (Job 38:33) where the power of God is administered, we also find "the power of Godliness manifest" (D&C 84:20). The power of Godliness -- meaning the power to do something Godly and the power to become Godly. The first in the simple fact that by performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, priesthood holders are exercising a Godly power. They wield the power of the Lord of all Creation. For that reason they MUST be pure and worthy and they WILL be cleansed and perfected. The second, that through these ordinances Godliness becomes ours, demonstrates again more clearly that the purpose of the priesthood is to redeem, sanctify, and reclaim us. It is the power of salvation -- what will make us like unto our Father.
- Which is, of course, His ultimate goal. As Moses 1:39 teaches, the Lord's work and glory is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." This is done through His power. Through the priesthood. Through the manifestation of the power of Godliness.
And THAT is why I wanted to do this lesson justice. I hope that I did. The priesthood is an AMAZING thing and I am so grateful to live in a time when it is on the earth in it's fullness.
(Since it was a Relief Society lesson, I also spent time discussing how the priesthood power of Godliness is, in it's fullness, a combined effort. It's power is held by men, yet available to women, and fully manifest in the sealing of the two -- and that, combined with the Godly power of creation (only made available to man through women) it is together that men and women become Godly.)