With Willing Hands
“The meeting that unfolded has to be the worst meeting in the history of the dispensation. From the moment I stood to teach a three-hour session, it was clear to me (and I’m sure to everyone else) that I was on my own. That night I experienced the utter futility of attempting to serve without the power of a presiding authority. Priesthood keys are real. They unlock the power of God to all who serve under their direction. Priesthood power is real. It is not some theological theory. It is the power of God himself.”
Sheri Dew made this observation (The Beginning of Better Days, p.58-59, advance reader’s edition) of a regional conference session she was asked to lead, when, while serving in the General Relief Society Presidency, local authorities suffered a miscommunication and no Stake President stepped forward to preside at the session she was conducting. I have pondered these words a great deal since I read them a few months ago, and it has altered the way that I speak and write online.
I am not called by priesthood authority to write online. I write as a disciple of Christ out of a personal sense of mission. Anything that draws attention to myself becomes priestcraft, and is especially damaging if it distracts people from hearing and listening to those who are called by priesthood authority by taking too much of their time, no matter how nice or popular it may be. It is our hope, as we provide this written forum, that it never substitutes for the careful study of the words of those who are called, but that it provides an opportunity for those who embrace those words to share how it has impacted their lives and to find additional strength to bear witness by associating with one another. As Sister Dew has pointed out, priesthood power is real, and we make it efficacious in our lives when we listen and respond to those who are called.
Last night three women who have been called by priesthood authority spoke to us, as did a member of the quorum of the First Presidency. Their words were the words of servants called in our day, and the same as if God had spoken. I was struck with thoughts both personal and global, as I’m sure were those of you who attended. We’d love to have you share with one another, in that delightful unity that was a thread through all their talks, what most profoundly inspired you.
Personally, I was galvanized to action in my own sphere by Pres. Burton’s framing of her watch: Atonement, Covenants, & Unity. I felt the beautiful unity of her presidency’s purpose as her counselors filled in the details in that structure, gently inviting all to find their part in this great work with tender testimonies. And finally, I was inspired by the picture that Pres. Eyring drew of “what lies ahead.” As he quoted an early saint who responded faithfully to the call to go meet the saints of the last handcart companies, I was also inspired:
Such a unanimity of feeling … What comes next for willing hands to do?
Indeed. For you, dear reader, after hearing the words of those called by priesthood authority, what comes next for your willing hands to do?
About BonnieLiving life determined to skid sideways into the grave and say, "MAN, what a ride!"
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