Joy and Thanksgiving: List – Happiness and the Priesthood

Okay…can I start by saying that I really loved this scripture assignment. I just love the scriptures. I just love learning, and I really like the things that I learned today.

” 2 And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.” – Abraham 1:2

So, first of all, Abraham realizes that he can enjoy more happiness, peace, and rest than what he had been experiencing. So, he decided to look for the blessings of the Fathers – as he knew that these blessings were the source of happiness, peace and rest. The blessings of the Fathers = The priesthood.

I would have to think that he had experienced some happiness, peace, and joy, and he wanted more. I can relate to this. When I was a youth, I had the opportunity to participate in Girls’ camp. Girls’ camp was always one of the most spiritual experiences I had back then. I loved the way that the Spirit felt. I wanted it in my life. Over the years, I started to get it – God was the source of the joy I felt in nature with the other young women. God was the source of peace I felt, and I could go to Him to feel more of it. I didn’t have to wait until girl’s camp to feel His blessings.

I know that Abraham never went to Girls’ camp, but I like to think that he had experienced “small” spiritual experiences, and realized that he’d like to have more of it in his life. He was ready to make covenants with the Lord. He was ready for the Priesthood.

It’s also interesting to me to think that the Priesthood has to do with happiness, peace, and rest. Of course, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the Priesthood has everything to do with happiness peace and rest. God lives in a state of happiness. We cannot participate in this happiness without covenanting with Him. And we need the Priesthood in order to do so.

So…Abraham lists his desires; and these desires can be fulfilled through the power of the priesthood. They will contribute to his peace, happiness and rest.

How I've marked this list in my scriptures.

Abraham’s Desires

  1. Possess great knowledge – Abraham knew that the source of all knowledge was God, and through the priesthood, we could be connected with God and blessed with more knowledge. When we really take time to think about it, this fact is obvious.
    • The Gift of the Holy Ghost –

      “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” – Moroni 10:5

      The power of the Holy Ghost teaches us truth. In enlightens our minds and brings all things to our remembrance. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a priesthood ordinance. It enables us to have the power of the Holy Ghost with us all the time.

    • The Temple – Through regular temple attendance, we infuse our lives with the Lord and His spirit. We learn more about the gospel there: Christ’s role, our dependance on Him, and how to return to Him. We can go to the temple for all kinds of divine guidance. And the temple has been brought to us by the power of the priesthood!

    Our knowledge increases with the power of the priesthood. And, as we learned earlier, knowledge is necessary in experiencing joy.

  2. Be a greater follower of Righteousness – One of the biggest threats to our personal righteousness is temptation. When we have the blessings of the priesthood, temptations are not taken away, but our ability to overcome and withstand them is increased. We have the blessings and protection of the gift of the Holy Ghost. We can also make covenants in the temple – which both help to increase our righteousness. And, since righteousness and happiness are connected, as we become more righteous, we will also be happier.
  3. Be a Father of many nations – I hate to admit this, but I think that since I have a two-year-old, I sometimes forget that our posterity can bring us joy. In some ways it seems so abstract. Yet, it is true already…
    In fact, a few days ago, Sasquatch painted the T-Rex’s dresser with Butt Paste…

    So Beautiful

    I was fixing her lunch, and she did it so quickly. When I realized she was up to something, I told her that putting butt-paste on the dresser was naughty. Very, verrr-yyyy naughty. Typically, I have her repeat things I say (brainwashing, anyone?) so that they will begin to be convinced of what I’m trying to teach. So again, I said, “Oh, No…that is very, ________” and I paused so she could fill in the black. She finished my sentence, “Beautiful. It is very very special and beautiful.” It was impossible for me to be upset anymore. She truly brings me joy.
  4. Be a Prince of Peace – I love that this was one of Abraham’s desires. He wanted to be a peacemaker; he wanted the Lord’s peace. It makes me wonder about Abraham’s personality and life. I mean, Abraham’s father had views and morals that were quite different than Abraham’s. Maybe he had a tough time getting along with his dad. Abraham couldn’t go to his father for the priesthood. Maybe there was discord in Abraham’s life that he wanted to resolve. Maybe this was a challenge for him, so he desired to be more peaceful…or…maybe…I’m putting too many of my own traits onto Abraham! Often, I want to be a better peacemaker, and I’m frustrated with myself when I get frustrated with others. – any way you look at it, I like knowing that the power of the priesthood can help bring peace in our lives.
  5. Receive instruction – We can all receive revelation – even without the priesthood. But it seems like the conduit of revelation opens wider when we have the power of the priesthood in our lives. Can you imagine trying to seek consistent, daily revelation without the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  6. Keep the Commandments – The priesthood helps us with knowledge – to know the commandments, and righteousness – to keep them

Abraham, in order to receive the blessings that he desired, became a rightful heir of God. For a man, that means covenanting with God, and holding the priesthood. For a woman, that means covenanting with God in the waters of baptism and at the temple. For both men and women, it means living up to the covenants we have made through the atonement of Christ and the power of the Priesthood.

I know that the priesthood can bless our lives. I didn’t live with a strong priesthood influence in my home. Okay, I didn’t have any priesthood influence in my home. While my parents did the best that they could, like Abraham, I sought to have more of His blessings in my life. I’m grateful to have been blessed to marry a righteous holder of the priesthood. His willing service blesses our home. Homey’s dedication to the gospel and priesthood authority has helped to infuse our home with the blessings of the priesthood. We enjoy more peace and happiness in our home. Truly, the priesthood is the blessing of the father’s, and can bring us happiness and joy.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between the power of the priesthood and happiness? How have the blessings of the priesthood brought happiness in your life?

***
For tomorrow’s assignment, click here.

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3 Comments

  1. Karen

     /  November 14, 2011

    This entry reminded me of Julie Beck’s recent comments about the Priesthood and women.
    (Women’s Conference May 2011)

    Relief Society Is Connected to the Priesthood

    “I’ve learned through studying the history of Relief Society that we have and live with inseparable connection to the priesthood,” Sister Beck said. No one need confuse the idea of those who hold the priesthood with the gifts, blessings, and privileges associated with the priesthood, she explained.

    “The priesthood is God’s power,” she said. “It is His power to create, to bless, to lead, to serve as He does.” The priesthood duty of every righteous man is to qualify to hold the priesthood so he can bless his family, while the priesthood duty of sisters is to create life, nurture God’s children, and prepare them to make covenants with the Lord.

    “Don’t confuse the power of the priesthood with the keys and offices of the priesthood,” Sister Beck said. “The power is limitless and is shared with those who make and keep covenants. Too much is said and misunderstood about what brothers have and sister’s don’t. This is Satan’s way of confusing men and women so that neither understands what they really have.”

    Our responsibility, Sister Beck said, is to make sure that our homes are blessed with priesthood power, as the Primary song says, “every hour” (Children’s Songbook, 190). “It isn’t just when Dad is there. It isn’t just when Mom is there. It isn’t just when a priesthood ordination or blessing is being performed. It’s every hour as covenants are made and kept.”

    Reply
    • I was TOTALLY thinking of that talk the whole time I wrote this post! I have watched/listened to that talk a few times in the past few months. In fact, I’m linking here in case anyone wants to watch it: Julie B. Beck’s Women’s Conference Talk.

      She articulated the role, authority, and power of the priesthood so well. The Relief Society and Priesthood are inseparably connected – which makes a lot of sense. The line you quoted, “Don’t confuse the power of the priesthood with the keys and offices of the priesthood.” was my favorite. It reminded me of Elder Packer’s talk a few conferences ago when he talked about the authority of the Priesthood versus the Power of the Priesthood.

      We are all, women included, recipients of this power. And the priesthood can bring us closer to God and happiness! Thanks for commenting, and for bringing up Sister Beck’s talk.

      Reply
  1. Joy and Thanksgiving: Allegory – The True Vine « That Good Part

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