“What does it mean to honor the priesthood of God?”10490_000_029
The priesthood is the power by which Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ perform Their work. It is the greatest power on earth. By the priesthood, ordinances are performed, blessings are given, temple work is accomplished, the gospel is preached, and miracles are performed.
Priesthood holders represent the Savior, so they honor the priesthood by doing what the Savior would do if He were here. They honor the priesthood by living worthy of it. They honor the priesthood by their dress, actions, words, service, and even thoughts.
Young women can also honor the priesthood by keeping their baptismal covenants and by reverently participating in priesthood ordinances such as the sacrament or temple work. They can support their fathers, brothers, and other priesthood holders in keeping the commandments and living worthy to perform their priesthood duties.
We all can honor the priesthood by serving faithfully in our callings, by respecting those who hold the priesthood, by respecting the work it accomplishes, and by respecting the ordinances and covenants it helps us receive.
Act Like a Representative of God
If we can start to understand how wonderful it is that God granted us this gift, then honoring the priesthood becomes simple: act with gratitude and respect towards the power you were entrusted. Ask yourself, If everyone around me knew that I held God’s power, would they think more or less of Him? That’s what honoring the priesthood is—it’s realizing that you are a representative of God and doing your best to act in a way that shows respect for the trust He has placed in you.
Mason R., age 19, Colorado, USA
As a young woman I could say that I don’t need to honor the priesthood. But all young women do need to. We honor the priesthood by being virtuous. We honor the priesthood by helping the young men have clean thoughts. We dress modestly and speak with clean language. By doing this, we help young men to honor the priesthood, so we are also honoring the priesthood.
Marisa B., age 14, Arizona, USA
Do Your Duty to God
The main way to honor the priesthood is, in my opinion, to do the things that the Lord Himself would do if He were here on the earth, because we represent Jesus Christ. It means we fulfill all the commitments, duties, and promises that we made to God when we were ordained to the priesthood. By honoring His priesthood, we follow His command to “arise and shine forth, that [our] light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5). We help others know that many authorized servants of God are on earth.
Bismarck B., age 18, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Show Respect for the Priesthood
I think that honoring the priesthood is having respect and confidence in using the priesthood. When you have members of the Aaronic Priesthood who respect the priesthood and the sacrament as much as we do in our ward, then you can have some great experiences in passing and preparing the sacrament. We all wear white shirts with ties. We know that it makes a great effect in the ward, and it has made an effect on me. I know that holding the priesthood is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Hansen B., age 15, Texas, USA
Don’t Compromise Your Standards
Honoring the priesthood means not putting yourself in situations where you know you might compromise your standards. When we studied the Old Testament in seminary, we found in Genesis 39 the example of Joseph of Egypt honoring his priesthood by running away from the advances of Potiphar’s wife.
One way for young women to help us honor the priesthood is to follow For the Strength of Youth standards and dress modestly.
Joseph B., age 16, Texas, USA
Uphold the Priesthood
Honoring the priesthood means to me that young men respect and uphold the gift that the Lord has given them. When I see a young man respect the priesthood, I feel so much more at peace and I have more respect towards that young man. Heavenly Father has entrusted him with the priesthood, so I feel that it is a young man’s duty not only to hold the priesthood but also to uphold it.
Melinda B., age 16, Washington, USA
Remember the Savior
The priesthood is the only true power of God on earth and shows us the path to return to Him. When we think of honoring the priesthood, we think of following the teachings from President Thomas S. Monson and the other Apostles. The best way to honor the priesthood is to do the things we are taught, which allows us to remember the Savior. When we remember Him, His Spirit will be with us. Having the Spirit allows us to stay on target and be an example of gospel standards.
Sunday School class: Kylie E., Jaiten B., Joseph E., Alexandra R., Kaylie V., Alisha F., and Haylee W. (not pictured); Idaho, USA
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.
It Is Sacred
“Young men and young women … should honor [the priesthood] and recognize it as something that is sacred, … for it is by virtue of this authority that the ordinances of the gospel are performed throughout the world and in every sacred place, and without it they cannot be performed. Those also who hold this authority should honor it in themselves. They should live so as to be worthy of the authority vested in them.”
President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 144.
“What do I say to nonmembers who ask why some members of the Church aren’t living our standards?”
Send your answer by November 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org or to:
Responses may be edited for length or clarity.
The following information and permission must be included in your e-mail or letter: (1) full name, (2) birth date, (3) ward or branch, (4) stake or district, (5) your written permission, and, if you are under age 18, your parent’s written permission (e-mail is acceptable) to publish your response and photograph.