Whenever I read the Priesthood session of conference (in this case, April 1973), I like to remind myself that there are things being taught to us women, as well as to the men. President Marion G. Romney spoke on magnifying our priesthood (or power). I interpret that as increasing my stockpile of little golden nuggets of promise, power, and action.
I testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone, with one single purpose, which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man(kind)” (Moses 1:39). My testimony is that His promises to us are sure, that we have power given to us through the name of Jesus Christ, and all we have to do is act on what we know.
First of all, Pres. Romney gave us three simple ways to magnify our priesthood power. For me, that means daily living, living the gospel, daily gospel adherence, and living in a way pleasing to the Lord.
“One is that we have a motivating desire to do so. Another is that we search and ponder the words of eternal life. And a third is that we pray.”
There is nothing new here, but I believe we will experience something new when we magnify our desire, our searching and pondering, and especially our attempts at prayer. The most important thing, on our part, is the consistency in which we make our attempts. When our heart is in the right place–because we have studied, practiced, and strengthened our testimonies–we are able to feel His true power in our lives, and we literally will be ready for anything that comes around to shake us (see Jacob 7:5). This is magnifying the gospel in our lives and working those precious little golden nuggets.
Story of Amanda Barnes Smith
The story of Amanda Barnes Smith is so incredible, it’s hard to believe a mother could have such wits about her at the time half her family was shot and left for dead. She is the mother who, by the power and inspiration of the Lord, performed a healing operation on her son’s hip when it was shot out by an angry mob at Haun’s Mill. Little Alma asked his mother if she believed the Lord would help her fix him and she replied, “Yes, my son, he has shown it all to me in a vision…the Lord will make you another hip.” She prayed, received power and strength, and received the knowledge she needed in order to act.
Story of Wendy Watson Nelson
Another story which strengthens me, is told by Wendy Watson Nelson. While traveling back to Salt Lake City, with her friend, Sheri Dew, Wendy fell and injured herself badly (when they finally got to a doctor, she received 300 stitches). Being very early in the morning, with not a soul to help them, Sheri used her knowledge of the Lord’s promises, reached for His power by praying, and acted on the message she received. In Wendy’s words:
“The only way I can describe that prayer is to say that she prayed with power. She petitioned the Lord to stop my fear, to stop the bleeding, to stop the pain. And she pleaded that she would know what to do to take care of me. My fear stopped instantly! The bleeding slowed dramatically. And the pain stopped too. The Lord honored Sheri’s prayer of faith.”
What We Can Do
President Romney listed scripture after scripture of evidence that the Lord will answer our prayers (see 1 Ne. 11:1, 2 Ne. 32: 3-4, 3 Ne. 17:2-3, D&C 10:5, D&C 93:49). These are little golden nuggets of truth we must learn to store up.
“We are under divine instruction to teach the principles of the gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. This we cannot do unless we know what they are.”
If we don’t know about the power we hold, through our membership in this Church, how can we ever think to use it when we need it?
There have been moments in my life when I needed strength. At these times, I have read the scriptures and found power in the words that have given me the strength and the right desire to trust in the Lord and realize His promises are sure. Other times, I have dropped to my knees and before even uttering a pleading word, the answer came through in spite of my frazzled mind. These experiences have been my evidence that power is simply a prayer away. But it was of utmost importance that I knew first of the Lord’s promises, recognized where to go for that power, and was ready to act.
This gospel is one of promise, power, and action. We have so many promises within the words of our scriptures, it is our responsibility to find them and believe them. Power comes from knowing that the promises are there, and that we can call upon the Lord to fulfill them in our need. And because of agency, we need to show the Lord that we are willing to act upon what we have come to know.
Read additional General Conference Odyssey posts:
The Unchanging, Changing Church Nathaniel Givens
Desire, Ponder, Pray Walker Wright
Seeking Desire Marilyn Nielson