Church News

Brother Douglas D. Holmes: 'What every Aaronic Priesthood holder needs to understand'

The young men of the Aaronic Priesthood don’t sit, figuratively, on “children’s chairs,” said Brother Douglas D. Holmes, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency.

Instead, they have been given a “sacred trust” from God, and “a vital work” to do. The purpose of the priesthood is to provide God’s children access to Christ’s atoning power of Jesus Christ.

“To receive Christ’s atoning power in our lives we must believe in Him, repent of our sins, make and keep covenants through ordinances, and receive the Holy Ghost,” he said during the general priesthood session on March 31.

The keys of the Aaronic Priesthood — the keys of the ministering of angels and of the preparatory gospel — play essential roles in helping individuals access Christ’s atoning power.

From the beginning of time, God has sent angels “to minister unto the children of men, and make manifest the coming of Christ” (Moroni 7:22).

“In much the same way that angels are authorized messengers sent by God to declare His word and thereby build faith, we who hold the Aaronic Priesthood have been ordained to teach, and invite all to come unto Christ,” he said. “To preach the gospel is a priesthood duty. And the power associated with this duty is not just for prophets or even just for missionaries. It is for you.”

As authorized messengers, holders of the Aaronic Priesthood can bring faith in Christ to the hearts of God’s children. “As President Russell M. Nelson said: ‘To them you will be as a ministering angel.’”

Increased faith in Christ leads to a desire to change or repent.

“As you study your Aaronic Priesthood duties, you will see a clear charge to invite others to repent and improve,” said Brother Holmes. “That does not mean we stand on a street corner shouting, ‘Repent ye!’ More often, it means that we repent, we forgive, and as we minister to others, we offer the hope and peace that repentance brings — because we have experienced it ourselves.”

God has a work for the young men of the Church.

“Your Aaronic Priesthood ordination is central to helping His children receive Christ’s atoning power. I promise as you put these sacred duties at the center of your life, you will feel the power of God as never before. You will understand your identity as a son of God, called with a holy calling to do His work.”

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