Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Book of Mormon

I love the Book of Mormon. This year in my Institute class we are studying the Book of Mormon. Even though we have just started the class I can already see the blessing the Book of Mormon is in my life. I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to study the Doctrine and Covenants in depth last year. It is a magnificent book of scripture that allows for a perfect transition into the study of the Book of Mormon.

My last posts were in regard to Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants wherein I discussed the New and Everlasting Covenant and the possibility of receiving ones calling and election sure, which also involves the bestowal of the sealing power to the recipient. This process is one of progression from a prophet, to a priest, to a king. It requires one to pass a test given by the Lord as a trial of faith, such as the test given to Abraham to sacrifice his son, or Joseph Smith to practice polygamy. When one receives the power to seal, they speak as if the Lord were speaking himself. The power is in their word.

President Boyd K Packer recently spoke of this power when he addressed the Saints in his most recent conference talk titled, The Power of the Priesthood. He defined Priesthood as “the authority and the power which God has granted to men on the earth to act for Him. When Priesthood authority is exercised properly, priesthood bearers do what He would do if He were present.”

He also cautioned us in the following way, “We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be.” He continued, “The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.”

The Book of Mormon is a beautiful instruction manual on how to gain that power through the priesthood and claim the attendant blessings that go with it. It is no wonder that the Prophet Joseph Smith described it in the following way, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

I can see that this is true.