We receive immeasurable blessings through priesthood power. Because the priesthood is on earth, God can lead us through living prophets and local Church leaders. Because priesthood ordinances are available to us, “the power of godliness is manifest” in our lives (D&C 84:20).
The priesthood is the authority 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 and his associates (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. And it is through this priesthood that temple ordinances and many other blessings are available to us.
Church President Brigham Young (1801–77) 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, it 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, November 1997, 88). Among these blessings are baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the sacrament, temple ordinances, patriarchal blessings, father’s blessings, and blessings of healing and comfort. Husbands, fathers, home teachers, ward and branch leaders, and other priesthood holders can provide priesthood blessings.
María Isabel Parra de Uribe of the Villas de La Hacienda Ward, México City México Tepalcapa Stake, tells of an experience common to many who have 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 not only calm but certain our baby would survive.
“After I came out of surgery, a nurse said, ‘Everything is all right. Your baby is fine.’ I smiled to myself, realizing, I already knew.”
The power of godliness had been manifest in her life.