LDS.org gives these two definitions of priesthood:
- 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; D&C 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 D&C 84:35–38).
- 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)
I keep a small notebook to write down thoughts and inspiration in. I write the date down every time I write something so I can keep track of how often I am learning from the Spirit and recognizing that. Last week I was flipping through it and found it interesting how often and for how long I’ve been writing thoughts about how I feel like I am an active and equal participant in the priesthood of God, even though I am a woman. None of the ordinances or blessings of the priesthood are denied me because of my gender.
Back in June I wrote a post about honoring and sustaining the priesthood and how that is different from sustaining priesthood holders. I found some quotes for another discussion that month that I really appreciated.
In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife. And as husband and wife, a man and a woman should strive to follow our Heavenly Father. The Christian virtues of love, humility, and patience should be their focus as they seek the blessings of the priesthood in their lives and for their family.
– Elder Ballard, “This is My Work and My Glory,” April 2013 General Conference
Procreation is not given solely to women. Priesthood is not given solely to men. They are both to be used by husband and wife together. Neither men nor women can fully exercise the power of either divine gift without the other.
My young sisters, some will try to persuade you that because you are not ordained to the priesthood you have been shortchanged. They are simply wrong, and they do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. The blessings of the priesthood are available to every righteous man and woman. We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation, and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge “armed” with power (see Doctrine & Covenants 109:22). The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all of the righteous against the powers of darkness. Most significantly, the fulness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the house of the Lord can only be received by a man and woman together (see Doctrine & Covenants 131:1-4; 132:19-20). Said President Harold B. Lee: “Pure womanhood plus priesthood means exaltation. But womanhood without priesthood, or priesthood without pure womanhood doesn’t spell exaltation” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee (1996), 292).
– Sister Dew, “It is not Good for Man or Woman to be Alone,” October 2001 General Conference
I am so grateful to know I am a daughter of God, to truly know what that means, and to be able to rejoice in it. It is so important to not let the divisive voices of the world take that away from us.