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The Priesthood of God

Yesterday I participated in a university graduation ceremony. At one point the president granted bachelors and masters degrees by the authority invested in him by by the Board Regents. The Regents get their authority from the state constitution. National accrediting bodies further certify that the university and its individual programs comply with professional standards. The actual diploma does not come until authorized officials audit the transcripts and certify that the candidate has complied with every requirement and has been assessed by faculty who also have to meet stringent standards. Then I checked my email. I was offered the opportunity to purchase a degree from a “nonaccredited university”. The sales pitch was attractive, as I would not have to attend class, write papers, or deal with a bureacracy, but receive a “prestigious degree” based on my life experience. I did not check the price, but no doubt it would be less expensive than paying tuition year after year, buying books, and paying technology fees to an accredited university.

The Kingdom of God is like that. There is an accredited organization with proper authorization and there are the counterfeits who offer a lesser plan. It has always been that way. Adam received authority from God, but not all his children followed the covenant. Abraham was blessed with the higher priesthood and told that his descendants could have this inheritance; but few have complied with the standards (Genesis 24:35). Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people” but they qualified only for the lesser priesthood (Exodus 18:25). Jesus “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...” (Ephesians 11:14), but a great apostacy resulted in the structure of church leadership being changed.

God promised to gather his people in the last days. “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel...” (Isaiah 11:12). “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase” (Jeremiah 23:3). But setting up the Kingdom of God requires authority from God . “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them...(Jeremiah 23:4). Who are these shepherds? Who is authorized to act in the name of Jesus Christ?

I have received confirmation by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost that the authority of God has been restored as prophecied. “The fullness of the Gospel shall come unto them, they shall come to a knowledge of the forefathers and of the gospel of their Redeemer; wherefore, they will rejoice, give praise, receive strength and nourishment, and come unto the true fold of God” (1 Nephi 15:13-16). This is a restoration of the priesthood that has been in the church in the past. After his conversion by Ammon, King Lamoni “caused that there should be synagogues built in the land of Ishmael; and he caused that his people... should assemble themselves together” (Alma 21:20). In each place he preached, Alma “ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church” (Alma 6:1). General apostacy resulted in the loss of this priesthood, but it has been restored. The authorized, accredited Kingdom of God has returned to earth in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.

May we gain a testimony of the Restoration and qualify for the blessings of the priesthood.