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Speaking during the priesthood session of general conference in April 1988, President Gordon B. Hinckley said that two things of great significance occurred in his life when he was 12.

He said that he became a Boy Scout, and that upon becoming such he filled out an application form and paid a registration fee. Also, he said that he learned the Scout motto, slogan, oath and law."When I was twelve, I also became a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood," President Hinckley said. "My name was presented to the entire congregation of our ward. Everyone was asked to sustain me if they felt me worthy of the office. All hands in the large congregation went up. I was honored to think that all of the members of my ward raised their hands in my behalf.

"Then two men, good and true and faithful - one of them my father - placed their hands upon my head and conferred upon me the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained me to the office of deacon. I did not have any oath, slogan, motto, or law to memorize in connection with this. But I did memorize Section 13 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and I have remembered it ever since. These are the words of an angel. They are the words of John the Baptist when he conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829:

" `Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.'

"Scouting is an excellent and wonderful program that has come of the wisdom of men," President Hinckley said. "The Aaronic Priesthood is a gift from God."

President Hinckley emphasized, " . . . the holding of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the exercise of its power, is not a small or unimportant thing. The bestowal of these keys in this dispensation was one of the greatest and most significant things incident to the entire Restoration. It was the first bestowal of divine authority in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. It is the priesthood of God, with authority to act in the name of the Savior of mankind."