I’m a Mormon, so I support the men who hold the power to administer the priesthood.
The word priesthood has two meanings. First, priesthood is the power and authority of God. It has always existed and will continue to exist without end (see Alma 13:7–8; Doctrine and Covenants 84:17–18). Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power, He exalts His obedient children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39; see also Doctrine and Covenants 84:35–38).LDS Gospel Topics, “Priesthood“
Second, in mortality, priesthood is the power and authority that God gives to man to act in all things necessary for the salvation of God’s children. The blessings of the priesthood are available to all who receive the gospel (“Priesthood Authority,” Handbook 2, Administering the Church).
The blessings of the priesthood include vital ordinances like baptizing, conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost, blessing and administering the Sacrament, healing the sick, receiving inspiration and guidance for those whom a member is responsible for (including his or her own family), conducting and participating in temple rituals, and giving Patriarchal Blessings.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received the priesthood and the ability to use it again when Joseph Smith applied for direction concerning performing ordinances. He was then blessed with the Aaronic Priesthood at the hand of John the Baptist; then the Melchizedek Priesthood at the hands of Peter, James, and John.
As noted, everyone benefits from the priesthood. In terms of receiving the special ability to directly apply priesthood power and authority, that is the sole responsibility of men.
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.LDS Gospel Topics, “Priesthood“
Beginning in their twelfth year, young men may receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be called to the office of a deacon. At fourteen, they may receive more responsibilities as, and be ordained to the office of, teacher. Then, at sixteen, comes the opportunity to be a priest. The highest available ordination that is considered part of the Aaronic Priesthood is that of bishop, a man called to be the leader of an LDS ward or branch.
An important side note at this point is that all positions in the LDS church come from the membership. We are asked to volunteer in different roles, sometimes ones of authority, to help run the meetings, community events, or activities. Those called to higher leadership roles with more of a time commitment are paid a reasonable stipend for their labors.
Getting back to the Priesthood: the second tier of priesthood authority is referred to as the Melchizedek Priesthood. A man may be set apart as an Elder when he is eighteen. “The offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood are Apostle, Seventy, patriarch, high priest, and elder. The President of the High Priesthood is the President of the Church (see Doctrine and Covenants 107:64–66).” (LDS Gospel Topics, “Melchizedek Priesthood“).
Men in the Church must be worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders in order to receive the temple endowment and be sealed to their families for eternity. They have the authority to administer to the sick and give special blessings to family members and others. With the authorization of presiding priesthood leaders, they can bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost and ordain other worthy men to offices in the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods.LDS Gospel Topics, “Melchizedek Priesthood
Worthiness is essential where the priesthood is concerned, as mentioned in discussing revelation, baptism, and taking the Sacrament. A man may not exercise the priesthood properly if he is not worthy to do so, nor may a recipient of priesthood blessings fully benefit without a measure of faith.
©2022 Chel Owens
We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.
My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.
My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.
My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.