The Fifth Article of Faith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

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.

We believe that all the callings in the church are received as callings from God. We do not lobby for positions and no one receives wages for the work they do as part of these callings. Callings are extended to us, to help us to learn and grow in the way that God intends for us. Those who act as leaders in the church, are instructed to follow the inspiration of the Spirit, in calling others to positions. When one is called to a position, they must be sustained or accepted by the membership of the church. In Doctrine and Covenants 20:65 we read, “No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church”. Even the prophet is sustained by the membership. We as a congregation, have the opportunity and I would add, obligation to make sure that this is what is right. I have wanted to know for sure that the prophet was truly called of God and meant to lead today. I prayed and fasted over the matter and I was blessed to receive a witness of the spirit that President Thomas S. Monson is truly the prophet, called of God, to lead and guide us today. When I was expected to raise my hand in a sustaining vote, I knew that it was right.

We believe that in order to be placed in a calling or a position in the church, a person must be set-apart. In Doctrine and Covenants 42:11 we read, “Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.” In order to be a missionary for the LDS church, a man must be called and set-apart by the proper authority of God. In order for a man to perform baptisms, confirmations, blessings, sealings, and so on, he must also be set-apart by the proper authority of God. In order for a woman to teach a Sunday School class for teenagers, she must be set apart by the proper authority of God.

We believe in the priesthood. The priesthood is the power and authority to act in the name of Christ and by the power of God. In 3 Nephi 7:17 we read, “And he did minister many things unto them; and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice, therefore they are not written in this book. And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.” We believe that it is a right and responsibility, which a man may hold. This is not to say that a woman does not benefit from the power of the priesthood. That is actually quite the opposite. All people can benefit from the priesthood, but it is only men who may be given this power. A man does not receive the blessings of the priesthood he holds, without using it for the good of all those around him. We believe that it is through the use of this priesthood that callings are extended to the members of the church.

We believe that the priesthood can only be given to another, through the power of the priesthood. Men do not buy their right to the priesthood, and they cannot get it from any other source. This was how it was in the time of Adam, and it continues to be so today. We believe that during the great apostasy, there was no priesthood authority on the earth. We believe that the priesthood was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith, during the restoration of the gospel. In Doctrine and Covenants 110:16 we read, “Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” This is why we have the priesthood today. And this is why we are able to perform all the ordinances of the priesthood today. We also believe that the proper way that the priesthood is conferred upon men, is by the laying on of hands. This means that men who hold the priesthood will lay their hands on the head of the man receiving the priesthood, and ordain him to his specific office. In Doctrine and Covenants 107:67 we read, “From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the laying on of the hands.” There is order in all of the works of God, and this is no different. There is a specific way that a man receives the priesthood because that is the way that it was established by God.

There is only one person on the earth, who holds all the keys of the priesthood, and that is the prophet of God. In the order of the priesthood, there are different offices. Each office holds the keys to administer in the specific responsibilities of that office. In Doctrine and Covenants 107 we read the following:

18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church— . . .
20 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.

In my study of this, I liked an explanation given by Joseph F. Smith. He said to the men of the priesthood, “Your authority comes through your ordination; your power comes through obedience and worthiness”. The keys that a priesthood bearer holds, can only be used when they live a life worthy of the power of the priesthood. In Isaiah 52:11 the directions for those who hold the priesthood are these, “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Those who hold the priesthood are responsible for keeping their lives in harmony with the teachings of the Lord, or they will not be able to use the power to do the work of God.

I am so grateful for the priesthood and the influence it has in my life. I have received great blessings through the laying on of hands and I cannot imagine my life without it. I am so glad that my husband is a worthy bearer of the holy priesthood. I find joy in knowing that God allows man to do His work on the earth, and that we have the opportunity to be baptized, confirmed with the Spirit, and participate in the ordinances in the temple because of the priesthood. I am also glad that I have been given callings throughout my life, because they help me to learn and grow to become more like my Savior.


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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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