The session began with a rousing rendition of Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel by a mixed age priesthood choir. This was followed by Secret Prayer
Elder Dale G Renlund
A rocket being manouvered for take off – valuable payload. The rocket’s mission is simply to deliver the payload. Rocket=priesthood. Payload =blessings of the atonement. [An interesting analogy further developed in the talk]
Because of His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ has the power and authority to redeem all mankind. To make His atoning power accessible, He has delegated a portion of His power and authority to men on earth. This delegated power and authority is called priesthood. It permits priesthood holders to help Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in Their work—to bring about the salvation and exaltation of God’s children. It does so because it provides His children the opportunity to receive the blessings of the Savior’s atoning power. …
We need the Saviour’s atoning power so that we can be reconciled with Heavenly Father.
Christ’s atoning power needs to be delivered to his children.
God intends priesthood to …deliver the payload.
… Priesthood is essential because necessary ordinances and covenants on earth are administered only by its authority. …
… Priesthood conferral is safeguarded by priesthood keys which are the rights of presidency given to men.. … Priesthood use is likewise safeguarded by priesthood keys but also by covenants that the priesthood holder makes. …
Priesthood is not an amorphous source of autonomous power.
The purpose of the priesthood is to help others come unto Christ…
God’s atoning power is made accessible through the priesthood which delivers the payload.
Both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods are received by covenant. God determines the terms and man accepts. Broadly speaking, priesthood holders covenant to help God in His work. …
To each man who receives the Melchizedek Priesthood, God affirms His covenant promises with an oath. This oath pertains only to the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is God who swears the oath, not the priesthood holder. …
Being casual or apathetic in a priesthood calling…jeopardises the priesthood covenant.
Story of restoring priesthood blessings to a ‘young’ man.
D&C 58:42 Behold, he who has of his , the same is , and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will them and them.
The priesthood delivers the gospel of Jesus Christ.
… I invite you to make and keep priesthood covenants. Receive God’s oath and his promise… Use the priesthood to help deliver the opportunity to benefit from the Savior’s atoning power to someone else! As you do, great blessings will come to you and to your family.
Elder David F Evans
Our individual search for truth.
Through study, prayer, and keeping the commandments, I found that there are answers to all of my important questions. I also found that for some questions, continuing faith, patience, and revelation are needed. …
… Willingness to be patient is part of our search for truth and part of the Lord’s pattern of revealing truth. …
President Monson: If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far.
I came to know that constant nourishment and continuing effort to repent and keep the commandments is needed. …
President Monson: a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.
To know the truth, we need to live the gospel and “experiment” on the word. We are cautioned to not resist the Spirit of the Lord. Repentance, coupled with a determination to keep the commandments, is an important part of each individual’s search for truth. In fact, we may need to be willing to “give away all” our sins in order to know the truth.
We are commanded to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” and to “seek … out of the best books words of wisdom” [D&C 88:118]. Our search for truth should focus on “the best books” and the best sources. Among the very best are the scriptures and the words of living prophets. President Monson has asked each of us to do what is necessary to obtain and keep a strong testimony.
… What is necessary for your testimony to deepen and strengthen? Each of us has a personal responsibility to do what is necessary to obtain and keep a strong testimony.
Patient covenant keeping brings the blessings of Heaven into our lives.
Elder Richard J Maynes
Brethren, perhaps there is no greater compliment we could receive from the Lord than to know He trusts us to be worthy priesthood holders and great husbands and fathers.
One thing is for certain: earning the Lord’s trust is a blessing that comes through great effort on our part. Trust is a blessing based on obedience to God’s laws. Earning the Lord’s trust comes as a result of being true to the covenants we have made in the waters of baptism and in the holy temple.
I love both ancient and modern-day scriptures that use the phrase “integrity of heart” when describing a righteous person’s character. Integrity or the lack of integrity is a fundamental element of one’s character. Men who have “integrity of heart” are men to be trusted—because trust is built on integrity.
Family Proclamation – responsibilities of fathers.
Unity with our wives.
2 Nephi 4:34 O Lord, I have in thee, and I will in thee forever. I will not put my in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
Trust brings, peace, love and an environment where that love can grow.
Trust plays an important part in creating a Christ-centred home.
Story of going on a business trip to Los Angeles with his father. Offered a bribe.
Brethren, it is my prayer this evening that we might all first place our trust in the Lord, as Nephi exemplified, and then through the integrity of our hearts earn the trust of the Lord, as well as the trust of our wives and children. As we understand and apply this sacred principle of trust built on integrity, we will be true to our sacred covenants. We will also succeed in presiding in our families with love and righteousness, providing the necessities of life, and protecting our families from the evils of the world.
Hymn: How Firm a Foundation
President Dieter F Uchtdorf
Story of elderly man buying stamps at post office. Young woman offered to show her how to use machine. He replied that he preferred waiting – ‘The machine won’t ask me about my arthritis.’
We accept aging and illness as part of our earthly journey.
We also face spiritual challenges.
Sometimes spiritual illness comes because of sin.
..we lose sight of the joy of the gospel. We might even feel that we have no more to give.
We can heal spiritually. Even the deepest spiritual wounds…can be healed. The healing power of Jesus Christ is not absent in our day.…
Whatever causes our spiritual ailments, they all have one thing in common: the absence of divine light.
Darkness reduces our ability to see clearly. It dims our vision of that which was at one time plain and clear….When we are in darkness we are more likely to lose hope.
Light, on the other hand, allows us to see things as they really are. It allows us to discern between truth and error.…We will find spiritual healing as we step away from the shadows of the world and into the everlasting light of Christ.
John 8:12 I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
D&C 84:45-46 For the of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is , and whatsoever is light is , even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46 And the giveth to that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
Matthew 6:22 if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
What is night? Night is nothing more than a shadow.
The absence of light causes darkness.
Darkness is not an indication that there is no light. Most often, it simply means we are not in the right place to receive the light. During the recent solar eclipse many made great efforts to get into the narrow band of shadow…
Satan will make every effort to create a shadow or get us into a shadow of our own making.
Even in moments of grearest darkness God hears our humble petitions.
It is up to us to be in the right place to see and feel the divine light and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even when night has fallen and the world seems dark, we can choose to walk in Christ’s light, keep His commandments, and courageously testify of His reality and His greatness.
As a bearer of God’s priesthood and as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are a bearer of light. Keep doing the things that will nurture His divine light. Hold up your light and let it shine before men…
My dear brothers, you are instruments in the hands of the Lord with the purpose of bringing light and healing to the souls of Heavenly Father’s children. Perhaps you do not feel qualified to heal those who are spiritually ill…maybe you face spiritual challenges of your own Nevertheless the Lord has called you…. to uplift and bless God’s children.…
Every time you reject temptation and choose purity…the light chases away darkness and attracts others who are seeking light and truth…..
Our young people are seeking light and they need to hear from you…
Christ’s light brings hope, happiness, and healing of any spiritual wound or ailment. Those who experience this refining influence become instruments in the hand of the Light of the world to give light to others…
It is my prayer and blessing that you will succeed in fulfilling your destiny as priesthood holders of Almighty God and always be joyful bearers of His heavenly light.
[Another wonderful talk from President Uchtdorf that I suspect will repay greater study]
President Henry B Eyring
Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church
He leads his church by speaking to men called prophets
He gives confirming revelation to those who serve under the leadership of his prophets.
The Lord’s leadership of His Church requires great and steady faith from all who serve Him on earth. …
It takes faith to believe that he knows the people that he calls perfectly.
… You have the capacity to receive revelation and to act on it fearlessly.
It takes faith to do so. It takes even greater faith to believe that the Lord has called imperfect human servants to lead you. My purpose..is to build your faith…that the Lord is inspiring the imperfect persons that he has called as your leaders…
Faith is essential.
Story of secretary in teachers quorum sent to a less active boy.
A bishop is sometimes called to serve people who know him well…These members have to know that the call to serve as a bishop came from the Lord by revelation.
Mosiah 2:10-11 I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear , or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man.
11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and by father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.
Your leader in the Lord’s Church may seem to you weak and human or may appear to you strong and inspired. The fact is that every leader is a mixture of those traits and more. What helps servants of the Lord who are called to lead us is when we try to see them as the Lord did when He called them.
The Lord sees His servants perfectly. He sees their potential and their future. He knows how their very nature can be changed. He also knows how they can be changed by their experiences with the people they will lead. …
I try not to judge servants of the Lord.
James E Faust: We also need to support and sustain our local leaders, because they also have been “called and chosen.” Every member of this Church may receive counsel from a bishop or a branch president, a stake or a mission president, and the President of the Church and his associates. None of these brethren asked for his calling. None is perfect. Yet they are the servants of the Lord, called by Him through those entitled to inspiration. Those called, sustained, and set apart are entitled to our sustaining support……Disrespect for ecclesiastical leaders has caused many to suffer spiritual weakening and downfall. We should look past any perceived imperfections, warts, or spots of the men called to preside over us, and uphold the office which they hold.
Brigham Young: Joseph was a Prophet, and I knew it, and that they might rail and slander him as much as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the Prophet of God, they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread that bound them to the Prophet and to God and sink themselves to hell.
There is a thread that binds us to the Lord in our service. It runs from wherever we are called to serve in the kingdom, up through those called to preside over us in the priesthood, and to the prophet, who is bound to the Lord. It takes faith and humility to serve in the place to which we are called, to trust that the Lord called us and those who preside over us, and to sustain them with full faith.
[An emotional and powerful address by President Eyring]
Closing hymn: We Ever Pray For Thee