Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Power of the Aaronic Priesthood

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Power of the Aaronic Priesthood, by Keith B. McMullin
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

I called my neighbor the other day to ask if we could drop off something my son wanted to give her. Even though it wasn't a good time, I was told that we could leave the note by the front door.

This is a simple exchange between neighbors, between friends. But she seemed to anticipate what was being dropped off and beat us to the punch. You see, we wanted to deliver a thank you note that my eight-yr-old wrote thanking her for attending his baptism. However, before we could give a simple gesture of thanks, my neighbor gushed with thanks for inviting her. She told me how she loved being inside a Mormon church and seeing how we do baptisms. Furthermore, she absolutely loved that it is the fathers who baptized their sons at our service.

We chatted just a bit more, and as I hung up the phone, one word came to mind: Duty.

I remembered this as I read Bishop McMullin's talk today. He said "Duty, properly carried out, determines the destiny of peoples and nations."

When I think of destiny, I think of two things: Darth Vader telling Luke about his so-called destiny on the Dark Side, and George McFly butchering a pick-up line in Back to the Future.

However, when I think of duty and destiny, I think about the priesthood.

There seems to have been an increased emphasis on the differences between the Power of the priesthood and the Authority of the priesthood lately. (Perhaps it's just that this is a lesson that I'm supposed to learn.) Bishop McMullin quoted President Packer and added a sentence of his own at the end:

"We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. … But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood." For the everlasting welfare of God’s children, this must be remedied.

As I've had the opportunity to prepare for and perform ordinances for my son, namely baptism and confirmation, I've thought a lot about the difference between authority and power. I probably should have been doing this all along, but when I would make decisions, I would often ask myself, "Self, how would this affect the power of the priesthood you're authorized to exercise?"

And yes, I do refer to myself as "self."

I'm grateful for the priesthood. For its authority and power! I'm also grateful for the duty (and associated responsibilities) I have as a father.

And unlike Vader, I'll try to appropriately fulfill my duty to teach my son about his destiny (it's not with the Dark Side).

I'll also help him understand the difference between destiny and density.

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