Thanks to Shauna for this guest post on the power and blessings of the priesthood. Would you like to submit a guest post? Email mormonwomen a/ gmail d/ com.
I remember the first time someone in my family received the Priesthood. I was 14 and my younger brother was ordained a Deacon. About the same time two years later, when he became a Teacher, I began to take notice of a unique difference in the “feel” of our home environment. My father was Catholic and my Mother had been inactive for many years until we kids came along. There had definitely been a “void” I didn’t know existed. For years though, the “Priesthood” elicited an entanglement of ideas growing up while attending all the meetings in our LDS world and an occasional Catholic Mass.
While a young bride years later, I remember complacently telling myself, “You’re good”…”temple marriage”, check, “worthy Priesthood holder”, check, Sick? Need a blessing?, check. It was so simple and yet, as I discovered, so much more than that.
There were times in that 20-year marriage that I had wholehearted faith that by one or two men laying their hands on the heads of my children, they would heal. There were other times when hands were laid on my head and I was told I would be able to cope. There were times when I witnessed friends, family, or acquaintances have faith that others would speak words of comfort and consolation by the power of God. I viewed this process somewhat clinically, now that I look back on it. It was all I knew then.
Within marriage, as well as any type of relationship, we associate with imperfect human beings. Those closest to us have the greatest capacity to do us the most harm. The foundation of emotionally intimate as well as physically intimate relationships is trust. When that trust is shattered, there is heartbreak. I suffered, as many others, the worse kind of harm, abuse from one holding the Priesthood. I have learned not to focus so much on the harm perpetrated, but how to process my healing.
Seeking solace from our very Creator through the Priesthood is more than a mere band-aid, it is through my experience, literally life changing. I’m at the seven-year mark of this process and still have much healing to do. In my mind it boils down to understanding that Christ’s Atonement grants us access to an enabling power to survive anything and everything, and trust me, that means anything and everything.
In the last few years my understanding of, belief in, and experience with priesthood blessings has expanded beyond my greatest expectations. I have been a vested partner in these experiences with my sweet husband of six years. He has exhibited patience in discussions about simple and complex gospel topics. He has helped me deepen my sense of worth as a daughter of God by treating me as an equal partner in our relationship. By living worthily to exercise his priesthood power he has exponentially enriched our relationship. The physical and literal miracles I have witnessed by his and other priesthood blessings have caused me to consider placing many more than Joshua’s’ 12 stones at the door of our future home.(see Joshua 4:21-24)
Last week the words spoken through my husband from my Heavenly Father were nothing short of pure intellect and revelation. The Lord answered questions never uttered anywhere but from my heart and provided comfort and direction specifically for me. How glorious an experience! How wonderful an opportunity to revel in light and feel the strength and love from my Father in Heaven!
It would have been so very easy over the years to give up on this power, yet through the very power I might have excused as ineffective, inadequate, or non-existent, I have been empowered to “plow through” all that life has had to deal me; divorce, abuse, betrayal, legal challenges, re-marriage, blending families, unemployment, depression, loneliness, loss of home, bankruptcy, relocation, health issues, estranged children, aging and ill parents, and whatever tomorrow brings!
I believe in the eternal nature and divine experiences that the priesthood may deliver through priesthood blessings! We are truly gifted by utilizing these powers. I don’t think we do it enough.