Friday, May 7, 2010

Reverence, Revelation, Righteousness, Power

A couple of Sundays ago I had an insight.

Since conference, many of us priesthood leaders have been stirred to action by President Packer's talk, in particular this comment:
"distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be."
I've personally given it a lot of thought. We're to strive to increase our personal access to the powers of heaven--the powers of our covenants--through righteous living. President Packer told us just what to do:
"power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness."

We know that it is in the temple, through the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood that the "power of godliness is manifest." We need to be there if we hope to become anything better than a just a group of "good" people. Good isn't our goal. We need to become, through the Atonement of Christ and through the saving ordinances he has so graciously restored to earth, more than good -- we need to become holy. That happens in our daily life, and is accelerated and finally reached in the temple.

So my thought was this. If power is preceded by righteousness, what precedes righteousness? What leads someone to make good decisions? I know that for me, I make good choices when I have the Spirit with me, when my mind is filled with truth, when my hands are engaged in service, and when my heart is filled with love.

But unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you look at it) hat spiritual state can't be forced. Revelation, or inspiration, can only come when invited.

Again, President Packer has told us just what to do. In a 1991 General Conference address, President Packer taught us how we can invite revelation. It's through reverence. Reverence invites revelation.
"No one of us can survive in the world of today, much less in what it soon will become, without personal inspiration. The spirit of reverence can and should be evident in every organization in the Church and in the lives of every member.
"While we may not see an immediate, miraculous transformation, as surely as the Lord lives, a quiet one will take place. The spiritual power in the lives of each member and in the Church will increase. The Lord will pour out his Spirit upon us more abundantly. We will be less troubled, less confused. We will find revealed answers to personal and family problems without all the counseling which we seem now to need."
Check out the whole talk here.

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