Strengthening the Family and the Church through the Priesthood

Today, I started watching the 2013 Worldwide Leadership Training, Strengthening the Family and the Church though the Priesthood, that Elder Ballard talked about in his General Conference talk. There are some really powerful and inspiring videos, and I really recommend the content. I especially liked the First Presidency Message. President Eyring has previously given one of my favorite messages about family, so I was excited to hear his remarks.

President Eyring begins by talking about how the priesthood is a gift of authority from God given to us for the blessing of all of God’s children. I love the idea that priesthood is not an exclusive thing only given for the benefit of some. Instead, it is given to worthy brethren in order to allow them to bless everyone.

President Eyring reminds us that the priesthood authority can and should become Priesthood power if we are righteous. Recently, I have been thinking a bit about this concept. In the temple, there is a portion where the women covenant to be obedient to their husbands ‘as’ they are obedient to the commands of God. I realized that as a new husband, I have a great responsibility to be a righteous example that my wife can follow. I can not lead based on authority, but must lead through kindness and long-suffering. That is the only way that I can truly be worthy of the amazing priesthood authority I have been given.  If we fail to be righteous, our authority will be a twisted form of authority that can be used for unrighteous dominion. Satan has this twisted and distorted form of priesthood….He uses his ‘authority’ to destroy and to compel. That is not the way of a priesthood holder of God.

Elder Eyring emphasizes that God is infinitely wise, kind and patient. He knows the challenges we will face in his service and will help them face those challenges as he would. Jesus Christ set for us a perfect example of kindness and respect. Elder Eyring mentions in particular the way Jesus Christ treated his mother. His relationship to his family has always been an interesting one for me. Christ knew that he was about his fathers business and that his ministry came first. Still, he took the time to show acts of unparalleled kindness to those around him. Christ had an amazing sense of priorities. Elder Eyring mentioned that Christ called everyone to repent with absolute clarity, but at the same time left everyone with no doubt that with his help they could succeed. He inspired greatness and great confidence in the hearts of men. For me, he is a true example of a leader. 

Elder Eyring also spoke of Joseph Smith’s choice to provide an example and allow members to try and live in accord. He exercised his priesthood through meekness and love unfeigned. I love the Prophet for his example. The more I learn about him, the more I realize that he was truly called of God and inspired to build up this church and kingdom. 

Elder Eyring’s mention of the love of his parents was also tender. Truly, I am grateful beyond words for the righteous example of my parents. Even though they were/are not members of this church, I am so grateful to truly have been born of goodly parents that were always there for me. Sadly, there are far too many people that do not have that blessing. 

President Eyring next spoke about the potential blessings of exaltation and eternal family that are available to us. Those gifts will be given to us if we qualify through faith and following the savior. It is truly amazing to me to have gotten even a tiny glimpse at all that God has in store for me. Heavenly Father sees that amazing potential in me and in all those around me. His matchless vision is what helps to build our confidence in him.

“God’s priesthood has the power to change hearts and nit us in eternal families.” I love this idea, and I truly believe that this is true even for those family member that do not yet believe in the savior. The power of the priesthood is working on the hearts of each of us to transform us. Each time we pray or serve in the church, there is a power that is touching those around us. Our faith helps us to see the good in others and to love them with a deeper love. That love transforms others even when we do not see the changes right away.

Elder Eyring emphasizes that in times of testing our faith truly grows, and God’s power manifest in those times can help give us hope. Those trials bring out charity and help us access the atonement of Christ. His promises are real.

The priesthood gives families hope…hope that we can be together forever. Hope that we can overcome the adversary and be bound through sacred covenants. I have a true and abiding testimony that through Christ everything will work out for our good. His love and priesthood is like the thread that binds us together as a family 

Elder Eyring explains that this isn’t easy .Satan is real and trying to destroy us. However, the power of Christ and his priesthood is greater. What we need to do is align our hearts with him, and love will win out.  Christ has prepared a place for us through his atonement. His love is manifest through the atonement and his priesthood. 

I am so grateful for the blessings that God has given to me. I am grateful to be married to a wonderful daughter of God in his Holy Temple. I am excited to start a family together and to begin implementing those principles that God has taught through his Prophets and his Apostles

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