KINGSLAND, Ga. — Kevin Washington will never forget an interview he had before his 1978 baptism. "You come into the Church at a historic time," a missionary told him, "the priesthood has been extended to all worthy males."

But Brother Washington didn't understand the significance of the statement. "In my mind, I thought 'la-di-da.' " he said. "I don't think anyone truly understands the priesthood until they study and read. Then it begins to impact you just how important it is."

For Brother Washington that understanding came as he gave his first Church talk; he was assigned to speak on the priesthood. "As I prepared I began to get a glimpse as to what the priesthood was all about," recalled Brother Washington, now a counselor in the Kingsland Georgia Stake presidency and a former bishop.

"I have been able to bless my children, not just when they have been sick, but when they begin a new school year, as they prepare for some monumental task or an athletic event. . . . I do not know where I would be or what I would be doing if I did not have the gospel in my life. My wife [Marie] would echo that same feeling. It is hard to express what a blessing it has been, not just the gospel itself, but how the gospel has affected the people who are members of the Church and how those people have blessed our lives."

Sarah Jane Weaver