On June 8 of 1978 a monumental revelation was received by President Spencer W. Kimball. Prophets, of modern times, one after another, had begged the Lord for this revelation.
On September 30, 1978 it was presented to the church as an official declaration to be added to the Doctrine & Covenants.
To Whom It May Concern:
On September 30, 1978, at the 148th Semiannual N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church:
In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously.
President Kimball has asked that I now read this letter:
June 8, 1978
To all general and local priesthood officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world:
As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.
Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.
He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.
We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.
Spencer W. Kimball
N. Eldon Tanner
Marion G. Romney
The First Presidency
Recognizing Spencer W. Kimball as the prophet, seer, and revelator, and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is proposed that we as a constituent assembly accept this revelation as the word and will of the Lord. All in favor please signify by raising your right hand. Any opposed by the same sign.
The vote to sustain the foregoing motion was unanimous in the affirmative.
Salt Lake City, Utah, September 30, 1978.
I remember the day this revelation was announced to the world. I was traveling back from Shiprock, New Mexico. Radio reception was spotty, at best. But during a moment of clear reception the news came across the airwaves.
All worthy male members had been extended priesthood and temple blessings. Those saints who lived their lives according to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ rejoiced! We were ecstatic. This was a long-told prophesy and it had come to pass in MY lifetime. Even as the happiness coursed through my body, the Holy Spirit whispered to me . . . It is true.
And I knew . . . God lived. And I knew . . . President Spencer W. Kimbal was a prophet of God. And I knew . . . if I followed the Savior’s admonition to “Come follow me,” I would find all that our Father in Heaven had in store for His children, you and me.
Since that day in history, every worthy male member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, has received the priesthood and been able to participate in every blessing and ordinance the Lord restored to this earth in the meridian of time.
The mysteries of heaven are vast. The knowledge contained within the scriptures are also vast. And yet, that day in the summer of 1978, the sweetness of the truth of the gospel permeated my soul when this revelation was received. Indeed, there was great rejoicing across the world . . . and rightfully so.