Restoration of the Priesthood
The authority of God to organize His Church and perform ordinances of salvation was lost because of apostasy after the death of Jesus Christ and His Apostles in the first century A.D. However, it was restored by the Lord to Joseph Smith through heavenly messengers during the 19th century.
Study one or more of the following resources with your family, and discuss what you learn about the restoration of the priesthood. How can you and your family receive a testimony that Jesus Christ restored the priesthood?
Keys of the Priesthood
The keys of the priesthood are the right to preside and direct the affairs of the Church within a jurisdiction. Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood pertaining to His Church. He has conferred upon each of His Apostles all the keys that pertain to the kingdom of God on earth. The senior living Apostle, the President of the Church, is the only person on earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys.
Study one or more of the following resources as a family, and discuss what you learn about the keys of the priesthood. How can you and your family show the Lord that you honor the keys of the priesthood?
Gary E. Stevenson, “Where Are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood?” Apr. 2016 general conference
Authority and Power of the Priesthood
There is a difference between the authority of the priesthood and the power of the priesthood. Priesthood authority comes from ordination. Power comes from personal righteousness.
Study one or more of the following resources as a family, and discuss what you learn about the power and authority of the priesthood. How can you and your family increase the power of the priesthood in your home?
The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.
The power of the priesthood is a sacred and essential gift of God. It is different from priesthood authority, which is the authorization to act in God’s name. The authorization or ordination is given by the laying on of hands. The power of the priesthood comes only when those who exercise it are worthy and acting in accordance with God’s will. As President Spencer W. Kimball declared, “The Lord has given to all of us, as holders of the priesthood, certain of his authority, but we can only tap the powers of heaven on the basis of our personal righteousness” (“Boys Need Heroes Close By,” Ensign, May 1976, 45).
See also: Restoration of the Priesthood
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