Women are endowed with Priesthood power
The following information appeared in an article in the Church News dated May 12, 2019. The information is drawn from talks given by Sister Jean B. Bingham, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, and Sister Sharon Eubank, the members of the General Relief Society Presidency.
1/ What does it mean for a woman to be endowed with priesthood power?
- To be endowed means to be given a quality or attribute which enables one to become more than they were before receiving it.
- When we are endowed with priesthood power, it is an infinite source that constantly renews and can never be exhausted.
- Each woman must qualify to receive the gift and can then continue to draw on that power as she faithfully keeps the covenants she has made.
- The purpose of the priesthood (the eternal power and authority of God) is to help God’s children access the grace and power of Jesus Christ’s Atoning sacrifice and become more like Him.
- Being endowed with priesthood power (God’s power) means having greater power to press forward in fulfilling God’s purposes.
- When a woman receives this power, it is accompanied by the power to receive revelation and the power to act.
- Too often, women don’t realize that it is through priesthood power that they go about accomplishing good in the world. All good in the world is done through God’s power.
- Heavenly Father is generous with His power. He is anxious to share it with those who are willing to do His work in His ways.
2/ How do women receive priesthood power? It is by keeping covenants or through someone else, or both?
- When women participate in priesthood ordinances and keep their covenants, they receive priesthood power.
- Access to priesthood power also requires personal righteousness, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.
- Each woman has access to priesthood power through her covenants and righteousness.
- Woman often say that they “do not have the priesthood in their home”. Just because there is no one in the home that holds a priesthood office does not mean the priesthood is not there. Women are themselves a source of priesthood power for their own homes.
- There is a difference between priesthood power and priesthood authority. Priesthood power is the power of God in the lives of covenant-keeping men and women. Priesthood authority is the permission or license to perform specific priesthood duties and comes from ordination to priesthood office and from being set apart for callings in the Church.
3/ What is the difference of “before” and “after” receiving that power?
- When a woman makes covenants with God, her power can be greatly magnified, in the following ways.
- First, a woman’s power can be magnified by knowledge. Knowledge, at its heart, is the power of ongoing revelation. The spirit opens up great treasures of knowledge to us as we sacrifice, consecrate, and obey the law of the gospel.
- Second, power can be magnified by ‘community’. We draw strength and sisterhood from one another because of the Relief Society. We teach each other. We comfort one another.
- Third, priesthood power is magnified when individuals choose to act in the name of the Lord in their callings and assignments. All callings and leadership positions in the Church are authorized positions of authority in the work of God and there are specific spiritual gifts that accompany a person who has been set apart to function with priesthood authority in a specific calling.
4/ What is the Church teaching now about the priesthood and how it applies to women?
- In recent years, prophets and apostles have reaffirmed again that priesthood power is accessible by all, men and women, and that it blesses all God’s children the same. Sister Sheri Dew has stated, “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. A woman is never without access to priesthood power as long as she is keeping her covenants.”
- In Church callings, temple ordinances, family relationships, and quiet individual ministry, Latter-day Saint men and women go forward with priesthood power and authority.