Nathan Eldon Tanner - Natural Gas - Alberta's Energy Heritage

Every now again you find something new from the General Authorities, on a question you’d never even thought to ask.

Elder N. Eldon Tanner offered a heuristic for priesthood work and a way of thinking about priesthood authority that I had never seen before.

The heuristic is this.  Are you doing your priesthood duties in such a way that your superior would give you a reference?  In other words, does your quorum president or Bishop count on you?

The way of thinking about the priesthood that this heuristic implies is that the priesthood is essentially hierarchical.  The hierarchy is not a non-essential attribute of priesthood.  Accepting and exercising God’s power means accepting His authority, as expressed in his chain of command.

We are used to thinking of the Church as a hierarchical organization.  But that is only because the Church is run by the Priesthood.

Every once in a while at work I’ll find myself making an important decision and think, golly, how did this end up on the desk of little ol’ me?  The answer is that my organization is OK with me exercising significant authority from time to time because I am part of the organization and under its rules and discipline.

The authority you exercise as a priesthood man makes any work authority you’ve ever had look pale.

Both authority and hierarchy are male.


Other Posts from the Priesthood Session of the April 1978 General Conference


Continue reading at the original source →