Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Becoming More Powerful Priesthood Holders

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Becoming More Powerful Priesthood Holders, by Elder Walter F. González
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

Elder González listed one of the benefits of following the righteous examples of those in the Book of Mormon as becoming "more powerful in rescuing others." The doctrine of the Rescue is something that has been discussed much in recent months in our stake.

Stake leaders emphasize that there are four groups of people that need to be rescued (1) those among us, (2) those spiritually disconnected, (3) those seeking the full truth, and (4) those waiting on the other side.

Efforts of Christian missionaries in Haiti, exercising some form of [ill-conceived] rescue, have received a bit of media attention lately. These ten people from Idaho seem to have used misrepresentation to abscond with thirty-three children in hopes of taking them to a yet-to-be-built orphanage in the Dominican Republic. (Please note that this is based on what I've heard from various news reports, and may not be an accurate depiction of reality.)

In discussing missionary work with people of other faiths, I've occasionally heard things similar to: "My parents are on a mission in China [or some other 'closed' country]. They are 'technically' there to teach English, but that's just what their church said so they could get in. It's fine to break a few laws in order to save a few souls."

The kind of rescue that Elder González refers to (and our stake leadership), on the other hand, is more spiritually—and legally—based. I loved how Elder González reminded of how the Book of Mormon recounts when Christ visited the ancient Americas, both teaching His truths and issuing life-saving, and life-changing ordinances. He then said, "in other words, the doctrine and the ordinances stood side by side."

Where would we be with only one of these? Without ordinances, doctrine (or teaching) is meaningless. Similarly, without the truth (doctrine), ordinances are without power or validity. The Book of Mormon reminds that these must always be side-by-side.

In our efforts to reach out and rescue others (and ourselves), it's important that we do as the Lord would have us do, according to established laws (both temporal and divine). I'm grateful for the power of doctrine and ordinances, side-by-side.

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