Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why of the Priesthood Service

The Why of Priesthood Service

 Elder Uchtdorf states that , " It is in the why of the priesthood service that we discover the fire, passion, and power of the priesthood."

When reading this statement in this conference talk by Elder Uchtdorf  it is my prayer that we can all go away with a little more fire and passion, as he describes. 

 Elder Uchdorf states in this talk to the Priesthood of the church, " Applying priesthood doctrine will qualify us as husbands, who understand the why of the priesthood  it's power to recapture and secure the beauty and holiness of eternal families."

I hope you all do walk away feeling priesthood power recapturing and securing the beauty and holiness of eternal families, in your heart. I am very thankful for any opportunity to teach.

When reading about this power that can come from knowing the why of the priesthood, I came to the conclusion that the best way to know the why of the priesthood, is to figure out why knowing the why, could have such an amazing effect on a person?

So why does this power of the priesthood ignite your soul? It is a power from Heaven....

Imagine you are speeding down the freeway and suddenly you hear the blaring music of an ice cream truck and you come to realize this ice cream man is right behind you and trying to flag you down, and waving at you to  pull over. You pull over and he gets out of the ice cream truck, comes to your window and tells you that he is going to write you a speeding ticket for speeding. But you say, " Where do you get your authority to write me a speeding ticket? "

So under which authority or order of the priesthood do most Christian churches claim to operate- the Aaronic or Melchizedek? It wouldn't be expected for these Church's to answer either of those Priesthoods. The only reason we are in a position to make proper explanation is that John the Baptist brought back to this earth the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood and conferred it upon the heads of Joseph  Smith and Oliver Cowldery. The apostles Peter, James and John brought the Melchizedek Priesthood in a like manner. - A Marvelous Work and Wonder , Legrand Richards

I want to share a portion of a talk by president Boyd K. Packer, The Honor and Order of the Priesthood

" In 1976 an area general conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Following the closing session , President Spencer W. Kimball desired to visit the Vor Frue Church, where the Thorvaldsen statues of the Christus and of the Twelve Apostles stand....

" To the front of the church, behind the altar stands the familiar statue of the Christus with his arms turned forward and some what outstretched, the hands showing the imprint of the nails and the wound in his side  clearly visible. Along each side stand the statues of the Apostles Peter, at the front to the right and the other apostles in order.

" In Peters hand depicted in marble is a set of heavy keys. President Kimball pointed to those keys and explained what they symbolized. Then in an act I shall never forget  he turned to president Benthin and with an unaccustomed firmness pointed his finger at him and said, I want you to tell everyone in Denmark that I hold the keys! We hold the real keys and we use them every day."

" We walked to the back of the chapel where the rest of the group was standing. Pointing to the statues, President Kimball said to the kind custodian, These are the dead Apostles, pointing to me he said, Here we have living apostles. Elder Packer is and Apostle. You read about the Seventies in the New Testament, and here are two of the living Seventies, Elder Rex D. Pinger and Elder Robert D. Hales."

" The custodian who up to that time had shown no emotion, was suddenly in tears."

D&C 121:36
" The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven can not be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness."

President Joseph F. Smith further clarified: " The power of God delegated to man by which man can act on the earth for the salvation of the human family, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and act legitimately , not assuming that authority , nor borrowing it from generations that are dead and gone, but authority that has been given in this day in which we live by ministering angels and spirits from above, direct from the presence of the Almighty God.

So we understand that we are immensely blessed to have CORRECT authority of the priesthood. What are some of the blessings that we receive from the priesthood?

Sacrament: is blessed and administered to us by someone holding the Aaronic Priesthood. When we partake of the sacrament we are renuing all covenants entered into with the Lord and we are blessed to always have his spirit to be with us.

Baptism: Is performed by someone holding the Melchizedek priesthood. We can receive remission for our sins. We can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Temple Endowments : The Lord himself made this promise D&C 84:19-21
This greater priesthood of Melchizedek holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom...Therefore in the ordinances thereof ( in example temple ordinances ) the power of godliness is manifest.

Elder Russell M. Nelson stated, " The power we receive through making and keeping covenants is both protective and enabling."

Brigham Young used the same word enable when speaking of the endowment. He said, " Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord , which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens pertaining to the holy priesthood and gain our eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell."

Temple Sealing: James E. Faust stated, " Children of eternal sealing may have visited upon them the divine promises made to their valiant forebears who nobly kept their covenants. Covenants remembered by parents will be remembered by God. The children may this become the beneficiaries and inheritors of these great covenants and promises. This is because they're are the children of the covenant."

From this we see that the priesthood is absolutely necessary for us to receive eternal salvation.

D&C 130:20-21
There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world upon which all blessings are predicated and when we obtain any blessing from God it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

This is congruent with keeping our temple covenants as well. When we keep our temple covenants the power of the priesthood is displayed in our life as we receive the promised blessings, that come with keeping our covenants.

How can you know if you will receive these divine promised blessings made possible by the priesthood?

Elder Uchtdorf says, " Divine blessings for priesthood service are activated by our diligent efforts, our willingness to sacrifice, and our desire to do what is right. Let us be the ones to act and not be acted upon. Preaching is fine, but sermons that do not lead to action, are like fires without heat or water that can not quench thirst."

" We all know that it takes self-discipline to remain focused on the matters that have the greatest power to increase our love for God and fellow man, invigorate marriages, srenghthen families, and build the kingdom of God on earth. Like a fruit tree with abundance of branches  and leaves,our lives need regulare pruning to endure we use our energy and time to accomplish our real purpose- to "bring forth good fruit."

"So how do we know what to select? We each have the responsibility to determine this for ourselves. However we are commanded to diligently study the scriptures, heed the words of a phrophet and make it a matter of serious dedicated prayer."

I want to  remind you of the parable of the talents in Mathew chapter 25

When the servant whom the Lord had given him five talents came back and brought another five talents he said, " Lord thou deliverest unto me five talents, behold I have gained beside them five talents more."
His Lord said to him, Well done though good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord."

We have the blessing of the priesthood in our lives, let us remember where much is given, much is expected.

I would like to remember what a blessing it is that we have the restored Gospel on the earth and that we have the opportunity to share the blessings of the priesthood not only with ourselves, but also with our ancestors or just those other special souls that never got a chance to receive the necessary ordinances.

I would like to remember that we need to share our testimony that we have the real keys of the priesthood in our lives and teach and invite others to come to church with us to receive these eternal rewards along with us.

I want to share this why that we need this priesthood service with my family, and teach my children to respect their opportunity of having priesthood ordinances in their lives by acting as if it is a treasure everyday to be able to be baptised a member of God's church and to be able to be sealed to families for eternity.

I want to share a video of Joseph Smith. I can't imagine how excited everyone in heaven must have been to know the earth would once again receive the authority of the priesthood on it once again.

I hope we can all go to Cumorah....and feel why this priesthood is such a blessing in our lives....

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Law irrevocably decreed in Heaven

God’s choicest blessings are clearly contingent upon obedience to God’s laws and commandments. The key teaching is from modern revelation:

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21).

This great principle helps us understand the why of many things, like justice and mercy balanced by the Atonement. It also explains why God will not forestall the exercise of agency by His children. Agency—our power to choose—is fundamental to the gospel plan that brings us to earth. God does not intervene to forestall the consequences of some persons’ choices in order to protect the well-being of other persons—even when they kill, injure, or oppress one another—for this would destroy His plan for our eternal progress.

 He will bless us to endure the consequences of others’ choices, but He will not prevent those choices.

If a person understands the teachings of Jesus, he or she cannot reasonably conclude that our loving Heavenly Father or His divine Son believes that Their love supersedes Their commandments. Consider these examples.
When Jesus began His ministry, His first message was repentance.

When He exercised loving mercy by not condemning the woman taken in adultery, He nevertheless told her, “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).

Jesus taught, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
The effect of God’s commandments and laws is not changed to accommodate popular behavior or desires. If anyone thinks that godly or parental love for an individual grants the loved one license to disobey the law, he or she does not understand either love or law. The Lord declared: “That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still” (D&C 88:35).

We read in modern revelation, “All kingdoms have a law given” (D&C 88:36). For example:
“He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
“And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
“And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory” (D&C 88:22–24).
In other words, the kingdom of glory to which the Final Judgment assigns us is not determined by love but by the law that God has invoked in His plan to qualify us for eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).

In teaching and reacting to their children, parents have many opportunities to apply these principles. One such opportunity has to do with the gifts parents bestow on their children. Just as God has bestowed some gifts on all of His mortal children without requiring their personal obedience to His laws, parents provide many benefits like housing and food even if their children are not in total harmony with all parental requirements. But, following the example of an all-wise and loving Heavenly Father who has given laws and commandments for the benefit of His children, wise parents condition some parental gifts on obedience.
If parents have a wayward child—such as a teenager indulging in alcohol or drugs—they face a serious question. Does parental love require that these substances or their consumption be allowed in the home, or do the requirements of civil law or the seriousness of the conduct or the interests of other children in the home require that this be forbidden?

To pose an even more serious question, if an adult child is living in cohabitation, does the seriousness of sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage require that this child feel the full weight of family disapproval by being excluded from any family contacts, or does parental love require that the fact of cohabitation be ignored? I have seen both of these extremes, and I believe that both are inappropriate.
Where do parents draw the line? That is a matter for parental wisdom, guided by the inspiration of the Lord. There is no area of parental action that is more needful of heavenly guidance or more likely to receive it than the decisions of parents in raising their children and governing their families. This is the work of eternity.
As parents grapple with these problems, they should remember the Lord’s teaching that we leave the ninety and nine and go out into the wilderness to rescue the lost sheep.

 President Thomas S. Monson has called for a loving crusade to rescue our brothers and sisters who are wandering in the wilderness of apathy or ignorance.

 These teachings require continued loving concern, which surely requires continued loving associations.
Parents should also remember the Lord’s frequent teaching that “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (Hebrews 12:6).

  In his conference talk on tolerance and love, Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that “real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior.”

Wherever the line is drawn between the power of love and the force of law, the breaking of commandments is certain to impact loving family relationships. Jesus taught:
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
“For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
“The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother” (Luke 12:51–53).
This sobering teaching reminds us that when family members are not united in striving to keep the commandments of God, there will be divisions. We do all that we can to avoid impairing loving relationships, but sometimes it happens after all we can do.

In the midst of such stress, we must endure the reality that the straying of our loved ones will detract from our happiness, but it should not detract from our love for one another or our patient efforts to be united in understanding God’s love and God’s laws.

I testify of the truth of these things, which are part of the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Christ, of whom I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Believe things that can not be seen

The Holy Spirit can enter into the heart of an individual only if that person opens his or her heart. Thus our agency is always protected.

If our hearts are skeptical or insensitive, if we are doubtful or apathetic to the point we dismiss out of hand the word which is shared with us then the process of faith is left dormant. It can go no further.

Give seed that the word may be planted in your heart....

Scripture reading : Alma 32:28 , Mathew chapter 13th

Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day.
Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray.
Faith is like a little seed:
If planted it will grow.
Faith is a swelling within my heart.
When I do right, I know.