Nov 272015
 
Aloha Sisters!
Once again, tis I, Sister Smith — Here to give you my notes and perspective on today’s Relief Society lesson.  It’s my hope that those who missed it (for whatever reason – but especially those serving in Primary & Young Womens) might be able to partake still of the spirit of friendship, learning, and inspiration that was present there.  
Sister Wallace began her lesson with a beautiful story about a Sacrament Meeting talk given by her son at age 15.  They were living in New Zealand at the time, and like many 15 year old boys, he was long and lanky, and smack in the middle of adolescence. She was teaching seminary at the time, and full of the spiritual knowledge that comes with that responsibility.  
Her son had been assigned to speak about the Priesthood, and since he was a Teacher at the time, he specifically quoted Doc & Cov 20:53-57:
 53 The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them;
 54 And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking;
 55 And see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty.
 56 And he is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the elder or priest—
 57 And is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons, if occasion requires.

Sister Wallace was deeply touched by the powerful witness her son bore, and by the weighty responsibilities he clearly felt as related to his office in the Priesthood.  She was surprised at how much she learned and what she felt as he spoke.  It was as especially meaningful experience for her as she looks back on it later, she said, because it was just a week later that he suddenly died.  That turned out to be the last opportunity she had to hear him teach and bear testimony of Gospel principles in this life.
With that introduction, we then dove into a discussion about The Priesthood.  Sis. Wallace wrote 4 words up on the board — Words we need to understand and really know, as relates to the priesthood:
POWER
KEYS
AUTHORITY
BLESSINGS
We then broke into 5 groups and were given copies of two talks, listed below, along with papers on which were written the 5 questions we would all be discussing.
Those are excellent, excellent talks, Sisters, and even a quick read-through will give you insights and help you learn even more than you already know about this important topic.
It was a great opportunity to talk amongst ourselves for a while about the question given to our group and the highlighted excerpts in each talk.  (Props to Sis Wallace for preparing all of that for us!)  After several minutes, each group reported a summary of what they had learned.  Ready for those 5 questions?  Here they come…
What is the priesthood and why is it important?
The priesthood is, simply, God’s power and the authority to act in His name on earth.  There are so, so many reasons it is important to have it here on earth!  The reasons mentioned briefly by the Sister Missionary speaking for the group were — Saving ordinances for ourselves and our ancestors, all so that we can live together with our families in the presence of God once more.
What are priesthood keys?
Keys — Think about what we use keys for here.  Opening doors, trunks, starting engines… 
Priesthood keys similarly give us access to things.  What are priesthood keys?  Here’s a quote from Elder Oaks:
“Priesthood keys are the authority God has given to priesthood [holders] to direct, control, and govern the use of His priesthood on earth.”
What is priesthood authority and how does this apply to women?
The talk by Sheri Dew, posted on our L7 Facebook Group’s page, was mentioned… And, quite frankly, we had an awesome 2 minutes of rejoicing in our role as women.  (Thank you, Sister Christensen!  We love you!!!)  Sadly, there are no fonts that can convey her beautiful Aussie accent, so I’m afraid I shall not be even attempting to quote you what she said.  If you want to know, I recommend calling her up for a repeat performance of her mini speech on why women should be okay with men holding the priesthood.  😉
What blessings do we receive through the priesthood?
I don’t know if anything I could write would be any better than this excerpt from Sis. Burton’s article:
As I have studied, pondered, and sought to understand the priesthood, it has been helpful for me to consider what the world would be like without it. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explored this idea when he said: “Can you imagine how dark and empty mortality would be if there were no priesthood? If the power of the priesthood were not upon the earth, the adversary would have freedom to roam and reign without restraint. There would be no gift of the Holy Ghost to direct and enlighten us; no prophets to speak in the name of the Lord; no temples where we could make sacred, eternal covenants; no authority to bless or baptize, to heal or comfort. … There would be no light, no hope—only darkness.”
The thought of no priesthood power is sobering. I, for one, stand up and rejoice that this sacred power has been restored to the earth through a prophet of God in this last and glorious dispensation of the fulness of times!
How can we better understand the doctrines of the priesthood?
Another quote from Sis. Burton’s talk sums it up quite nicely:
I recommend the following to you for your careful and prayerful consideration:
Doctrine and Covenants sections 13,2084107, and 121, and Alma 13. Then I invite you to memorize the oath and covenant of the priesthood, which can be found in Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44. By doing so, I promise you that the Holy Ghost will expand your understanding of the priesthood and inspire and uplift you in wonderful ways.
Sis. Wallace added her testimony about how important it is for us to understand the priesthood so we can be full, active participants in Hastening the Work.  She challenged us to read those two talks and study those scriptures this week in preparation for next Sunday’s lesson.  It’s going to be great, sisters.  
Let’s do it!

Source: L7 Relief Society

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