Aaronic Priesthood: Service will change lives

Counted among the most essential, momentous dates in human history is May 15, 1829.

It was on that spring day that the Lord again began ordaining worthy men to act in His name and perform soul-saving ordinances that open the heavens.

One-hundred-eighty-one years ago this month the resurrected John the Baptist — a descendant of Aaron — appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery along the bank of Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River and conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood, or the "Priesthood of Aaron."

Calling Joseph and Oliver his "fellow servants," John the Baptist ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood "which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins" (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 13).

With that sacred ordination, the Lord's priesthood was restored. Today, hundreds of thousands of young men throughout the world are performing the duties of the Aaronic Priesthood each week as they prepare and pass the sacrament, collect fast offerings to sustain those in need, perform baptismal ordinances and, when necessary, call upon the ministering of angels to bless those in need.

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