Fellow Servant

“Now, as a boy I knew from what I had learned in Sunday School that John the Baptist had been killed by a wicked ruler, that he had been beheaded to satisfy the lustful desire of an evil woman. And in 1829 it was this same John who had come and given the priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. He spoke to them. He placed his hands upon their heads. They heard his voice and they felt his hands. This meant that he had to have been resurrected. That was a wonderful thing and a very impressive thing to me. Here was living evidence of the reality of the Resurrection, which had come through the divine power of the Lord Jesus Christ–the same who earlier had been baptized by John in the river Jordan (from Ensign, May 1988, 44-45). . . .

“Joseph Smith was then 23-and-a-half years of age. Oliver Cowdery was about the same. They were young men, and I thought when I was ordained a deacon what a wonderful thing it was that John the Baptist, who was a great man in the New Testament and who lived nearly 2,000 years earlier, had come as a resurrected being and that he should address Joseph and Oliver as ‘my fellow servants.’

“Even though he came as a servant of God and acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, he did not place himself above Joseph and Oliver. He put them on his same level when he addressed them as ‘my fellow servants.’ If they were his fellow servants, then perhaps I, as a 12-year-old boy, could also be his fellow servant.

“He spoke in the name of Messiah, or, as we would say it, ‘in the name of Jesus Christ.’ He set the pattern, and since then, the ordinances which we perform are administered in the name of Jesus Christ. This is something we should never forget, and never overlook, for in the exercise of our priesthood, we are acting in behalf of God our Eternal Father and Jesus Christ, His Son (from Ensign, May 1988, 45).”