The Fifth and Sixth Articles of Faith
Articles of Faith 1:5–6
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
Elder L. Tom Perry said:
“After we start to understand the basic doctrine of Christ, the fifth and sixth articles of faith teach us about the organization and order of the priesthood. Under the direction of the Lord, Joseph Smith organized the Savior’s Church using priesthood authority—the power of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same organization that Christ organized and directed while He was on the earth.
“What a glorious day it was for Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in May 1829 when they went into the woods to pray about the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins that they had read about while translating the Book of Mormon. There were many teachings about baptism being taught by different churches in the early 1800s, and Joseph and Oliver knew they could not all be true. They wanted to know about the correct manner of baptism and also who had the authority to baptize.
“In answer to their petitions to the Lord, a messenger from heaven, John the Baptist, appeared to them. He placed his hands on their heads and conferred upon them the authority to baptize with these words: ‘Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron’ (D&C 13:1).
“What a marvelous day in the history of the world! The priesthood was restored to the earth.
“When we receive the priesthood, we receive the authority to act in the name of God and lead in ways of truth and righteousness. This authority is a vital source of righteous power and influence for the benefit of God’s children on earth and will last beyond the veil. It was necessary for the priesthood to be restored before the true Church of Jesus Christ could be organized. This is the fundamental lesson we learn from the fifth and sixth articles of faith.”
(“The Doctrines and Principles Contained in the Articles of Faith,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 47.)