The Priesthood and living a Christlike life
As a priesthood holder, you will be given the power of action. President Dieter F. Uchtdorh taught that “We do not act for personal gain [in the priesthood], but rather we seek to serve and to lift up others. We lead not by force but through “persuasion, … long-suffering, … gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.”
God has given all of us the two great commandments–to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we learn to obey the will of God and to serve others, we can become more like Jesus Christ, and live a more Christlike life.
President Boyd K. Packer said “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.”
Through service to others, we develop a Christlike love and we experience joy. Service teaches patience and long-suffering as well as gentleness, goodness, and faith. The Priesthood is the power to act or serve others in the name of God. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children by bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
The Lord has given us the opportunity to prepare for, and once received, to magnify the priesthood by something He has called “the oath and covenant [of] the priesthood”, which is found in Doctrine and Covenant Section 84.
According to President Henry B. Eyring this is “a covenant priesthood holders make with God to keep all His commandments and give service as He would give it if He were personally present. Living up to that standard as best we can builds the strength we will need to endure to the end.”
So how do we live up to this standard? President Thomas S. Monson in a talk entitled “Be Your Best Self” taught us what we need to do to live more like Jesus Christ.
He taught – First, study diligently. Every holder of the priesthood should participate in daily scripture study. Crash courses are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures in our lives. Become acquainted with the lessons the scriptures teach. Learn the background and setting of the Master’s parables and the prophets’ admonitions. Study them as though they were speaking to you, for such is the truth.
Second, pray fervently. With God, all things are possible. Men of the Aaronic Priesthood, men of the Melchizedek Priesthood, remember the prayer of the Prophet Joseph, offered in that grove called sacred. Look around you and see the result of that answered prayer.
Finally: live righteously. Isaiah, that great prophet of the Old Testament, gave this stirring charge to holders of the priesthood: “Touch no unclean thing. … Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.”That’s about as straight as it could be given.
Chart your course, be cautious, and determine to study diligently, pray fervently, and live righteously. Let us never despair, for the work in which we are engaged is the work of the Lord. It has been said, “The Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it.”
My prayer is that we all learn our priesthood duty, exercise faith through our actions and magnify our callings by living a more Christlike life. May we stand and declare with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”