Friday, July 1, 2011

Power of the Priesthood

(I jotted down these thoughts in April 2011, but never got around to publishing them. That happens a lot!)

Last fall, asked a couple of math teachers that I work with to give me a blessing. One in his bishopric, one the bishop of another ward, but they seemed awkward, yet willing. I was sick with a cold that was lingering, and I was overwhelmed by requirements at school and my life at home. Scott had recently had his name removed from the records of the church, so I no longer felt it appropriate to ask him for a blessing. This feeling was agonizing since the priesthood is one of the things I was always so grateful for in my choice of a husband.

In the blessing, my dear friend told me that I didn't need hands on my head to call on the power of God, the Priesthood, on behalf of myself or my children--that I could ask God any time to bless me or my family.

Several times since, when I might normally in the past been inclined to ask Scott to give me or one of the children a blessing, instead I prayed and called on God to use his power to heal and comfort myself or my child.

One night I called Scott up from the basement to help me with the baby. He had an ear infection, and I had just barely fed him and given him a dose of Advil for his raging fever when a coughing spell caused him to throw up all over him and me.

Scott changed and cleaned him up while I took care of myself and hopped in the shower. I could hear the baby crying, so I began to pray and call on the Lord to comfort and heal my child. During my prayer, I had the strong feeling that I should ask Scott to bless him. Scott agreed, and I found the oil. It was a very touching experience for me, one that I will cherish and felt that I should write down so I could remember.

I don't know if it was appropriate or not, but I don't really care. As I already mentioned, Scott had resigned his membership and therefore his Priesthood power. But it still felt like the right thing to do, and I don't know why, and I will never question or regret my decision to ask him.

It was interesting to contrast the experience to a blessing that I requested from members of my ward. I talked to my home teacher/Elders Quorum President about a blessing for the baby another time, when he had been diagnosed with RSV. The blessing was delegated to a neighbor and his son, and the son had never participated in a blessing before. It was kind of cool to have been able to provide that opportunity for him. But at the same time, I was awkward about having asked, wondering if this father was being at all judgmental of Scott or feeling sorry for me since he was there blessing my child instead of Scott. I made a mental observation that calling on the power of God myself was just as effective and less awkward than requesting one from worthy members of my ward. That doesn't mean I won't ask again if I feel it is right to do so, but I am grateful to know that God is mindful of me without having a priesthood holder in my home.


Matthew Plooster said...

What a great story of great faith! As a priesthood holder called upon to minister to others, I had always been greatly impressed by the courage and faith others had to ask for the priesthood outside of their home. If I ever needed a blessing and I my brother, dad, and grandfather weren't there, I was always reluctant to ask because I thought my peers in my ward and neighborhood would view me as "weak." Especially in your situation, you did what any good mother put your child's well-being first.


I feel no matter what your official standing with the church is you have the given right as a parent to give a blessing to your family and children. That is just one of the duties of a parent. Power of prayer doesn't rely on the paperwork held in the church office it depends all upon your faith that you posses at the time of the prayer. If you have enough of a testimony to acknowledge that by giving a prayer or blessing will help then I feel that you are in a situation to proceed with that. Ok done rambling. Hope all goes well Love you guys.

MoHoHawaii said...

Interestingly, women used to be able to perform ordinance of healing the sick until the mid-1940s when the Church put an end to this practice. This occurred at a time when returning soldiers from World War II were displacing women in the U.S. workforce and there was a general reassertion of male dominance in U.S. culture. It's an interesting little quirk of LDS history. Giving blessings wasn't always just for men like it is now.

Unknown said...

Sarah, my partner got real sick two years ago, and I gave him a blessing. I am no longer a member, but I gave him one anyways. He did get better, so I still believe in them. Some who have left the church still believe that they still have the priesthood since man cannot take it away only God can.

Ned said...

I'm glad you asked and that Scott gave the blessing. I'm glad you asked your associates at work and your ward members to bless you. I'm glad that you have also sought blessings on your own.

Seems to me that with the population of the planet approaching seven billion, our loving Parents in Heaven would not restrict their millions of millions of children to seek and obtain blessings only from a few hundred thousand Mormon men.

Moreover, I find comfort, and hope you will too, in Romans 8:39: "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Lisa said...

Sarah, I finally took the time to visit your blog tonight, and your entries have touched me. I no longer believe that priesthood power is exclusive to either faithful LDS church members or to males. Anyone can bless anyone else and have healing come to them. In fact, years ago, when my daughter was still a baby and I was at work, she got a fever, and my hubby Dean was looking for another priesthood holder to help bless her, and couldn't find anyone. He found a black man in the hall, holding a Bible (the man was not LDS) and asked him to please help him bless the baby. The man put his hand on Trisha's head, said, "Lord, please bless this child" (or something to that effect; I forget the exact words) and immediately the fever left her.