As members of the Church, we receive immeasurable blessings through priesthood power. Because the priesthood is on earth, God can lead us through living prophets and our local Church leaders. Because priesthood ordinances are available to us as individuals and families, “the power of godliness is manifest” in our lives (D&C 84:20).
The priesthood is the power and authority that God has delegated to worthy male members of the Church to act in His name. The Savior bestowed this authority on His ancient Apostles. With the death of the Apostles and the ensuing apostasy, the priesthood was taken from the earth until 1829, when it was restored by resurrected beings to the Prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C 13; D&C 27:12).
The Aaronic Priesthood “has power in administering outward ordinances,” such as the sacrament and baptism (D&C 107:14). The Melchizedek Priesthood contains “the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church” (D&C 107:18). It is through the Melchizedek Priesthood that the gift of the Holy Ghost is given to those who are baptized. And it is through this priesthood that the ordinances of the temple and many other blessings are made available to us.
President Brigham Young defined the priesthood as “a perfect system of government, of laws and ordinances,” that “can deliver the human family from all the evils which now afflict its members.” Active in both time and eternity, the priesthood is “the law … which brings worlds into existence and peoples them” and “by which we can be prepared to … go into the presence of our Father and God” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young , 125–26).
Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society general president, said that one objective of Relief Society sisters is to become full participants in receiving the blessings of the priesthood (see “‘For Such a Time as This,’” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 88). Among these blessings are baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the sacrament, ordinances of the temple, patriarchal blessings, fathers’ blessings, and blessings of healing and comfort. Husbands, fathers, home teachers, ward and branch leaders, and other priesthood holders can provide needed priesthood blessings.
María Isabel Parra de Uribe of the Villas de La Hacienda Ward, Mexico City Mexico Tepalcapa Stake, tells of an experience when she sought blessings of healing. Five months pregnant, she was suffering intense pain. Tests showed she needed surgery immediately, and she was told she might lose her baby.
“My husband and I were confused,” she says. “We didn’t know whether to have the surgery or not. We decided to ask God if surgery was the right choice. After our prayer, we felt peaceful and calm.
“While I was waiting to be taken to the operating room, my husband gave me a priesthood blessing. When it was over, we felt calm and also certain that our baby would survive. A feeling of happiness swept over us both.
“After I came out of surgery, a nurse said, ‘Everything is all right. Your baby is fine.’ I smiled to myself, realizing that I already knew.”
The power of godliness had been manifest in her life.