As the Deacons’ Quorum President, I was invited to speak in the “Priesthood and Temple Preparation” meeting for the primary children in the ward turning 12 in 2021. My topic was “the purpose and blessings of the priesthood”.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared this story a few years ago:
[Our branch president] invited me into a small classroom, and there he extended a call to me to serve as deacons quorum president.
“This is an important position,” he said, and then he took his time and described why. He explained what he and the Lord expected of me and how I could receive help.
I don’t remember much of what he said, but I do remember how I felt. A sacred, divine Spirit filled my heart as he spoke. I could feel that this was the Savior’s Church. And I felt that the calling he had extended was inspired by the Holy Ghost. I remember walking out of that tiny classroom feeling quite a bit taller than before.
As I was thinking back on this experience, I tried to remember just how many deacons there were in our branch at the time. To my best recollection, I believe there were two. However, this may be a huge exaggeration.Dieter F. Uchtdorf
That reminds me of our deacons’ quorum! (There was only one person in the meeting!)
But it didn’t matter whether there was one deacon or a dozen. I felt honored, and I wanted to serve to the best of my ability and not disappoint either my branch president or the Lord.
I realize now that the branch president could have merely gone through the motions when he called me to this position. He could have simply told me … that I was the new Deacons’ Quorum President. Instead, he spent time with me and helped me understand not only the what of my assignment but, much more important, the why. …
From the newest ordained deacon to the most senior high priest, we all have lists of what we could and should do in our priesthood responsibilities. The ‘what’ is important in our work, and we need to attend to it. But it is in the ‘why’ of priesthood service that we discover the fire, passion, and power of the priesthood. The what of priesthood service teaches us what to do. The ‘why’ inspires our souls. The what informs, but the why transforms.Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Why do we need the priesthood?
As God tells Moses,
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” And we use the priesthood to do that. Joseph F. Smith said, “[The priesthood] is nothing more nor less than the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and act legitimately.Moses 1:39
Without the priesthood, nothing would have a point.
Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood …
If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.Doctrine & Covenants 2:1, 3
Elder Robert D. Hales told us,
Priesthood holders, [God’s] authorized agents, … are commissioned to go forth and bless others through the power and authority of the priesthood, making all priesthood covenants, ordinances, and blessings available today.
Building on that, the August 2018 New Era said,
The ordinances we participate in and the covenants we make are necessary for us to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and live with Him. Those ordinances and covenants require the priesthood. Without those covenants, we’d be lost.Eric B. Murdock & Joshua J. Perkey
Which ordinances do the Aaronic priesthood help with?
Doctrine and Covenants 107 tells us that
The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.Doctrine & Covenants 107:20
But we can’t do that without the priesthood!
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.Matthew 7:22-23
Because, as we know,
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.Article of Faith 5
And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the fleshDoctrine and Covenants 84:21
Those are some pretty big blessings. What are some others?
President David O. McKay promised that those who use the priesthood righteously,
will find [their] life sweetened, [their] discernment sharpened to decide quickly between right and wrong, [their] feelings tender and compassionate, yet [their] spirit strong and valiant in defense of right; [they] will find the priesthood a never-failing source of happiness —a well of living water springing up unto eternal life.David O. McKay
And I’ll leave you with this quote from Elder Robert D. Hales:
The formation of the universe and the world upon which we live was brought to pass not by chance, but through the power of the priesthood.Robert D. Hales
Think about that. Everything you see came from God, by the power of the priesthood. And that’s one of the biggest blessings we could get! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.