Line upon Line

Line upon Line: Hebrews 5:4


In Hebrews we learn about receiving authority from God.

Hebrews 5:4

priesthood ordination

Photo illustration by Church Publishing Services

4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

No man taketh

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“We have not acquired [the priesthood] through purchase or bargain. The Lord has given it to men who are considered worthy to receive it. … It is given only by ordination by the laying on of hands by those in authority to do so. The qualification for eligibility is obedience to the commandments of God.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “Four Cornerstones of Faith,” Ensign, Feb. 2004, 7.

This honour

This phrase refers to the previous verses in which Paul writes about being ordained and having power and authority to do God’s work. We call this power the priesthood. President Thomas S. Monson taught how the priesthood is an honor and a privilege:

President Thomas S. Monson

“How blessed we are to be here in these last days, when the priesthood of God is upon the earth. How privileged we are to bear that priesthood. The priesthood is not so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others. … Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of priesthood service.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Willing and Worthy to Serve,” Ensign, May 2012, 66, 69.

Called of God

Elder David A. Bednar

“The pattern for obtaining priesthood authority is described in the fifth article of faith: ‘We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.’ Thus, a boy or a man receives the authority of the priesthood and is ordained to a specific office by one who already holds the priesthood and has been authorized by a leader with the necessary priesthood keys.”

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Powers of Heaven,” Ensign, May 2012, 48.

As was Aaron

Aaron was called by God to help the prophet Moses lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. You can learn about how he was called by the Lord in Exodus 4:10–16, 27–30. In addition to Aaron, many other men have been called of God and given authority from Him. Explore these examples from the scriptures to learn about some of these men and their callings. Then see if you can find more examples.

Editors’ note: This page is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of the selected scripture verse, only a starting point for your own study.