I have been reading The Infinite Atonement by Tad Callister and have had a wonderful time looking up each scripture he uses to solidify the points he is making about Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. I often get carried away and decide to read the entire chapter to grasp the whole concept, and that is where my reward lies.
Today, I read Matthew’s account of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. It’s been a while since I read it last and I had some new thoughts (which often happens), and I enjoyed feeling the gratitude that overflows when I read about my Savior.
The Brethren are really emphasizing missionary work, as we all know. They want us to hasten the work of the Lord, because we are all anxious for the Lord’s Second Coming. But I felt differently about the same-old same-old when I read, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;” (Matthew 27:18-19)
This past week most of us had the Pres. Snow lesson on “Priesthood—For the Salvation of the human family.” It all seemed to connect in my brain that with the help of God’s priesthood power we have been commanded to teach the nations of the earth about the gospel, starting in our own homes. Every LDS woman needs to understand that she has a responsibility to the priesthood to be an example, teach children (whether her own or others), serve others, and know the gospel well enough to answer any questions.
After reading of the great sacrifice of the God of this world, who suffered agonizingly, but said nothing in his defense, I can do my part. I can use the power He has given me to obey and perform His purposes.
But then we battle our anxiety at fighting against the world and all its temptations! What if they laugh at me, or are smarter than me? What if I’m not in the mood, or don’t have time? Can I really do anything great if I, as a mere woman, don’t personally have the priesthood?
I cringe when I hear any Mormon woman complain and demand to have the priesthood. This woman does not understand the gospel. She doesn’t realize she already has more power than she is apparently aware of, or using. If she started doing the basics like praying, studying the scriptures, seeking personal revelation, etc. she would come to know, as I have, that God’s Plan is complete. It is whole. Heavenly Father has made His assignments and hopes that we will carry them out with our valiant desire to obey Him. His Plan is not dependent on us; and therefore will not fail. It is our choice, and our ultimate test, to join Him and He will share all that He has with us.
It is Satan who robs us of that understanding when we let him. Every time we give in to his whim, we lose power and feel, rightly so, that we have none.
On page 108 of The Infinite Atonement, there is a quote by C. S. Lewis that makes me feel strong and capable and that I can get through those times of weakness and discouragement. I share it with you:
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.” (This can also be found in Lewis’ book Inspirational Writings of C. S. Lewis, pg. 337-38)
I may be imperfect, weak, and occasionally doubtful, but I am powerful when I recognize Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeemer. Through Him all things are possible. By His mercy, I am forgiven and by His grace, I am sufficient. If I hold fast to His word, and obey with a valiant heart, He allows me to lean upon Him, and even lends me additional power whenever I desire. The power of the priesthood rests upon my head, crowning me His, while my fingertips testify of this holy power in me as I go and do for Him.