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This last Saturday, I had the privileged of baptizing my 2nd son, Dylan. It was quite a different experience than the other baptisms that I have been to. This time, it seems like it was HIGHLY organized by our stake and there were so much people that it filled the entire chapel of the stake center.
This time around, each ward took turns at the font and split up into different areas of the stake center afterwards. Since Dylan was the only one being baptized for our ward, we ended up in the small family history / employment center room.
I also found myself referring back to my posts: My Son’s Baptism, A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect BEFORE your Baptism and A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect AFTER your Baptism to reference the prayers and procedures needing to be performed.
During the opening of the baptism service, I was impressed that my son was eager to answer all the questions by the speaker in the chapel for the service before the ordinance was performed. The baptism had to be done twice because his toe poked out of the water. The 2nd time I dunked him, I made sure to push him down to the very bottom of the font by his chest and knees.
Next during his confirmation, my heart was full of joy and I know my son felt the same way when telling him to “receive the holy ghost.”
I am thankful that my best friend Mike and his family could come and support Dylan in his decision. Also glad that Mike was on hand for being a witness in the baptism and part of the confirmation as well. I am glad to have the privilege to hold the priesthood and minister unto my family and those around me.
My son’s baptism has given me another person to look up to when living the gospel. Together I know we will help each other grow closer to Jesus Christ.
- Spoke about the duty of the Priesthood in the home
- Presiding Authority always vested in the Father.
- Father is to direct the administration of ordinances in his home.
- Father presides at the table, prayer and general instruction to the family whenever he is present.
- Soldier with orders to Vietnam asked president Harold B. Lee for a blessing. Turned him down and told him to ask his father.
- 2 years later, the soldier said he did as was asked and he felt the power of the priesthood.
- Another time a young man was to be set apart as an Elder, Bro. Packer, told him his father was to do it. Good thing he was an Elder, or else he would have had a “Battlefield commission.”
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 1 – M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Priesthood is the divine power that seals
- How to Talk between Father and Son:
- Most Nurturing
- Who Sons and Fathers Become
- Applies to All Mentors
- 3 Suggestions for the Son:
- 1. Trust Your Father:
- Not Perfect, but loves you and is looking out for your best interests.
- Your Father will feel responsibility and will make him work harder.
- 2. Take an interest in your father’s life.
- How he met your mother?
- Watch your father, you’ll understand your father better.
- 3. Ask for your father’s advice:
- Ask on Church, Classes, School, Assignments, Missions, Callings.
- Asking says to him: “I appreciate your knowledge and experience.”
- 1. Trust Your Father:
- 3 Suggestions for the Father:
- 1. Listen to your sons. Ask the right questions and what to know.
- Connect with your son: Driving, Fishing, Conversations before bed, working in the yard.
- Have one deep conversation with your son at least once a month.
- Where and when is not important. Just that it happens.
- Ask how they “feel”
- Just listen. You don’t have to fix everything.
- 2. Pray with and for your sons.
- Important events: New School Year, Birthday, One and One Prayer, Testimony Sharing.
- Never give up. Even when you can’t do anything.
- 3. Talk about and warn about bad things: Drugs, Pornography. Discuss the priesthood and moral cleanliness.
- 1. Listen to your sons. Ask the right questions and what to know.
- Trust will flourish. Be open about Sexual Behavior with open and frequent discussions. Be positive about sexual relations in the bounds of marriage.
- Return Missionaries – All this advice applies to them as well.
- Pray to Heavenly Father. Honor your Earthy Father.
- Most important decision is to marry the right girl in the temple.
- Fathers of return missionaries, this applies to them too.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 2 – Walter F. Gonzalez, of the Seventy
- USE the Book of Mormon
- Take the Book of Mormon Test: Is it of man or of God?
- 3 Activities to best read and apply:
- Feast Upon the Words of Christ. READ IT.
- Implement the Teachings
- Teach From the Book of Mormon
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 3 – Yoon Hwan Choi, of the Seventy
- Story of 9 Rowdy Boys, Baptized and went on missions.
- They went from 9 Boys to a family of 45 members.
- The boys sang in a group.
- Choi prayed about them and was inspired to teach them to be missionaries.
- “Attend all church meetings” – Taft
- Teach them to change their lives
- Adam did not always have to know why, he just obeyed.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 4 – President Deter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, First Presidency
- Must remain steadfast in faith.
- Work Hard.
- Trust in God.
- Uchtdorf was teased as a young child. When he looks back, he sees that being teased gave him personal growth.
- Adversity, when faced with faith, can be overcome.
- 1. WORK.
- If you keep at it, steady and constant, things will improve.
- In the sweat of thy face, thou shalt eat bread.
- Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. Don’t compare your performance to others, he does not.
- When your wagon is stuck in the mude, God is more likely to help one who gets out to push, than those who pray.
- Righteous work in the home is sacred and has eternal results. It cannot be delegated.
- Spend your days growing.
- Spiritual Wings – as sons of God, we should grow to the horizons.
- Retirement is not part of God’s plan. You should always be doing something.
- Excuses with age: Skateboarding, biking, spicy food at the buffet… should not keep you from working.
- No retirement from priesthood.
- Wanting to retire from work is not a thought of a disciple.
- 2. LEARN.
- Old saying: “Education is not so much a filling of a bucket as a lighting of a fire.”
- Learning is a commandment.
- Joseph Smith said as a mortal part of our journey that knowledge in this life crosses into the resurrection.
- Knowledge takes away anxiety, doubt and darkness.
- 1. WORK.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 5 – President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor, First Presidency
- Keeps olive oil on him at all times.
- Keeps it in his desk (He has a desk!)
- Keeps it on his nightstand.
- The olive oil has a date on it: The day it has been concecrated.
- Always ready.
- Story: A father called him about his three year old daughter. She had been hit by a car. He plead for a priesthood blessing. He had to fight the doctors to place a drop of oil on her head amidst bandages. Doctors said she was dying. They were wrong. She lived and also learned to walk again.
- Those prepared are ready to answer.
- Preparation begins at home, quorums, etc.
- Steady Obedient Service.
- To have faith, authority to act in the name of God.
- Nephi – Given the authority to do miracles. He brought drought/rain, god gave him power and trust.
- D&C 121 – Moves are pure, Gentleness, Love, Not Selfish. D&C 121 contains a promise in there.
- Prepare for days when heaven needs you. Service & Opportunity.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 6 – President Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet
- Story of a couple fighting and a child who got hurt as a direct result.
- Anger doesn’t solve anything.
- Destroys everything.
- Heber grant story about work.
- “Man is a fool who takes insult that is not intended”
- Anger is Satans tool.
- Story about Brother Marsh, how a result of a quarrel over milk and cream lead to the extermination order.
- Story about two brothers who shared a 1 room cabin in New York. They got into a fight and drew a line down the center of the room. They did not speak or cross the line for 62 years. This story was told at a funeral.
- Reads “School Thy Feelings Poem”
Sunday Session 5, Talk 6 – Joseph W. Sitati, of the Seventy
- Speaks on the history of the Priesthood Keys from Adam to today.
A month ago, I attended and got to “stand in” on my friend Mike’s baby blessing. Listening to him bless his baby was a wonderful thing – hearing his thoughts and thoughts and feeling the Spirit.
Why do we name and bless children in the church?
Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name. (D&C 20:70)
The ordinance of naming and blessing children requires authorization from the presiding authority, which is usually your Bishop.
When blessing a baby, men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood gather in a circle and hold the baby in their hands. When blessing an older child, brethren place their hands lightly on the child’s head. The person (usually the father) who gives the blessing does the following:
- Addresses Heavenly Father.
- States that the blessing is given by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Gives the child a name. (by which the baby will be known on the records of the Church)
- Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
Only worthy men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in naming and blessing children.
I can’t remember the last time I felt the spirit so strongly.
I am so excited. My ward has been planning a trip to the temple to do baptisms for the youth and new converts. When I first heard about this, I was kind of leary about going yet. There are so many things that made me want to wait and I thought I was going to do just that. I even planned on working on the Saturday that was planned.
I believe that the hand of the Lord was influencing things today as I attended Church today. We made it just as church was beginning today. We were able to sit through and take sacrament together as a family. It was ward conference and there were sustainings and a message from our bishop.
The Bishop had a message about how we are not perfect, but if we are willing we can improve every day and also the importance of us sharing the gospel with everyone.
The new stake president (the man who asked me to speak in another ward last summer) also delivered an influencing message. How we should stop concentrating on the temporal things such as having that large home or car or watching TV and focus on our spiritual needs and how to put our Heavenly Father first.
We had a combined meeting for 2nd hour – and one of the stake councilors spoke about the importance of family and the plan of happiness / plan of salvation.
The third hour we had a combined priesthood meeting and we spoke about the needs of our significant others.
Before third hour, the brother that had baptized me approached me about going to the temple next Saturday. I thought I had already made up my mind and kindly told him I wasn’t going to. But then a feeling came over me that I should go anyway. After talking with him shortly I decided it was something I should do. Everything fell into place from here.
I was found by the Bishop’s secretary and had an appointment for after church for the temple recommend interview. I was beaming with joy at this point.
The whole day so far made me realize many things:
- How much I love my wife and children and how I want to be with them forever.
- The joy that comes from coming to church every week.
- This church has brought nothing but goodness to my life.
- This church is ABSOLUTELY the Church of Jesus Christ.
After third hour, I met up with my lovely family and asked them to wait while I talked to the Bishop.
It was a wonderful meeting, full of the spirit, I was bursting at the seams with joy. My interview went well, with the usual questions which are similar if not exactly what we are asked for our baptism interview or priesthood interviews.
There is one question that is different that came up and I was waiting for it. The Bishop asked me “Are you worthy to go to the temple?” This seems like a simple question but it is not. I realize that no unclean thing can be before the Lord, let alone enter his house. I had the feeling I should have just said yes, but with trying to be honest to myself and the Lord I said “…pretty much, 95% sure.” And why did I answer this way? Because I am not a perfect person. However, the Bishop again started to explain that part of being worthy is to be willing (note the keyword willing) to be obedient to the Lord. And I do believe I am.
“We are our own worst judge.” I said, and then I said that I am indeed worthy to enter the temple.
The Bishop also mentioned that he has noticed a change in my countenance and I was glad to hear that. I felt a change in the past few weeks. I felt a change because I’ve been doing what they always say:
- Keep the commandments.
- Study the scriptures daily.
- Have family home evening.
- Pray together as a family.
- Pray while alone.
I testify that these things make an absolute difference. I’ve tried to follow the advice before.
Trying was bringing change and happiness in my life.
Doing, however, has brought immense joy and peace.
Even though I said I was going to work on a Saturday, I have to say that I am not. To make up for it, I will work late on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, I will rest and prepare to enter the temple and on the coming weekend I will dedicate it completely to spiritual things, which absolutely take importance above all temporal issues.
I am anticipating being dunk again. The feeling of being baptized is like none other. I was thinking since I was an Elder I could help by doing the baptisms, but I there is a policy that I have to be a member for a year and have a full temple recommend as well as being an Elder to do so. I am fine with that, I just want to help anyway that I can.
I am excited to enter the House of the Lord.
I feel spiritually recharged and like I can take anything on. Things are falling into place as if the Lord has prepared a way for me out of my situation.
It was past 11:00pm when I left church.
I felt relieved, with a new energy and my testimony strengthened even more.
I really appreciate my Bishop and the hard work and dedication he has to the ward.
Things seem to be very difficult in my life right now with one thing after another going wrong. I’ve been depressed and stressed out. I admit, I did not want to go to Church on Sunday. The night before, I only had two hours of sleep and it was already 8:15am when I woke up. Sacrament started at 9:00am.
I almost rolled over and went back to bed, but didn’t. I felt I had to be strong, if not for myself than for my children. After an agonizing wait to get everyone ready and loaded into the minivan, we arrived at church. It was 9:30am when we arrived.
It’s a bad feeling when I miss sacrament. Something I used to view lightly when I was growing up in Catholic Church now meant so much to me. It meant that I can start over and wash away anything less than righteous from the week before. I sat in the lobby feeling empty and didn’t even try to enter the chapel.
There I sat for about ten minutes until the thought came in my head: “You can leave church, you missed sacrament anyway.” No, I couldn’t do it – I was already there and I remembered that I DO actually get something out of the other Sunday School and Priesthood Meetings. Besides, the children would learn something new and enjoy their Sabbath day. The last twenty minutes went by easier.
The Sunday School Gospel Essentials lesson was a review on the Second Coming of Christ: The signs of the second coming, the gathering of the house of Israel (the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millennium. And there was one more thing – integrity. Then our teacher started touching points of his experiences at his caucus the day before.
Priesthood Meeting was good. We sang “I am a Child of God” as the opening song and then everyone shared their missionary stories and the bishop talked to us about fulfilling our home teaching. Both ways – meaning that if you had not been contacted by your home teacher, seek them out and get it rolling!
Afterwards, I spotted my home teaching companion and my assigned member and we scheduled an appointment. I had a home teaching appointment with my companion and family at 3:30pm.
After Priesthood Meeting, we went to Elders Quorum where we had an abbreviated lesson on God the Eternal Father and the true nature of the Godhead.
I left for home feeling like I didn’t really get anything out of Church and that my Sabbath day was wasting away.
I napped from 12:30pm until about 1:30pm and then I could not get back to sleep. I searched for and pulled out my unopened January issue of Ensign and began to read the First Presidency message to see what I would teach my family. I read it and thought I was ready to go.
My home teaching companion finally came and he met me at my house. We walked down the street to the family’s home and walked in. He saw that I had my Ensign and he was excited and he left his in the car. After some small talk, we began our lesson with my giving the invocation prayer. My companion offered me the lead and I refused. He kindly took the lead and delivered it like a professional.
After he had done his part and gone through the lesson about how Jesus Christ built bridges, I finally added in my two cent about how Obedience, Service and Prayer has helped me in the past year. There was some more small talk and then my companion gave the benediction prayer and we left. I felt enlightened and really took something away from my time at their home.
My companion and I was walking back to his car when he asked what seemed to be a routine question.
What can I do for you?
Usually I am prideful or embarrassed so I give the routine response back, “Oh nothing, we’re doing fine.” Not this time, something came over me and I humbled myself and told him.
I told him about my problems and he counseled me.
My first problem was about my expensive plumbing issues with my house. It turned out he has ownership in a plumbing company so he said he would help me.
“That’s nothing” he said, “piece of cake, if I can I’ll do the work for you and eat the cost.” He then asked again, “What else?” I hesitated for a second and then I humbled myself and continued.”
My second issue was about my mortgage situation. My ARM adjusting for the 3rd time and my payment going ridiculously high. How high? So high I could be living in a house three times the size of the one I have now.
He told me I should talk to the Bishop, if the plans that I have to fix things do not go through, perhaps it can be arranged that someone who is a mortgage expert in the stake can help me. He told me to make an appointment with the bishop.
“This is easy” he said.
“Everyone in our ward is here when you need us, this can be taken care of.”
He then looked at me again and asked me again, “What else?” My heart lightened and then continued again about another issue that has been weighing on me.
My third issue we discussed as well and he again gave me some advice and suggested that I talk to the bishop about it.
My meekness was now obvious and then he asked me again. “What else?” I replied “Nothing else.” He smiled and we talked for a while more. We then were going to part ways and instead of a shake he gives me a hug. It was just what I needed.
I really appreciate him and I hope I can somehow convey that fact and help him one day.
What else good can come from doing home teaching?
Having a home teacher!
At 6:00pm we had a dinner and family home evening scheduled at my new home teacher’s house. I am glad that we went and that they took time out to visit with us. It was very fun and we got along very well since were all pretty similar in age. It also helped that they have very loud boys as well and we felt right at home.
I really appreciate my home teacher as well, with everything he has done for us. We were on the subject of large families and I cannot forget what he said to me.
“Family is the only thing you can take with you.”
When dinner was over (it was a very good one) and it was time for Family Home Evening, he began and showed me how it was done. All the boys in the room lasted less than five minutes and then the lesson was done. I actually relieved to see it doesn’t last long for him either.
After about three very fun hours at their house we left and went back home.
When we got home I realized that I only had a total of three hours of sleep.
I quickly fell asleep feeling satisfied, content and at peace.
I can say that not giving up faith, being obedient, service, prayer and being meek do have its rewards.
Thank you, Heavenly Father.
Usually the Sunday following your baptism, in which you were immersed in water, your confirmation follows. It is done during sacrament meeting, before the sacrament ordinance. Confirmation can also be done immediately following the baptism. The confirmation is sometimes called baptism by fire, or the gift of the Holy Ghost:
For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 31:17).
With the gift of the Holy Ghost, we receive the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It becomes our lifelong guide that will lead us back to Heavenly Father. It will help us stay on the straight and narrow path, know right from wrong, guide us through tough decisions and provide peace and comfort in all that we do. When Nephi realized that many did not know what to do after their conversion and baptism, he said the “words of Christ,” as communicated by the Holy Ghost, would guide them:
If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32:5)
Confirmation is done by someone with the Melchizedek Priesthood Authority, under the direction of the bishopric or branch presidency.
The actual ordinance goes as follows:
- One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders participate in this ordinance.
- The Priesthood holders encircle you while you sit down in a chair facing the congregation.
- They place their hands lightly on the person’s head.
- Then the person who performs the ordinance:
- Calls you by your full name.
- States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Confirms you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Bestows the gift of the Holy Ghost by saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”
- Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs. (one to two minutes)
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
After the ordinance is completed, you stand up and begin shaking hands with everyone in the circle. Don’t forget to take a look at the congregation. They are the people who will be there for you and help you through everything. They sincerely care for you and your family and…
…are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8-9)
Congratulations, you are now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I admit, when I first started going to Church I wanted to call the Bishop the Warden instead. I wanted to do so only because the Church was called a Ward. It seemed fit that the Warden would be in charge of the Ward. It took me two months to get that out of my system and I’m happy to report that I never once slipped up…at least I don’t think I did.
I don’t know if my Bishop will ever know how much I admire and appreciate him. Not because he holds a prestigious title, that he presides over Sacrament or is in the highest office of the Aaronic priesthood. The reason why I appreciate him is because he is just a man. He is a man who is kind, caring, humble, sincere and the first one to admit his faults.
If I did not know him and saw him walking down the street, I would know he was a righteous man, obedient to the Lord. He is a man that has the Spirit with him, always.
I know how hard his calling can be and he does it with a smile and with all his heart. He is one of the many men in my ward that I look up to as an example of what I want to become. He is a man that has his spiritual affairs in order.
Last Sunday for Church, I caught him in his office and met with him briefly about arranging to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood since I was Sustained in the last Stake conference. When he saw me, he smiled. He shook my hand and was genuinely happy to see me. We sat in his office for a second and I told him of my plans and how I wanted my best friend to ordain me.
Afterwards, he told me how he was proud of me and put his arm around my shoulder. “How are you doing?” he asked me. “I’m trying as best as I can.” I replied. “The best you can is good enough and that is between you and the Lord.” Like many times before, he spoke about how he is not perfect, has his faults and he tries his best as well. He also spoke of the wonderful gift of the atonement and how he relies on it in his life. At that moment I felt the Spirit bring me Peace and Comfort. It washed away my feelings of inadequacies.
His kindness and humble attitude strengthened my testimony. He made my day. He made my week. Even though I thought something horrible happend less than three hours ago when a Deacon forgot to pass us the bread for Sacrament, I felt safe and set for another week.
He is just a man, but he is my Bishop. And I wish I could find a way to thank him for that.