Monday, March 24, 2014

The Glue That Holds Us Together

I've been thinking a lot lately about Alma 11-13 and the ideas of priesthood and sealing, and also about the resurrection.  I still don't have all the answers, but some after some intense studying of the scriptures, some communion with the Lord, and conversations with friends, I think I have a good start on understanding a few things.

We talk so much in the Church about "priesthood authority".  I will say this - we, as a Church and as "priesthood holders" have a little authority, as we suppose, and generally exercise that authority with unrighteousness (D&C 121:39).  But we ought to remember that the only power or influence that can be used by virtue of priesthood is persuasion, long suffering, gentleness, meekness, unfeigned love, kindness, pure knowledge, and lack of hypocrisy (D&C 121:41-42).  If this is the case, what the Church call "priesthood authority" cannot possibly be right.

At the risk of sounding like an overly simple '70s song, all we need is love.  The pure love of Christ, of sacrifice, of charity, to have priesthood.  This is the glue that binds us together.  When we speak of temple sealings, we should remember that everything that happens in the temple is ONLY a symbol.  It is only a preparatory ordinance.  Do you think that God will not honor agency in the eternal world?  If you have been "sealed" in the temple to your spouse, do you think that is the end of what you need to do?  Just continue on in church activity and then the "odds are you will be exalted?"

There is SO SO SO much more that needs to be done.  You must first become cleansed within by the blood of Jesus Christ by obtaining the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.  Then you must learn to LOVE and sacrifice for your spouse, your children, your family, your friends.  You "seal" yourself to them by love.  True understanding of why this is comes from having an eternal perspective.  I don't want to get too much into this except to say this - if you were to gain eternal life in the presence of God and your spouse and children were shut out because they did not meet the conditions, and if God were willing to give them another try at mortal life, would you give up what you have gained to help them along in their journey? 

Do you love your family enough to risk everything?  This is what priesthood is, it is love so great, so powerful, so everlasting, that you would give up your very soul for the betterment and progress of others.  If you had such love for them, would you not be sealed to them?

The word "priest" means one who performs a sacrifice on behalf of another.  The suffix -hood means group or association.  So "priesthood" is a group or association of those who sacrifice for others.  It isn't some magical power, some authority to be lorded over another, some exclusive club.  To obtain priesthood, we must be willing to sacrifice and actually do it.  We must also be pure inside in order to do it.  How can we sacrifice for others if we are unclean?  If we have not gained eternal life from God, we have nothing to sacrifice, and therefore cannot have priesthood.

For anyone who reads this, I urge you to reconsider your understanding of priesthood.  Ask yourself if you are clean.  If not, go and obtain the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.  When you are clean, then you have something to offer, and you can go forth and sacrifice.  This willingness to sacrifice is the glue that holds us together, in this world and the world to come. 


  1. Priest

    From Middle English preist, preest, from Old English prēost (“priest”), from Late Latin presbyter, from Ancient Greek πρεσβύτερος (presbuteros), from πρέσβυς (presbus, “elder, older”), originally "one who leads cattle," from Proto-Indo-European *pres (“before”), extended form of *pre, + *gʷōus (“cattle”). Reinforced in Middle English by Old French prestre, also from Latin presbyter.



    word-forming element meaning "state or condition of being," from Old English -had "condition, position," cognate with German -heit, Dutch -heid, all from Proto-Germanic *haidus "manner, quality," literally "bright appearance," from PIE (s)kai- (1) "bright, shining." Originally a free-standing word (see hade); in Modern English it survives only in this suffix.

    Acquiring knowledge is always preferable to making stuff up.

  2. Priest: a person whose office it is to perform religious rites, and especially to make sacrificial offerings.


    Historically a priest is one who offers a sacrifice on behalf of others. Generally this sacrifice is ceremonial in nature; however, our Savior is considered the great High Priest because He literally sacrificed all for us. It has nothing to do with an ecclesiastical office.

    I stand by my definition. Label it as "making stuff up" if you wish, but I do not cede to the internet the exclusive right to create definitions for words.