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At the end of the Summer I read a talk from the 173rd Semiannual General Conference, October 2003 in the November 2003 Ensign by Elder Merrill J. Bateman, Of the Presidency of the Seventy.
Elder Bateman says:
It is expected that worthy holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood will use the power delegated to them to bless others, starting with their own families.
I remember over a year ago when my Bishop urged fathers to give back to school blessings to their children before the beginning of school. My heart filled with joy concerning the blessings that were available to my family. I shortly learned afterwards that it was something a Melchezidek Priestholder would have to do.
That Sunday, my home teacher was coming over to visit our family. As he gave his lesson, it came to me that he could bless my children. He agreed to and then each of my sons at school age were blessed. The blessings he gave were exactly what my children needed and I was grateful for his willingness to serve.
I am also grateful that he was able to give a blessing, as he was a worthy priesthood holder. Even though he has moved to another state, I still think of him as an example of who to be – A Worthy Priesthood holder. You never know when you will have to exercise your priesthood and this gives a great incentive to stay pure, clean and worthy.
How do you give a Blessing? What do you say?
As a worthy holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood, you lightly place your hands on the person receiving the blessing and do the following:
- Calls the person by his or her full name.
- States that he is giving the blessing by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Gives a blessing as the Spirit directs.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
During our last Summer FHE (Family Home Evenings) I gave my children blessings. I had read an article on lds.org titled “Me? Give a Blessing?” by Brad Larsen in the January 2005 New Era issue and received from good advice from it. Brad Larsen says:
I remembered my dad. Whenever he had to give a blessing, he went quietly into another room and prayed first.
Before I gave the blessings, I went into another room and prayed to our Heavenly Father. It really did help.
We pulled a dining room chair into the living room and one by one I placed my hands on their head and gave them a blessing as the Spirit had directed me to. After I did my two oldest school-aged boys, the youngest happily hopped into the chair for a blessing as well. We all smiled at his eagerness and I gave him one as well.
After looking back at that night, I now feel stronger about utilizing the Priesthood often and making it a regular occurrence and readily available to my family. I am grateful for the priesthood which I hold and the blessings it can bring to peoples lives.
To read Elder Merrill J. Bateman’s talk, click here.
To read “Me? Give a Blessing?” by Brad Larsen, click here.
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.
As an investigator attending Elder’s Quorum. I often heard about assignments called “Home Teaching.” It seemed a bit different and I did not quite understand what it was about. I began looking into what is entailed in home teaching and I came across an article: Confessions of a Halfhearted Home Teacher
As a new member and Aaronic Priesthood holder in the Church, I have found Doctrine and Covenants, Chapter 20 (D&C:20) to be very useful in instilling an enthusiastic urge in performing the duties that I have. Two verses that really stick out me are:
The priests duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament, And visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties. (D&C 20:46-47)
Another two verses that jump out at me are:
And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; And see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty. (D&C 20:54-55)
I have been blessed with being able to perform most of my duties in my short time that I’ve been a member. Specifically: baptize, administer the sacrament (passing and preparing – I am privileged to bless sacrament in two weeks!), and home teaching. Taking part in these ordinances gives me a tremendous feeling of joy!
This evening, I had the opportunity to meet with the family I was assigned to “home teach” with my new companion. It was a wonderful experience. I was a bit anxious to go to my first home teaching but it went great. I got to meet and learn about a new family that just moved in to my ward and more about my home teaching companion. I had the chance to teach a gospel principal and hopefully leave an impression on the family for the month.
As we were walking to the house of the family we were to home teach, I let my companion know that I have never done it before. He explained to me how the purpose of home teaching is to get to know the family, letting the family get to know you and get them comfortable for asking for any type of help when needed. This reminded me of the scripture in the Book of Mormon that greatly impressed me when I was investigating the church. This verse is about Alma preaching to people in the wilderness:
And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light (Mosiah 18:8)
“…willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” What a powerful concept that I observe in this church every day.
As I saw for myself, home teaching is an important component to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It teaches something to the families and also teaches the teacher. It lets us get to know each other, it allows us strengthen each other and it allows us to “watch over the church” just as this verse in Doctrine and Covenants says:
The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them. (D&C 20:53)
I cannot wait to do it again.