"Several months ago, at the end of a temple endowment session, I said to my wife, 'I hope the sisters understand the spiritual treasures that are theirs in the temple,'" President Russell M. Nelson said during the women's session of general conference. "Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants, and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances, has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God’s priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power."
He continued, "I entreat you to study prayerfully all the truths you can find about priesthood power." Here are some resources that can help you as you begin studying priesthood power and how it can transform the lives of women in the Church.
In fact, this month's LDS Living Book Club pick is The Priesthood Power of Women. Join us as we learn more about this important topic along with author Barbara Morgan Gardner.
Remember, these resources are just a starting point as you begin your own study of the priesthood and what it means in your life.
Studying in-depth President Nelson's recent general conference talk about women being endowed with priesthood power will give you a great overview of the promised blessings women receive in the temple.
"The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood. I pray that truth will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life. Sisters, you have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love," President Nelson said. "What could possibly be more exciting than to labor with the Spirit to understand priesthood power—God’s power? . . . [E]very time you worthily serve and worship in the temple, you leave armed with God’s power and with His angels having charge over you."
In addition to outlining women's access to priesthood power, President Nelson clarified some misconceptions:
"Now may I clarify several additional points with respect to women and priesthood. When you are set apart to serve in a calling under the direction of one who holds priesthood keys—such as your bishop or stake president—you are given priesthood authority to function in that calling.
"Similarly, in the holy temple, you are authorized to perform and officiate in priesthood ordinances every time you attend. Your temple endowment prepares you to do so.
"If you are endowed but not currently married to a man who bears the priesthood and someone says to you, 'I’m sorry that you don’t have the priesthood in your home,' please understand that that statement is incorrect. You may not have a priesthood-bearer in your home, but you have made sacred covenants with God in His temple. From those covenants flows an endowment of His priesthood power upon you. And remember, if your husband should die, you would preside in your home.
"As a righteous, endowed Latter-day Saint woman, you speak and teach with power and authority from God. Whether by exhortation or conversation, we need your voice teaching the doctrine of Christ. We need your input in family, ward, and stake councils. Your participation is essential and never ornamental!"
During his general conference talk, President Nelson said, "I invite you to study prayerfully section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants and discover what the Holy Ghost will teach you. Your personal, spiritual endeavor will bring you joy as you gain, understand, and use the power with which you have been endowed." In addition, he directed Church members to begin their study of the priesthood by reading Doctrine and Covenants sections 84 and 107. "Those sections will lead you to other passages. The scriptures and teachings by modern prophets, seers and revelators are filled with these truths. As your understanding increases and as you exercise faith in the Lord and His priesthood power, your ability to draw upon this spiritual treasure that the Lord has made available to you will increase," President Nelson said. Some other great chapters to help you better understand priesthood power include Doctrine and Covenants 2, 13, 20, 76, 86, 95, 110, 112, 121, 124, 131, and 132.
In The Priesthood Power of Women, author Barbara Morgan Gardner explores teachings of the living prophets and scriptures to increase our understanding of God's power as it operates in the temple, the Church, and the family. Her well-documented research demonstrates that women have more authority and power in all those settings than they may have previously supposed.
In a compelling invitation to action, the author writes, "How will we as women use the priesthood power we have been endowed with in our homes, communities, and world if we don't know what it is, let alone how to call upon it?" This powerful book will help all members, especially women, more completely understand God's power and take full advantage of the powers, blessings, and privileges available to them in this mortal journey.
In Women and the Priesthood, Sheri Dew discusses the varying responsibilities of men and women in the context of key doctrine of the Church, including the eternal truths that women are vital to the success of the Lord's church, that God expects women to receive revelation, and that both men and women have access to God's highest spiritual blessings.
This enlightening book shows how studying the doctrine of the priesthood will help you find the answers you seek about women and the priesthood, about women in the Church, and about the vital influence righteous women can have in the world.
Best-selling author and acclaimed psychologist Wendy Ulrich explains how, following the Savior's examples, women can act within priesthood authority and covenants to fulfill their individual missions, help save the human family, and empower rising generations. By qualifying for the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the temple endowment, women can nourish, teach, serve, pray, lead, heal, parent, prophesy, minister, and testify with priesthood power.
This book will help you grow in power in the priesthood as you better understand the priesthood authority women have been given, learn to clarify and live your deepest values, and hone the skill of discerning and acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost—ultimately growing toward your highest spiritual potential.
The concept of priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique. A portion of God's power is delegated to "individuals who He knows perfectly well are imperfect." How does that work? As authors Dale and Ruth Renlund ask, "How is it conceivable that His awesome, delicate power could be used by both an illiterate farmer and a rocket scientist—to equal effect—in the salvation of humankind?"
This helpful book "has arisen in large part from questions we have asked each other over the years," write Elder and Sister Renlund. "The quest for an understanding of the priesthood and its proper application has continued through our respective medical and legal training and our careers outside of the home. A fuller understanding and application of the priesthood power has required both of us to work together inside our home."
Articles and Talks
"Elder and Sister Renlund: 4 Ways Women Exercise Priesthood Power and Authority" by Elder Dale G. Renlund and Ruth Renlund
"Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women," Church Gospel Topics Essay
"Connecting Daughters of God with His Priesthood Power," by Barbara Morgan Gardner
"Men and Women and Priesthood Power" by President M. Russell Ballard
"Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church" by President Dallin H. Oaks
"Sister Eubank Shares How Men and Women 'Draw Priesthood Power into Their Lives'" by Danielle B. Wagner
"Women Participate in the Work of the Priesthood," ChurchofJesusChrist.org
"The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood" by President Dallin H. Oaks