Friday, November 14, 2008

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Priesthood Restored!

How grateful I am for the knowledge of priesthood power, authority, and its many blessings. Soon after the Prophet Joseph Smith had the 1st vision, John the Baptist returned unto the earth to give him the Aaronic Priesthood. Then Peter, James, and John returned and conferred upon him the Melchezidek Priesthood.

"I have lived to see my father baptized into the true church of Jesus Christ!" Joseph Smith exclaimed as his father came out of the waters of baptism the day the Church was organized, April 6, 1830.1

A year earlier, May 15, 1829, while Joseph translated passages of the Book of Mormon about the necessity of baptism, he and Oliver Cowdery had asked the Lord who had authority to baptize in His name. "The voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us," Oliver later wrote, and a heavenly messenger, John the Baptist, "came down clothed with glory."2 He conferred upon the two men the Aaronic Priesthood, which holds the priesthood keys "of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins."3

John the Baptist directed the two men to baptize each other, and they soon also baptized others converted to the restored gospel. Through priesthood ordination they authorized others to perform baptism by immersion. From that small beginning, many millions of people worldwide have been baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels,"1 the ancient prophet John the Baptist announced on May 15, 1829, when sent by God to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery at Harmony, Pennsylvania.

Weeks later, Peter, James, and John, who possess "the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times,"2 appeared to Joseph and Oliver and conferred upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood. Now the fulness of the gospel could be restored, the Church of Jesus Christ could be organized to "roll forth,"3 and all the ordinances necessary for the salvation of God's children could be performed—including bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Because priesthood keys were restored to Joseph Smith, all of God's children can receive the ordinances of salvation such as baptism administered by those called of God to act and speak in His name.

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