Sacred Keys of the Aaronic Priesthood

A Way of Life, Larry M. Gibson

One of my sons, at age 12, decided to raise rabbits. We built cages and acquired one large male and two female rabbits from a neighbor. I had no idea what we were getting into. In a very short time, our shed was bursting with bunnies. Now that my son is grown, I must confess my amazement at how they were controlled—a neighbor’s dog occasionally got into the shed and thinned out the herd.

But my heart was touched as I saw my son and his brothers watch over and protect those rabbits. And now, as husbands and fathers, they are worthy priesthood holders who love, strengthen, and watch over their own families.

My feelings are tender as I observe you young men of the Aaronic Priesthood watching over, supporting, and strengthening those around you, including your families, members of your quorum, and many others. How I love you.

Recently I watched as a 13-year-old young man was set apart as deacons quorum president. Afterward the bishop shook his hand and addressed him as “president,” explaining to the quorum members that he “addressed him as president to emphasize the sacredness of his calling. The deacons quorum president is one of only four people in the ward who hold keys of presidency. With those keys, he, with his counselors, will lead the quorum under the inspiration of the Lord.” This bishop understood the power of a presidency led by a president who holds and exercises sacred priesthood keys. (See D&C 124:142–43.)

Later I asked this young man if he was ready to preside over this great quorum. His response was: “I’m nervous. I don’t know what a deacons quorum president does. Can you tell me?”

I told him he had a wonderful bishopric and advisers who would help him become a successful and powerful priesthood leader. I knew they would respect the sacred keys of presidency he held.

I then posed this question: “Do you suppose the Lord would call you to this important calling without giving you direction?”

He thought, then responded, “Where do I find it?”

After some discussion, he realized that he would find direction from the scriptures, the words of the living prophets, and answers to prayer. We determined to find a scripture that would be a starting place for his search to learn the responsibilities of his new calling.

Larry M. Gibson’s April 2011 General Conference Address, Sacred Keys of the Aaronic Priesthood. Larry M. Gibson is the First Counselor of the General Young Men Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read, listen to, or watch Larry M. Gibson’s Full address here.