One of the “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” in the July 26-August 1, 2021 Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families lesson is “I have access to God’s priesthood power and blessings.” This statement invites us to consider what the Lord wants us to do to receive and increase His power into our lives. It applies to both women and men who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
President Russell M. Nelson explained at the 2019 Women’s Session of general conference, “How I yearn for you to understand that the restoration of the priesthood is just as relevant to you as a woman as it is to any man. …The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood. … Sisters, you have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and help others you love” (“Spiritual Treasures,” Ensign, Nov. 2019, 77).
Importance of the Holy Ghost, Callings, and Temple Ordinances
The process for learning to access priesthood power is guided by the Holy Ghost. Jesus established this order during His mortal ministry, “Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:64). Following the promptings and tutelage of the Comforter is what will help us understand priesthood power, “And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:47).
The Father richly gives more knowledge and endows more power when women serve in Church callings and make further covenants in holy temples. President Nelson explains: “When you are set apart to serve in a calling under the direction of one who holds priesthood keys—such as your bishop or stake president—you are given priesthood authority to function in that calling. Similarly, in the holy temple you are authorized to perform and officiate in priesthood ordinances every time you attend. Your temple endowment prepares you to do so … From those covenants flows an endowment of His priesthood power upon you” (“Spiritual Treasures,” 78-79).
Obtain and Receive Godly Endowments
Receiving priesthood powers is not dependent on being ordained to specific priesthood offices, such as an elder, bishop, priest, etc. Elder Paul B. Pieper has taught: “It is interesting that in the oath and covenant of the priesthood [Doctrine and Covenants 84:31-42], the Lord uses the verbs obtain and receive. He does not use the verb ordain.
It is in the temple that men and women—together—obtain and receive the blessings and power of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods. After a couple has received these blessings in the house of the Lord, it is principally in their home life where they develop godly characteristics and attributes—sacrificing for and serving each other, loving each other with full fidelity, and being united in their love for each other and God” (“Revealed Realities of Mortality,” Ensign, Jan. 2016, 21).
In the oath and covenant of the priesthood, the word receive is used 12 times. Each use emphasizes the blessings that come through obtaining priesthood powers. When we receive the priesthood as the Lord’s servants, we are also receiving Christ, receiving Heavenly Father, receiving all of the Father’s kingdom, receiving an oath and covenant the Father cannot break, and receiving the Lord’s protective decree given to “the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:42). These are incredible endowments.
After studying Doctrine and Covenants 84 and 107, Sister Jean B. Bingham, General President of the Relief Society, explains a new understanding she gained: “One thing I learned is that an endowment means a gift so large that just the interest alone can be used to pay all the expenses and still not touch the original gift. If we are endowed with priesthood power, then it’s a source that constantly renews and can never be exhausted” (Eyre, Aubrey, “Why Women in the Church Should Follow President Nelson’s Invitation to Study about the Priesthood,” Church News, Mar. 6, 2020).
Importance of Personal Revelation
Every member of the restored Church of Jesus Christ should be grateful that through priesthood ordinances they can obtain and receive priesthood power and blessings. How to gain such knowledge, blessings, and power will be shown to us through personal revelation.
Sister Bingham explains: “One of the beautiful things about President Nelson’s invitation is that he encourages us to learn and receive revelation individually, because what the Holy Ghost will teach me may be a little different than it is for you. Women have much in common, but we also have unique circumstances, so we invite the women of the Church to follow the counsel of the prophet and really study about what the priesthood means for them” (Eyre, Aubrey, “Why Women in the Church Should Follow President Nelson’s Invitation to Study about the Priesthood”).