Friday, September 27, 2013

The Magesty of the Priesthood of God

Nolan with 11th grandchild
As a husband, father, grandfather, male relative, and as a male fellow church member, I am hard pressed to express my gratitude to the Lord, that he would regard me - weak, inconsistent, stumbling mortal that I am - highly enough to entrust a portion of his mighty, matchless power - that power by which he created and upholds the universe and all that therein is, and through which he reveals everything necessary for the salvation of the human race - to me.  To me!  To me, of all people!

As a bearer of the Holy Priesthood, I have been privileged to stand in the very place of God himself in order to baptize, confirm, prepare and administer the sacrament, give infants their name and blessing, to administer to the sick and afflicted, and even to cast the Evil One away.  Words cannot express what it feels like when so doing, to feel the tangible, palpable power of God descend upon me like fire, and then experience confirmation through the Spirit that our Father in Heaven has indeed accepted my actions as authoritative and acceptable in his sight.

The best accounting is to say that I have begun to experience for myself the unequaled majesty of God, and my own nothingness, plus to get a glimpse of just how great the distance is between our exalted Father and mere mortal me.  The Lord speaks of those who tremble under his power being made strong (D&C 52:17).  I have gotten a better idea of what it means to so tremble as I have performed priesthood ordinances for the blessing of others.  After Moses' great vision of this earth, which he could survive only the because the glory of God had come upon  him, it took Moses many hours to regain his natural strength after the Lord and his glory departed.  He was led to exclaim, "Now, for this cause I KNOW that man is nothing, which thing I had never supposed" (Moses 1:10).  God's validating what I have done in the name of his Son has enabled me to get a glimpse of what Moses experienced.

The Priesthood as divine power does in fact exist, and I feel humbled to the very dust, realizing that the Lord has granted me such an incalculable honor, that I may bless others through his priesthood.  It is veritably true that without the ordinances and authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is NOT manifest unto men in the flesh (D&C 84:21). 

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.  That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man (D&C 121:36 - 37).

Those who aspire unto the priesthood outside the framework the Lord established even before this world was created run the risk of seeking to gratify their pride or vain ambition, of vaunting their mere mortal wisdom to be equal to, or even worse, better that of God.  If that is in fact the case, the hearts of those so seeking are wrong before the Lord, and should, in all honesty, expect no such bestowal of divine authority, because they seek it for the wrong - unacceptable and intolerable - reasons.

I have learned by my own experience that God does live, and is perfectly capable of successfully bearing off his kingdom himself.  Any Uzzahs offering their services to steady the ark due to what they perceive as stumblings would only get in the way, and make a mess of things. 

Nolan Doxey
Evergreen, Colorado

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