Hinckley: Chapter 19: Priesthood Leadership

Lesson 19: Priesthood Leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ

It’s important that we understand that priesthood leadership is how Jesus Christ organizes His Church on the earth. There are some basic doctrines that build upon one another in order for us to see the order of God.

  1. We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has organized His church on the earth once, and it has been restored in our day.
  2. We believe Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, called to be the voice of Jesus Christ, and each prophet thereafter has taken that same role.
  3. We believe Joseph was called to bring forth the Book of Mormon, which is a record that bears witness of Jesus Christ.
  4. We believe it is only by the authority of Jesus Christ, and His priesthood, that ordinances are received and last the eternities.
  5. We believe that John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John–the last to hold the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods on the earth–under the direction of Jesus Christ conferred these priesthoods upon Joseph Smith.
  6. We believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God and holds all the truths of salvation and exaltation.
  7. We believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth today.
  8. We believe that it has the only authority of God through its priesthood to call, ordain, and minister in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wow! As I make this list, I can bear witness just how much Jesus Christ is involved in His church, and how involved He is in our lives. He is the one who calls His prophet. His prophet has the Priesthood authority to call the world to repentance, keep us moving toward our Savior, and to stand as the voice and witness of Jesus Christ.

President Hinckley explains that when we raise our hand to sustain our prophet it is “an expression of your willingness and desire to uphold us, your brethren and your servants, with your confidence, faith, and prayer.” Our prophet and apostles have already been called of God. Our hands simply show our support and love. So, lately, we have been seeing people oppose this sustaining. They are ignoring the fact that these men have been called by God. They are obstinately showing their refusal to support and love him, and their God.

As members of the church, we have to understand and believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, that He calls a prophet who speaks the mind and will of Him (see D&C 1:38), that His prophet will never lead the church astray (see Official Declaration–1), and that the prophet has the authority to call everyone–member or non-member–to repentance (see p. 266 in the lesson), even condemning sin.

Truth is truth and does not change. If anyone has difficulty with anything the prophet says, it is their test to adjust their heart. This earth life is meant for us to prove ourselves worthy of all of God’s blessings. In all of us, this demands that we become more like Jesus (see Mosiah 3:19, Alma 5, and Alma 13: 28) and less like the world.

The LGBT audience is not interested in changing. They are convinced they are helpless to their situation and if they are not accepted as they believe they are, they have no place. There is a lot we don’t understand about the body, but one thing we can be sure of: Jesus Christ has paid the awful price that we might become perfected. We are accountable for all we can do, be, and become and He has promised to take care of the rest. Requirements of godhood don’t change for anyone–but anyone can change to the requirements of godhood, even through long-suffering, endurance, and faith.

Jesus Christ is in charge. He calls forth His servants in due course, prepares them, and tests them. When the prophet passes away, another has already been set in place to continue the work of salvation.

It is through the priesthood and Priesthood leadership that we are given power to keep trying, to keep overcoming, to keep long-suffering, and to keep moving closer to our Savior. Jesus loves all of us. The best way to show our love for Him is to accept His authority on the earth through His prophets, His counsel, His doctrine, and His sacrifice for us.

For those who are able to break the bands of death and darkness, accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and obey His servants without reservation, Alma cries, “Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved” (Alma 5:9).