BETA

Applying the scriptures: `Stand in the office which I have appointed unto you'

"We magnify our calling, we enlarge the potential of our priesthood when we reach out to those in distress and give strength to those who falter," said President Gordon B. Hinckley during the priesthood session of the April 1989 general conference. "To you and to me, who have been clothed with the authority of the holy

priesthood, the Lord has said, `Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.' (D&C 81:5.)"There is so much of distress in this world. There are those, so many of them, who cry out in loneliness and fear with a desperate need for listening ears and understanding hearts. There are single parents struggling to rear families. There are houses that need painting; yards that need cleaning, whose owners have neither the strength nor the means to get it done. There are strong young men among us. There are thousands of you in these congregations tonight, young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, who can bless others and be blessed while giving such service.

"We magnify our calling when we walk with honesty and integrity. We shrink it when we stoop to devious acts and selfishness, disregarding the interests and well-being of others as we spend all of our time to accumulate that which we cannot take with us from this life to the next.

"We honor our priesthood and magnify its influence when we walk in virtue and fidelity. Immorality and infidelity are totally inconsistent with the priesthood of God. The boy who has the strength to say no to drugs, the youth who has the strength to say no to beer and other forms of alcohol, the young man who has the strength to say no to immorality, magnifies his calling as a deacon, or teacher or priest. The older man who can do likewise, the husband who is absolutely true, undeviatingly so, to the companion to whom he is married; the father who never abuses a child, sexually or in any other way - these are men who magnify the priesthood to which they have been ordained with power from on high. Those who do otherwise shrink that power."