Joseph Fielding Smith
“Every man who is ordained to the priesthood has authority to officiate in some capacity in the Church. Without priesthood there could be no church, and if there were no priesthood, no official act could be performed in the name of the Lord. Men would be left in darkness without an understanding of the truth, for the power of God could not be made manifest. ‘. . . this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
‘Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
‘And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh” (D&C 84:19-21). So the Lord taught us through Joseph Smith.
“Prevails in all the universe
“This Holy Priesthood which is eternal, is the authority which prevails in all the universe. The ordinances of the gospel are made valid through its power, and without it the knowledge of God could not be made manifest. It is by this authority and through the ordinances that man is able to know of God. Without the priesthood it would be impossible for man to gain the knowledge which would bring him into the presence of the Father. Is there any wonder, then, that the world, deprived of the priesthood, is in such spiritual darkness and confusion?
“Key to spiritual knowledge
“Men may search and they may study, but they will never come to a knowledge of God until they receive the gospel and obtain light through the power of the priesthood and the ordinances of the gospel. See the sad condition of those who once belonged to the Church but have fallen away—how they have lost the key to spiritual knowledge! Certain organizations have been formed from time to time by those who have gone out of the Church, but the light which they formerly had has left them. They are soon left to grope in spiritual darkness, because the “power of godliness” ceases to be with them. When the light goes out, then darkness of the worst kind enters in. As Alma said, they are bound by the chains of hell (see Alma 5:7-9).” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Functions of the Priesthood, Conference Report, April 1967, pp. 97-99)
“no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God” (D&C 67:11).
“The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.”
JST, Exodus 33:20, 23. (Compare Exodus 33:20, 23)
20 And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live.
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen, as at other times; for I am angry with my people Israel.