Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Power Do You Have Access To But Don't Realize It?

I just got back from a meeting featuring Sheri Dew as the guest speaker. It was amazing, if you don't know who she is, I highly recommend getting familiar because she is an amazing woman, with great things to teach by knowledge and example. I just want to share some highlights of her presentation because it is far too good to keep to myself.

She shared this quote, which is a "nonscriptural elaboration" of what the Lord might have said to Peter after the "Lovest Thou Me" conversation:

Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world.

We Need To Learn Who We Are

Once I was in a class that was being presented over Skype while the teacher was out of town. I made a comment and the teacher asked "Who are you?" Thinking the teacher couldn't see me, I answered, "I'm Sandy, Diana's 6th cousin, I play piano sometimes." Then he clarified the question, "No, who are you really?"

It is so easy to get caught up in labels. I am a wife, a mother, daughter, sister, blogger, neighbor, friend, teacher and so many other things. And sometimes I'm not very good at some of those. But it is more important to realize who I really am -- a child of God with divine potential. I'm not just a pianist, violist or writer. There is so much more to me than the things that I do or my relationship to other people. I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loves me and I love Him. I have potential to be so much more than just a label. Even when I don't live up to my potential, it doesn't change who I am. No matter what I do, my Heavenly Father still loves me and always will.

Having a more sure knowledge of who I am changes my complete outlook on life. No matter how much I mess up, sin, or fail to live up to what I can and should do, Heavenly Father still loves me and wants me to return to live with Him. He wants me to learn and grow, and no matter who is against me (including myself), I have God on my side, and that gives me a pretty big advantage. Be sure to doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.

Learn How To Receive Revelation

Because Heavenly Father loves me (and you), He has provided ways for us to learn and grow. Because we are each individual, the path can vary greatly for individuals. Have you ever received answers to prayers that you knew were specially catered to your needs? I have. I've received answers in forms that were so obvious that I couldn't miss the message God was trying to send me or the answer to prayer. But I have also received answers and guidance in more subtle ways.

Sheri Dew shared a story in which she was seeking for an answer to prayer and a friend counseled her to ask the Lord to tutor her in how to recognize revelation that is given to her. There is no greater teacher than the Lord. While praying specifically concerning specific needs or wants is valuable, we should also remember to ask for help in recognizing answers that we receive (and when necessary, the courage to act on things).

She talked about the importance of having a powerful connection to God. Her life has not been free of trials, and she shared that it is important to have a connection with heaven that is stronger and more powerful than the reality that we face here on earth.

Understand The Power We Already Have


Sheri Dew was in the General Relief Society Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was in the presidency when some new security measures were implemented on Salt Lake Temple Square. She was given a access card and was told to use it on the elevators. Since she was already a pretty familiar face at this time, she kept the card in her binder, but never actually used it because there were always other people on the elevator that would let her in and such.

The day after she was released, she was going to speak at a morning devotional. She parked in the underground parking lot at 6 am and as she approached one of the tunnel entrances (Temple Square is full of underground tunnels), she realized that because it was so early, they weren't open yet. So there she is at this huge barricade, unable to proceed. She sees a small intercom on the side and pushes the button.

The security guard, seeing her through the camera says "Good morning Sister Dew, how can I help you?" She explains her situation and asks him to open the barricade. He asks if she has her access card. She couldn't help thinking, "You obviously recognize me since you called me by name, why would you need to see my card?" But instead just said, "Yes, I think so, it is here in my binder." He responded, "All you need to do is swipe that card at the panel on the side and it will open for you. Then you can do that for any door you come to."

She was pretty excited at this point. There were lots of tunnels she had been curious about and never explored. "Can I use it anywhere?" "You have pretty high clearance, so yes probably." She was very excited now. She had this great power available, and hadn't even known it! After she double checked, he asked, "Weren't you released yesterday?" "Yes" "Enjoy your high clearance today then, because your card will be deactivated tomorrow."

All this time, she had been carrying around great power to go all sorts of places. But she didn't even realize it until it was practically gone. She went on to compare this to power that we have access too and don't realize it. This power is available through revelation and building our relationship with God as well as being endowed with power from on high.

Keys, Authority and Power

It is important to recognize the difference between keys, authority and power. I'm going to use an example pertaining to priesthood power in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for more information on the restoration of the priesthood, click here.

Lets look at the example of a person getting baptized into the church and receiving the Holy Ghost (which is part of baptism). Years ago, I was baptized. Before my baptism, I need to get authorization from someone holding keys. I had an interview with the bishop and he authorized my baptism. My baptism was performed by someone holding authority (in this case, my dad). By having that ordinance performed, I was given power.

To summarize:
  • Keys authorize access
  • Authority is used to perform ordinances
  • Power is available with direct access after ordinances are performed
Since ordinances are usually associated with covenants (promises between God and man), that power is available dependent upon keeping our covenants. I needed to go through other people in order to be properly baptized and receive the Holy Ghost (God's house is a house of order), but after that I have direct access. This is significant with baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but even more so pertaining to temple covenants. Power is available, and because of who we are (see above), we have direct access to great power. A person who has never even heard of Jesus Christ or God is still a Child of God, and still has access to very real power. Continuing on the path that God has made for us gives us access to even greater power, and most of the time we don't even realize it.

There is so much readily available to each and everyone of us if we just open up our eyes to see and reach out to grab what is being offered. How has your relationship with God helped you deal with the harsh realities of life?

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