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Teaching Ideas
Article of Faith 5
Priesthood and Callings
It may be thought that this Article of Faith applies only to men; however, it has great application to women as well.  There are three great privileges or blessings that come to an individual because of the priesthood - priesthood, priesthood keys and priesthood authority and power.  To fully understand the blessings of the priesthood, a person must understand these three privileges.

The priesthood is the authority of God delegated to man on earth to act in all things for the salvation of men.  It is conferred upon men and authorizes them to fulfill priesthood duties and perform saving ordinances that are binding on earth and in heaven.  These ordinances bless both men and women and help them qualify for eternal life.  This authority was restored in this dispensation by John the Baptist and by Peter, James and John who appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and conferred their authority upon him.

Priesthood keys are the authority and right, again delegated by God, to lead or direct the work of the Lord in the Church.  The prophet holds the keys to lead the whole Church.  Stake presidents hold keys to direct the work of the Lord in the stake.  Bishops hold keys to direct the work at the ward level.  The work that is being directed corresponds to the three-fold mission of the Church.  These leaders direct missionary work, temple and family history work and perfecting the saints through instruction and receiving the ordinances.  These keys were restored to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple by Moses, Elias and Elijah.

Priesthood authority and power are the authority and power that come to both men and women when they are called by those having authority and are set apart and live to receive the direction and guidance of the Spirit as they fulfill their callings (1).  As stated in D & C 121, the rights of the priesthood are "inseparably connected with the powers of heaven" and "cannot be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness."  The degree to which men and women experience the authority and power of the priesthood correlates directly to their righteousness and their connection to heaven through the Spirit.

In the Church, we believe that men are called to the priesthood and that both men and women are called to positions of leadership and responsibility by God through Church leaders who have authority and who seek direction from God as they assess worthiness, desire and preparation to serve.  Thus, they are called of God by prophecy, and they receive the authority or power by the laying on of hands.

Because we are called by inspiration, we can rest assured that God knows we can succeed and will help us perform the work he has asked us to do.  We will receive spiritual gifts as needed to help us.  We can feel joy as we serve others and assist in bringing to pass the eternal life of man.  We will grow personally at the same time through our diligent efforts.

1  Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, April 2020.

(For additional insights, read The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage.)
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