Joseph Smith called Doctrine and Covenants 84 a revelation on priesthood. If you think of priesthood primarily in the context of roles, responsibilities, and official church actions, you may be puzzled by the topics addressed in this revelation, including temples, the scriptures (particularly the Book of Mormon), and missionary service. But if you think of the priesthood primarily as the power of God which He makes available to us, then these topics are all relevant.
Moses wanted to sanctify his people so that they could receive the “power of godliness” (verse 23). Our Heavenly Father wants the same for us today, and He gives us multiple tools to help us access His power, including temples, the scriptures, the Holy Ghost, and the words of His living servants. Our ability to receive this power depends on our willingness to open our hearts to these sources of divine power.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from this revelation, together with relevant blog posts:
Priesthood and Ordinances
- Priesthood is the eternal power of God. Access to the priesthood is access to God’s saving power (verses 17, 19-20): What Is the Priesthood?
- By participating worthily in the ordinances of the priesthood, we are adopted into the family of Moses and Aaron (and therefore of Levi) (verses 31-34): What Offering Will the Sons of Levi Make in Righteousness?
- Prophets not only deliver messages from God, they also help us make direct contact with Him (verse 23): I Am He of Whom Moses Spake – 3 Nephi 20:23-24.
- If you like and accept one good thing, you will like and accept another. The way you treat the words of the Savior, as delivered by his messengers, is the way you will treat Him and His Father (verses 36-38): He That Will Not Believe My Words Will Not Believe Me – Ether 4:12.
The Holy Ghost
- Light is a synonym for truth. We can receive light through the Spirit of the Lord (verses 45-46, 49): This Shall Be unto You for a Sign – Helaman 14:3-5.
- When God gives us His word, we are accountable for what we do with it (verse 57): Out of Which My People…Shall Be Judged – Words of Mormon 1:11.
Sharing the Gospel
- Those who have received truth from Jesus Christ have a responsibility to share it with others (verses 62-72): The Great Commission.
- As we share the gospel, it is important to be both prepared and adaptable (verse 85): “In the Very Hour”.
- Jesus Christ is willing to be actively involved in our lives (verse 88): He Who Liveth.
- When we have confidence that the Lord is with us, we don’t need to work “in haste” or “by flight.” No panic necessary, no sloppiness from anxiety or distractions. Just the steady, thorough work of people who are able to focus and do the job in the right way (verse 88): I Will Be Their Rearward – 3 Nephi 21:29
- We are never alone when we are fulfilling an assignment from God (verse 88): I Will Be Their Rearward – 3 Nephi 21:28-29.
Our Role in Receiving God’s Power
- Don’t miss out on the great blessings God wants to give you. If you continually resist, if you make it clear that you don’t want His help, then He may withdraw it from you for a time, and you will not enjoy the peace and confidence that comes from knowing that you are aligned with Him (verses 23-24): That They Might Enter into His Rest – Jacob 1:7.
- Sin causes bondage. When we choose to do wrong, our subsequent freedom is restricted by the consequences of those choices (verses 49-51): What Does It Mean for Jesus to Be Our “Redeemer?”
- The way we treat the knowledge we have already received determines how quickly we can receive more knowledge (verse 54): Then Shall the Greater Things Be Made Manifest unto Them – 3 Nephi 26:9-10.