"Can you imagine how dark and empty mortality would be if there were no priesthood?" Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve asked at the October 1995 general conference.
"If the power of the priesthood were not upon the earth, the adversary would have freedom to roam and reign without restraint," Elder Hales said."There would be no gift of the Holy Ghost to direct and enlighten us; no prophets to speak in the name of the Lord; no temples where we could make sacred, eternal covenants; no authority to bless or baptize, to heal or comfort. Without the power of the priesthood, `the whole earth would be utterly wasted.' (D&C 2:3; see also vv. 1-2.) There would be no light, no hope - only darkness.
"What a dark world this would be without priesthood blessings for you and me."
Elder Hales said that a loving Father in Heaven has sent His sons and daughters here to mortality to gain experience and to be tested.
"He has provided the way back to Him and has given us enough spiritual light to see our way," Elder Hales declared.
"The priesthood of God gives light to His children in this dark and troubled world. Through priesthood power we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to lead us to truth, testimony, and revelation.
This gift is available on an equal basis to men, women, and children. Through the blessings of the priesthood we can be equipped with `the whole armour of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.' (Eph. 6:11; see also vv. 12-18.) This protection is available to every one of us."
Further, he said that through the priesthood many other blessings are also available to all of the sons and daughters of God, "making it possible for us to make sacred covenants and receive holy ordinances that enable us to travel that strait and narrow way back to our Father in Heaven." (See Matt. 7:13-14.)
"The priesthood is the power of God, which is given to man to act in His name. The priesthood of God is timeless. It `was in the beginning, [and] shall be in the end of the world also.' (Moses 6:7; see also History of the Church, 3:386.)
"Before this world was created, the premortal Council in Heaven was held under the direction of the priesthood. The formation of the universe and of the world upon which we live was brought to pass not by chance but through the power of the priesthood.
"The great Creator spoke, and the elements obeyed. The processes of nature that enable us to exist on this planet, the resources of this world that sustain life - all were set into motion and continue their course through the power of God's magnificent priesthood.
"While most of the earth's inhabitants do not recognize this priesthood power, all living creatures are its beneficiaries."