What does the Aaronic Priesthood have to do with the keys of ministering angels?
This week in seminary we studied D&C 13, where John the Baptist gave the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness."
1. Sacrament and baptism help us repent and become worthy to feel the Holy Spirit and be ministered to by angels.
Dallin H. Oaks: “As a young holder of the Aaronic Priesthood, I did not think I would see an angel, and I wondered what such appearances had to do with the Aaronic Priesthood. But the ministering of angels can also be unseen. Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. … Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen.
“How does the Aaronic Priesthood hold the key to the ministering of angels? The answer is the same as for the Spirit of the Lord. In general, the blessings of spiritual companionship and communication are only available to those who are clean. ... Through the Aaronic Priesthood ordinances of baptism and the sacrament, we are cleansed of our sins and promised that if we keep our covenants we will always have His Spirit to be with us. I believe that promise not only refers to the Holy Ghost but also to the ministering of angels, for ‘angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ’ (2 Nephi 32:3). So it is that those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood open the door for all Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels.” (“Aaronic Priesthood & Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, emphasis added).
2. Living worthy of the priesthood invites angels to guide, protect, and bless you.
Gordon B. Hinckley: “This priesthood which you hold carries with it the keys of the ministering of angels. That means, as I interpret it, that if you live worthy of the priesthood, you have the right to receive and enjoy the very power of heavenly beings to guide you, to protect you, to bless you. What boy, if he is thoughtful, would not welcome this remarkable blessing?” (“The Priesthood of Aaron,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 45).
3. Aaronic Priesthood holders can become ministering angels in the way they serve others.
L. Tom Perry: “Then the adviser shared a brief experience that deeply touched his heart, because one of the priests reminded him of what it really means to be a true minister of Jesus Christ-literally, a ministering angel. The young priest who was passing the water to the congregation came to a man who appeared to have Down syndrome. The man's condition prevented him from taking the cup from the tray to drink from it. This young priest immediately assessed the situation. He placed his left hand behind the man's head so he would be in a position to drink, and with the right hand he took a cup from the tray and gently and slowly lifted it to the man's lips. An expression of appreciation came to the man's face-the expression of someone to whom someone else has ministered.” (“The Priesthood of Aaron,” Ensign, Nov. 2010).
Here is a video about the importance of living worthy of one's priesthood because you'll never know when you're called upon to help someone with it.
Here's a note about how the word of God is “sharper than a two-edged sword” in D&C 11:2.
“A message of simple truth, when sent from God—when published by divine authority, through divinely inspired men, penetrates the mind like a sharp two-edged sword, and cuts asunder the deeply-rooted prejudices, the iron-bound sinews of ancient error and tradition, made sacred by age and rendered popular by human wisdom. It severs with undeviating exactness between truth and falsehood—between the doctrine of Christ and the doctrines of men; it levels with the most perfect ease every argument that human learning may array against it. Opinions, creeds invented by uninspired men, and doctrines originated in schools of divinity, all vanish like the morning dew—all sink into insignificance when compared with a message direct from heaven” (Elder Orson Pratt (Apostle), “Divine Authority—or was Joseph Smith Sent of God?” Orson Pratt’s Works on the Doctrines of the Gospel , 1:1).