LDS Relief Society general president invites women to learn more about the priesthood

Published: Friday, May 3 2013 4:00 p.m. MDT

The priesthood of God is a sacred trust given to bless men, women and children so they can return as families to live eternally together in God's presence, said the Relief Society general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Friday morning.

Speaking to thousands of people — mostly women — gathered on BYU's Provo Campus for 2013 Women's Conference, Sister Linda K. Burton called righteousness the qualifier to invite priesthood power into their lives.

The annual conference — which attracts Latter-day Saint women from across the United States and from numerous foreign countries — is co-sponsored by BYU and the Relief Society.

Sister Burton, and her counselors in the Relief Society general presidency, Sister Carole M. Stephens and Sister Linda S. Reeves, said they came to the conference with a clear purpose — "to express our support for living prophets, proclaim our faith and covenants, express our love for [the women of the church], and demonstrate our devotion to our Heavenly Father to accept and embrace the requirements of the gospel, particularly today in regard to the doctrine of the priesthood."

Sister Burton said LDS women are privileged to live in this season of the history of the church when questions are asked about the priesthood. "There is great interest and desire to know and understand more about the authority, power and blessings associated with the priesthood of God," she said. "We hope to instill within each of us a greater desire to better understand the priesthood."

Sister Burton said since the beginning of time the Lord has accomplished his work through the power of his priesthood.

"By it the heavens and earth were created. By it the effects of the fall were overcome though the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because the authority of the priesthood is entrusted to man to bless Heavenly Father's children he wants us to invite the power of the priesthood into our homes to bless and strengthen our families and our individual lives."

Latter-day Saint women cannot stand up and teach something they do not understand, she said.

She called the priesthood the eternal power and authority of God by which he blesses, redeems and exalts his children. The priesthood cannot be used for selfish means, she added. "Jesus Christ is the perfect example of how the priesthood is to be used to bless,lift, comfort and strengthen others."

Sister Burton asked the women how they can better know the doctrine of the priesthood for themselves.

First, seek to be worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost. "Because the doctrine of the priesthood is best understood by revelation, it is essential to have the help of the Holy Ghost to reveal and distill the doctrine upon our souls," she said.

Second, attend the holy temple. "We know that the temple is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth and is the ideal setting to learn about the priesthood by the spirit of revelation," she said. "In the temple we are all taught together, make covenants with our Heavenly Father, and receive sacred priesthood ordinances together."

Third, study the scriptures. "Searching, pondering and studying the scriptures are invitations for the Holy Ghost to reveal to us important truths about the priesthood."

She asked LDS women to memorize eight verses found in Doctrine and Covenants 84:33-40 and to ponder Doctrine and Covenants 121:34-46.

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