The “priesthood” is the eternal power and authority of God. It is the name of the power by which God created and governs heaven and earth. Through this power, He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass the immortality (resurrection) and the eternal life (exaltation) of man (Moses 1:39). God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly called the Mormon Church), so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, help build the kingdom of God on the earth, and bless and serve our families and our fellowmen.
Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, said,
The Priesthood of Almighty God is available to worthy men wherever they may be — no matter their ancestry, no matter how humble their circumstances, in the nearest or farthest reaches of the globe. It is available without money or any worldly price. To paraphrase the ancient prophet Isaiah, everyone who is thirsty can come to the waters, and no money is required to come and drink.
And because of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the priesthood of God can be available to everyone, even if we have been unworthy in the past. Through the cleansing process of repentance, every worthy man can hold this sacred power of God. 
Those who carry this power and authority of God are charged to live righteously, following all of God’s commandments, and to come unto Christ. I have been blessed through baptism, receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost, the making of weekly sacramental covenants, priesthood blessings, father’s blessings, a patriarchal blessing, and the blessings of the temple. It is hard for friends of other faiths or even inactive Mormons to realize how great the blessings are that can be received through the Mormon priesthood.
In Doctrine and Covenants 121:36 it says, “…the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and… the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. “ Women are partakers of these gifts, and participate, as well as men.
The man holds the Priesthood, performs the priestly duties of the Church, but his wife enjoys with him every other privilege derived from the possession of the Priesthood. This is made clear, as an example, in the temple service of the Church. The ordinances of the temple are distinctly of priesthood character, yet women have access to all of them, and the highest blessings of the temple are conferred only upon a man and his wife jointly” (Priesthood and Church Government , 83).
In the home, it is the husband’s responsibility to preside and provide leadership. A Melchizedek Priesthood quorum manual explained:
…in the perspective of the gospel, “leadership” does not mean the right to dictate, command, and order. On the contrary, it means to guide, protect, point the way, set the example, make secure, inspire, and create a desire to sustain and follow. Literally, the husband is to lead the way” (The Savior, the Priesthood and You, Melchizedek Priesthood Course of Study, 172).
While the father is the leader in the home, “his wife is his most important companion, partner, and counselor.” A husband and wife must work together to strengthen their family and teach their children the principles of the gospel. By fulfilling her role as counselor to her husband, a woman can reinforce her husband’s position as head of the home and encourage greater family unity. The husband presides in righteousness and love, serving as the family’s spiritual leader. He leads the family in regular prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. He works with his wife to teach their children and help them to prepare to receive the ordinances of salvation. He gives priesthood blessings for direction, healing, and comfort.
My family is much stronger because of the men in my life who have taken the initiative to be righteous. They make a conscious effort to be a little kinder, to make good choices, and to create peace in the home. The priesthood binds our families together through Mormon temple ordinances, such as in the sealing power which can unite families eternally, but also as a presiding power to unite our families with purpose.
The promise to those who worthily hold the priesthood and endure in righteousness to eventually receive “all that the Father hath.” (See Doctrine and Covenants 84:38.) This includes women, who are promised everything in the hereafter that men can receive — power and glory without end.
Personally, in my life, I have been blessed to have a father who wields the power of the priesthood as righteously as he knows how. He blessed our family and taught us the importance of entering the waters of baptism. He would offer father’s blessings to me and each of my siblings to comfort us or heal us in times of need. He often would hold a “father’s interview” with each of us to ensure we were on a righteous path. Although he was not perfect, he strove to hold family prayer, Family Home Evening, and scripture study for our family. I am grateful for his efforts and for his desire to be a worthy priesthood holder.
And now I am blessed to have a husband who also holds and honors his priesthood. He leads our family, and I am honored to be his companion in rearing our children to know and follow the Lord. I know that he truly strives to do the best he can…and when he falls short, he remembers that the Savior made the ultimate sacrifice that he might be able to repent, and continue to preside over and protect our family. He is such a great example of striving for perfection. I was fortunate to receive the blessings of a temple sealing with my husband. The peace in our home from the blessings of the temple makes the trials of life so much easier to bear. I cannot adequately explain the peace I feel, when I am in the temple, but I know that the power of God brings peace, and the blessings of the priesthood create a stronger family unity in our home.
There was a period of time in my life when I was very sick. I had post-operation complications after a simple tonsillectomy. I didn’t know how sick I really was, and came close to losing my life. The power of the priesthood helped me during this time. My father, brothers, and Bishop at different times put their hands upon my head and gave me a blessing of healing and of comfort. I testify of the power of the priesthood of God and the power of prayer, and the truth of these principles.
When my husband and I were newly married, we moved to a new city. I was apprehensive about meeting new friends and finding a new job, and all the changes that we had recently made. I asked my new husband for a blessing to offer me some comfort. This blessing did offer comfort, but at the time I didn’t realize how inspired this blessing was and how much comfort it would actually offer in the weeks and months to come. I was impressed by several things during this blessing, and after it was completed, I wrote several of those things down.
I also had a conversation with my younger sister about some of the things that the Lord said regarding my family. A week later, my sister was killed in a tragic car accident. The conversation that I had with her regarding the blessing was the last time I spoke with her before her death. That blessing prepared me and guided me through the most difficult period of my life. I can tell you how wonderful it was to have a worthy priesthood holder helping me through this time. The blessing I received said specific things that the Lord wanted me to hear, that I didn’t even know myself that I would need to hear. I know that the Lord knows us and knows our needs. He knew that I would need these words in order to endure this trial. I testify that the words in the blessing were the words of the Lord.
I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father and to my Lord Jesus Christ for the Plan of Salvation and the infinite atonement. I am so grateful for my husband and all that he does for our family. That he strives to honor the covenants he has made to me and to our family. I’m so grateful that the priesthood power and authority — the same held by the original twelve apostles — has been restored to the earth for our benefit.