03 May 2009

Priesthood Blessings

Today our Relief Society President, Deborah Pilling taught us a wonderful lesson about honoring the Priesthood, as women. Her lesson was taken from Lesson 13: Women and the Priesthood in the manual, Latter-Day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A. The very first line of the lesson is: "[The priesthood] is … the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 139). The Lord has assigned to men the chief responsibility for the governing and presiding over the affairs of the Church and the family. They in turn are to use this sacred power to bless and benefit all members of the Church—men, women, and children". I think this was a very simple explanation defining Priesthood. As someone who grew up 'in the church', but not with the Priesthood in my home, sometimes simple things like the opening above are great reminders. During the course of the discussion, many people had some wonderful comments and there was great presence of the Spirit and edification for those in attendance.

One of these comments prompted me to share a story about my dad, who was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was sick with kidney failure for 13 years. With this, when he would get sick, it would be a big deal and I would always ask him if he wanted a blessing. He never turned the offer/idea down. We would call in our home teachers or whoever we could and a blessing would be given. Finally, after 13 years, his body was tired and he was in the hospital for what would be the last week of his life. He did have a blessing when he was first admitted in the hospital. A few days later, they thought things were looking up, so I went home and in the half hour it took me to get there, they figured out what had been wrong with him and needed to get him into surgery, so I rushed back up to the hospital. During that time, my dad looked at my mom and her sister, a devout Catholic, and then looked at the Dr and asked for a blessing. It was President's Day and the call went out over the PA system for anyone who could help. No one responded. My mission president lived nearby, so I went to his house, he was out of town. We called our home teacher/bishopric, who headed up to the hospital. He was not able to have the blessing that day, but it turned out for the best and he did receive a blessing a couple of days later when he needed it even more!

After sharing that story, Sister Pilling commented that what she liked about that story was not only that after all that time, my dad had the FAITH for himself to ask and receive, but that as a child I had the FAITH that a blessing was needed and would work, every time! I had never thought about that story or experiences as being about me or my FAITH, but rather that my dad believed in that power enough to accept such a wonderful blessing many times over the years. More stories were shared and quotes read, but her comment back to me touched me greatly and was something that I desperately needed to hear at that time.

We also talked about making our homes a place where the Priesthood holder can be worthy of honoring his Priesthood. Praying for the them among many other things that most of us already know and do. I love those in my life that have the Priesthood and hope that they know that I do pray for them and honor the power that comes with holding the Priesthood. This is an amazing power and I have seen it at work in my life many times. I hope that the futures hold many more experiences and even more personal ones...I have not given up on the possibilities that lie ahead!!!

On another thought, I did have another experience or rather comment I wanted to make, but it wasn't mine to share and that person was not there, so I will just say thank you to Sis Pilling for bringing me some much needed comfort and extra FAITH. Also, thank you to some wonderful neighbors we have that set a wonderful example for us of not only FAITH, love, honoring the Priesthood, but in having fun and that infertility (a whole other million blogs I could write about) is indeed a blessing that needs to be recognized and accepted.
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