Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants contains both powerful promises and serious warnings to those who hold the priesthood. In verse 33, priesthood holders are instructed:
"For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. . . ."And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
"For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
"And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
"And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
"And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
"Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved."(D&C 84:33-40.)
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then of the Council of the Twelve, wrote in Church History and Modern Revelation, "Every man who is ordained to an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood should realize fully just what that ordination means. He receives the Priesthood with an oath and covenant that he will magnify his calling and be faithful therein. . . . This oath and covenant cannot be treated lightly, and if broken and altogether turned from, the man thus guilty has no forgiveness, that is to say, he will not have these privileges granted to him which bring exaltation, or `all that the Father hath.' "
The importance of magnifying a calling was emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow.
"Men who wish to retain their standing before God in the Holy Priesthood, must have the spirit of prophecy, and be qualified to administer life and salvation to the people: and if they cannot do it to the world, they must do it at home, in their families, in their shops, and in the streets. . . . , that their hearts may be inspired with the words of life at their firesides, in teaching the Gospel to their children, and to their neighbors, as so much so as when they are speaking to their brethren from this stand. This having a little of the Spirit when before the people and then laying it aside, will not do." (Journal of Discourses, 4:157.)
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the gospel doctrine courseof study.
Sources: Church History and Modern Revelation, vol. 2, by Joseph Fielding Smith. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual; Journal of Discourses, vol. 4; and "Teaching by the Spirit," an address by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.