/ lds

Gordon B. Hinckley - The Holy Priesthood

Lesson 15: The Holy Priesthood

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley - Lesson 15

Experiences with Priesthood Power

What is the Priesthood


The power of God given to man to act in His name and in His stead.

  • “The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will [exist] to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years.” - Joseph Smith (see History of the Church, 3:386)

  • It is veritably the power of the Almighty given to man to act in His name and in His stead. It is a delegation of divine authority, different from all other powers and authorities on the face of the earth. - Gordon B. Hinckley (see Priesthood Restoration - Ensign 1988)

  • The doctrine of the priesthood is known only by personal revelation. It comes, line upon line and precept upon precept, by the power of the Holy Ghost to those who love and serve God with all their heart, might, mind, and strength... We have the revealed promise that if our souls are “full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith” and if we “let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly; then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven.” (See D&C 98:12.) - Bruce R. McConkie

  • “the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family.” - [Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 139.]

  • "the consummate power on this earth. It is the power by which the earth was created." - [Boyd K. Packer, “Priesthood Power in the Home” (worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012); lds.org/broadcasts; see also James E. Faust, “Power of the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 1997, 41–43.]

  • "The priesthood is the power by which we will be resurrected and proceed to eternal life." - Dallin H. Oaks

Restoration of the Priesthood

Small wonder that it was restored to man by resurrected beings who held it anciently, that there might be no question concerning its authority and validity. Without it there could be a church in name only, lacking authority to administer in the things of God. - Gordon B. Hinckley (see Priesthood Restoration - Ensign 1988)

The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam's authority. - Joseph Smith (see History of the Church, 3:386)

Apostolic Succession

The Catholic church believes the priesthood was passed down from Peter to the present day bishops.

Diocese of SLC

Tracing the succession of the nearest Catholic Bishop, Bishop Oscar A. Solis from the Diocese of Salt Lake City, within the Province of San Francisco, there is an end to the succession in the 1500s.

  • Roger Michael Cardinal Mahony (1975),
    Archbishop of Los Angeles, California
  • Bishop Hugh Aloysius Donohoe † (1947),
    Bishop of Fresno, California
  • Archbishop John Joseph Mitty † (1926),
    Archbishop of San Francisco, California
  • Patrick Joseph Cardinal Hayes † (1914),
    Archbishop of New York, New York
  • John Murphy Cardinal Farley † (1895),
    Archbishop of New York, New York
  • Archbishop Michael Augustine Corrigan † (1873),
    Archbishop of New York, New York
  • Archbishop John McCloskey † (1844),
    Archbishop of New York, New York
  • Bishop John Joseph Hughes † (1838),
    Bishop of New York, New York
  • Bishop John Dubois, P.S.S. † (1826),
    Bishop of New York, New York
  • Archbishop Ambrose Maréchal, P.S.S. † (1817),
    Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bishop Jean-Louis Anne Madelain Lefebvre de Cheverus † (1810),
    Bishop of Boston, Massachusetts
  • Archbishop John Carroll † (1790),
    Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bishop Charles Walmesley, O.S.B. † (1756),
    Titular Bishop of Ramata (Rama)
  • Federico Marcello Cardinal Lante Montefeltro Della Rovere † (1732),
    Cardinal-Priest of San Silvestro in Capite
  • Annibale Cardinal Albani † (1730),
    Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina
  • Francesco Cardinal Barberini (Jr.) † (1721),
    Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia (e Velletri)
  • Fabrizio Cardinal Paolucci † (1685),
    Cardinal-Bishop of Albano
  • Gasparo Cardinal Carpegna † (1670),
    Cardinal-Priest of San Silvestro in Capite
  • Paluzzo Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri Degli Albertoni † (1666),
    Archbishop of Ravenna
  • Ulderico Cardinal Carpegna † (1630),
    Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere
  • Luigi Cardinal Caetani † (1622),
    Cardinal-Priest of Santa Pudenziana
  • Ludovico Cardinal Ludovisi † (1621),
    Archbishop of Bologna
  • Archbishop Galeazzo Sanvitale † (1604),
    Archbishop Emeritus of Bari (-Canosa)
  • Girolamo Cardinal Bernerio, O.P. † (1586),
    Cardinal-Bishop of Albano
  • Giulio Antonio Cardinal Santorio † (1566),
    Cardinal-Priest of San Bartolomeo all’Isola
  • Scipione Cardinal Rebiba †,
    Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Anastasia
    (see catholic-hierarchy.org)

Keep in mind that written records only exist going back to the Renaissance, and they get spottier as we go back in history... the vast majority of Western bishops can trace their lineage to a certain Cardinal Scipione Rebiba... Unfortunately, we do not know who ordained Cardinal Rebiba a bishop (though there is no doubt that he was an auxiliary bishop in Chieti, Italy, and later archbishop of Pisa), so the written records largely stop there.- AthanasiusOfAlex, Roman Catholic Priest, Stack Exchange

Also, why were Apostles not appointed, but instead they relied on Bishops for priesthood succession?

In the LDS church, it is much smaller, too. Eg. my Priesthood line of authority goes back 12 people to Jesus Christ.


To carry forth the work of the kingdom of God, both temporally and eternally.


  • It is the only power on earth that reaches beyond the veil of death. [“Priesthood Restoration,” Ensign, Oct. 1988, 71]
  • Power to administer the sacrament
  • Authority to bestow the Holy Ghost.
  • Bless the sick. $30B/yr is spent on alternative medicines (NBC News) with little evidence of effectiveness.
  • Bless with prophecy, comfort, to sustain, with direction.
  • Declare lineage, guidance (Patriarchal Blessing).
  • Authority to seal is only given to one person on earth at a time. D&C 132:7


  • Wealth is not a factor. Education is not a factor. The honors of men are not a factor. The controlling factor is acceptability unto the Lord. Priesthood Restoration - Ensign 1988
  • How to wield the power. It is impossible without these things: D&C 121:41-46

those are the parameters within which this priesthood must find expression. It is not as a cloak that we put on and take off at will. It is, when exercised in righteousness, as the very tissue of our bodies, a part of us at all times and in all circumstances. - Gordon B. Hinckley

See Pres. Hinckley's discourse on priesthood worthiness in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley - Lesson 15

Strength in Quorums

More than just a lesson on Sunday.

Men and Women work together

The men hold the priesthood, yes. But my wife is my companion. In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise “This Thing Was Not Done in a Corner,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 49.

Also, see Dallin H. Oaks, The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood

Bonus article - Sons of Moses and of Aaron