(by Dennis B. Horne)
Elder McConkie, “The Doctrine of the Priesthood”:
Priesthood is power like none other on earth or in heaven. It is the very power of God himself, the power by which the worlds were made, the power by which all things are regulated, upheld, and preserved.
It is the power of faith, the faith by which the Father creates and governs. God is God because he is the embodiment of all faith and all power and all priesthood. The life he lives is named eternal life. . . .
Faith and priesthood go hand in hand. Faith is power and power is priesthood. After we gain faith, we receive the priesthood. Then, through the priesthood, we grow in faith until, having all power, we become like our Lord. . . .
We received the priesthood first in the premortal existence and then again as mortals. Adam held the keys and used the priesthood when he participated in the creation of the earth. After his baptism he received the priesthood again, and he now stands as the presiding High Priest over all the earth. . . .
Truly, there is power in the priesthood—power to do all things!
If the world itself was created by the power of the priesthood, surely that same power can move mountains and control the elements.
President Marion G. Romney, “Priesthood”:
We can, however, understand that priesthood is power—the power of God. By means of the priesthood he exercises, God the Father brings into existence and governs all of his creations. President Brigham Young said that “the Priesthood of the Son of God … is the law by which the worlds are, were, and will continue for ever and ever. It is that system which brings worlds into existence and peoples them, gives them their revolutions—their days, weeks, months, years, their seasons and times and by which they are rolled up as a scroll, as it were, and go into a higher state of existence.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941, p. 130.). . .
the priesthood, as I have come to understand it through studying, is power. It’s the power that God used in the Creation. It is the power that he used to feed the people in the days of Moses. It is a power which we can exercise by means of our priesthood if we have the faith and learn to follow the inspiration of heaven. (Brother McConkie gave a fine discourse on this subject earlier tonight, as you remember.)
The truth I desire to emphasize today is that we mortals are in very deed the literal offspring of God. If men understood, believed, and accepted this truth and lived by it, our sick and dying society would be reformed and redeemed, and men would have peace here and now and eternal joy in the hereafter.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accept this concept as a basic doctrine of their theology. The lives of those who have given it thought enough to realize its implications are controlled by it; it gives meaning and direction to all their thoughts and deeds. This is so because they know that it is the universal law of nature in the plant, animal, and human worlds for reproducing offspring to reach in final maturity the likeness of their parents.
They reason that the same law is in force with respect to the offspring of God. Their objective is, therefore, to someday be like their heavenly parents.
They not only so reason; they know they may so become because God has revealed the fact that it is his work and glory to bring to pass their eternal life (Moses 1:39), which is the life God lives.
Adam, the first man, knew that he was a son of God. He walked and talked with him in the Garden of Eden before the fall. After the fall, “Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them. …” (Moses 5:4–5.)
Later, the Lord sent an angel who taught them the gospel plan, whereupon, “Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” Then “Satan came among them, saying: … Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.” (Moses 5:12–13.)
From then until now, most men, like the first generation of Adam’s posterity, have “believed it not,” although God has repeatedly revealed it to all the prophets from Adam to Noah. He likewise revealed it to Abraham and thereafter to Moses “at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, . . .
I add my personal testimony that I know that I am a son of God, and that you, my beloved listeners, are individually a son or a daughter of God.
Therefore, what do we really mean when we sing or say, “I am a child of God”? To answer this question, we must first understand that the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that we human beings are souls; that is, we are dual beings, and dual means two. A dual object means an object made up of two parts. A human soul, each of us, is composed of two parts, or two bodies—a spirit body and a physical body. It is the Lord himself who said that “the spirit and the body are the soul of man.” (D&C 88:15.) Thus, it is our spirits, not our physical bodies, that were “begotten” of God. . . .
One of the great truths of this account is the clear understanding we receive about who we were as pre-mortal spirit children of God. We were individual, separate persons, with agency, being, and names prior to our entry on earth.