Priesthood is the term used in the Mormon church when referring to the power and ability to act in God’s name.This priesthood power was the power used to create the earth, and continues to be power by which order is maintained in the universe.This is the power that Christ gave to his original twelve apostles in order to allow them to continue His work after He would leave the earth.Eventually, through the persecution of the early Christians and the difficulty of maintaining consistent contact between the many areas where Christ’s gospel had spread, the gospel of Jesus Christ began to be altered.Upon the subsequent death of the twelve apostles, the priesthood authority, as well as many teachings of Christ, became lost.

mormon-priesthoodThis priesthood power returned to the earth once again, in 1830 through Joseph Smith as he worked to re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ as it had been established in ancient times.As with any individual, it would be impossible for Joseph Smith to claim any authority to act in the name of God, unless that authority were given to him, through God or one who was already endowed with the privilege of holding the priesthood.For Joseph Smith this gift was granted on two separate occasions, the first being a visit from John the Baptist who bestowed what is called the Aaronic priesthood, or lower priesthood.The higher priesthood, or Melchizedek priesthood, was given through the hands of Christ’s highest apostles: Peter, James and John.Since that time, all of the priesthood keys are held in trust by the living prophet.Through a system of ordination that originates from the prophet, worthy males may receive that gift of the priesthood that they are entitled to.


Those who hold the Aaronic priesthood may help pass the sacrament to the congregation in Sunday services, collect fast offerings, perform baptisms, and other duties assigned to them by the bishop of their congregation.

The Melchizedek priesthood has a greater degree of responsibility to act in God’s name and carry out His will in righteousness.Those holding the Melchizedek priesthood, hold the keys necessary to govern God’s church here on earth.They hold leadership positions, oversee the work that takes place in the temple, give blessings, and go on missions to preach the gospel.

The priesthood is available to all worthy male members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Through this priesthood they can be authorized to preach the gospel, perform saving ordinances such as baptism, or act as a leader of Christ’s church here on earth.In every instance, the priesthood is to be used to bless and uplift the children of God.

Worthiness to receive and continue to hold the priesthood is determined through obedience to the commandment and showing an earnest desire to keep all other promises and covenants (such as those of baptism) made with God.

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