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I’ve come to recognize as never before the importance of understanding the priesthood and its associated blessings for women. We’re living in a day when equality, power, fairness, and tolerance are touted—often above other virtues. What’s more, identity, authority, spirituality, and even God are topics of great confusion for many.

Many women, not knowing what blessings they have access to, are not taking full advantage of the spiritual feast available to them. Many men are also confused on the topic.

How can we better understand the connection women have with priesthood power and help them “to step forward,” to “take [their] rightful and needful place in [their] home, in [their] community, and in the kingdom of God—more than [they] ever have before”? First, we can humbly seek to understand truths associated with the priesthood, especially the most recent teachings of Church leaders. Second, we can seek to understand why some women don’t fully realize their access to God’s priesthood power. Third, we can be aware of how we can help women more fully participate in the work God accomplishes through His priesthood power.

1. What Truths Have Been Clarified Regarding Women and the Priesthood?

Apostles and general women auxiliary leaders have recently given more emphasis to the relationship of women and the priesthood. The following are some truths that are vital to understand and teach correctly.

The priesthood is the power and authority of God.

The priesthood is the power through which God accomplishes His great work of salvation, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Both men and women have an important role in God’s work, and both men and women have access to His power to accomplish His work.

Women play an official and critical role in the work of salvation.

Bonnie L. Oscarson, former Young Women General President, declared: “All women need to see themselves as essential participants in the work of the priesthood. Women in this Church are presidents, counselors, teachers, members of councils, sisters, and mothers, and the kingdom of God cannot function unless we rise up and fulfill our duties with faith.”

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