Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's day

So sorry this is a day late. But heck it is better late then never. I was asked to speak at church on father's day. So here is my talk.


Priesthood…

The Priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power he redeems and exalts His children, bring to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man”

God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on earth.

For a male member of the church to hold the priesthood, an authorized priesthood holder must confer it on him and ordain him to an office of the priesthood.

Although the authority of the priesthood is bestowed only on worthy male members of the church, the blessings of the priesthood are available to all- men, women, and children. We all benefit from the influence of righteous priesthood leadership, and we all have the privilege of receiving the saving ordinances of the priesthood.

The most important exercises of the priesthood take place in the FAMILY. Each husband and father in the Church should strive to be worthy to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. With his wife as an equal partner, he presides in righteousness and love, serving as the family’s spiritual leader. He leads the family in regular prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. He works with his wife to teach the children and help them prepare to receive the ordinances of salvation. He gives priesthood blessings for direction, healing and comfort.

Many members do not have faithful Melchizedek priesthood holders in their homes. However, through the service of home teachers and priesthood leaders, ALL members of the church can enjoy the blessings of the priesthood power in their lives.

The exercise of the priesthood authority in the church in governed by those who hold priesthood keys. Those who hold priesthood keys have the right to preside over and direct Church within a jurisdiction. For example, a bishop holds priesthood keys that enable him to preside in his ward. Therefore, when a child in that ward is prepared to be baptized, the person baptizing the child must receive authorization from the bishop.

Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood. He has given His Apostles the keys that are necessary for governing His church. Only the Senior Apostle, the President of the Church, may use (or authorize person to use) these keys for governing the entire church.

The president of the Church delegates priesthood keys to other priesthood leaders so they can preside in their areas of responsibility. Priesthood keys bestowed on presidents of temples, missions, stakes, and districts; bishops; branch presidents; and quorum presidents. A person who serves in one of these positions holds the keys only until he is released. Counselors do not receive keys, but do receive authority and responsibility by calling and assignment.

How to exercise the Priesthood Righteously?

Priesthood holders must remember that the priesthood should be part of them at all times and in all circumstances. It is not like a cloak that can be put on and taken off at will. Any ordination to a priesthood office is a call to lifelong service, with the promise that the lord will qualify priesthood holders to do His work according to their faithfulness.

Priesthood holders must be worthy in order to receive and exercise the priesthood power. The words they speak and their everyday behavior affect their ability to serve. Their behavior in public must be above reproach. Their behavior in private is even more important. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord declared that “ the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.”

In the The Family a Proclamation to the World it says…

Husband and Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “ Children are an heritage of the Lord” Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God , and be law abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives- mothers and fathers – will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

It also says.

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.

I would like to share a few experiences the Father’s in my life have shown me how they honor there sacred duties as fathers and priesthood holders.

My dad for one has been a constant in my life. When growing up I remember receiving blessings from him when I was sick or getting ready for the next school year.

He also taught me it was ok to get up at 5 in the morning to have family prayers. Or to go out to the church farms and pick corn in the hot Arizona sun.

Growing up even with working and going to school and serving in the bishop brick or the scouting program he always made time for each one of us. Every Friday night for as long as I can remember would be my mom and dad’s date night and to this day they still do this.

Every Fast Sunday he would pull each one of us into his office for PPI’s or personal priesthood interviews. During these times we would pray together and would talk about how we each felt about things going on. We also got to plan in these meeting together our next daddy date with him. These would be as little as going to go get ice cream or filling up the cars with gas. But they are times I will never forget and where I really got to know and understand my dad.

One thing I have always treasured about my dad is his testimony.

This last Christmas, my parents, as one of our gifts, typed up a letter to each of us with there testimony in it this was and will be something I hold on to forever. It is always great to hear and feel there testimonies.

Other Father figures in my life where not necessarily related to me. And I don’t think they have to be. Just being able to see how these men in my Ward Family treated there wives and children and how they served one another also helped me to grow and understand what I wanted in my own life and husband.

When I was younger and starting to date one of my young women’s leaders challenges us to make a list of things qualities we wanted to have in our husbands. So I made this list and still have it in my Journal.

It was through these qualities and good examples I was able to find a worthy young man that was willing to marry me. After dating many toads it was like a breath of fresh air when I meet Robert. After just knowing him for a short time I just knew he was the one I wanted to marry. I watched him handle being drilled with questions by my mother and aunt and never flinch. I saw him get told by my own mother that she took no returns and still he chose to ask me. After watching him go through this, I knew he could handle what I could throw at him.

It is a huge blessing having a husband who is a worthy priesthood holder. Even when I would be completely ok going three years or longer without having to give a talk, he is first to raise his hand and say “If I am able, I will do it.” Words cannot express how grateful I am that he was able to bless my three perfectly behaved children that are probably out in the foyer right now. It gives me peace to know that when one of us is sick, or in need of comfort, he is willing and able to provide a priesthood blessing.

I am grateful for the good example Roberts father was to him. I was only able to know him a short time. From that time, however, I learned and will be eternally thankful for his kindness and patience with me, even though at times I didn’t have a lot of the same for him. He helped lead and guide my husband into the man and priesthood holder he is today.

This quote from an unknown author reminds me of all the father figures in my life. It states that “a truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” It brings me great joy to see my husband playing and interacting with my sons, knowing that these experiences are helping to build them into the fathers and priesthood holders that will one day be responsible for their own families.

I would like to bear my testimony. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and that we were sent here to earth to have challenges and to learn and grow. I am thankful for the priesthood and the many blessings I have received. I am thankful for Temples and the blessing of being able to have eternal families. I am thankful for missionary work and what joy I know this brings to the lives of the people that are willing and ready to learn. I am thankful for The Church and being a member of it. I know that it is the only true church. I know that President Monson is the only true Prophet on the earth. I know Jesus Christ died for me so that I would be able to return home to my Heavenly Father some day. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.


2 comments:

Laurie said...

What a great talk!!

Kermit Crew said...

Fabulous! I wish I could have been there! :0)