Robert put on his first-ever suit. He went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. He adjusted his tie and made sure his white shirt was tucked in right.
He went to find Mom. “Do I look OK?” he asked.
“You look very grown up,” Mom said. Her voice did that thing it always did before she started to cry. Like she’d just swallowed a spoonful of peanut butter.
“Aw, Mom. Don’t cry.” Robert patted Mom awkwardly on the shoulder.
Mom wiped her eyes. “I just can’t believe you’re old enough to receive the priesthood.”
“Ready?” Dad called. “We don’t want to be late!”
Robert was so excited he could hardly sit still in the car. But he sat reverently during the sacrament. He watched the deacons pass the trays of bread and water. Next week, that will be me! he thought.
Robert had done a lot to prepare for today. He’d read in his scriptures about the priesthood, especially section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. On Monday, Mom and Dad gave a special family home evening about the priesthood. And last week the bishop had interviewed him to make sure he was worthy and ready to receive the priesthood. He knew he was ready, but he was still a little nervous.
After the meeting, Robert, Mom, and Dad went to the bishop’s office. Robert sat in a chair in the middle. He took a deep breath as Dad and the other priesthood holders gathered around him. Their hands felt heavy and warm on top of his head. He closed his eyes.
Dad started out with Robert’s full name. Usually Dad only used Robert’s middle name when he was in trouble, but Robert knew this time it was special. He listened carefully as Dad conferred on him the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained him to the office of deacon. He said Robert would be blessed if he honored the priesthood and kept his covenants.
Afterward Robert shook hands with everyone and gave Mom and Dad a hug. Mom was crying again, but Robert didn’t really mind.
“Holding the priesthood is a sacred privilege,” Dad said as they left the bishop’s office. “Do you know how we have the Aaronic Priesthood today?”
“Joseph Smith got it from John the Baptist?” Robert said.
“Yes! And do you know who sent John the Baptist to Joseph Smith?” Mom asked.
“Uh …” Robert frowned. “I’m not sure.”
“He was sent by Peter, James, and John. And they received their priesthood authority from Jesus Christ,” Mom said.
“Wait … so it’s like I got the priesthood from Jesus?” Robert asked.
“That’s right,” said Dad.
Robert’s eyes widened. It was hard to find a word special enough to say how he felt. “That’s so … awesome.”
“It really is awesome,” Dad said. He pulled something out of his pocket. “You can keep this with you to always remind you that the priesthood is Jesus Christ’s power.” He handed Robert a small picture of Jesus.
Robert stared down at it. Suddenly he felt very small. “Jesus Christ’s power … that’s a big responsibility.”
“But you know what that means?” Dad asked. “Heavenly Father and Jesus love and trust you enough to give you Their power. They know you can honor the priesthood.”
“But how do I honor it?” Robert asked.
Mom smiled. “By serving others. And doing your best to follow Jesus.”
Dad pulled Robert into a hug. “We’re so proud of you!”
Robert felt like the Holy Ghost was giving him a hug too. He smiled as he tucked the picture of Jesus in his wallet. He would always carry it with him so he could remember to honor the priesthood.
“It is a sacred trust to bear the priesthood, which is the mighty power and authority of God.”