4.27.2009

I gotta get me one of those sleep study things!

Yep, another one of those restless nights in LKP land, dang-nab it! It's too hot one second, so I open my window...BAM! Too cold the next, so the window is closed. The accordion-like acrobatics of my temps is too erratic to be conducive to a good night's rest. So here I am in blog world, posting. My see-sawing has consequently got my mind wide awake at 4am, and I just can't shake running through yesterday's Relief Society lesson over & over. This is definitely NOT a toot my own horn or entire brass section by any means here. It went well and was a much needed wake-up call for myself (seriously felt mentally-chastised the ENTIRE time-I need to be waaay better about this). So, here it is, for those sisters who were unable to attend. I wish I had everyone's comments available from class, for they were ALL valuable & extremely relevant! I especially loved hearing different sisters share helpful counsel they've received from priesthood leaders in their lives, and how its assisted them. Subsequently, those pearls of spiritual wisdom were able to help others. As they were shared, minds & hearts were further opened to receive personal revelations very much needed in our lives. So, thanks to all who were in class & for all you added. Your contributions are more valuable than you can know! There's a bit of a preface beforehand, for those unfamiliar with how this works, which will place it in proper context for ya:

Monthly, my lessons are “Teaching for Out Times,” where the lesson material is strictly from a recent General Conference talk & the scriptures. Through inspiration from the Spirit, this month's lesson is taken directly from Elder Richard G. Scott’s Priesthood Session address from October 2008’s General Conference, “Honor the Priesthood and Use it Well,” (Ensign, Nov 2008, 44-47). Additional emphasis is indicated in places, as well as changes to the direction of who Elder Scott’s PPI questions are asked, making them more applicable to a sister’s self-reflection. Elder Scott’s talk addressed priesthood holders, yet this lesson is redirected to sisters. Some re-arranging of Elder Scott’s talk was necessary to better tailor this lesson to focus on the relevance of the role which women play. As with any other scripture study, please liken Elder Scott’s remarks unto yourself. Where his quotes are directed specifically to brethren, note that they are also directed to sisters as well by inserting yourself into his inspired counsel. Elder Scott's remarks are italicized, while my general remarks are all in bold-caps.
HONORING THE PRIESTHOOD: OUR ROLE AS DAUGHTERS OF GOD

AS DAUGHTERS OF GOD WHO ARE WE?
President Hinckley: “Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth.”

“By divine design a woman is fundamentally different from a man in many ways. She is compassionate and seeks the interests of others around her. However, that compassionate nature can become overwhelming for women who identify far more to accomplish than they can possibly do, even with the help of the Lord. Some become discouraged because they do not feel they are doing all they should do. I believe this is a feeling that many worthy, effective, devoted women of the Church experience.”
ANOTHER DIFFERENCE IS THAT A MAN MAY HOLD, HONOR & UTILIZE THE POWER OF THE PRIESTHOOD THROUGH PROPER AUTHORITY. WOMEN MAY ACCESS THE POWER OF THE PRIESTHOOD THROUGH HONORING & SUPPORTING THE PRIESTHOOD HOLDER.
SO, WHAT IS THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD?
“The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God. That authority is essential to the fulfillment of His work on earth. The priesthood we hold is a delegated portion of the eternal authority of God. As we are true and faithful, our ordination to the priesthood will be eternal. The perfect role model for use of the holy priesthood is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He ministered with love, compassion, and charity. His life was a matchless example of humility and power. The greatest blessings from the use of the priesthood flow from humble service to others without thought of self. By following His example as a faithful, obedient priesthood bearer, we can access great power. When required, we can exercise the power of healing, of blessing, of consoling, and of counseling, as the quiet promptings of the Spirit are faithfully followed.”
HOW CAN WE, AS SISTERS, SUPPORT OUR PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS?

“…The conferring of authority alone does not of itself bestow the power of the office. The extent to which we can exercise the power of the priesthood depends upon personal worthiness, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and obedience to His commandments. When supported by a secure foundation of gospel knowledge, our capacity to worthily use the priesthood is greatly enhanced.”

  • Y or N Are your private, personal thoughts conducive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or would they benefit from a thorough housecleaning?
  • Y or N Do you nourish your mind with elevating material, or have you succumbed to the enticement of pornographic literature or Web sites?
  • Y or N Do you scrupulously avoid the use of stimulants and substances that conflict with the intent of the Word of Wisdom, or have you made some personally rationalized exceptions?
  • Y or N Are you most careful to control what enters your mind through your eyes and ears to ensure that it is wholesome and elevating?
  • Y or N If you are divorced, do you provide for the real financial need of your [children], not just the minimum legal requirement?
  • Y or N If you are married, are you faithful to your [husband] mentally as well as physically?
  • Y or N Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another [person] that you wouldn’t want your [husband] to overhear?
  • Y or N Are you kind and supportive of your own [husband] and children?
  • Y or N Do you assist your [husband] by doing [your share] of the household chores?
  • Y or N Do you [lend support] in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your [husband] fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home?
  • Y or N Do you tell [him] you love [him]?
TO ACCESS THE POWER AND STRENGTH OF THE PRIESTHOOD IN OUR HOMES, FAMILIES, AND LIVES, IT IS REQUIRED OF US SISTERS THAT WE ALSO MAINTAIN THE SAME LEVEL OF PERSONAL WORTHINESS. ANYTHING LESS AND WE CANNOT TRULY EXPECT TO BE EQUAL PARTNERS IN THE ETERNITIES. THEREFORE WE MUST HEED ELDER SCOTT’S ADVICE WHEN HE SAID:
“If any of you feel uncomfortable with any of the answers you have mentally given to the questions I have asked, take corrective action now. If there are worthiness issues, with all of the tenderness of my heart I encourage you to speak to your bishop or a member of your stake presidency now. You need help. Those matters that trouble you will not heal themselves. Without attention they will likely get worse. It may be difficult for you to speak to your priesthood leader, but I encourage you to do it now for your own good and for the benefit of those who love you.”
AS WOMEN, HERE’S HOW WE FIT IN:
“The family proclamation states that a husband and wife should be equal partners. I feel assured that every wife in the Church would welcome that opportunity and support it. …Many husbands practice equal partnership with their companion to the benefit of both and the blessing of their children. However, many do not. I encourage any man who is reluctant to develop an equal partnership with his wife to obey the counsel inspired by the Lord and do it. Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will of the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family.”
THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ONLY EFFORT REQUIRED IS THAT OF THE HUSBAND’S PART. WE AS WOMEN MUST PLAY-OUT OUR PART ON OUR KNEES, IN CONSTANT & SINCERE PRAYER FOR OUR PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS. WHEN WE FEEL WE HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL WE CAN DO PHYSICALLY, THERE IS STILL ALWAYS MORE WE CAN DO SPIRITUALLY.
WE MUST ALSO BE EVER SO CAREFUL SO AS NOT TO OVER-STEP OUR BOUNDS AS SISTERS, MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS, & FRIENDS. A MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN, A WOMAN, AND GOD. MOST OFTEN THERE IS NOTHING TO BE PHYSICALLY DONE ON OUR PART AS AN OUTSIDE PARTY. ALL THAT WE CAN RIGHTFULLY DO FOR ANOTHER COUPLE IS STRICTLY THROUGH OUR PLEADINGS WITH THE LORD ON THEIR BEHALF. WE MUST DO ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE TO SUPPORT OUR PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS' MARRIAGES WHETHER THEY ARE OUR HUSBANDS, BROTHERS, SONS, OR FATHERS-NO MATTER THEIR AGE!

“The purpose of priesthood authority is to give, to serve, to lift, to inspire—not to exercise unrighteous control or force. In some cultures, tradition places a man in a role to dominate, control, and regulate all family affairs. That is not the way of the Lord. In some places the wife is almost owned by her husband, as if she were another of his personal possessions. That is a cruel, unproductive, mistaken vision of marriage encouraged by Lucifer that every priesthood holder must reject. It is founded on the false premise that a man is somehow superior to a woman. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The scriptures confirm that Father in Heaven saved His greatest, most splendid, supreme creation, woman, to the end. Only after all else was completed was woman created. Only then was the work pronounced complete and good.”
WE, SISTERS, ARE OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S MOST PRICELESS WORKS OF ART! THE DIVINE CHARACTERISTICS WHICH WE HAVE DIRECTLY INHERITED FROM OUR HEAVENLY PARENTS SET US IN A PLACE OF RESPONSIBILITY TO LEAD QUIETLY BY POISED & PURPOSEFUL EXAMPLE. EVERYTHING WE DO IS NOTICED BY THE MEN IN OUR LIVES. THE STRENGTH OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, COUPLED WITH HOW WE CARRY OURSELVES AND EXPECT TO BE TREATED HELPS MOLD THE LEGACY OF RESPECT FOR GOD, WOMEN, & THE PRIESTHOOD THAT THESE MEN WILL PASS ON TO THE GENERATIONS WHICH WILL FOLLOW. OUR ROLE IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE, DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY.
“Be more aware of how you can make greater use of the power of the priesthood in the lives of those you love and serve. I am thinking particularly of individuals such as a widow in need who likely could benefit from the help of an understanding, compassionate priesthood bearer. Many such will never request help. Be aware of the range of challenges you could help meet in her home, such as the relief of anxieties through an inspired priesthood blessing or the need for small repairs.”
SERVICE IS A LARGE PART OF CHRIST’S EXAMPLE. IN THIS DEMANDING, FAST-PACED LIFE, IT IS CRUCIAL FOR OUR PROGRESSION THAT WE SET OUR INDIVIDUAL SELVES ASIDE. WE MUST ENCOURAGE OUR PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS TO SLOW DOWN AND HELPS OTHERS THROUGH THEIR VARIOUS CALLINGS, INCLUDING HOME TEACHING AND MEETING GENERAL SERVICE NEEDS. MANY SWEET SISTERS
MAY BE SURROUNDED BY FAMILY ON ALL SIDES, AND MAY SEE THEM OCCASIONALLY, HOWEVER THERE IS A LONELINESS WHICH ACCOMPANIES SMALL TASKS IN NEED OF ATTENTION. BEFORE, THERE WAS AN ETERNAL COMPANION TO ADDRESS THE ANTS IN THE BATHROOM, OR A BROKEN SPRINKLER. THESE VALIANT WOMEN NEED LOOKING AFTER, THEY NEED NOT FEEL LIKE A BURDEN. COMPASSIONATE SERVICE, IN KEEPING WITH THE EXAMPLE OF THE SAVIOR, HELPS MENDS SO MUCH MORE THAN THE OBVIOUS. SO, PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, AN OFFICIAL CALLING IS NOT THE ONLY WAY WE CAN HELP OTHERS. IT DOES NOT TAKE AN EMBOSSED INVITATION FOR SERVICE TO BE A WELCOMED BLESSING.

“Therefore, as a husband or son, express gratitude for what your wife and mother do for you. Express your love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer, more pleasant and purposeful for many of the daughters of Father in Heaven who seldom hear a complimentary comment and are not thanked for the multitude of things they do. As a husband, when you sense that your wife needs lifting, hold her in your arms and tell her how much you love her. May each of us ever be tender and appreciative of the special women who enrich our lives.” “I know the immense joy and happiness that come from loving, cherishing, and respecting my precious wife with all my heart and soul. May your use of the priesthood and treatment of the important women in your life bring you the same satisfaction.”
WE SHOULD COMMUNICATE OUR LOVE & APPRECIATION FOR ALL THEIR EFFORTS IN BOTH WORDS AS WELL AS ACTIONS. THOUGH MANY OF US HAVE SURVIVED EXCRUCIATING TRIALS, AND IT MAY FEEL DIFFICULT HOWEVER, THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LORD’S ATONEMENT WE CAN AND SHOULD TRUST THE MEN IN OUR LIVES. SISTERS, IT IS REQUIRED THAT WE FORGIVE ALL MEN, AND WE ARE TO BE GRATEFUL. BY HEARKENING TO THEIR COUNSEL, OUR GRATITUDE IS EVIDENT. REMEMBER STIFF-NECKEDNESS IS JUST AS UNATTRACTIVE ON A DAUGHTER OF GOD AS IT IS ON A SON OF GOD! JUST AS GOD WILL HOLD HIS SONS ACCOUNTABLE FOR HOW THEY TREAT HIS PRECIOUS DAUGHTERS, WE TOO WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR NOT ONLY BEHAVING AS HIS VALIANT DAUGHTERS, BUT ALSO FOR NOT TREATING HIS SONS & HIS PRIESTHOOD WITH HONOR AS WELL AS RESPECT.

Proverbs 31: 10-12, 25-28 & 30 “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies…The Heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil…She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life…Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come…She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness…She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness…Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her…Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
THE STRENGTH & HONOR MENTIONED IN THIS SCRIPTURE IS THE PRIESTHOOD IN OUR LIVES. IF WE LIVE WORTHILY, OBEDIENT & TRUE TO THE CHARGE GIVEN US TO SUPPORT OUR PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS WE CAN ACCESS THE POWER OF THE PRIESTHOOD AS ADDED FORTIFICATION AGAINST THE ADVERSARY.

“…Therefore, let us treat them as He would wish to have them treated. I pray that the Lord will guide us to be more inspired, sensitive, and productive…”
SISTERS, MAY I ADD MY TESTIMONY TO ELDER SCOTT’S WHEN I SAY, I KNOW THESE THINGS TO BE TRUE. THROUGH HONORING & SUPPORTING THE PRIESTHOOD AS WE’VE BEEN COMMANDED, I KNOW WE CAN ACCESS SO MANY RICH BLESSINGS. WE WILL WITNESS MIRACLES OF STRENGTH & POWER WITHIN OUR OWN LIVES, BUT WE MUST DO OUR PART IN SUSTAINING OUR PRIESTHOOD BEARERS. THROUGH OUR PERSONAL WORTHINESS & OBEDIENCE, THE LORD WILL SEE FIT TO BLESS US WITH THE SINCERE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS. HE WILL FORTIFY US WITH STRENGTH, POWER, & PEACE. WE WILL TRULY BECOME JOINT HEIRS IN THE KINGDOM WITH HIS CHOSEN SONS. THIS I BEAR WITNESS, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.


4 comments:

Jan the crazy lady said...

Wish I could have been there Keely. It sounds fantastic and I appreciate your thoughts and time you put in to posting this. Those y and n questions did make me think. Especially one. I think that I need to think about this more as well. My husband does hold the priesthood, but isn't active. It has been tough to say the least. I feel a little separation at times on being pulled in 2 different directions in trying to balance my life out. I have to stay in 2 books sort of. One book it the Gospel and the other book is a whole other life to try and keep together.

I see such the advantage of having a strong active priesthood going on in the home. It is such a strength to the family. The woman can't do it alone. Draining.

But you have made me really think on what I can do more to enhance on what we already have. I married a great man. I love him to pieces. Thanks for all your insights today :)

neece said...

when are you guys gonna come up and see me?? i have so many stories to tell! and i miss you all more than i can say. so be sure to remember me when youre up here.

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

Thanks for posting this. I hope you copied and pasted most of it. :)

Now I have something to use for visiting teaching this month. :)

Amy J. said...

Thanks! I was out of town and dang it I missed another great lesson. I love our sisters comments. But I love that you shared the lesson here...thanks so much.

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