Questions and Answers


“What does it mean to honor the priesthood of God?”

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 with. 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., 19, Colorado, USA

Be Virtuous

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., 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., 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 try to 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., 15, Texas, 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

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., 16, Washington, 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., 16, Texas, USA

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

It Is Sacred

President Joseph F. Smith

“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.

Next Question

“What do I say to nonmembers who ask why some members of the Church aren’t living our standards?”

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