I was asked yesterday about a definition for the term “Power in the Priesthood” and I responded:
Power in the Priesthood: Generally, having heaven acknowledge the priest’s acts as authorized, such as in baptism and blessing the sacrament. But also includes any endowment conferred directly by the Lord upon a person to accomplish an act, deliver a message, perform a mission, or labor on the Lord’s behalf with His authorization. Not every act done by men claiming authority from God is acknowledged by God, but only those acts with power in the priesthood belong to Him. Hence the Lord’s saying, many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, and in your name have cast out devils, and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I say, You never knew me. Depart from me, you that work iniquity.
There is another, related term, Blessings of the Priesthood: This refers to the results of receiving an authorized priesthood holder’s administration to a recipient. The blessings of the priesthood endure even after the death of the priesthood holder. Although Joseph Smith died in June 1844, the blessings he conferred while here endured until early in the 20th Century.