Thursday, July 9, 2015

Men, Women, and Priesthood Authority

I was studying the story of Abraham today, in conjunction with the great seminary manual, and came across this message from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. He taught that both men and women exercise priesthood authority when they perform their assigned duties:

“Priesthood keys direct women as well as men, and priesthood ordinances and priesthood authority pertain to women as well as men. …

“We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be? When a woman—young or old—is set apart to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function. The same is true when a woman is set apart to function as an officer or teacher in a Church organization under the direction of one who holds the keys of the priesthood. Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties.

“Whoever exercises priesthood authority should forget about their rights and concentrate on their responsibilities” (“The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 49, 51).
I am grateful for such clarity and insight. The Priesthood is the power of God. When under assignment, from God's appointed leaders, we are given the authority to act in his name to fulfill our assignment.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is restored. It is back on the Earth. Come learn more!

Monday, July 6, 2015

What should I be doing now. I mean, right now.

So, I've been reading about Abraham of old. You know, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That Abraham. The one who was given promises of seed as innumerable as the sands of the sea. Yeah. That guy.

Well, reading a little in the seminary manual for old testament, I came across this quote from Elder Bednar.

"Truly, great responsibility rests upon the seed of Abraham in these latter days. ... We are here upon the earth at this time to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are, and that is why we are here" -- Becoming a Missionary, Ensign or Liahona, Nov 2005.
It makes you take a step back and think, doesn't it. 

 Elder Bendar also said
"You may enjoy music, athletics, or be mechanically inclined, and someday you may work in a trade or a profession or in the arts. As important as such activities and occupations can be, they do not define who we are. First and foremost, we are spiritual beings. We are sons and [daughters] of God and the seed of Abraham." -- Becoming a Missionary, Ensign or Liahona, Nov 2005.
So, we go to school to develop talents and skills so we can be gainfully employed (get a job) We go to our job for a significant portion of our life. We stress, we worry, we work hard, we do our best to learn. But at the end of the day (or was it the beginning), we are "first and foremost, spiritual beings. Children of our Father in Heaven. So, if you knew that was true, what should you be doing today? If you did not know it to be true, what should you be doing today?

 From another perspective.

What if the whole country were sick with a fatal disease and everyone would soon die without a particular medicine.  Your family alone both had the medicine, and had enough of it to cure everyone who was sick. 
  • What would you want your family to do with the medicine?
  • What might you say to a family member who felt too busy or nervous to help distribute the medicine?

There is a darkness on the Earth, simply because people do not know where to find the true gospel of Jesus Christ. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have the medicine, we are the seed of Abraham, we have the responsibility to minister to and bless the families of the earth with the blessings of the gospel.

Oh, and what are those blessings? Bless thee above measure, Receive land as an everlasting possession, innumerable posterity. Yeah, cool huh! (more on this later)