ONE || The Priesthood needs to be understood. Even after three previous talks on the priesthood, President Oaks felt it was important enough to speak about again. This talk illustrated to me that this is clearly something the Lord wants us to understand and apply to our lives. How well do each of us really understand the priesthood? As President Nelson emphasized so powerfully in October 2019: "I pray that truth [understanding of the priesthood] will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life." If repetition is any indication, perhaps this is an area of the gospel we need to put more effort into understanding.
TWO || The light or darkness in our bodies depends on how we see—or receive—the eternal truths we are taught. Are our bodies full of light or full of darkness? Being full of light doesn't mean that we are perfect or never have questions. In fact, just the opposite is true, as explained in the talk: “We should follow the Savior’s invitation to seek and ask to understand the truths of eternity. He promises that our Father in Heaven is willing to teach everyone the truths they seek (see 3 Nephi 14:8). If we desire this and have our eye single to receive them, the Savior promises that the truths of eternity “shall be opened” unto us.” We don’t need to eliminate our questions. We simply need to have faith to search for answers.
Satan is the one who would have us not receive answers from God, to live in darkness. “Satan is anxious to confuse our thinking or to lead us astray on important matters…” He wants us to focus on unimportant details, perceived injustices, or what we feel we don’t know. President Oaks reminds us to “look to the fruits—the results” to determine whether a source is full of light or darkness. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (3 Nephi 14:20).
If we are continually seeking out the light and seeking to understand eternal truths, our bodies will be full of that light and we will receive insights into the gospel.
THREE || More priesthood blessings should be encouraged. When was the last time you asked for a priesthood blessing? I received one from my dad late last year while visiting my parents. I was six months pregnant at the time and had picked up a nasty stomach bug. I laid on the bathroom floor in a haze, unable to really comprehend anything that was happening. I asked my Dad for a blessing—something so common for me as a child, but much less so as an adult. I felt peace and healing during that simple prayer. The blessing was appreciated at the time, but became so much more special when my dad passed away only two months later. Looking back, I'm grateful for that sickness—a sickness that facilitated a final father's blessing. Priesthood blessings can be powerful tools of healing, but they also serve to bring families and individuals closer together and closer to God.
"If fathers would magnify their priesthood in their own family, it would further the mission of the Church as much as anything else they might do...They should cultivate loving family relationships so that family members will want to ask them for blessings. And parents should encourage more priesthood blessings in the family."
"In His sermon to multitudes recorded in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, the Savior taught that mortal bodies can be full of light or full of darkness...If our “eye be single”—in other words, if we are concentrating on receiving eternal light and understanding—He explained, “thy whole body shall be full of light."
THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE
This week, focus on how you can invite the power of the priesthood into your life. Perhaps you can ask for a priesthood blessing. President Oaks emphasized that blessings should be utilized more often. Blessings can be for healing, but also for emotional strength, courage for a new venture, or peace in a trying time.
Pray to know what you may need a blessing for (or for the courage to ask for one), and/or encourage your children to receive blessings (either from a family member or a trusted friend). You could even set a goal to have regular priesthood blessings in your home (example: beginning of each school year).