Selected Teachings on
The Blessings of the Priesthood

Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)

I shall speak of these blessings—the ten priesthood blessings—which are available to all of us who hold the holy Melchizedek Priesthood.

Blessing one: We are members of the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth, and we have received the fulness of the everlasting gospel....

Where the Melchizedek Priesthood is, there is the Church and kingdom of God on earth; there is the gospel of salvation; and where there is no Melchizedek Priesthood, there is no true Church, and no power that will save men in the kingdom of God.

Blessing two: We have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we are entitled to receive the gifts of the Spirit—those wondrous spiritual endowments which set us apart from the world and raise us above carnal things....

Blessing three: We can be sanctified by the Spirit, have dross and evil burned out of us as though by fire, become clean and spotless, and be fit to dwell with gods and angels....

Blessing four: We can stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ in administering salvation to the children of men.

He preached the gospel; so can we. He spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost; so can we. He served as a missionary; so can we. He went about doing good; so can we. He performed the ordinances of salvation; so can we. He kept the commandments; so can we. He wrought miracles; such also is our privilege if we are true and faithful in all things.

We are his agents; we represent him; we are expected to do and say what he would do and say if he personally were ministering among men at this time.

Blessing five: We have power to become the sons of God, to be adopted into the family of the Lord Jesus Christ, to have him as our Father, to be one with him as he is one with his Father....

Blessing six: We can enter into the patriarchal order, the order of eternal marriage, the order which enables the family unit to continue everlastingly in celestial glory.

To gain the highest heaven and to enjoy the fulness of that light and glory which comprise eternal life, we must “enter into” that “order of the priesthood” which bears the name “the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.” (D&C 131:2; see also D&C 131:1–4.)

Blessing seven: We have power to govern all things, both temporal and spiritual kingdoms of the world, and the elements and storms and powers of the earth....

Blessing eight: We have power, through the priesthood, to gain eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.

Eternal life is the name of the kind of life God lives. It consists, first, of the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and second, of an inheritance of the fulness of the glory of the Father....

Blessing nine: We have power to make our calling and election sure, so that while we yet dwell in mortality, having overcome the world and been true and faithful in all things, we shall be sealed up unto eternal life and have the unconditional promise of eternal life in the presence of Him whose we are....

Blessing ten: We have the power—and it is our privilege—so to live, that becoming pure in heart, we shall see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals in a world of sin and sorrow.

This is the crowning blessing of mortality. It is offered by that God who is no respecter of persons to all the faithful in his kingdom.....

These, then, are the ten blessings of the priesthood, the Holy Priesthood, after the order of the Son of God, the priesthood which the saints in ancient days called after Melchizedek to avoid the too frequent repetition of the name of Deity....

Now, my brethren, this is the priesthood which we hold. It will bless us as it blessed Melchizedek and Abraham. ("Ten Blessings of the Priesthood," Ensign, November 1977, 33)

Robert D. Hales (Quorum of the Twelve)

What are some of the blessings of the priesthood? Come with me as we follow a child's ideal spiritual journey through life. Let us see many of the possibilities he or she has during a lifetime to receive blessings through the priesthood.

[1] As a newborn, the baby is tenderly cradled in loving hands as the father, grandfather, bishop, or another priesthood holderpronounces a name and a sacred blessing upon the child as the Holy Spirit inspires.

[2] Soon that child begins to attend Primary and Sunday School and receives lessons and instructions at the hands of faithful teachers--men and women who have been called and set apart by priesthood power to teach the ways of the Lord.

[3] When the child reaches eight years of age, the age of accountability, he or she is immersed in the waters of baptism by one who holds the priesthood. [4] The young boy or girl is then confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by one holding the holy Melchizedek Priesthood. In this ordinance, the child is given the gift of the Holy Ghost, which, if he or she listens to the still, small voice, will help him or her to stay on the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life.

[5] Every Sunday, the growing child, together with other worthy Saints, receives the sacrament at the hands of priesthood bearers--the bread representing the body of Christ, and the water representing his blood that was shed to atone for our sins. During the sacrament, the child remembers the sufferings of the Savior, witnesses that he or she is willing to bear the Savior's name, and promises to always remember him and keep his commandments. In return, the Lord promises "that they may always have his Spirit to be with them" (D&C 20:77).

[6] As the young man or young woman continues to mature, he or she may seek spiritual counsel and guidance from the bishop and other youth leaders. Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women leaders are men and women who have been called and set apart by priesthood authority to lead and inspire youth in the Church.

[7] When additional counsel or comfort is needed, or during times of illness, the young man or woman may receive a priesthood blessing from a father, home teacher, bishop, or other priesthood holder. [8] A patriarchal blessing--given through an ordained patriarch--contains words inspired by God to His sons and daughters, serving as a guide and comfort for a lifetime and even with [page 34] eternal significance. Think of the wonder of it.

[9] If found worthy, a young man receives the Aaronic Priesthood--the preparatory priesthood--and, as he matures, is ordained as a deacon, then as a teacher, and finally as a priest. [10] Later, he may qualify to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and be ordained to the office of elder. [11] The young woman becomes a member of the Young Women organization and later of the Relief Society. All of these experiences give the young man or woman many opportunities to learn and serve--and to enjoy a brotherhood or a sisterhood that is more precious than typical friendships in the world.

[12] The young man or young woman may be set apart as a full-time missionary and serve under the priesthood direction of a mission president, sharing a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ with all who will listen. Through the blessings of service and sacrifice, they experience a humbling change of heart that allows them to discern the difference between the tendency of taking in the world in contrast to the giving of the kingdom of God. [13]  Then, having established a pattern of giving, they give Church and community service throughout their lives, while at the same time being blessed by the service of others.

[14] The greatest of priesthood blessings available to this young man or woman are found in the temple. There, they get a glimpse of heaven. In that holy place, although they are in the world, they are not of the world. In the temple, they see themselves as the offspring of royalty--as a son or a daughter of God. The joys of eternity, which can seem so distant outside the temple, suddenly seem within reach.

In the temple, the plan of salvation is explained and sacred covenants are made. These covenants, together with the wearing of sacred temple garments, strengthen and protect the endowed person against the powers of the adversary. [15] After receiving their own endowments, the young man or woman may attend the temple and perform vicarious ordinances to make priesthood blessings available to those who have died without the opportunity of receiving these blessings during mortality.

[16] In the culminating temple ordinance--eternal marriage--bride and groom are promised that, if they are faithful, they will enjoy a family union with one another, with their children, and with the Lord throughout all eternity. It is called eternal life.

[17] As this righteous man or woman establishes a home with his or her eternal companion, they continue to enjoy blessings of the priesthood. [18] Revelation from God is made known to them throughout their lives as they listen to and follow counsel of living prophets, seers, and revelators. [19] The husband dedicates the family's home "as a sanctuary … where family members can worship, find safety from the world, grow spiritually, and prepare for eternal family relationships" (Lay Hold upon the Word of God, Melchizedek Priesthood personal study guide 1, 1988, p. 155).

[20] As their children grow, the parents teach them the gospel in family home evening. [21] They teach their children to pray individually and as a family. [22] They study the scriptures individually and as a family--including the Book of Mormon and other scriptures of the Restoration--written and preserved through the generations of time by holy prophets. [23] They teach them the plan of salvation. [24] They help each son and daughter prepare to receive the same priesthood blessings and ordinances that they, themselves, have received.

[25] Each time this mother is about to give birth, her devoted husband may gently place his hands upon her head and, through the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood, pronounce a special blessing. Later, he tenderly cradles in his hands their newborn babe, born in the priesthood covenant, and utters inspired words of a father's blessing.

And thus, the cycle of priesthood blessings begins again and again with each succeeding generation--all with the Father's sacred purpose of bringing to pass "the immortality and eternal life" of his sons and daughters (Moses 1:39). (Ensign, Nov. 1995, pp. 32-34)