Sunday, May 12, 2013

"This is My Work and Glory"

This talk was given by Elder M. Russell Ballard during the Saturday morning session of General Conference. This was another one that hit me the minute I heard it. I couldn't take notes fast enough! I fear that my notes on this talk are entirely inadequate, so I'm going to post a few direct quotes (with highlights of statements that I also took note of) from Elder Ballard and then will finish up with a few notes I took.

"Brothers and sisters, the power by which the heavens and earth were and are created is the priesthood. Those of us who are members of the Church know that the source of this priesthood power is God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ. Not only is the priesthood the power by which the heavens and the earth were created, but it is also the power the Savior used in His mortal ministry to perform miracles, to bless and heal the sick, to bring the dead to life, and, as our Father’s Only Begotten Son, to endure the unbearable pain of Gethsemane and Calvary—thus fulfilling the laws of justice with mercy and providing an infinite Atonement and overcoming physical death through the Resurrection.

"It is the keys of this priesthood authority and resultant power that He gave to Peter, James, and John and His other Apostles to bless others and to bind in heaven that which is bound on earth.

"The power of the priesthood is a sacred and essential gift of God. It is different from priesthood authority, which is the authorization to act in God’s name. The authorization or ordination is given by the laying on of hands. The power of the priesthood comes only when those who exercise it are worthy and acting in accordance with God’s will. As President Spencer W. Kimball declared, “The Lord has given to all of us, as holders of the priesthood, certain of his authority, but we can only tap the powers of heaven on the basis of our personal righteousness” (“Boys Need Heroes Close By,” Ensign, May 1976, 45)."

"In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife. And as husband and wife, a man and a woman should strive to follow our Heavenly Father. The Christian virtues of love, humility, and patience should be their focus as they seek the blessings of the priesthood in their lives and for their family.
  •  Elder Ballard shared a story of the tomato plant and how a seven-year-old granddaughter was talking to her grandfather about how millions of tomatoes can come from just one seed if it is nourished properly. Elder Ballard said: "Brothers and sisters, as the literal spirit children of our loving Heavenly Father, we have unlimited, divine potential. But if we are not careful, we can become like the wilted tomato plant. We can drift away from the true doctrine and gospel of Christ and become spiritually undernourished and wilted, having removed ourselves from the divine light and living waters of the Savior’s eternal love and priesthood power."
    • Do NOT become spiritually undernourished. Do NOT neglect the things that will help you grow!
  • The priesthood strengthens us ALL, regardless of circumstance.
  • See to strengthen ourselves, our family, and the church through the power of the priesthood.

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