1 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I aconfer the bPriesthood of Aaron, which holds the ckeys of the ministering of dangels, and of the gospel of erepentance, and of fbaptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of gLevi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in hrighteousness.
The ministering of angels and the Aaronic priesthood- as a bearer of the Aaronic Priesthood, I can do what angels do.
What do angels do?
The angels who visit this earth are persons who have been assigned as messengers to this earth: “There are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it” (D&C 130:5).
In the early days of the mortal world, many righteous persons were taken from the earth, or translated. Enoch and his people (Moses 7:18-21, 31, 63, 69; Heb. 11:5), Moses (Alma 45:19), and Elijah (2 Kgs. 2:11-12) were all translated. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that translated beings “are designed for future missions” (TPJS, p. 191), and hence can be angelic ministrants.
Another kind of angel may be an individual who completed his mortal existence but whose labors continue in the spirit world while he awaits the resurrection of the body. Such are referred to as “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:22-23; D&C 76:69; TPJS, p. 325). “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1:13-14).
Angelic messengers bring knowledge, priesthood, comfort, and assurances from God to mortals. However, when priesthood or keys are to be conveyed, the ministering angel possesses a body of flesh and bones, either from resurrection or translation. Spirits can convey information, but they cannot confer priesthood upon mortal beings, because spirits do not lay hands on mortals (cf. D&C 129).
Angels bring strength and comfort to those in need
1)Jesus prayed for strength, and an angel strengthened Jesus. (Luke 22:43) Earlier Jesus says, “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32) The Aaronic Priesthood will bless and pass the sacrament to bear us up and give us courage to face the world this week.
2)Sodom & Lot- angels came to Lot to get him out of that horrible situation. Lot, we are here to get you OUT of this awful place! (Genesis 19:1-3, 15-16, see also JST Genesis 19:9-15) What do Aaronic Priesthood holders do? They pull their friends out of bad places and situations. The youth of the Church today are faced with situations similar to those faced by Lot. Even though he knew that Sodom was a place he should not be, Lot needed some convincing (see Genesis 19:16). How many young men do you know who are stuck in a Lot like circumstance? True priesthood holders will help them “escape for thy life” and encourage them to “look not behind thee”.
3)Protection- Nephi received protection from an angel – 1 Nephi 3:29. Great priesthood holders protect the weak, especially those who are exploited. Today we live in an environment where women, girls and children are being exploited at a horrific pace. If there ever was a time when we needed angels are to bring heaven sent protection, it is in these times!
4)John the Baptist- what did he do? John will be the model Aaronic Priesthood holder. See Luke 1:14-18– this is a great model for holders of the Aaronic priesthood: 14- his parents rejoice at his birth! Are you the kind of young man who makes it so your parents rejoice at your existence? Do you bring your parents joy? 15- shall not drink wine nor strong drink- the implication is that John will have self control. 16- John will turn his peers to Jesus Christ- this is what the Aaronic Priesthood should do and John is a model for this type of behavior. 17- John will make people ready for the Lord, in other words, his very existence points people to Christ and prepares them to know Jesus. A great Aaronic Priesthood holder will model the type of behavior and demeanor of the Savior so as to prepare those around him to meet Jesus.
What is the offering spoken of in section 13?
The offering mentioned in this revelation is why we have the priesthood in the first place. The whole purpose of the Church and the Restoration and the Priesthood is to unite families in the covenant. Families sealed for time and all eternity, with an unbroken chain through time from Adam until the last family – this is what Jesus Christ wills for us as mortals. The offering is the record in a “book” of all the individuals who have lived detailing that their redemptive work has been completed. “Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.” (D&C 128:24)