There have been some General Conference talks in recent years about the priesthood that have really stuck out for me, such as “Healing the Sick” by Dallin H. Oaks in April 2010, and “The Price of Priesthood Power” by Russell M. Nelson in April 2016. As an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood, they have been very instructional but have also left me wanting to know more about the priesthood and how to better exercise priesthood power. This book, by apostle Dale G. Renlund and his wife, Ruth Lybbert Renlund, goes a long way towards doing that.
It consists of two parts, titled “Foundations of the Priesthood” and “Doctrine of the Priesthood.” In the first part, it explains what priesthood is, its purpose, the offices and keys, and the oaths and covenants associated with it. The second part talks about putting the priesthood into action and becoming better priesthood holders. At the end of the book there is also a small section of “Chapter Summaries” that can serve as a review of the material contained in the book.
It begins by talking about what the priesthood is. “The offices of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood do not constitute all of God’s priesthood, His total power and authority. Brigham Young taught that there are many aspects of God’s total priesthood power and authority that are not delegated to men on earth… the authority and power to produce bodies and spirits, create kingdoms, and organize matter.” (pages 12-13) It talks about God’s priesthood power and authority being used on the earth even between New Testament times and the restoration of the priesthood through Joseph Smith. It also addresses the issues of people of African descent being denied priesthood blessings for a time, and priesthood offices only being open to males. “Women in the Church frequently exercise priesthood power and authority, though they are not ordained to priesthood offices.” (page 18) [Read more…] about Book Review: The Melchizedek Priesthood: Understanding the Doctrine, Living the Principles