Amar y Servir

Amar y Servir

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Priesthood, an Extension of Christ

Last week our mission president challenged us as a mission to study the priesthood.  To understand the differences in the aaronic and melquisedec (that is written in Spanish, I don't know it in English).  As I was studying, I came across some great things in D&C 107, but when I was assigned to speak on the subject in zone meeting, I was given a document that led me to Alma 13.  Here are some of my notes.


We know from modern revelation that the high priesthood is an extension of Jesus Christ himself, a type of his being and power. To the Prophet Joseph Smith it was revealed that the full and proper name of the priesthood is “ the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.” Order is a rich, broad word with several meanings—one of which is “after the fashion or example of: like,similar to. (Elder Holland) 

1. One way Christ is like the Priesthood that bears his name is in his eternal nature. The Priesthood is, we are told, “without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to [God’s] foreknowledge of all things.” (Alma 3:7, D&C 84:17) 

2. Christ,, who was made a High Priest at the hand of his Father, (Hebrews 4:5) was also described as “without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth.” (Alma 13:9) 

3. Through The Book of Mormon, other scripture, doctrine and ordinances we learn how the Savior and his priesthood is extended to all who follow Christ and are ordained to the priesthood. This was spelled out by Alma: (Alma 13: 1-2, 16) 
Study all of chapter 13 of Alma. 

---Personal notes---

Main points:
  1. Original name: "The  Holy  Priesthood,  after  the  Order  of  the  Son  of  God."
  2. Order: - after  the  fashion  or example  of:  like,similar  to.    (Elder  Holland)
  3. The  high  priesthood  is  an  extension  of  Jesus  Christ himself,  a  type  of  his  being  and  power.
My notes on ALMA 13

In what manner were they chosen?
Vs. 3-5
  • 5. "in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren"
  • 3. "Through exceeding faith and good works,... having chosen good."
In what manner were they ordained and for what purpose?
Vs. 8, 16
  • 16. "Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.
    • 2. "that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption."
    • 6. "that they also might enter into his rest"
What is the duration of the calling and the priesthood?
Vs. 3, 5, 7-9
  • 8. "which calling, and ordinance,and high priesthood, is without beginning or end"
In the end, the priesthood is an extension of Christ, "who is without beginning of days or end of years".  Those who receive such priesthood are receiving an extension of Christ.  Those who exercise great faith experience the power in the priesthood.  Which, in my personal opinion, will result in growth in the priesthood, which is the same measurement on how much more an individual becomes more like Christ himself.  

With the thought when it comes to women and being participants in such blessings, it is through the magnifying of their callings.  For it is through that action that they experience the power of the priesthood and the blessings prescribed.  They aren't necessarily holders, but that by no means limit the blessings nor the experiencing of the manifestations of it.

This weekend Elder Quaresma and I had a few opportunities to exercise the power in the priesthood.  We get quite a number of opportunities having the hospital in our area.  We had a missionary fireside, which is another story, and we were finishing up and working our way over to the hospital.  As we got there, we were looking at directions in the hospital and someone came up to us and asked "hey, can you give blessings to non-members?" We said of course and she gave us the info on where the room was and we made our way onto our first visit.  It went well and Elder Quaresma was the voice.  It is evident that as we have had more opportunities to offer blessings, his confidence has developed.  We have been even discussing on how we have been feeling as we get these opportunities.  One thing that Elder Quaresma mentioned "It's hard to describe as we are Jesus Christ as we give the blessing."  Which, it supports the idea because as we give blessings, we are guided by the Spirit.  Who only speaks the words of Christ.  So as a holder of the priesthood, with an extension of Him, and being guided by the Holy Spirit, His representative and messenger, I would safely conclude that we are indeed acting in Christ and as Christ would.  As we continue to seek greater faith and strive to be more obedient, or as a follower as dad pointed out, we are given great power and can minister in a way that we alone could never achieve alone.

Thanks for sending the creepy monkey photos and the fun darling pictures of bruiser.  I have to say that everyone of the cousins are growing up so much and that mom and dad look like they have been getting younger.  How you all manage to get so smokin' and good looking I would say is a great reflection of the light of Christ growing writhin each and everyone of you.  Love you all!

FYI. we'll be climbing mt. Humphries next p-day which is a 9 mile hike and going to the Grand Canyon with one of the bishops the next.  So I might not be able to write much, but know that I appreciate so much to see how wonderful life is at home and how amazing you all have been.

Cottonwood/Flagstaff Zone

Monday, May 23, 2016

Working Effectively Doesn't Mean Filling Your Day with More "To Do's"

Working Effectively Doesn't Mean Filling Your Day with More "To Do's"

Thanks dad for the amazing email on that analogy with the shell and the stages of life.  It was an answer to a prayer and gave me the right focus I need to fill out my mission right.  Mom, thanks for helping with college things.  That is an answer to prayers as well and I feel much more settled.  This will make it easier to stay focused and not preoccupied with college things while proselyting.  You both are stalwarts in my life.  I am glad I have you both.

So as mom has done so well to always praise me for my efforts, I have found my fire for writing poems be reignited, dad's poem was a great read.  So here is one I am currently working on.  When I get home I want to see different poem structures and find new ways to write.

The Divine Dove

A voice soft and delicate,
Heard clearly though inaudible.
Where nothing will replicate,
Which the world finds insensible.

The message is distinguished,
Be sure to give ear.
Wherein is the pain relinquished
a message soft and clear.

The voice is not its own,
But that of the master.
Such understanding has grown
When heed is given faster.

Behold the Holy Spirit,
Feel his presence grow.
Notice your soul be lit
As you see the revelation flow.

Your soul He will sanctify,
Of a once considered loss.
As to gold does fire purify
He removes all the dross.

No man is out of His reach
We only need to change.
Let him our hearts breach
And with our life, rearrange.

Of His power and majesty
No words can describe.
Nor the happiness so readily
To all does He provide.

To this member of the godhead 
This tribute has been borne
From one whom He readily lead
To show a Savior is borne.

I give thanks to him
For all that he has done
To fill a heart once dim
The light of God's Son.

This poem will be a favorite of mine, because my testimony will be borne within.  So I'll get to explaining the title.

So this past week was one of true sacrifice.  Throughout the whole week, we were fighting a lack of motivation and great frustration.  This has been an interesting cycle on my mission because I have noticed a pattern.  When I first get into an area, the first third of the experience has required work.  Diligent and dedicated work.  Nothing resulted to a great degree, with the exception of my first area with Elder Taylor.

As I have been in this area, there was the usual 2-3 weeks getting adjusted and familiarizing myself with the Ward and investigators.  We spent time dropping a lot of investigators that weren't progressing and revising our planning process.  By week four we were running a high average in key indicators, with the exception of sacrament meeting attendance.  We were getting by week five an average of about 3-4 people on date (which is nearly double of standards of excellence, a mission-wide standard).  However, right when it seemed like we were on track to having some baptisms in the beginning of June and a good number on date for the latter part, we have found ourself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

This progressed through the week and we took turns taking the heat.  I would have a hard night and wasn't capable of doing anything but just taking a relaxing exercise from Adjusting to Missionary life and going to sleep.  Or Elder Quaresma taking a really hard hit Sunday night to today.  He was so stressed and wasn't giving himself a chance to rest and relax (because he didn't feel that he had done enough or was good enough at something) that most of Monday he was vomiting and full of diarrhea.  He tried going out for a few hours, which resulted in an amazing lesson with a 70 yr old man who has been married to an active Mormon wife for nearly 50 years, nearly crying and full of the Spirit.  He even said it himself "I guess that might be some sort of sign huh?". Following another puking session and diarrhea, he tried to go for another hour, despite my efforts to persuade him to rest.  He lasted only 45min and had to go back.  The rest of the night was really hard for him.  

When it came time to sleep, me and Elder Bunn were talking and he came out of the bedroom in tears asking for us to stop talking.  He couldn't sleep and his whole body was hurting.  He couldn't understand what was happening and mentioned that nothing like this has ever happened before.  

He asked me to pray for him.  

And so I did.

I can say it was one of the best prayers I have ever offered on my mission.  Words came out of my mouth that I haven't used scarcely before.  Faith was in every statement, and the honest communication felt like the most open prayer that I have offered with God.  It was as if He was there with us and we were in conversation explaining the situation and asking for his aid.  Before the prayer was concluded, he was calm, relaxed and soon after was able to fall asleep.

The power of prayer is more than asking or giving thanks.  It is enabling power that allows us to connect with our Father in Heaven, a power which opens the channels between this probationary state to a light that can illuminate any darkened or troubled soul.  As we continue to learn how to open the flood gates, which we readily hold back, we can find a greater sense of purpose in this life and an ever more personal connection with our Father.

🌅 Elder Nathan Benson 🌅