Priesthood, Power in the
The acknowledgement of heaven that a priest’s acts are authorized, such as in baptism and blessing the sacrament. Not every act done by men claiming authority from God is acknowledged by God; only those with power in the priesthood belong to Him, hence the Lord’s saying, And many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, and in your name have cast out devils, and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I say, You never knew me. Depart from me, you that work iniquity (Matthew 3:47).1 It is necessary to reconnect with heaven itself to have not just authority but also power in the priesthood. That connection of power in the priesthood comes from the hand of God, not from another man. The powers of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven and the hand of God (see T&C 139:5).2 The Lord’s ordination among the Nephites required only His word to be spoken, and power was conferred (see 3 Nephi 5:8). The word used in His conferral of priestly right was power and not authority. One should consider the difference. What does it mean for the Lord to speak to a man and tell him that he has power from the Lord? Is there a difference between having the authority to baptize and having the power to baptize as conferred by Christ?3Power in the Priesthood is, literally, the result of knowing and following the Lord. His friends hold His authority. His friends act within the same pattern, follow the same law, observe the same principles, and excite the same opposition as He did.4Power in the Priesthood also includes any endowment conferred directly by the Lord upon a person to accomplish an act, deliver a message, perform a mission, or labor on the Lord’s behalf with His authorization.5
1 Commentary added to Glossary Jan. 22, 2019.
2 “Discussion of the Gentiles and the Remnant,” July 24, 2010, blog post.
3 “‘Power’ or ‘Authority’,” June 4, 2010, blog post.
4 “Power in the Priesthood, Part 3,” May 22, 2012, blog post.
5 Commentary added to Glossary Jan. 22, 2019.