And thus they [priesthood holders] have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
We distinguished ourselves in premortality by embracing the principles of redemption and Zion, and therefore we were rewarded in that “first place” with the priesthood: “Thus this holy calling [was] prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the Atonement of the Only Begotten Son.”
Having received the priesthood, we became part of the same order as the Son of God and went about doing his work, the work of Zion:
And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest—this high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things—Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end—thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.[xi]
Clearly, our past experience with the priesthood will be exceeded only by our glorious future experience. Moreover, our priesthood work now is an extension of our work then; and our work in the priesthood will continue into the eternities: “The faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God.”[xii]
The work that we assumed so long ago—the work of redemption—is the work that helps to establish Zion in the lives of people now. This work is as eternal as is the priesthood. The priesthood vitalizes the plan of redemption and makes possible the establishment of Zion. The priesthood of God is the power by which the foundation of Zion (the Atonement) and the three pillars of Zion (the new and everlasting covenant, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and the law of consecration[xiii]) function together.
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