President Gordon B. Hinckley urged priesthood holders to live more worthily and not partake of "the mean and beggarly elements of life" during a special commemoration program of the 175th anniversary of the restoration of the priesthood.
"This authority can only be exercised in righteousness," he said to priesthood holders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the program Sunday night in the Conference Center. It was on May 15, 1829, that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood from a resurrected John the Baptist near Harmony, Pa.
Regarding the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood, President Hinckley said an exact date was not recorded in church history but is believed to have happened later in May of 1829.
"What a marvelous thing it was, the day of restoration," he said. "It came directly from the heavens."
He said there is a unique brotherhood in the priesthood, and it makes no difference if a priesthood holder is a priest or an apostle, as long as he magnifies his priesthood in righteousness.
President Hinckley said the Aaronic Priesthood includes the protection of angels, but priesthood holders must be worthy of such angelic companionship.
"Let the world do what it will. You have something the world does not."
He urged priesthood holders to keep the Word of Wisdom, which prohibits consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea and illicit drugs.
"They will rob you of self-mastery," he said.
President Hinckley also spoke against pornography in all its forms as an evil and addictive vice. Having body tattoos was also strongly denounced.
"If you have ever considered such an idea, pause and ask the Lord about it," he advised, stressing that the human body is a temple of God. "How can any boy who blesses or passes the sacrament have a tattoo?"