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Reorienting Our Perception of Home Teaching

I think we’ve all been there. You may have a good home/visiting teacher now, but I think we’ve all had no-shows and probably for most of our experience in the Church. Conversely, many of us have probably had experience being a no-show ourselves; maybe we’ve always pretty much failed at it. But what if changing things could be a simple as adjusting our perspective on home and visiting teaching? I’d like to share what’s been working for me and how I got there.

“We haven’t had home teachers for the last two years.”

“I’ve never had home teachers in this ward.”

“We had some good home teachers one time back when I was a teenager.”

Sound familiar? Our faces sour when we speak of home teaching in private company. It feels justifiable to throw our hands up and think that the church would be better off in dismantling the whole system altogether. I think this is completely wrong and I’ll explain why. Read Full Post

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Lift

I don’t share a lot of the Church’s videos and media here unless it is something that I find particularly profound or inspiring.

I like that this video shows the reluctance of the individuals, it presents real concerns and objections rather than trying to portray people just happily going about this duty. Let’s face it, we do feel inconvenienced and burdened at times because that is just our nature.

We are ok with “services projects” that only last for a short time, maybe an hour or so on a Saturday morning or during time that we already have set aside for Church service. But this video asks what we would do if something was requested of us with no end in sight.

I don’t think we’d know what to do unless we were in that particular situation. I like the fact that this video simply shows the impact of a difficult situation and the blessings that come from it; that is one of life’s paradoxes.

In a parallel universe this woman could have been left to fend for herself only to drift deeper into isolation and depression while the men would have been going about life as usual. Unfortunately, that reality is often the condition in this reality.

But we get this glimpse of people finding themselves in very difficult situations and yet, something beautiful comes because of it. No doubt this challenge is not the preferable version of reality that would be desired, but somehow it becomes a blessing.

It challenges us to ask ourselves what blessings really are and what recipes happiness truly consists of.

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Be worthy, be there

I have been thinking about priesthood service; what it means and the principles upon which it operates.

D&C 121:36 reveals a simple truth:

…the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

We also learn that “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood (vs. 41).” While it is true that man may hold the authority, or in other words the potential, to act in the name of God, the power of the priesthood is only in effect when certain conditions are present.

What are those conditions?

Having pondered on this subject, I have concluded that the conditions required for the power of the priesthood to be in effect can be summed up thus:

“Be worthy, be there.”

The principles of worthiness are based off of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the covenants that man has made in relation to it. Worthiness is “To be personally righteous and to stand approved in the sight of God and his appointed leaders” (The Guide to the Scriptures).

To be “there” means to be where God desires you to be. On any given day, you go about your duties to provide for your family and attend to other services and activities. If you are living worthy of the Spirit then God will often direct you toward someone in need of his blessings; you have your agency to respond or ignore these directions. If you respond and are where God desires you to be then you will be a conduit for the power of the priesthood.

These two simple conditions provide a simple vision for any priesthood holder to understand his role and obligation toward his family and fellow man.

If one ponders this simple vision, they will observe that these two principles are not limited to priesthood holders. Whether we are men or women, whether we hold the priesthood or not, the path that each of us must walk is the same.

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated – And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 130:20,21)

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