Priesthood comes through Lord's way

Must be called of God

Conferred through ordinationElder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve spoke Saturday morning about the temple and the priesthood.

He spoke of Latter-day Saints as builders of temples.

Elder Packer said: "However imposing the Salt Lake Temple may be, the invisible temple within is the same in all temples. The ordinances are the same, the covenants equally binding, the Holy Spirit of Promise equally present."

He quoted Brigham Young who, on the day ground was broken for the Salt Lake Temple, said: " `Very few of the elders of Israel on earth know the meaning of the word endowment. To know, they must experience, and to experience, a temple must be built.' "

Elder Packer said the Lord promised He would show Joseph Smith all things pertaining to the temple and the priesthood thereof. (See D&C 124:25-49.)

"Some members of the Church," Elder Packer continued, "are now teaching that the priesthood is some kind of a free-floating authority which can be assumed by anyone who has had the endowment. They claim this automatically gives one authority to perform priesthood ordinances. They take verses of scripture out of context and misinterpret statements of early leaders, for instance the Prophet Joseph Smith, to sustain their claims.

"What is puzzling is this: with all their searching through Church history, and their supposed knowledge of the scriptures, they have missed the one, simple, obvious, absolute that has governed the bestowal of priesthood from the beginning; said as simply as this:

" `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.' (Article of Faith 5.) The priesthood is conferred through ordination, not simply through making a covenant or receiving a blessing. It has been so since the beginning. Regardless of what they may assume or imply or infer from anything which has been said or written, past or present, specific ordination to an office in the priesthood is the way, and the only way, it has been or is now conferred."

Even when the priesthood has been conferred, he explained, one has no authority beyond that which belongs to the specific office to which one has been ordained. "Unauthorized ordinations or settings apart convey nothing; neither power nor authority of the priesthood.

"If they [those who teach erroneouslyT seek to do mischief with the priesthood and with the sacred things of the temple, the Lord has said He would `blind their minds, that they may not understand his marvelous workings.' "

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