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How to be better leaders and better fathers

President Boyd K. Packer spoke of the Sunday night in 1834 when Joseph Smith called on all who held the priesthood to gather into a little log school house in Kirtland, Ohio. "It held the whole priesthood of the Church," said President Packer, who went on to quote the Prophet Joseph as saying, " 'It is only a handful of priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America — it will fill the world.' "

President Packer said of the worldwide satellite gathering Jan. 11: "In our mind's eye, we can see you gathered in Otavalo in the Andes Mountains, Malaga in Spain; Salzburg in Europe; Sydney, Australia; Sendai, Japan; Toronto, Canada; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and more than 5,000 other chapels."

He spoke of the various kinds of work men had left in order to gather for the satellite broadcast and said, "All are gathered in this great meeting in the name of the Lord."

President Packer explained the purpose for the General Authorities calling together and meeting with priesthood leaders from throughout the world: "We want to teach you how to be better leaders and better fathers."

These are very troubled times, he said. "In order that you will not drift, you must know the source of your authority and power. You must measure everything you learn about your ordination and calling against fundamental truths. It is from the scriptures that you learn how to govern His Church."

He reviewed fundamental truths that leaders must "teach and reteach" to their families and members: the divinity, ministry, atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that after a universal apostasy there was a restoration of authority, of priesthood keys, doctrines and ordinances; the role of the scriptures — the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price — and of hymns in teaching doctrine.

He spoke of handbooks of instruction that help priesthood and auxiliary leaders and teachers learn how to serve, and gave the order of learning: read the scriptures, consult the handbooks, follow counsel from those ordained to lead, counsel together and pray always.

"This will keep you on course," he said. "Always, always follow the promptings of the Spirit."

President Packer spoke of the "principle of presidency," explaining how it is outlined in the scriptures. "The First Presidency was organized with the President, who holds all of the keys, and a first and second counselor, together with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who also hold the keys. Along with the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric, they administer the worldwide Church.

"This pattern of a president, who has the keys conferred upon him and a first and second counselor, is duplicated in every stake, in priesthood quorums, in temples and missions, in wards and branches. It is duplicated in auxiliaries. However, presidents of auxiliaries do not hold priesthood keys."

President Packer spoke of the family, calling it "the basic unit of the Church — ideally led by a husband and father who holds the priesthood. He presides over his family in righteousness."

Further, President Packer said, "Authority in the priesthood is given through ordination. Power in the priesthood is received through righteous living. You must maintain your worthiness.

"Can you see the divine inspiration in the Church with the Priesthood after the Holiest Order of God conferred upon each worthy man? Each of us can receive revelation and inspiration through the Holy Ghost.

"These fundamental truths have not changed. In these very troubled times, they bring unity to the Church and to the family."

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