Truth Restored

I know that God loves me when He lets me teach Sunday School.

Okay, maybe that's not the only way, but if mankind is really intended to have joy, then teaching is one really big way for me to experience true happiness. Like Venus aligning with our moon (if you haven't noticed this--look at the moon tonight around 7:30. phenomenal!), I love that the lesson schedule for this year has aligned on Church history and the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith.

Today we talked about the restoration of the priesthood and I loved this story from the Doctrine & Covenants church educational student manual:

‘In 1976 an area general conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Following the closing session, President Spencer W. Kimball desired to visit the Vor Frue Church, where the Thorvaldsen statues of the Christus and of the Twelve Apostles stand. He had visited there some years earlier and wanted all of us to see it, to go there.
‘To the front of the church, behind the altar, stands the familiar statue of the Christus.... Along each side stand the statues of the Apostles, Peter at the front to the right and the other Apostles in order.
‘Most of our group was near the rear of the chapel with the custodian. I stood up front with President Kimball before the statue of Peter with...Johan Helge Benthin, president of the Copenhagen stake.
‘In Peter’s hand, depicted in marble, is a set of heavy keys. President Kimball pointed to those keys and explained what they symbolized. Then, in an act I shall never forget, he turned to President Benthin and with unaccustomed firmness pointed his finger at him and said, “I want you to tell everyone in Denmark that I hold the keys! We hold the real keys, and we use them every day.”
'I will never forget that declaration, that testimony from the prophet. The influence was spiritually powerful; the impression was physical in its impact.
‘We walked to the back of the chapel where the rest of the group was standing. Pointing to the statues, President Kimball said to the kind custodian, “These are the dead Apostles.” Pointing to me, he said, “Here we have the living Apostles. Elder Packer is an Apostle. Elder Thomas S. Monson and Elder L. Tom Perry are Apostles, and I am an Apostle. We are the living Apostles.”
“You read about the Seventies in the New Testament, and here are two of the living Seventies, Elder Rex D. Pinegar and Elder Robert D. Hales.”
The custodian, who up to that time had shown no emotion, suddenly was in tears.’ ~ Pres. Boyd K. Packer

I looked up the word key in the Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary. It always offers profound insight.
1) In a general sense, a fastener; that which fastens; as a piece of wood in the frame of a building, or in a chain.
2) An instrument for shutting or opening a lock, by pushing the bolt one way or the other. Keys are of various forms, and fitted to the wards of the locks to which they belong.
3) An instrument by with something is screwed or turned; as in the key of a watch.
4) The stone which binds an arch.
5) In music, the key, or key note, is the fundamental note or tone, to which the whole piece is accommodated, and with which it usually begins and always ends. (accommodate: suitable; fit; adapted; to reconcile things which are at variance.)
6) An index, or that which serves to explain a cypher.
7) That which serves to explain any thing difficult to be understood.

New insights for me. OF course there is always the more literal symbolism, like in definition #2. I like the symbolism of a the priesthood as a the frame of a building, or the fastening agent in a chain, or especially as the key a piece of music is written and played in. If you think about the plan of salvation as a piece of music, well orchestrated and intricate, the tone/key (aka: priesthood keys) really does reconcile the variances of life.

I was reminded of Elder Richard Scott's (who, I just found out, paints and some of his art work hangs in the Huntsman Cancer Hospital) talk from the priesthood session last October (I read it, I wasn't there) Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well. I feel like he really set a standard for those who hold the priesthood to aim for. He says, “I wonder, bretheren, how many of us seriously ponder the inestimable value of holding the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. When we consider how few men who have lived on the earth have received the priesthood and how Jesus Christ has empowered those individuals to act in His name, we should feel deeply humble and profoundly grateful for the priesthood we hold.”

Elder Scott continues by asking a lot of hard questions. Questions that ALL of us should be asking ourselves. This is one of the best talks on the priesthood that I have ever read. I am using it as a standard for the guys I choose to let into my life. It’s a resource that I hope to someday use in teaching my kids about the responsibilities of the priesthood. I hope that you guys out there who hold the priesthood all know how much we womenfolk depend on you to honor that divine gift. To me, the fact that God has restored His priesthood power for our benefit is an example of the love that God has for us. He has not left us to our own devices.


Sara Jensen said...

I'm giving a talk on Sunday about the 1st vision and blessings of the priesthood. I'm going to use your story. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Charity- don't know if you remember me, but I stumbled upon your blog while reading Nicole Whitman's. I LOVE reading your posts. Your thoughts are so inspiring and motivating. You have always come across as spiritually centered individual. Good luck with the new career path- I am sure you will be successful at what ever you try!
Nicea Perry Walker