Merriam-Webster defines “ordain” as “to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority.”
To be ordained to the priesthood means to receive authority for a specific priesthood office. To ordain someone, a man with the proper authority places his hands on the person’s head that is to be ordained and says a special prayer that gives authority to act in that office.
The priesthood is God’s power and authority that He gives to His children to act in His name. Through the priesthood, we receive the ordinances of salvation. Men are ordained to offices in the priesthood, and both men and women can experience the power and blessings of the priesthood in their lives.
The priesthood is a gift from Heavenly Father to bless all His children, both female and male.
President Russell M. Nelson taught, “Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants, and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances, has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God’s priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power.
“The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood.”
The scriptures teach that prior to priesthood ordination, the person is chosen. To His disciples, Christ said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you” (John 15:16). Nephi saw in vision that the disciples, “twelve others,” “were ordained of God, and chosen” (1 Nephi 12:7).
A second meaning of “ordain” is “to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law.” For instance, this definition fits the phrases “Marriage is ordained of God” and “The Family is ordained of God,” both found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. In short, God ordains laws.