So…a few weeks ago, we were blessed to hear from the Prophet and Apostles at General Conference. President Packer gave an especially great talk.
President Packer stated:
“The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children.”
This reminded me of an experience I had when I was interviewing with my Stake President shortly before marrying Homey.
I was going through the interviews necessary to have a cancellation of temple blessings – from my first marriage. It was a happy, yet stressful time. In some ways, I think that I felt the weight of the eternities – as I was about to have an eternal covenant cancelled. Over and over again, I was impressed by the fact that the decisions we make – when we promise to make and keep covenants – aren’t like agreeing to “terms” when signing up for an online account somewhere. When done with the proper authority, then what is bound on earth will be bound in Heaven. I was asking for these previously-made covenants to be loosed.
So you understand, I had kept my covenants. I only wanted them to be loosed so that I could make the covenant again – with Homey and the Lord. I would not have gone through the cancellation of temple blessings without a plan to make them again immediately. Even though my first husband did not live up to the covenant, I was still blessed by the Lord. Thankfully the temple covenant of marriage is not only between a man and a woman – it is also with God. I stayed true to my covenant and the Lord, and He stayed true to me. I know my family and I were blessed because of these covenants.
Well, by the time I was meeting with the stake President, Homey and I had a tentative wedding date set, and we were hoping that the marriage would be able to take place in the temple.
My Stake President had a few reservations about my prospective marriage to Homey. He knew that we had met online, but he didn’t know enough details to realize that the Lord had been with us every step of the way – that we were doing all we could to follow the Spirit. The Stake President gave me wise counsel, and reminded me that even when he sends in his recommendation, there would be a chance both that my temple covenants could be cancelled, or that they would not be cancelled. He wanted to see what I would do in either case.
We had a good discussion, and at the end of the meeting, he ended with the following statement: This church is all about seeing families go to the temple.
As I left the meeting, I understood what he wanted for me and what the Lord wanted for me: and it was the same as what I wanted for me: to be happy, protected, and sealed with my family.
Happy at home
“The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home,…”
Think about that. Each of our activities – our sacrament meetings, our mutual activities, our relif society activities, our service projects, everything we do as a church shouldn’t compete with families but should help us to be happy at home.
This is good to remember as we plan our activities. I think that it can be accomplished in several ways. For example, a Relief Society meeting where women feel nourished and edified can help them to be happier. That may not mean that we have to go and do something that is deemed to be “productive” or “spiritual”. It could be that they get together to fellowship, laugh, and share with one another. As a woman, I know that I need these kinds of experiences with my sisters. They help me to feel happier, I get help and advice from others, and I gain courage. I go home with a sense of “I can do this!” I know that when I feel happier and stronger, the feeling spreads to everyone else in my family.
Protected by the Principles and Laws of the Gospel
I love thinking about the gospel as a system of protection. When we keep the commandments, we protect ourselves from possible negative consequences that come of sin. More importantly, however, the principles and laws of the gospel protect us from the captivity and destruction of the adversary.
Sealed Safely in the Covenants of the Everlasting Priesthood
Finally, I can testify of the power of the covenants of the Everlasting Priesthood.
Sasquatch has been really sick lately. It is sad to see her feverish. Last night, her fever was especially high. Then she threw up (all over me!)…I brought her to my room, and asked Homey to give her a blessing. I was overwhelmed by the love I have for her, my other children, Homey, and the Lord. I know that it is such a wonderful opportunity to be married to one who holds and honors his priesthood. I know that not everyone is blessed in this way. I have never had a father’s blessing. I know that all children and women do not enjoy such a wonderful blessing. Thanks to a husband who has made covenants with God, and thanks to my own opportunity to Covenant with God through His Holy Priesthood, I can be married to a man who can serve our family uniquely and powerfully. The love that I feel when Homey exercises the Priesthood with honor, care, and righteousness is a blessing from God, and I feel especially grateful to know that we will be able to experience this love for an eternity.
If you are single, and haven’t been sealed to anyone, I hope that you have hung in there to read this. These blessings also await you, I know that they do. Heavenly Father delights to bless us with His best blessings. (See Doctrine and Covenants 41:1) Maybe you have been sealed to your parents. There is power in this sealing – even if it seems abstract.
If you have been sealed to someone, but have since been divorced, you are still sealed in the Covenants of the Holy Priesthood. You have the power that God promises to the faithful. Go to the temple often – even if it seems hard. Life is harder without the temple. Even without the blessing of having a priesthood member in your family, you can still have the power of the priesthood in your life. That is what the temple is all about. Remember, Heavenly Father delights to bless us with His best blessings! Those blessings don’t depend on someone else. Thankfully, we can have our own relationships with the Lord.
Ok…preachiness over…I promise.