Monday, April 11, 2016

Russell M. Nelson on growing in Priesthood power

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.

These remarks were part of President Nelson's address in the Priesthood session of the most recent conference:
"I fear, brethren, that some among us may one day wake up and realize what power in the priesthood really is and face the deep regret that they spent far more time seeking power over others or power at work than learning to exercise fully the power of God (D&C 121:36)....
"How else can we increase our power in the priesthood? We need to pray from our hearts. Polite recitations of past and upcoming activities, punctuated with some requests for blessings, cannot constitute the kind of communing with God that brings enduring power. Are you willing to pray to know how to pray for more power? The Lord will teach you.
"Are you willing to search the scriptures and feast on the words of Christ (2 Nephi 32:3)—to study earnestly in order to have more power? If you want to see your wife’s heart melt, let her find you on the Internet studying the doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31:2–21) or reading your scriptures!
"Are you willing to worship in the temple regularly? The Lord loves to do His own teaching in His holy house. Imagine how pleased He would be if you asked Him to teach you about priesthood keys, authority, and power as you experience the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the holy temple. (D&C 84:19–20) Imagine the increase in priesthood power that could be yours.
"Are you willing to follow President Thomas S. Monson’s example of serving others? For decades he has taken the long way home, following promptings of the Spirit to arrive on someone’s doorstep and then hear words such as, 'How did you know it was the anniversary of our daughter’s death?' or 'How did you know it was my birthday?' And if you truly want more priesthood power, you will cherish and care for your wife, embracing both her and her counsel.
"Now, if all of this sounds excessive, please consider how different our relationships with our wife, children, and associates at work would be if we were as concerned about gaining priesthood power as we are in progressing at work or increasing the balance in our bank account. If we will humbly present ourselves before the Lord and ask Him to teach us, He will show us how to increase our access to His power."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Price of Priesthood Power," General Conference, April 2016, Priesthood session
Click here to read the full talk

President Nelson's address to the Priesthood Session of conference was a good review of "priesthood power" as opposed to "priesthood authority," and a challenge to men everywhere to work to grow in priesthood power. His message was that this growth in priesthood power doesn't happen routinely or coincidentally; it requires a conscious choice by each man who bears the priesthood.

So then real growth in priesthood power comes as we:

  • Develop the Christlike virtues that enable us to serve more effectively
  • Pray with diligence and sincerity
  • Search the scriptures, feasting on the words of Christ
  • Worship regularly in the temple
  • Serve others unselfishly
  • Cherish and care for our wife
  • Allow God to teach and guide us
That presents a good challenge for every holder of the priesthood, and indeed for every member of the Church, to actively choose to change and grow.

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