Priesthood potential must be realized through Christ’s example



    To exercise the priesthood to its greatest potential, men of the church should sanctify themselves using Christ as their example, Elder Ray H. Wood of the Quorum of the Seventy said at the Saturday night priesthood session of General Conference.

    “When we lose power with God, we know of a certainty that the problem lies within us and not with God,” Elder Wood said.

    Citing the story of Israel’s defeat at the hands of the inhabitants of the city of Ai, Elder Wood said using the priesthood unworthily can deny blessings to an entire people, not just the man who disrespects his calling.

    In the story, Israel’s army suffered because one soldier had taken spoils from the destruction of Jericho after the Lord forbade them. Because of his unworthiness, the Lord withdrew his support of the people until they had sanctified themselves.

    Quoting President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Wood said, “There is no limit to the power of the priesthood you hold. The limit comes in you if you do not live in harmony with the spirit of the Lord and you limit yourselves in the power you exert.”

    Elder Wood told priesthood leaders to be more careful and aware as they interview and advance individuals from one priesthood office to another.

    “There should be nothing automatic about ordination to any office of the priesthood because of age or circumstances,” he said.

    Elder Wood said interviews should examine candidates’ prior service, current worthiness and future commitments to magnify their priesthood offices.

    As he reminded the assembly of the priesthood’s true title, Elder Wood said faithful priesthood holders are those who use Christ as their example in paths of righteousness.

    “He has promised us glory, eternal life, exaltation, even all he has if we faithfully bear his priesthood and magnify all of our callings,” he said.

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