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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Power of the Priesthood

Power of the Priesthood

In Relief Society today, our lesson was about the Priesthood.  At first they were just talking about the 12 year old boys who are first able to receive the Priesthood and I couldn’t really relate but it was interesting.  Talking also about how men can prepare to receive the Priesthood and how to honor it.  We also talked a bit about the history of the Priesthood.  I love my church and realize that I post a lot concerning it and the teachings but it’s just such a huge part of my life.  I want my children to read my journal/blog and know that I have a testimony of this church, and that I know it is true. I mostly feel compelled to write about it on Sundays but I do feel the spirit and good works throughout the week. Do you have a testimony that your church is true or have you felt the spirit tell you that your church is true?

On the website it gives a lot of great answers to questions. For example what is the Priesthood?

The priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name. The same priesthood authority that existed in the original Church established by Jesus Christ exists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. The Church is directed and led through this authority.

All male members of the Church who are prepared receive the priesthood in order to help lead the Church and serve Heavenly Father’s children. A man with the priesthood might serve in some of the following ways:

•Leading congregations of the Church

•Performing the ordinances of the Church, such as baptism

•Blessing those who are sick

God expects those who hold this sacred priesthood authority to follow the example of Jesus Christ and serve with love, gentleness, and kindness.

The Priesthood has blessed my life in numerous ways.  I know that we have a true and living Prophet on the earth today.  I am grateful for our Bishop and Stake President and all their counselors who hold the Priesthood and honor it faithfully.   I am extremely grateful for my Father and my husband for their faithfulness to honor their Priesthood.  

 A quote from a member reads: 

“The priesthood of God has been a blessing to me in my life.

I have personally witnessed miracles that can only be explained by the power of the priesthood of God exercised upon individuals who were ill or otherwise afflicted. As a physician I am unable to explain the way that this works; however my knowledge of the priesthood allows me to understand more fully the witnessed healings.

God continues to bless his children through the priesthood. He has not abandoned us here on earth to walk in darkness without the ability to assist one another. Jesus Christ is the greatest physician. He healed the sick, brought sight to the blind, restored many to the previous normal state and raised the dead. All of this was performed by the priesthood power of God.

I know without a doubt that the authority or the priesthood is on the earth today as I am an eyewitness to its' restorative power.”

I really feel the same way as that above quoted man.  The most recent miracle I’ve witnessed is Whitney, my daughter.  In church today I wanted to share stories about her and the healing power of the Priesthood but I was shaking just thinking about it.  I knew that if I started I would just cry and cry and not even be able to talk (he he).  Maybe one day I will feel more comfortable talking about Whitney, but for now, I’ll just write it down. 

When I was pregnant with her, and after we received her diagnosis, I needed many priesthood blessings.  There are even special blessing of healing used with consecrated oil.  I remember praying for Heavenly Father to perform a huge miracle by healing Whitney while she was even inside of me.  I always imagined that she was growing healthy, but the next Dr. appointment would always re-confirm her life-threatening situation.  So I decided to just pray for comfort and understanding.  My husband, his step father, and my dad gave me and Whitney several Priesthood blessings.  Mostly on special occasions like getting shots, the amnio, and getting the MRI.  I always felt the spirit so strongly and knew that it helped me and my daughter.

When she was born, my dad and my husband were able to give her a blessing using the special oil.  Normally the NICU only lets two people at the babies bedside at a time but when we asked to have three because we wanted to give her a blessing and I wanted to be there too, they would always let us.  We gave Whitney a blessing just before she was put on the ECMO machine.  We gave her one when she was going to be taken off ECMO.  We also gave Whitney a blessing before she had her CDH repair surgery.  I remember being with her right before hand very clearly.  The surgeons were already dressed and ready and Whitney was draped and looked life-less.  I kissed her head and her hair caught me tears.  The surgeons even said a prayer with us.  (I’m crying now just thinking about it).  They had to remove me from her side and I waited with my whole family in a room.  That part I was probably still crying and praying for her.  A while later, the Surgeon came in said everything went well and that they have high hopes for a good recovery. 

Sorry, anyways back to the Priesthood.  There are several other ways that it has blessed my life.  It has helped guide me to know what the best thing to do for my situation would be.  Some of you may wonder why the women of the church don’t hold the priesthood. From it says:  Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said:

“Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program. Women have a very prominent place in this Church. Men hold the priesthood offices of the Church. But women have a tremendous place in this Church. They have their own organization. It was started in 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith, called the Relief Society, because its initial purpose was to administer help to those in need. It has grown to be, I think, the largest women’s organization in the world... They have their own offices, their own presidency, their own board. That reaches down to the smallest unit of the Church everywhere in the world...

“The men hold the priesthood, yes. But my wife is my companion. In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise.”

I have a firm testimony about the men holding the priesthood; they can perform miracles with it. Women can also perform a miracle; it’s called having a baby!  And yes, I’d prefer that!  The priesthood also helps men become more compassionate and kind and helps them remember to always do good.  The husband and the wife equally receive it’s blessings as do all the children and family members.   

Two last quotes from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says:

 “Women don't hold the priesthood because we don't need it. The purpose of the priesthood is to serve others as Christ served us. Women, regardless of marriage or children, already spend much of their life serving and helping others. Most men don't provide the selfless, Christ like service that women naturally perform. The priesthood is a way for men to perform that service and become closer to God through acting in His name through service. Women lead in the church as strong, confident wives, mothers, teachers, and leaders of children, youth, and in leading the Relief Society, the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world.”

“I feel that men and women both have different but equally important roles in getting us back to God. In God's eternal plan we were spirits in His presence before this life. To progress we needed to get bodies on this earth, then perform specific ordinances (eg baptism, marriage) to return to God after this life. Women were given the godly power to bring spirits into this world and give them bodies, then nurture and raise these children with God's inspiration and guidance. The men were assigned the responsibility (through the God's Priesthood power) to serve others and administer the ordinances that will bring God's children back to His presence after this life. Both roles are necessary and equally important to God's plan for us.

I don't think women need the Priesthood to be powerful influences and to do God's work in their homes and in the church. I see men grow spiritually, and their characters become godlier when they act in God's name through using the Priesthood.

I have never felt the need to hold the Priesthood myself. I can still receive all the blessings offered by the Priesthood, my prayers can be just as powerful, and I still have access to the inspiration of God in my life.”

Thank you for reading my story and I hope you have felt the spirit today. 

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