Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Priesthood Power and Covenants

            I love Relief Society. It is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the world. It is a wonderful organization for the benefit of women and families everywhere. The visiting teaching program is part of the Relief Society. Usually, two visiting teachers are assigned to visit each sister in a ward. I love the fact that special sisters are looking after me, and I love being a visiting teacher. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to learn from my sisters as we share the monthly message.

            The visiting teaching message for June is “Priesthood Power through Keeping Covenants.” In the lesson several Apostles and a former Relief Society General President teach us how to obtain more priesthood power, a power that is available to both men and women.

            Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “My message to … all is that we can live every hour “blessed by the strength of priesthood power,” whatever our circumstance. … As you worthily participate in the ordinances of the priesthood, the Lord will give you greater strength, peace, and eternal perspective. Whatever your situation, your home will be “blessed by the strength of priesthood power.”

            Elder Andersen’s quoted words come from a Primary song (“Love Is Spoken Here,” Children’s Songbook, 190-91; words and music written by Janice Kapp Perry). The words and music are absolutely beautiful. I particularly love to hear my children and grandchildren sing it in their family home evenings. The girls sing the first verse, and then the boys sing the second verse. Then they sing the verses at the same time and end by singing the third verse together.

1. (Girls) I see my mother kneeling with our family each day.
I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.
Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears,
And I am thankful love is spoken here.

2. (Boys) Mine is a home where ev’ry hour
Is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow’r,
With father and mother leading the way,
Teaching me how to trust and obey;
And the things they teach are crystal clear,
For love is spoken here.

3. (3rd ending) I can often feel the Savior near
When love is spoken here.

            Priesthood power is very real. In fact, it is the greatest power on earth or in heaven. It is a power that can bless every home and every family. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles answers the question of how to invite priesthood power into our lives by reminding us that “those who have entered the waters of baptism and subsequently received their endowment in the house of the Lord are eligible for rich and wonderful blessings. The endowment is literally a gift of power … [and] our Father in Heaven is generous with His power.” He also reminds us that men and women “are both endowed with the same power” in the temple, “which by definition is priesthood power.”

            Sister Linda K. Burton, former Relief Society General President, teaches about priesthood power from a female point of view by asking an important question and then giving her answer: “Since priesthood power is something we all desire to have in our families and homes, what do we need to do to invite that power into our lives? Personal righteousness is imperative to having priesthood power.”

            President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, adds to the answer by Sister Burton with this statement: “If we will humbly present ourselves before the Lord and ask Him to teach us, He will show us how to increase our access to His power.”

            Since we are all individuals with our own issues and problems, it makes sense that we need Heavenly Father to teach us the particulars of what we personally need to do in order to “increase our access to His power.” He will give us the answers we need when we are ready to receive them. This is a quest that I have been on for years. I assume that it will take the rest of my life and then some to learn all that I need to know. One thing that I know now is that I can “increase” my access to priesthood power by humbly seeking the Lord’s help and by keeping the covenants that I have made with Him. I encourage you to join me in this quest.

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