Monday, March 1, 2010

Be Ready

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Be Ready, by President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency

One of the worst things about being a parent is having an ill or injured child and feeling helpless—not knowing what to do. It is at these times that I am especially grateful for priesthood blessings. However, these times come with little or no warning, which leaves me asking, "Am I ready?"

President Eyring reminds that preparation "must begin long before the crisis which requires priesthood power."

Priesthood blessings are a sacred rite, which I revere. "It is the right to call down the powers of heaven."

Understanding the source of the power makes proper preparation more understandable. President Eyring put this in a new light when he taught that we need to not only "have faith that God lives," but "that [we] have won His confidence to allow [us] to use His power for His purposes."

I love the somber reminders encapsulated in that second faith item (regarding confidence): first, that it is not only the power of God, but the purposes of God; second, that God has confidence in us—in me! This second part is what stood out to me the most from this message (at this reading).

I'm reminded of the story of J. Reuben Clark discussing trust with his children (they were talking about curfews). When asked if he trusted his child, the reply was, "No, my [child], I don’t trust you. I don’t even trust myself" (I heard President Faust relay this, here).

I, too, share this feeling: I often don't trust myself. This puts an interesting spin on the need to have faith that God trusts us. However, I think I can identify the difference. I don't trust myself in matters of selfishness, but I have much more confidence in myself when my desires and interests are turned away from self (as in the case of wanting to help a sick/injured child or loved one). Because of this perhaps perceptively small distinction, I can (at times, at least) know that God trusts me, especially to "use His power for His purposes."

I'll end where I started. One of the worst things about being a parent is having an ill or injured child and feeling helpless—not knowing what to do. However, we know at least one thing we can do: we can be ready; ready to use the power of God, according to his will.

Often, when my children are ill, I'll be on the verge of asking if they would like a blessing when they look at me with loving eyes and ask, "Daddy, can I have a blessing?"

I want to be ready for times like these—because they come without warning.

As President Monson often reminds:

When the time for performance arrives, the time for preparation is past.

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