Women and the Restoration of the Priesthood

Today is the 185th anniversary of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. The introduction to Doctrine & Covenants 13 states:

“The ordination was done by the hands of an angel who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient Apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time this higher priesthood would be conferred upon them.”

AP restoration 1 finished

John the Baptist pronounced the following blessing:

”Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”

With the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood and a short time later, the Melchizedek Priesthood, the world was changed forever. Man again had the authority to perform ordinances essential for salvation for all mankind, and the door was open for the further restoration of priesthood keys.

A few years ago, my husband and I had the chance to visit the Church Historical sites in the eastern United States. We pulled off the highway and stopped at the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration Site. It was not a big place, nor was there a visitor center or name-tagged missionaries there to greet us. There were just some signs explaining what had happened there, and the foundation stones of the Smith cabin. Nearby was the cemetery where Emma Smith’s parents and Emma and Joseph’s first baby are buried. Despite the simple setting, the spirit at this site was very powerful. My husband and I hopped a fence and crossed a rail road track and managed to make our way down to the banks of the Susquehanna River. It was beautiful, reverent and the perfect setting for such an important event. The Holy Ghost testified to both of us of the power and importance of the priesthood and of vital importance of its restoration.

These days there is much chatter and discussion about the priesthood in the Church. The leaders of our church have taught us many times over the years about what the priesthood is, about who may exercise its keys and how all members of the church are entitled to access its power.

In his most recent General Conference address, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the 12 spoke about The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood. In this talk he made some key points that clear up the confusion and contention that cloud discussions on the priesthood. Continue reading

Scouting: The Means to an End

Tex is guest posting in honor of the 101st Anniversary of Boy Scouts of America. Tex is a Junior at Tennessee Technological University majoring in Civil Engineering on a ROTC Scholarship. Tex served a two year mission in the Texas Houston Mission. He currently serves as a Elders Quorum instructor and Stake YSA Rep.

In the minds of many people scouting is about camping or playing army, but truth does not always equate to public opinion. Uniforms and camping are simply a means to an end. That end is turning boys into men. There is a reason why scouting is the Young Men’s program of the church. I believe, Scouting has been inspired by God to teach boys how to follow Lehi’s council to “arise from the dust… and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;” 2 Nephi 1:21

When I was a scout, my Dad was a scout leader from Webelos until I achieved the rank of Eagle. He was also a Scoutmaster for my eighteen year old brother. Dad was an overworked accountant, and yet I cannot think of a camping trip he missed until I earned my Eagle. He passed away in 2009; my favorite memories of him are what we did in Scouting. This was quality time for me, to be with my Dad and learn from him. He has been an example to me of what it means to work very hard and overcome adversity.  He taught me what it means to be a man.

My Eagle Court of Honor with Dad and Brother

Continue reading