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.