We receive many blessings because of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. Share how it has blessed you by clicking on Share your experience at the bottom of the article.
An occasion of special significance to Latter-day Saint teenagers occurred on May 15, 1829. On that day, near Harmony, Pennsylvania, John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and bestowed on them the Aaronic Priesthood.
The restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood was the answer to a question Joseph and Oliver had about baptism. They went out into the woods and knelt down, asking Heavenly Father for greater understanding. John the Baptist came and ordained them, saying, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins” (JS—H 1:69; see also D&C 13).
Here are some ways that all of God’s children are blessed by having the Aaronic Priesthood on the earth.
The Aaronic Priesthood holds “the keys … of the gospel of repentance” (D&C 13:1). Bishop is an office in the Aaronic Priesthood. One of the bishop’s responsibilities is to assist in the repentance process. The Aaronic Priesthood also opens the door to a remission of sins through baptism and the sacrament.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Aaronic Priesthood. Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood hold that authority. Baptism allows people to enter a covenant relationship with the Lord, receive a remission of their sins, and become members of Christ’s Church.
After baptism, we have an opportunity to renew our covenants and receive a remission of our sins each week when we partake of the sacrament. The sacrament is prepared, blessed, and passed to members under the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood.
Ministering of Angels
The Aaronic Priesthood also holds “the keys of the ministering of angels.” Because of repentance and the authority to baptize and provide the sacrament, the Aaronic Priesthood allows people to be cleansed from sin and be worthy to receive angelic ministrations. (For more on this topic, read “The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.)
Helping the Poor and Needy
Another of the bishop’s responsibilities is to care for the poor and needy. Young Aaronic Priesthood holders assist the bishop by collecting fast offerings, which the bishop uses to help those in need. Millions of people of different faiths and in many lands have been blessed by local bishops or by global humanitarian efforts directed by the Presiding Bishop of the Church.
Celebrating the Priesthood
This May, take time to share what the Aaronic Priesthood means to you by clicking on Share your experience below. You could tell about how the priesthood has blessed you, what you do to honor the priesthood, what you did to commemorate its restoration, or anything else you want to share. Consider also sharing these thoughts in your journal, with your family, or in your Sunday classes.