A Priesthood of Service

A Priesthood of Service
15 May holds special meaning for male members of the church. It was on this day in 1829 that
the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were visited by John the Baptist, acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood (Joseph Smith—History 1:72).

This restoration of the Aaronic priesthood brought with it many blessings to Joseph and Oliver, and 187 years later it continues to bless and guide the young men of the church.

As a deacon in the Northriding Ward, Philani Muvavarirwa says that he loves the Aaronic priesthood and the sense of responsibility it has given him. “I feel like it’s now my duty to get to church early so that I can pass the sacrament because if I arrive late I will disturb the whole program and I will miss out on the opportunity to serve others,” Philani says.

It’s a blessing of service shared by Buhle Malotana, 15, a teacher in the same ward. He says: “The priesthood has really helped me serve people in the church. Without the Aaronic priesthood, this church would not be where it is today and I would not have the opportunity to prepare and help serve the sacrament.”

Richard Milne, 17, a priest from the Randburg Ward, remembers a time when, as a newly ordained deacon, he was frightened at the thought of serving the sacrament. “The first time I was supposed to serve the sacrament I put it off for a few weeks because I was too terrified to do it in front of the whole congregation. But when I eventually did, I really felt the Spirit come over me and it was such a great experience. It was the one of the experiences that makes me want to go on a mission,” Richard says.

Richard says that the experience taught him to appreciate the Aaronic priesthood, something he hopes to teach to the deacons in his ward. “If I could go back, I would tell my 12-year-old self not to worry so much and to really appreciate your priesthood duties. Take them seriously and try see them for what they are and what they really mean to you,” he says.
Shelton Macamo, 16, a priest from the Ridgeway Ward, says that he may not fully understand how much the Aaronic priesthood has blessed him in his life but he sees its power in the people that he serves.

“I know that it is the power that has been given to me from God and what a privilege it is to hold that priesthood. It gives me the opportunity to serve others who may not hold the priesthood. For example, when I bless the sacrament I know that I am praying on behalf of those that partake in the sacrament, so really I am being used as an instrument in the Lord's hands. It’s humbling, and special to know that I am serving God, under His authority and performing the duties He would have performed if He were present,” Shelton says.