Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lving below our privileges and the Lord’s expectations.

Privilege: a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.

Expectation: the act of to looking for with reason or justification

Today’s Zion Family message is for us in the Dixon clan who bear the Melchizedek Priesthood – all of the adult men.  I also pray that my grandsons will be taught these words and internalize them.  What a blessing is the priesthood of the living God!

image In the last general conference, Elder Packer challenged us to live up to the potential we have as bearers of the priesthood:

“Too many of our priesthood brethren are living below their privileges and the Lord’s expectations.”

I felt that Elder Packer was speaking directly to me.  I can and must rise to the level of my privileges and the Lord’s expectations.  I pray that all my sons (and of course, my sons-in-law) will do the same.

Our privileges, should we choose to accept?

The Savior wants to endow us with his power, so we can lead our families back into his presence.

D&C 84:19-23

  19 And this greater apriesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the bkey of the cmysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the dknowledge of God.

  20 Therefore, in the aordinances thereof, the power of bgodliness is manifest.

  21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the aauthority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is bnot manifest unto men in the flesh;

  22 For without this no aman can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

  23 Now this aMoses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to bsanctify his people that they might cbehold the face of God;


The Lord’s expectation?

He expects and requires that we magnify our calling as husbands and fathers, patriarchs in our homes:

D&C 84:19-23

  33 For whoso is afaithful unto the obtaining these two bpriesthoods of which I have spoken, and the cmagnifying their calling, are dsanctified by the Spirit unto the erenewing of their bodies.

  34 They become the asons of Moses and of Aaron and the bseed of cAbraham, and the church and kingdom, and the delect of God.

Brother Packer put it this way:

We need everyone. The tired or worn out or lazy and even those who are bound down with guilt must be restored through repentance and forgiveness. …

We must go forward, confident of the supernal power of the priesthood. It is a source of strength and encouragement to know who we are and what we have and what we must do in the work of the Almighty.

We have all been ordained to the Priesthood.  We have authority. What we must do is rise up and develop the power of the Priesthood:

Priesthood is the authority and the power which God has granted to men on earth to act for Him. When priesthood authority is exercised properly, priesthood bearers do what He would do if He were present.

We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be. …

The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.

The reason we bear the priesthood is for the benefit of our families.  We must rise up and lead our families by the power of the priesthood:

Now, fathers, I would remind you of the sacred nature of your calling. You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power. You will receive direction from the Lord by way of the gift of the Holy Ghost. (my emphasis)

The adversary is not actively disturbing our Church meetings—perhaps only occasionally. By and large we are free to assemble as we wish without much disruption. But he and those who follow him are persistent in attacking the home and the family.

The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children might be happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.

I bear you my solemn witness that the power of the priesthood is real.  The power comes from the living Christ.  We know it is real. We have felt it in our homes. It has blessed the lives of our family members.  But now, we must seek that power more than ever.  The power of the priesthood will be what guides and carries our families through the the buffetings of the modern world.

I fervently pray that we will individually and collectively rise to claim our rightful privileges and magnify our calling as fathers as the Savior expects.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reflecting the Greatness of God

Dear Family:

Yesterday, a friend of mine from Canada shared a blog post on Facebook entitled “Reflecting the Greatness of God”, speaking of Solomon building the Temple in Jerusalem.  He referred to 2 Chronicles 2:5, which reads, in his translation of the bible:

“The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods.”

The King James version reads:

“And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.”

My friend’s comments include:

“Solomon’s perspective of God drives what he does, and how he does it, to reflect the magnificence and greatness of his God. He brings together the best skills and resources to make it happen, first for the temple and then for his palace. …

“God deserves my very best. My life should reflect His greatness. Does it?

“Everything I do should be done with excellence. That means I should focus on those things for which I am gifted, working with others in their giftings. And I need to give those things the time it takes to do the work well.”

That is great advice for us all.  May all we do reflect the magnificence and greatness of our God.  May we strive to live our lives in harmony with Him.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Choose the Way of Eternal Life

Dear Family:

In our scripture study this morning, we read this wonderful verse:

Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

2 Nephi 10:23

What a wonderful thing it is to have the freedom to choose!  I pray that we may all exercise that agency to choose the way of eternal life – together, as an eternal family.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Illuminated by the Light

Dear Family:

A scripture that gives me hope each time I read it:

Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word …

Alma 5:7

May we all be filled with the light that emanates from the only one true source of light and truth, the Savior of the world.



Monday, May 17, 2010

The Lighthouse of the Lord

Dear family:

During my early morning walk, I was impressed with these words from President Monson:

… look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue.

Thomas S. Monson, A World at Closing, April 2010 General Conference

May we all look to the Lighthouse of the Lord as we meet the challenges of our everyday lives.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Be Strong. Cleave to the Lord. Choose Him.

Dear Family:

Three passages of scripture that inspired me during Gospel Doctrine class this afternoon:

… Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.  (Joshua 1:9)

cleave unto the Lord your God (Joshua 23:8)

choose you this day whom ye will serve; … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hold to the Rod and Each Other

Dear Family:

Oquirrh Mountain Temple - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsWhen Claudia, Angie and I attended Katie Larsen’s wedding in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, the officiator’s comments were brief, spoken very softly, but memorable.  Two specific things he recommended that Katie and Troy remember were “we are trying to live a Celestial life in a Telestial world” and “hold to the rod and each other.”

It seems to me that living by the second concept makes it possible to accomplish the first.  We have been taught many times about “holding to the rod,” but this is the first time I had heard the concept of “holding to the rod and each other.”  We are bound together as a family by the sealing power.  Taking advantage of that eternal blessing, we should cling tightly to each other in our own little family units, and across the generations to our larger, extended eternal family.  As we do that, empowered by the strength we receive from the iron rod – the Word of God – we will be able to enjoy the joy and peace of living Celestial Lives in a Telestial World.