Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matt 7:7)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

House of Order

I apologize for not having any new posts lately. It seems I had lost what I was trying to achieve. I also got too involved with other blogs, and life. It wasn't until today that I read an article in the Deseret News that things were made clear again.

I hope this really long post will make up for my previous absence.

You see, I subscribe to the LDS News e-mails that are sent out daily with some great articles attached to them to read. The article today that caught my attention and that I ended up reading in its entirety was titled "Put homes in order, LDS told" found HERE. It was written by Carrie A. Moore about a recent stake conference that President Thomas S. Monson attended in the Salt Lake City North area. First of all, how cool would that be to have the prophet attend your stake conference?

But that isn't the reason I was intrigued with the article. President Monson tells us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to put our houses in order. My first thought was "you mean clean it up?" Maybe I'm not well educated in those regards, but hopefully some of you thought the same too. He starts off the conference by telling us to love our neighbors. I live in the Phoenix, AZ perhaps its different down here. I'm sure in Utah, when 80% of the neighbors in your neighborhood go to your church, its easier to know them and love them. But here in Phoenix, its a bit harder to get out and meet your neighbor. My wife and family moved into a new home about 2 1/2 years ago, in a small rural town south of Phoenix. We were so excited to be starting a new chapter in our life and really excited about the area we were in. We had lived in apartments up until this, so this was the first time to live on a "street" and have real "next door neighbors". So what do we do? Just what any other LDS family would do, we actually made cookies to take to neighbors and introduce ourselves! Wait...isn't that backwards? Aren't the neighbors supposed to bring over a cherry pie, or some treat to welcome the new neighbors? Oh well...we were too excited to wait around for anyone to finish baking and come to our door! We headed out the door with about 6 plate full of cookies. The first door we knocked on, no one was home. The next door we went to, we could hear the neighbors on the other side of the door quieting their dog, and trying to peep through the eye hole. We waited....and waited....and waited before we knocked, and they still would not answer. Maybe it was intimating to see a man and a woman with 3 small children and a newborn? So we left and went to another door, and again received the same response. We decided to at least meet the neighbor directly across the street from us. We were surprised when they answered the door. So we introduced ourselves, and gave them the plate while telling them we're new in the neighborhood. They seemed speechless. The gentleman fumbled and stumbled over his words, and wasn't quite sure how to act. We sensed his uncomfortableness, and told him we hoped to see them around sometime. We walked across the street and back into our home.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years later, and after living on the same street, we rarely see or even get to talk to this neighbor. But we have met some other great neighbors. Although we are required to love our neighbors (all of them), it sometime is difficult to get to know them. Now in the LDS culture we are taught that "neighbor" is not just in our neighborhood...but our fellowmen. Everyone we come into contact, we should treat them like our neighbor. Maybe not how we were treated when we first moved into our neighborhood, but with open arms and kindness. Again, this might be difficult in the Phoenix area depending on the type of neighborhood you live in, but we should not shut ourselves off from those that might need us.

Ok, well that was a long winded explanation to President Monson's first comment, that really wasn't the focus of his talk. =)

The focus was putting your house in "order", and I was hopefully going to explain what that meant.

The article didn't reference the scripture, so I had to do a little investigative work to find what scripture they were talking about. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:119) "119 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; "

According to this scripture a House of Order is not a "clutter free" house, but a house where the members are taught about prayer, faith, fasting, learning, and glory. It is a house of God.

A House of Prayer
I am so thankful for my parents making a house of Prayer when I was a young kid. Unfortunately it didn't always stay that way as we got older, but I recognized the importance when we did do it. Now that I am a father of 5 wonderful and beautiful children, I have wanted to share that same joy with them that only comes from prayer. Our kids range from 9 to 3 months, and three older ones have been saying their own prayers for longer then I can remember! (It stinks getting old!) The two year old started wanting to say the prayer a few months ago, and asks to do it (and needs a little help) every time we bless the food or pray as a family. It's amazing some of the things they say, and my wife and I have caught ourselves giggling and smiling at some of those. In the article, President Monson urged "Never dismiss the prayer of a child."

A House of Faith
How I wish my faith was like a little child's. They are innocent and untouched by the cruel world we live in. They have such wide eyes and huge hearts to love all things and expect the best. How important it is for us as parents to delicately handle these spirits. They will believe anything and everything you tell them. So impressionable, so fragile. My heart hurts for those children that are placed in trying situations, or dangerous circumstances. I can not even tell you the many times that I have actually learned a lesson in faith from one of my children. We talk openly with our children about things they will encounter in life at their age. One of the main concerns is peer pressure and the influence from children that do not share our morals and belief standards. We do not teach our children to avoid this kids, or to shun them. Quite the opposite. We tell them to love them, and to even share with them what we believe. Our seven year old (six at the time) would tell us numerous of times about kids that were not being nice or saying mean things (not at him, but other kids) and he would tell them that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't do those things. He would also tell them that Jesus was watching them and sad. What faith he must have to have the courage to tell his peers that. How many of us would have the courage to tell our co-workers or people in the grocery store to not say some of the things they do?

A House of Fasting
As mentioned above, we have a nine year old. How amazed I was at his attitude towards fasting once he was baptized. I'm ashamed to say that he has had to remind me a few times that it was Fast Sunday. I took for granted his great attitude towards it, that I was no help to a friend in the ward that asked us for help. Their son had just turned eight, and was not so excited about the idea of "starving". We could only suggest to get the kid more involved with the parent's fasting. To teach him more about what it was for, and to allow him to pray with them or help him come up with an idea to fast for. President Monson related an experience he had as a young boy with fasting. His mother would have him take a plate of food down the street to a neighbor who was alone. One Fast Sunday he asked his mother if he could take the plate once he had eaten his own meal. His mother declined his request and told him that his own food would taste much better if he did this first. President Monson said "She was right, it did."

A House of Learning
We have made academics a priority in our house. In today's society, if your children fall behind in school, they will not make it far in the working world. An undergraduate degree has become the new standard for hiring someone, like the High School Diploma use to be. Our oldest son is in the gifted program at school, and has already read more books in the last couple years, then I have in my entire life and he is only in 4th grade. Our 2nd grader is not as excited to read and do his homework, although he excels in anything he puts his mind to. We are blessed to have bright, intelligent children. But is that all they should be learning? Of course not, they should also be learning the gospel and its teachings. We should be reading the scriptures with our families, and we should be reading good books with them as well. Our children look forward to the time we have nightly scripture reading. Just last night during Family Home Evening, we had read the scripture in 1st Genesis about the creation of the world. Afterwards our six year old waited around and asked if we were going to read scriptures. We explained to her that we had read scriptures for the night during the lesson. She was so use to us doing this other way, that she didn't even realize we had in fact "read scriptures". I still have not decided if that was a good thing or not. But my wife started us off with a great family tradition a couple months ago. My mother gave our oldest boy a series of books called The Book of Mormon Sleuth. A couple nights of the week, we would read a chapter out of the book. It took us a couple months to finish the first book, and we are already excited for the next one in the series. It is pretty entertaining for adults to. In fact, when my in-laws came down to visit, we read two chapters on two different nights. At the end of the chapters she would get excited and didn't want us to stop reading. They have some great cliff hangers at the end of the chapters, that also keep children excited for the next time.

A House of Glory
I wasn't exactly sure what this one meant. How do you create a house of Glory? Well according to the talk President Monson gave at the stake conference, this is what he said "Making one's home a house of glory includes the need 'to be sincere with God. You can not be one person and pretend to be another. We can't live a is by being consistent that we can assure a house of glory." To me, that means we need to be "real." How many of us know a person, or persons that act differently in public then they do in private? These can be members of the LDS church, or they can be our co-workers. By truly being sincere with God, we are ourselves in all we do and places we go. In a round about way, my wife and I have been teaching our children this. We are sure to lead by example as well. There is nothing more that irritates me is when I see someone living a double life.

A House of God
By doing all these things, I truly believe we will then have a house of God. "A house of Order is going to include time for family, for work, for study, for recreation and for ourselves, and above all, time for Christ." As hard as I try, I have not found the perfect balance for all those things. It seems as I am being stretched in more ways then I am capable of, but its because I have not put my faith in Christ to help me out. It may not mean that we have time for all of these things every day, but they all need to be touched on and addressed. Our actions reflect what kind of household we come from, and currently belong to.

President Monson concludes with telling the congregation that this is our "building project." For those of us that need to work harder on some of these things, he recognizes that. Unfortunately we are not perfect in this world, and never will be. But we are to be constantly learning and improving ourselves. This building project is a great way to make sure our lives and children's lives are less complicated on this Earth. I testify this is true. As I have worked with my family and myself to strengthen ourselves in these areas, we have not had to face some of the challenges others around us do. Only when times get tough that we have to step back and reorganize ourselves and find out what we are lacking in doing. But always remember we will never be trial and tribulation free. We must continue to grow and learn in our mortal life to overcome temptations, so that we may return back to our Heavenly Father. I leave this with you all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What You Will Find...Inside a Mormon Chapel

SALT LAKE CITY 19 August 2008

Most first-time visitors to a Mormon church building comment on the number of rooms. Many expect to find one large interior space, such as in many other Christian denominations’ buildings of worship.

But meetinghouses for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are different from those used by many other religions. They include classrooms, offices, a font for baptisms, a kitchen and in many cases a cultural hall with an indoor basketball court. Cultural halls in Mormon buildings usually also have a stage, for dramatic and musical productions. And the basketball court doubles for a dance floor or dining area, among other uses.

This is all in addition to a large room that seats 200 to 300, called the chapel, used for Sunday worship services. The word “chapel” is also sometimes used by Mormons to describe the whole building or meetinghouse.

“The building was so simple,” said Sandra Yeo after visiting for the first time one of the Church’s meetinghouses in her native England.

“There were no crosses, no murals, no statues or icons of any kind as far as I could see. I had never been in a Christian church that didn’t have that sort of thing. I found the simplicity very appealing.”

For Latter-day Saints, the church meetinghouse is a hub of religious and social life. The most important part of the week, though, is the hour-long sacrament meeting. This takes place on Sunday and is similar to other Christian worship services. Men, women and younger members offer prayers and give sermons, hymns are sung, and the sacrament, similar to other traditions’ communion, is administered. Members teach the principles taught by Jesus Christ.

When Brian Sharon attended his first meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wisconsin, he was impressed with the worship service itself.

“I was used to a very formal, highly structured worship service in the church of my childhood," Sharon said. "I was intrigued by how smoothly and efficiently things were handled, without extensive ritual or ceremony. And I was touched by how friendly and open everyone was, especially to visitors like my family. It was refreshing to me.”

In addition to the sacrament meeting, there are other meetings on Sundays as part of a three-hour span from 9 a.m. until noon, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or some other variation.

These other meetings include classes for youths and adults and what Mormons call “Primary,” a time for lessons and singing for children 12 and under.

Mormons tend to have large families, so be prepared to see — and hear — a lot of children. And though Mormon parents try to teach their little ones to be reverent, children are also encouraged to be involved.

In the children’s Primary, for example, you will see 7-year-olds, or even younger children, give talks, read scripture and pray in front of their peers. The songs taught and sung in Primary focus on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, on scriptural themes and on simple ways children and others can put into practice what is preached.

Mormons are generally a friendly people, so a visitor should not be surprised when someone, seeing the new face, comes over to talk and offers to shake hands and help the visitor find the right meeting or class.

A common misperception among those not of the Mormon faith is that only Latter-day Saints can enter their chapels. This is most likely based on a misunderstanding about temples and chapels. While temples, of which there are 140 (including existing ones and those announced or under construction) worldwide, are open only to members of the Church who are fully engaged in their faith, anyone can enter a Mormon chapel to visit or worship with their Latter-day Saint neighbors. There are over 17,000 chapels throughout the world with a new one built, on average, each day.

The physical design of Latter-day Saint chapels reflects Mormons’ depth of religiosity that goes beyond pulpit and pew. To be a member of a Mormon ward (or congregation) is to be part of a faith community that intersects weekly as a group and in smaller gatherings several other times throughout each week.

In some cases Mormon meetinghouses become launching areas for community service initiatives, such as in times of natural disasters. On many occasions, such efforts are in conjunction with those of other community and faith groups.

Mormons say that while the activities that bring them together within their buildings are wide and varied — some cultural, some sporting, some educational and some social — the underpinning motivation for all that is done is for individuals and families to help each other to overcome life’s challenges by learning about Jesus Christ and striving to become like Him.

For Latter-day Saints, the buildings they use for their various worship services and other gatherings are important — but not as important as the building that goes on within their walls. It is the building of strong individuals and families, of knowledge, of relationships and of faith in God that matters most to Mormons.

“Our chapels are not all constructed with the same design features,” said Church apostle Elder L. Tom Perry in a worldwide conference. “However, each one centers on the mission of our Savior. They are buildings dedicated for the purpose of worshiping Him.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Priesthood is Restored

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have truly blessed my life. What a wonderful thing it is to have Them in my life. I am grateful I live in a time that Our Heavenly Father has restored His Holy Priesthood to His children to act in His name for the salvation of His children.

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. 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" (Moses 1:39). God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth.

My recent experience happened about a week ago. My three oldest kids had come back home after a 2 week "vacation" away from their mother and I. My oldest son had been extremely sick with allergies, but was better by the time he arrived home. The other two kids were just starting to become horribly sick. My second oldest son was running a temperature of 103.8 and my daughter was at 101.5. After consulting with a doctor in the family, he suggested we take our son to the Urgent Care because a temperature of 104 is extremely dangerous. As I was grabbing the keys to rush him there, he asked that I give him a Priesthood Blessing. For a second it didn't register, but later stopped me in my tracks. What great faith this young boy has in his Heavenly Father. My wife called a friend over to help administer the blessing, and we proceeded to give my son and daughter a blessing of healing from their Father in Heaven.

As the friend left, we decided to take the temperatures one last time. Our son's temperature had dropped to around 100 degrees, and our daughter's was around 99. A true miracle! We decided to monitor them the rest of the night, and their temperatures only lowered. By the following day, they were back to their healthy selves, with our daughter displaying only a stuffy nose.

My story is somewhat similar, but required more Humility from me.

To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous.

My wife and I had taken our kids camping this past weekend. A couple days before leaving, I developed a severe pain in my neck. It was not going away, and I ended up taking a lot of pain medication. The first morning we were camping, it became unbearable and we decided to come home a day early. I was completely dead by the time we arrived home after the 3 hour drive. I took some pain medicine and Nyquil and slept for 11 hours. The following day I started to experience more severe symptoms, that I later learned (3 days later) resembled meningitis I could only manage to work a 1/2 day on Monday and Tuesday, before I had to come home and sleep and lay down to minimize the pain. My wife had mentioned since Sunday that I should call our home teachers to provide a Priesthood blessing. But unfortunately my pride didn't allow me to give in to that. I didn't want to believe that I couldn't beat this on my own. Yeah, I suffer from an extreme case of stubbornitis.

So finally on Tuesday night, I had had enough. After a long, and difficult internal struggle I asked my wife to make the call. An hour later these two worthy male members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived at our door, willing and able to give me a Priesthood Blessing. They laid their hands upon my head and gave me one of the best blessings I have had in a long time. I felt at peace. No, the pain did not miraculously disappear. But it did prompt me to ask that same family member who is a doctor, but lives out of state about my symptoms. He said those sound like meningitis (see the link in the above paragraph) and that I should get to the Urgent Care. I told him I would go there before I went to work the next day.

The next day I ended up going to the ER, because the Urgent Care was only open from 9am - 8pm (how strange is that?). While in the ER, they did almost every test possible. They drew my blood, gave me a CAT scan, chest x-rays and finally a dreaded Lumbar Puncture. Finally after 6 hours of laying on those uncomfortable hospital beds, the Dr. said all my results were negative. In fact, they couldn't find anything related to meningitis, or any other disease. I was shocked, but not really. It took me a couple minutes of trying to figure out what the problem was, I recalled the Priesthood Blessing the night before. I truly believe that I had a form of meningitis, and that my Heavenly Father cured me of it the night before.

I want to thank my Heavenly Father for His continued guidance and protection in my life. For the love and support He gives to me and my family. I am also grateful for the lessons He teaches me (Humility).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Scripture Authentication

"Scriptural witnesses authenticate each other. This concept was explained long ago when a prophet wrote that the Book of Mormon was 'written for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible]; and if ye believe [the Bible] ye will believe [the Book of Mormon] also' (Mormon 7:9).

Each book refers to the other. Each book stands as evidence that God lives and speaks to His children by revelation to His prophets.

"Love for the Book of Mormon expands one's love for the Bible and vice versa. Scriptures of the Restoration do not compete with the Bible; they complement the Bible. We are indebted to martyrs who gave their lives so that we could have the Bible. It establishes the everlasting nature of the gospel and of the plan of happiness. The Book of Mormon restores and underscores biblical doctrines such as tithing, the temple, the Sabbath day, and the priesthood."

(Russell M. Nelson, "Scriptural Witnesses," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 43)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mormon Calendar Maker - Excommunicated

Well I'm having a hard time finding additional news articles about this. One of our local online news sites is running the follow-up story. I guess the other sites didn't feel it was newsworthy. But you can read the Full Story here.

I give Mr. Hardy (formerly Brother Hardy) credit for his words in the article. He doesn't backlash or speak harshly of the church "elders."

"I have no ill feelings toward any of those people," Hardy said of the church council. "They did what they believed was right and I really do feel it was the best decision for both of us."

I'm not sure why he felt it was the best decision for him. To have his name removed from the church rolls, and his Priesthood taken away and all the blessings of baptism, etc. Perhaps he felt like he needed a break from the strict rules and commandments our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ expect from us. The LDS faith has sometimes been referred to as the strictest religion. It takes a lot of self-discipline, dedication and faith to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr Hardy also states:

"I felt like I spoke my truth," the 31-year-old entertainment entrepreneur said. "Bottom-line, they still felt the calendar is inappropriate and not the image that the church wants to have."

I'm glad he felt like he was able to present his case. Of course the church does not want the image of shirtless, provacative missionaries. Missionaries have a hard enough time controlling hormones at their age, and keeping from being hit on. The last thing they need is for the general public to purchase these calendars and think of missionaries as sex symbols.

"The project is about stepping outside the stereotypes and stepping outside of the image," Hardy said. "Not everybody fits the image and I let them know we're not trying to portray an image for the entire church."

Stepping outside the stereotypes, and images? Do you think the original 12 apostles changed their clothing, or the way they looked, because they didn't want to be associated with the Lord anymore? Does Mr. Hardy not understand that the Lord wants His missionaries to represent Him with this "clean-cut" image? Does Mr. Hardy not understand that this image is "not of the world", which is exactly what Jesus Christ is?

Unfortunately this is one man's distorted view, and he became too caught up in what the world thinks about the LDS faith. Does he not remember the words spoken by the prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, 18 years ago?

Gordon B. Hinckley, “A City upon a Hill,” Ensign, Jul 1990, 2
"Unless the world alters the course of its present trends (and that is not likely); and if, on the other hand, we continue to follow the teachings of the prophets, we shall increasingly become a peculiar and distinctive people of whom the world will take note...

As the growing permissive attitude toward sex continues to spread, the doctrine of the Church, as consistently taught for more than a century and a half, will become increasingly singular and even strange to many...

It is not always easy to live in the world and not be a part of it. We cannot live entirely with our own or unto ourselves, nor would we wish to. We must mingle with others. In so doing, we can be gracious. We can be inoffensive. We can avoid any spirit or attitude of self-righteousness. But we can maintain our standards. "

How true these words are today. Especially in this case. The world finds us strange and peculiar because of our beliefs, but now it seems that even members of the LDS Church are thinking the same thing. This is when things become dangerous, and it is even more important to study the gospel and take our concerns to our Heavenly Father.

I hope all of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will remember the foundation the church is built on. They will remember who is the head of the Church, and they will have faith in Him. Be strong my brothers and sisters, and don't be afraid to be different and peculiar. Never think it is ok to distort the Church's stereotype to fit the mainstream world.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mormon Calendar

"Shirtless Mormons calendar gets man in trouble" (Full Story)

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Chad Hardy, decided he would "stir things up" a bit and make a calendar of shirtless return missionaries.

Hardy said, "I wondered what would happen if we took that perfect Disneyland image that the church spends millions of dollars cultivating each year and shook it up a little bit."

That "perfect Disneyland image..."? =/

That image is of missionaries representing the Lord Jesus Christ. That image is to reflect Jesus Christ and the Church. Brother Hardy has taken it upon himself to pervert that, and try to turn it into some kind of sex symbol. He fell away from the church in 2002, and admitted that no one try to contact him to "bring [him] back into the fold". So as a cry for help, he decides to pervert the ways and look of LDS Missionaries. When this story first came out many months ago, I was deeply disappointed. I am a return missionary, and find it very disrespectful of Brother Hardy to produce material like this. Now if he would have had shirtless men (maybe even return missionaries) posing as other occupations, or settings, he might not have caused the problems he did. But the fact that he has used the image of the LDS Church, he should have know it would have caused disciplinary action.

I am also saddened and disappointed in the return missionaries, who agreed to disrespect the image of a missionary. Did they not find it to be a humbing experience to carry their name badge with Christ's name on it for 2 years of their life? Did they not find some kind of sacredness in that? I have been home from my mission for almost 10 years now, and I still treat my name badges with respect because of whose name is on them.

I will pray for Brother Hardy and these 12 "models"/return missionaries, who perhaps might not have know better. I hope Brother Hardy's disciplinary counsel will be productive and he will understand the views of the Church on this matter, and work to correct it and be an active member again.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Priesthood Blessings

D&C 127:8 -
For I am about to restore many things to the earth, pertaining to the priesthood, saith the Lord of Hosts.

D&C 132:45 -
For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.

What a blessing it is to have the restored gospel on the earth today. What an amazing thing it is to know the fullness of the gospel. Along with the gospel being restored, so has the Lord's Priesthood been given back to man. This same Priesthood has not only blessed my life, but I have been an instrument in the Lord's hands to use it to bless others. What a miraculous gift the Priesthood is for these latter days.

A quick personal story. I had just gone through major surgery, and was admitted into the ICU unit of the hospital. The doctors had predicted I would be there for less then 24 hours, while I recovered. I was not showing any signs of improvement after being there for 3 days. The doctors were puzzled and so were my parents. My faithful mother called upon the men who held the Priesthood to come to the hospital and give me a "healing" blessing. All I remember is seeing three men (strangers) walk into the ICU room I was in late at night. They raised my bed, dabbed my head with concentrated oil, then layed their hands upon my head and proceeded to give me a blessing from my Heavenly Father. I do not recall the words given in the blessing, but I had faith that I would be healed. The next morning I woke up, and was able to eat solid food. Just a few hours later, I was taken out of the ICU and put into a regular hospital bed while I continued to heal. It was a true miracle! Doctors and science can not explain what happened during the night that allowed me to recover, but I know what happened, and my faith has been strengthened by it.

On a less serious note, but nothing short of a miracle, I was recently able to give my 3 week old baby a blessing. There was nothing life threatening, or in need of a medical miracle. She simply had not been sleeping well, and that caused concern for her mother and I. My wife had asked me to give a blessing to our daughter, and I jumped at the chance. I love being able to share this wonderful gift that Heavenly Father has entrusted to me. Since it was not a healing blessing, I was able to perform the ordinace by myself. I laid my hands on our baby's head, and gave her a blessing to sleep better through the night (as well as other things that came to me through the Holy Spirit). My wife informed me the following morning, while I was at work, that our daughter had indeed slept through the night and Heavenly Father truly blesses us and answers prayers. Because of my wife and I's faith, a miracle had happened.

The Priesthood is real, and is a gift from God. I strive daily to be worthy in His eyes to be an instrument in His hands to bless other's lives through the Priesthood.