A recent presentation given in the auxiliary training for Relief Society leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Sandra Rogers, a member of the Relief Society general board, spoke on priesthood power available to Mormon women. (Her presentation begins just before the 39:00 minute mark). Her focus in the training was on the recent Worldwide Leadership Training meeting.
She beautifully distilled some important messages of the worldwide training meeting and how the doctrine of the priesthood relates to the work Mormon women do in the Lord’s work of salvation. We participate in that work through sharing the gospel with others, helping converts stay strong in the faith, helping reach out to those who are less active, doing temple and family history work, through gospel teaching, and through welfare work. Relief Society leaders unite with priesthood leaders in all facets of this work.
Sister Rogers talked of how God’s priesthood power is essential to do the Lord’s work of helping to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all of Heavenly Father’s children. She testifies of the importance of the power of the priesthood (which she distinguishes from the the keys and authority of the priesthood).
There are several ways Mormon women have access to priesthood power to do the work of God in our Church callings and in our homes. Following are notes from Sister Rogers’ presentation. You can watch her presentation here. This topic of priesthood keys, authority, power, and blessings were also the subject of the recent Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting so we encourage you to watch those videos. Sister Rogers also pointed those in attendance to Daughters in My Kingdom (especially chapter 8) and also the Church Handbook of Instructions for more insight on these topics.
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Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have access to priesthood power…
– When we receive priesthood ordinances
– When we “make and righteously keep” the sacred covenants we have made that are associated with priesthood ordinances
– When we participate in temple work and remember our covenants and the eternal blessings that are part of that saving, empowering work
– When we renew our baptismal covenants every week as we partake of the sacrament
– When we receive delegated authority as we are set apart in our callings
– When we work in unity in councils: ward councils, stake councils, family councils and in female auxiliary presidencies
– When we receive priesthood blessings
“Through delegated authority and personal righteousness” in our callings in the Church we can “act in priesthood power.” We “can receive inspiration, have access to gifts of the Spirit,” have the Lord’s sustaining power, and have the confidence that the Lord will help us in the work that we do.
Through making and keeping our priesthood covenants, all Mormon women can have access to priesthood power in “calling down the blessings of heaven” for ourselves, for our families, and for those within the stewardships of our callings in the Church.
“Priesthood power…functions… in both the family and the church and its blessings are available to men and women alike.” -Elder Dallin H. Oaks
And from a talk Elder Oaks gave several years ago:
“The Prophet Joseph Smith told the early sisters that he had something better for them than a written constitution. Being organized under priesthood authority, they were to reject worldly concepts of power and seek the power that flows down from heaven for those functions and to those individuals who are using their time and talents in the Lord’s way.” -Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Relief Society and the Church”
Sister Rogers shared a story from Daughters in My Kingdom:
“Just as I was preparing to serve a full-time mission, my father left our family and the Church. Under these circumstances, it was difficult for me to leave home for two years, but I went. And while I served the Lord in a faraway land, I learned of my mother’s strength at home. She needed and appreciated the special attention she received from men who held the priesthood—her father and brothers, her home teachers, other men in the ward. However, her greatest strength came from the Lord Himself. She did not have to wait for a visit in order to have the blessings of the priesthood in her home, and when visitors left, those blessings did not leave with them. Because she was faithful to the covenants she had made in the waters of baptism and in the temple, she always had the blessings of the priesthood in her life. The Lord gave her inspiration and strength beyond her own capacity, and she raised children who now keep the same covenants that have sustained her.”
[Editor’s note: This reminds me of something Sister Julie B. Beck said a couple of years ago in a BYU Women’s Conference address:
Recently I reviewed this Primary song. You’re familiar with it. It says, “Mine is a home where ev’ry hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow’r, With father and mother leading the way.” Mine is a home where every hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood power. That is your responsibility, sisters, to help your home be a home that is blessed every hour by priesthood power. It isn’t just when Dad is there. It’s not just when Mom is there. It’s not just when a priesthood ordinance or blessing is being performed. It’s every hour as covenants are kept.]