Elder Oaks – Power of the Priesthood (Clarifying Awesomeness)

April 30, 2014 in Faith, gifts of the spirit - power of the priesthood, Signs of the Believers by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

Lately it has happened that,  what I understand about the power of the priesthood, has been mocked using my name. “Apparently Bronwen has the priesthood. Har har.”

I would clarify, using Elder Oaks’ words:

“As Elder M. Russell Ballard has explained, “Those who have priesthood keys … literally make it possible for all who serve faithfully under their direction to exercise priesthood authority and have access to priesthood power.”5

And: “With the exception of the sacred work that sisters do in the temple under the keys held by the temple president, which I will describe hereafter, only one who holds a priesthood office can officiate in a priesthood ordinance. And all authorized priesthood ordinances are recorded on the records of the Church.”

Here he clarifies, beautifully, everything I have been taught by the Holy Ghost about women’s roles using the power of the priesthood. Clearly officers who are authorized are the only ones to do ordinances – baby blessings, sacrament, baptism, confirmation/command to receive the Holy Ghost, temple ordinances, patriarchal blessings. (I can’t think of any more that are recorded on the records of the church. If you can think of any more ordinances let me know via comment below.)

I do not think I should (nor do I hope to have) office in the priesthood. But I do believe what is taught by Joseph Smith (and the apostle Paul) about signs of the believers and spiritual gifts, and that those things are made possible by the power of the priesthood in all of God’s children. Increased portions as we are ordained, by priesthood officers, to membership in the Church via the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. And increased again through receiving further ordination, by those with priesthood authority, through ordinances in the temple.

“Prest. Smith continued the subject  by adverting to the commission given to the ancient apostles  “Go ye into all the world” &c.— no matter who believeth; these  signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils &c. should  follow all that believe whether male or female. He ask’d  the Society if they could not see by this sweeping stroke, that  wherein they are ordaind, it is the privilege of those set apart to  administer in that authority which is confer’d on them— and if  the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold  their tongues, and let every thing roll on.” (Nauvoo R.S. Minutes, Joseph Smith Jr. Original Emphasis.)

Isn’t it amazing to think that when you participate in an ordinance you are ordained? We are ordained members of the church. Not officers. But we have been ordained to membership by officers holding keys to ordain us. Very cool. (I think if the organization known as “ordain women” were to see that ordaining clearly they would be more confident in what is already conferred upon them. But I am grateful for their movement in that it brought some things to the memory of the Lord’s people – even if they are going about it all wrong… from what I can see anyway.)

Again, I hold office (and worthy officers) in high respect, and I do not demand it, nor do I expect it or want it.

I’m sad for those who mock the doctrine, by mocking me and what I have learned. I love them and I hope they will do their work to study out the truth and how it applies to them personally – and how spiritual gifts/signs of the believers effects every individual’s personal salvation… and negatively so, if they DO NOTHING with them.

Can’t Be Poisioned – Power of the Priesthood

April 26, 2014 in Faith, Food, gifts of the spirit - power of the priesthood, Priesthood, Signs of the Believers by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

 

You know how the scriptures say that true believers can’t be poisoned? This video is my ramblings about what occurred to me last night as I was pondering the kind of purity (using the power of the priesthood) we can achieve in order to be protected – completely! – from the poisons in the air, food, water, and every other method of slow or quick poison that the conspiring devil has “bitten” us with.

Miracles and the Power of the Priesthood

April 8, 2014 in Faith, gifts of the spirit - power of the priesthood, Priesthood, Signs of the Believers, Uncategorized, values for children by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I’ve been studying out the word “miracles” which, obviously are powered by the power of the priesthood. It is very clearly evident in all of the scriptures I’ve found that that power is increased in us with baptism… and then each ordinance we participate after that only increases the power of God in us.

You know what? I feel I should say, that we are BORN with a portion of that power. The light of Christ. It’s in every single child of God born on this Earth. Each one of us have a particular mission that we committed to whether we figure it out or not. That is very cool. :)

Miracles of Christ by the hands of the Believers

Slide 3 - Miracles - Nephi - If God Commands I can do it

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints know this story. It is the story of Nephi, after having come through several years in the wilderness – becoming a grown man through that period of time – and the Lord commanded him to build a big boat. Something that could carry his entire family and the family of Ishmael across the ocean for unknown number of days and storms, etc. until they came to the land of promise (North America).

Nephi was a city kid who had learned to survive in the wilderness by obeying the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He had gained many spiritual gifts as he traveled and obeyed, including the gifts of prophesy, and revelation. I’m sure he laid hold on many of the best gifts. He was Nephi.

So, when he went to his family and explained that the Lord had issued a commandment to him to build a boat (something he knew nothing about) his faithless older brothers mocked him, saying things along the lines of: “You’re just a city kid and you’ve never done anything like that before. How do you even know God said to do it. You belong in a mental institution.”

That’s when Nephi talked about miracles.

He explained that by the power of God (the power of the priesthood) he could do whatever God prompted him (commanded him) to do. He was confident in God that he could build that boat, even if he didn’t know how yet. He knew that the Lord would teach him by the power of the Holy Ghost. AMAZING FAITH! I LOVE Nephi!!

He is such a good example of a regular guy becoming something magnificent just because he obeyed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. No wonder he was able to achieve the visions and blessings that he did (that all of us can/should be going after).

I submit that the power that was in him to be able to achieve fulfilling any commandment that God gave him was the power of the priesthood. It is the power to do miracles. Any member of the Church can and should be doing them, as we are His hands. We are commanded “His works to do” because we follow after His discipline: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful day!

Bronwen

Click to read “Gifts of the Spirit – Power of the Priesthood – Stop Talking and Start Doing”

 

Gifts of the Spirit – Power in the Priesthood – Stop Talking – Start Doing

March 28, 2014 in Faith, gifts of the spirit - power of the priesthood by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I’m sitting here, as I type this post, with my oldest daughter – who is almost 8 years old. I’m thinking about her powerful gifts of the spirit that she already possesses. I can see that once she gets baptized and is confirmed a member of Christ’s Church – when that first power of the priesthood mantle is laid upon her shoulders – she will be a powerful force for good. If she chooses.

We are sitting here doing her school work. She is trying very hard to just talk about it instead of picking up her pencil and doing the work that it takes to complete the task. If you could hear all of the typical excuses that are coming out of her little self.

A normal, natural-man tendency. We all battle with that I think.

Thinking of this tendency when it comes to gifts of the spirit and power of the priesthood, I can see that if we spend too much time talking about it instead of allowing the Lord to guide us to a need and laying our hands on the person who needs a blessing (if that is the type of spiritual gift we happen to possess. There are so many!) then we are spending too much time wasting time.

Let’s say someone has the talent (or gift of the spirit) to sing beautifully. If that person hides the talent and only uses it in his or her shower… and then talks about it like it is their gift but is then unwilling to seek out opportunities to use that gift with the power of the priesthood and bring souls unto Christ… I think you get my point.

I hope that today, I can teach my daughter to focus her power on completing tasks. I hope I can teach her to use her gifts/talents to achieve something that matters to the Lord. Like helping Him achieve His work and His Glory.

That’s all for now.

Love,

Bronwen

Click to read “Gifts of the Spirit and Power of the Priesthood”

LDS General Women’s Conference!

March 22, 2014 in Just What's Going On, Relief Society, values for children by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I’m looking forward to this LDS General Women’s Conference. I also think it may be significant that it is for all baptized members who are 8 years old or older. I think this is wonderful!

Gifts of the Spirit – Power of the Priesthood

March 18, 2014 in Faith, Priesthood, Signs of the Believers by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I’ve been researching the “power in the priesthood” / “power of the priesthood” topic today, specifically with reference to Gifts of the Spirit.

I find more and more information from the 12 apostles and the 70. Oh my goodness! I feel more and more confident that this is truly a message that our leaders are trying to get us to go to the Lord to figure out and act upon. Here is what Elder Neil L. Andersen said in a recent General Conference:

Power in the Priesthood

By Elder Neil L. Andersen

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“…To receive the blessings, power, and promises of the priesthood in this life and the next is one of the great opportunities and responsibilities of mortality. As we are worthy, the ordinances of the priesthood enrich our lives on earth and prepare us for the magnificent promises of the world ahead. The Lord said, “In the ordinances … the power of godliness is manifest.”3

There are special blessings from God for every worthy person who is baptized, receives the Holy Ghost, and regularly partakes of the sacrament. The temple brings added light and strength, along with the promise of eternal life.4

All of the ordinances invite us to increase our faith in Jesus Christ and to make and keep covenants with God. As we keep these sacred covenants, we receive priesthood power and blessings.

Do we not feel this power of the priesthood in our own lives and see it among the covenant-keeping members of the Church? We see it in new converts as they step from the waters of baptism feeling forgiven and clean. We see our children and youth more sensitive to the promptings and guidance of the Holy Ghost. We see the ordinances of the temple becoming a beacon of strength and light for righteous men and women across the world…”

Notice he said “every worthy person who is baptized, and receives the Holy Ghost”?

How about adding Gifts of the Spirit to the equation and you get a major responsibility of every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who has achieved the actual receipt of the Holy Ghost in their life! Exciting! Lookie:

Now read the words of Jesus Christ about Gifts of the Spirit:

D&C 84:63-73 (This can also be found in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.)

63 And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine aapostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath bgiven me; ye are my cfriends;

 64 Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every asoul who bbelieveth on your words, and is baptized by water for the cremission of sins, shall dreceive the Holy Ghost.

 65 And these asigns shall follow them that believe—

 66 In my name they shall do many wonderful aworks;

 67 In my aname they shall cast out devils;

 68 In my name they shall aheal the sick;

 69 In my name they shall aopen the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;

 70 And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;

 71 And if any man shall administer apoison unto them it shall not hurt them;

 72 And the apoison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.

 73 But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not aboast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.

Notice again that Christ says “every soul who is baptized, and receives the Holy Ghost”?

I’ve come to understand that the power of the priesthood is the element that powers Gifts of the Spirit. Most people know it as “faith”. Joseph Smith established that it was by “faith” that the heavens and the earth were created by Christ. I believe him. Elder Ballard defined the same power this way:

“…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…”

 Elder Ballard also said this:

“…More distinctive, influential voices of faith from women are needed, for only women can show the world what women of God who have made covenants look like and believe.”

When we study our baptismal covenants thoroughly and listen to the Holy Ghost, as directed by the Brethren who stand in priesthood authority (the General Authorities) and hold and use priesthood keys for administering the major ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we should all come to the same unified understanding of the importance of the achieving, and use of Gifts of the Spirit powered by faith/power of the priesthood.

There has been some misconception over the years as people have tried to figure out what this is all about. I’ve studied them all and I can witness that the preachings that match up to the scriptures/words of Christ most closely are the ones being spoken by our leaders now. It can be confusing, but if we are relying on the Holy Ghost (a member of the Godhead) with a full bodied “lean with all our weight” type of reliance then we are going to understand how this all fits together. And we will unitedly understand how the power of the priesthood is passed along to all through the authority, and keys of the priesthood that are protected by the brethren.

I feel strongly that we should be teaching our sweet young children who are preparing for baptism, that they are preparing to partake in a full two way covenant. That their part in it is to receive the Holy Ghost – no matter how long that takes them – and then go about defining the Gifts of the Spirit that came to them with their baptism and use them fearlessly.

Fear is gripping. Our children… oh how they need to have fearlessness bred into their very fibers.

Can you imagine a newly baptized 8 year old with the courage to act as a true believer of Jesus Christ in a serious situation where one of their friends gets an injury? To be fearless to lay their hands upon the head of their friend and command the healing to be – in the name of their Savior which they know they have taken upon themselves and must act in – it’s part of their baptismal covenant.

Wonderful!

Love,

Bronwen

The Inner Battle – Whose Voice Am I Hearing Anyway?

March 17, 2014 in Faith, Prayer by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I am very excited about something. A blog that I follow: http://unblogmysoul.wordpress.com has recently begun accepting reader submissions. As a blogger this excites me! To get to bear witness on their wonderful blog this way is… yeah, I’m happy about this.

This topic comes into my life at the perfect time.

I recently had an experience where I received a prompting from the Holy Ghost that the adversary highjacked and turned against me! It was so awful! Please bear with me as I tell the story. As I go you should be able to see the obvious “how to’s” that I learned from going through this little trial.

Most of my life I have battled with caring too much what people think of me. It’s not about the way I look, or the house I live in, or car I drive. I really don’t care at all about what people think of those things. However, I have always struggled with the worry about what people say about me – what they say about the things I say… and how those rumors might come back to bite me later. (Cause in my teenage years that happened a lot. It hurt.)

Fear Is Very Gripping.

A few weeks ago I had a true blue prompting from the Holy Ghost. Over the years I have come to be more and more clear on who is who. My head ponders, and runs all over the place. The Lord is very direct and rarely asks me questions. The adversary rakes me over the coals.

This particular prompting was kind of big. It was potentially humiliating if I didn’t play my cards right. (Which is exactly what the adversary wanted me to fear. Duh.) Yet, the prompting originally came with such peace and direction – understanding – that I accepted and moved forward to obey. It was that moment that the enemy came in – yet I didn’t realize it had happened. Sneeky punks. :P

I made the mistake of forgetting to ASK the Lord how He meant for me to go about my new assignment and skipped straight to doing the first thing that popped into my head. (Which I also failed to run past the Lord to make sure it was even from Him.) That thing was going to make me appear to be a nutcase to a LOT of people – one at a time. And because I was willing to completely sacrifice myself for obedience to the Lord I actually started to move forward in the action…. UGH!

Needless to say that fear quickly took over when I failed to go through the appropriate motions to know for myself how I should really be going about my work. It was such an awful day. I couldn’t stop crying. My heart was in a complete dither, and I truly was just running in circles in my mind – unable to get a clear answer from the Lord until after I let the fear go.

That’s when I learned that the Lord did NOT want me to go about fulfilling His wishes in the way that the adversary had whispered to me. He had other plans that were a lot more work, but feel 100% peaceful, and He is helping me.

It’s true that fear is not faith.

So, how do I tell between my voice, His voice, and our enemy’s voices? It has a great deal to do with how I feel when that voice presents itself. I frequently ask: “Wait, Heavenly Father, did I just say that to myself?” And generally if I think I am, these days anyway, then I am. There was a time in my personal revelation training that I frequently had to ask that question. If I am open to His answer (instead of wanting the answer to be a specific thing) then I can hear Him – He answers clearly and simply.

The adversary plants seeds of doubt. He hates our guts, and he wants nothing more than to send us into a tail spin.

The Lord is specific.

If the Lord says: “Stop watching T.V. forever.” then the adversary is going to say: “But how will you spend time with your husband?” and “It’s okay if you’re snuggling with your husband. He needs time with you too.” But the blessings that flow from obedience are far greater than snuggling. And another way to spend time with our loved ones will present itself if we endure in the ways of Christ.

There are a lot of scriptures that I could quote about this topic, but I don’t feel to quote them. The Lord has commanded us to hear His voice. It is a wonderful thing. I know there are a lot of people out there who struggle as I used to, thinking that “the Lord doesn’t talk to me that way.” But I know that He does speak to us all. If someone like me could break through then anyone can do it! :)

holy ghost dov

Have a wonderful day!

Bronwen

 

What is Humility? What is Pride?

February 8, 2014 in Just What's Going On, Prayer, values for children by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I have had a fascinating experience. FRUSTRATING beyond much I’ve ever experienced in my life because before I could benefit from it… I had to learn how to get out of my own way on a whole new level.

Here is what happened.

I told you I have been learning about the importance of meditation, and that visualization in connection with prayer to connect directly with the power of the atonement is what meditation is – at least that is how I understand it so far. This definition will be refined, I am sure. But for now, this is how I understand the principle, and application of meditation. (Which two prophets have said is the most sincere form of worship.)

So I entered into a visualization of my choosing where I focused my energy on tapping directly into the power of the atonement. I imagined it being a place full of glowing, beautiful, white, warm light that was so thick that I would swish it around in my fingers and feel the energy of it in my hands and all around me. I then swirled that energy around to create a little whirl pool type of thing and I grabbed the bottom of it and placed it in my brain.

(Why my brain? Well, I feel strongly that the brain is the hub of my physical beliefs. My brain connects to everything. My beliefs, pain, sickness, etc., etc., etc..)

So in my brain it went!

From here, with the spinning vortex of the Saviors atoning power invited into my physical brain, I began to command damaging beliefs to be replaced with truth. (I have a lot of false beliefs and fears to deal with. I’ll elaborate.) What an amazing experience! I felt all lit up inside. Warm, relaxed, and LIGHT. It is wonderful! I’ll never go back. HOWEVER… (and I wish I had been forewarned so I could have been prepared to allow things to flow instead of fighting against progress.) It stirred me up. Yes. After I released the power back to it’s home until the next time I was ready to focus on using it, I would close my eyes and words were literally spinning in my head.

The result? Well, because I fought against it and tried to get it to go away, it was a constant interruption in my thought process. I’m very visual (which the Lord knows. What better way to get through to me than with pictures of words swirling around in my mind? Brilliant.) and every time I would close my eyes to try to remember what I was doing I would see the swirling words and think I was going crazy! Very frustrating.

The swirling words remained for 2 weeks or so until…

I finally recognized that I could almost catch sight of a word that I thought might be “beautiful”. But I wasn’t sure. It was moving way too fast. It was that day that someone I love suggested that I needed to relax and let it happen. “What are you trying to tell me?” was an important question that I had failed to ask up to that point.  (Duh.)

That night I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do to get into the zone and get some answers.

I felt to cleanse my home, and then enter into my meditation through the same visualization that I had been using. When I got there and got the swirly energy attached to my brain I just simply began to pray. “What are you trying to tell me?”

Immediately (yep. That instant.) the spinning stopped. All the words were really blurry. Like looking at a picture with huge pixels… up close. I couldn’t read anything. So I just waited quietly and kept looking. Three words came to the “surface” (so to speak) and I could read them. It was a replacement belief for a false belief. “I Am Beautiful.” In a rush of understanding I knew what this meant. I am (all of us are) the workmanship of His hands. I’ve heard this before but DIDN’T BELIEVE that I was really all that beautiful. Just… meh. Ya know?

Anyway, so that punched me in the stomach a little.

I struggle with the idea of owning something like “I Am Beautiful” because I thought that confidently owning that sort of thing means that I’m not humble. And I didn’t want to fall prey to pride.

So I asked about that. And do you want to know what He told me!?

Well, I’m going to tell ya!

He explained pride and humility to me like this:

What humility is NOT:

  • It is NOT a lack of confidence in our abilities. It is not meekness.

What humility IS:

  • It is a full acceptance and belief that every person on this earth or who ever was or will be born on this earth is a child of God with the exact same opportunity for individual greatness in achieving their promises from the plan of salvation. Everyone is absolutely EQUAL in this thing. Nobody has more opportunity than anyone else. There are exceptionally obedient people and there are disobedient people. The full achievers are absolutely obedient.

Cool. I can look at everyone that way.

What pride is NOT:

Pride is not confidence. Confidence is not pride.

What pride IS:

Pride is to think yourself more privileged than someone else. To think ones self particularly, and uniquely better than someone else. To put someone else below you. To put yourself above someone else.

Contention is fueled by pride. One contestant strives to be more right, or more talented than the other contestant with the intent to win. (In all forms this is contention. Even if we’re playing a game. For example: Basketball isn’t evil. But if contention enters into it then pride has entered into someone’s heart.)

WOW! That means…

That means that I can own my personal talents and be confident in my abilities and as long as I don’t think or feel myself better than someone else because I have them… well… then I qualify as humble! It means that as long as I recognize that everyone has their own gifts and talents, and focus my energy on their beauty because of those equally wonderful opportunities… that I am free of pride. (At least on this level. Digging deeper always reveals additional info.)

In short, if we see everyone as a true child of God – no matter their station in life. No matter their outer beauty, or their wealth, or race, or position, or bad habits… no matter what their behavior – if we see everyone as a child of God then we can see everyone equal and avoid pride – and at the same time achieve humility!

Hence, I can (and so can EVERYONE) own the true belief that “I Am beautiful”.

I Am Beautiful

It sounds trite coming out of my fingers. But it is the answer I’ve been searching for for years. What is pride? What is humility? And now I finally have my answer.

Those are still the words that stand out when I close my eyes.

The Lord knows me. When I have accomplished learning what He is trying to teach me, those words might spin again. Who knows? It was very revealing the first time. I wonder if it will spin again and reveal another incorrect belief in me. That would be very cool.

Love,

Bronwen

P.S. – I feel I should note about the point I made about “no matter what their behavior” has a little more depth.

We can see a person behaving badly and know that the behavior is bad without deciding that we are better than they. Now that I’ve had this experience I can see that it’s really about “keeping our eye on the ball” (so to speak). We just need to keep in mind that everyone is here with 100% equal opportunity to change and grow. Everyone just experiences different things as they go along.

This is no new concept. This experience has shown me the meaning of “line upon line upon line” in an amazing and wonderful way.

The Marriage Covenant

February 5, 2014 in Faith, marriage, Prayer, Temple, values for children by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

Last night I attended the Alpine Stake Relief Society Meeting.

I’m so glad I went! It was so inspiring! I’m so glad we felt we should move to this area. I have found more like minded people in my ward alone than I have found in my whole lifetime anywhere else. Alpine is loaded with faithful people who draw unto the Lord with more than their lips and I love being here. (I have found several people in other places I’ve lived, but not in the magnitude that I have in this place. It’s truly astounding.)

We talked about living our covenants.

Several women were called a couple of months ago to spend two months living and tracking their experiences with keeping one specific covenant the way the scriptures lay it out for them.

These women… I’m telling you. They are just regular people, but they took this calling so seriously. I’m amazed!

  • The baptismal covenant – can you define it? They studied it out so that they could. I didn’t understand it to the degree I do now until last night. (If you can define it leave a comment! Let’s discuss it!)
  • The sacrament covenant – more than JUST what I thought it was! (How do you define that one?)
  • Temple covenants – many. (How do you define them? How do you live them?) I’ve been studying these for a while and I am just scratching the surface about the Law of the Gospel, and the Law of Consecration.
  • The marriage covenant (how do you define that one?) This is the one I want to elaborate on. Well… maybe not elaborate… but I made a couple of graphics to illustrate the great thing that was taught to me by the spirit last night.

One of the women who spoke about temple covenants described something that looks like this:

The Marriage Covenant1

Amazing to me because when I was in my first year of marriage this is exactly the visual that came to my mind as I was praying for help with my first very difficult year of my new life with my eternal companion. I get that. But what I didn’t get was the picture that came into my mind as she continued to speak. (She didn’t say any of what is below. This all came to my mind from the Holy Ghost as she spoke.)

The Marriage Covenant2

This picture of the triangle that didn’t have a bottom, morphing into a straight line with the Lord in the middle… and then this quote that I’ve put into a previous blog post (see graphic)… I understand. We can’t “trust” each other without first trusting the Lord and going directly through Him to get to each other. Everything we do then becomes purified and consecrated unto us for our marriage, children, and eternal salvation.

Amazing.

That’s all. I really just wanted to record the thought. I still need to learn more about it and apply it more and more perfectly in my own life. But isn’t that amazing!? So no matter what our spouse does wrong, the Lord buffers our response. He teaches us what He is trying to tell us. He helps us become better spouses. I’m excited about what this will do to improve my self.

Love ya!

Bronwen

Gifts of the Spirit – By James A. Cullimore 1974

February 4, 2014 in Faith, Prayer, Priesthood, Signs of the Believers, values for children by Earnestly Seeking Perfection In Christ

I was researching material for one of my upcoming e-books and I found this wonderful talk!

Do you ever feel like you’re being way out in left field and then you come across something that gives you confirmation that the things you’re getting from the Holy Ghost are right on with what the Lord is still telling our modern day prophets? (I say modern day prophets because it’s the quoting of ancient prophets that gets some people so upset that they tell you you are interpreting things way wrong.)

This is one of those talks. Read the whole thing and you’ll see what I mean when I say that going to the doctor is not the Lord’s way. This is a confirmation to me.

______

Gifts of the Spirit – By James A. Cullimore 1974

James A Cullimore

Among the sure signs of the true church of Christ are the accompanying spiritual gifts. This has always been from the beginning. When the authority of the priesthood has been found on the earth, it is accompanied by the manifestations of spiritual gifts.

During the earthly ministry of the Savior, it is recorded that he “went about all Galilee, … healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matt. 4:23.) “And great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all.” (Matt. 12:15.) Before the Savior departed from his apostles after his resurrection, “he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:15–18.)

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. …

“Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, …

“… and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.” (Acts 5:12, 15–16.)

The apostle Paul said to the Corinthian saints:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. …

“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

“And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

“And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:1, 3–8.) And he stated the many gifts of the Spirit.

And unto his church in this dispensation the Savior promised these same gifts. He said:

“Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words; and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe—

“In my name they shall do many wonderful works;

“In my name they shall cast out devils;

“In my name they shall heal the sick;

“In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;

“And the tongue of the dumb shall speak.” And so on. (D&C 84:64–70.)

I bear my solemn witness that these gifts are with the Church today. The sick are healed, the eyes of the blind are opened, the ears of the deaf are unstopped, the lame are made to walk. The gift of tongues blesses our missionaries and others the world over. The gifts of wisdom and knowledge are evidenced by the leadership of our people everywhere. Devils are cast out, spirits are discerned, the gift of faith is demonstrated on every side. Many mighty miracles give evidence that this is indeed his church, the church of Jesus Christ. All the gifts and powers and blessings that have always identified Christ’s church are with the Church today.

As members of the Church, is our faith sufficiently strong? Are we in tune with the Spirit that we might be blessed by these great gifts? Do we believe a miracle can be performed or a blessing given? Do we call upon the priesthood as often as we should to administer to the sick? Do we believe we can be healed? Do we have faith to heal? Is the priesthood always prepared to give a blessing? How strong is your faith?

President George Q. Cannon said:

“I have felt deeply impressed … that the members of our Church do not value as they should the means which God has placed within their reach for the relief and healing of the sick.

“There is too great a disposition, when sickness enters a household, to send for a doctor. …

“Instances are very common among the faithful Saints of the gift of healing being manifested in a very wonderful manner. …

“God has not forgotten His promises, and He has not withdrawn Himself from His people. But the Latter-day Saints should make use of these means more frequently than they do, and put more trust in God and less in man’s skill.” (Gospel Truths, comp. Jerrald L. Newquist, Deseret Book, 1974, 2:186–87.)

We have been instructed as to the administration of the sick:

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” (James 5:14–16.)

“And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.” (D&C 42:44.)

The accounts of miraculous healings in the Church are numerous.

They warm one’s soul and give great strength of testimony as to the divinity of this great work. But the Lord has instructed us that we are not to boast of these great blessings. He said, “But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.” (D&C 84:73.)

It was not intended that we make merchandise out of the gifts of God and shout to the world the result of these most wonderful gifts. They are given to us for our salvation, to strengthen our testimony and the testimonies of others as we bear humble witness of them in our meetings, quietly, by the Spirit but not before the world.

“Behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.

“Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God.” (D&C 63:9–10.)

Faith to heal the sick is one of the most desirable gifts of the gospel and should be sought after by all Melchizedek Priesthood holders. They should always be ready to exercise this power in behalf of those who need a blessing. They should seek to have and develop the gift of faith, faith to heal and faith to be healed. “And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith,” the Lord has said, “they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk.” (D&C 35:9.)

Administration to the sick should be done at the request of the sick persons or someone close to them who is concerned about them, that it might be done through their faith. The Lord said, “And these things ye shall not do, except it be required of you by them who desire it, that the scriptures might be fulfilled; for ye shall do according to that which is written.” (D&C 24:14.)

Both the one receiving the blessing and the one giving it should be in tune with the Spirit through their worthy lives, and then the Lord has promised, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.” (Moro. 7:26.)

After one has demonstrated his worthiness through good works and manifested his faith through prayer or proper administration to the sick, it must be left in the hands of the Lord those who will be healed and those who will not. We may not always understand why someone is healed and why another for whom we have also exercised great faith is not.

The Lord said that when the elders administer to the sick, if they die, they die unto him, and if they live, they live unto him. He said:

“Thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.

“And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them. …

“And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.” (D&C 42:45–46, 48.)

President Kimball has said:

“If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.

“Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood.

“Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, Deseret Book Co., 1973, pp. 97–98.)

Even though the Lord has prescribed proper procedures in administration to the sick, this does not mean that humble prayers by faithful individuals would not be answered. James has said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16.)

The Savior said during his administration on earth that in the last days, men not authorized of God would, in Christ’s name, perform wondrous works. This is evidenced by his words:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:22–23.)

He gave the same warning to the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“[Walk] uprightly before me, … that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; … and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;

“… they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do.” (D&C 46:7–9.)

May we so live that we may always have the companionship of the Holy Spirit and be blessed by these beautiful spiritual gifts that are a part of the gospel, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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