Do you live with daily unrelenting pain? Emptiness and ache in your bosom? Have you received heart wrenching news on the eve of Christmas? Are you feeling lonely? Are you ill? Do you know what panic attacks feel like? Are you depressed? Are your feelings hurt? Grieving deeply?

Are you suffering?

“Is any one of you in trouble? …Is any one of you sick? …pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” James 5:13-16

It’s the time of year when just about everyone has their mind on gift exchange and celebrating the season with those we love.

Several years ago, I was last minute shopping on Christmas Eve. My heart was breaking and my whole being weighed down, feeling betrayed and heavy with disappointment. I could not stop crying. In dire need of relief and not able to approach anyone but the Lord, my prayers felt stifled, stiff and totally inadequate for my predicament.

Certain that Christmas was in ruins, irreparable forever, I struggled with the idea of calling someone for extra help. I knew I looked horrid with a red face, swollen eyes and smeared mascara. I sure wasn’t in any mood to speak with anybody. I didn’t want to bother anyone on this, of all days.

Shutting my mind to the voices of pride and objections, I called a faithful brother and his wife from the mall to see if they were available, gratefully driving to their home when invited. I asked this priesthood holder for, and received a priesthood blessing.

Soon, completely transformed and totally filled with the deepest, incredible, calming influence, I continued my preparations to enjoy Christmas thoroughly with my family. No more tears. I was filled with assurance and a profound peace that I previously would not ever have thought possible in the circumstances. I felt strong, like nothing could ever shake me again.

I hope that this Christmas and every day of the year we will consider, in particular, the many gifts we have been given by our loving Heavenly Father. I hope we will receive these gifts with the wonder, thankfulness and excitement of a child.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Our Heavenly Father has given us many gifts. First, as we know, is the perfect gift of His Only Begotten Son, the gift of the Holy Ghost, personal revelation and guidance, our salvation, eternal life and more-too numerous to count.

One of Heavenly Father’s gifts that I have learned to honor and appreciate is the power of the Holy Priesthood upon the earth today. I do not have a priesthood holder in my home and at first I did not understand their responsibility to serve with the authority of God.

Here is a marvelous excerpt with some explanation by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

“We know and understand that the priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. We can easily recite this definition from memory. However, do we truly comprehend the significance of what we’re saying? Let me repeat: the priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.

Think of it. Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power, He redeems and exalts His children, bringing “to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

Our all-powerful Father in Heaven has entrusted priesthood authority to us—mortal beings who, by definition, are flawed and imperfect. He grants to us the authority to act in His name for the salvation of His children.

By this great power we are authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, help build the kingdom of God on the earth, and bless and serve our families and our fellowmen.

This is the sacred priesthood we bear.

The priesthood, or any responsibility within it, cannot be purchased or commanded. The use of priesthood power cannot be influenced, swayed, or compelled by position, by wealth, or by influence.

It is a spiritual power that operates on heavenly law. It originates in the great Heavenly Father of us all. Its power can be controlled and directed only through principles of righteousness, not self-righteousness.

Christ is the source of all true priesthood authority and power on earth. It is His work, in which we are privileged to assist.

“And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.”

I no longer hesitate to seek a faithful brother when I need relief from the frailties and weaknesses of this life. Why remain in inordinate pain, either physical or emotional when a few moments’ blessing may transform my well being?

When my challenges seem greater than my lone prayers can handle, I am grateful beyond words for the service of my righteous and faithful brothers. The Savior’s peace and comfort that follows is a priceless warm wrapping.

Are you suffering? You too may have access to this precious gift. Seek this blessing at any time of the year. Ask humbly and with faith of one who bears that Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.

 

 

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