Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Surrogate God-Fathers & Priesthood Blessings

I don't have a lot of time to be posting in the morning, but there is something really sweet and beautiful that I just want to share.

I am really grateful for priesthood blessings. I actually want to share something specific about one of the blessings I have received and am grateful for, but I can't really do that without first explaining what priesthood blessings are because I know that not everybody is familiar with the term <3

To understand the priesthood you have to understand God as the Father of everyone's spirits--you know, the thing that's missing when someone dies--basically the life of the body because without it the body is just dust. The priesthood, then, is God's power, and His authority to act on His behalf for his children when he can't be physically present himself. Blessings are basically prayers. So priesthood blessings are prayers, offered on others' behalf, by men that God calls to act in his behalf when he can't be physically present.

It's really cool to think about. It's like having surrogate God-fathers :) I've never thought of it that way before but it makes my heart happy to think about. Maybe it's because I have a step-dad that I appreciate this so much. I'm really grateful for my step-dad, and for the surrogate role he plays in my life. A surrogate is not the same as the real thing, that's for sure, making for some biological and spiritual awkwardness, but it's something and it's better than nothing. And it just goes to show how important the role of Father is, and how much He loves us to provide us with surrogate God-fathers <3 Yep that makes my heart happy. <3 <3 <3

I know my biological father is grateful to my step-father for the surrogate role he has taken as my dad. Yeah he knows that they're different people (totally different) and they do things differently, have different opinions about stuff, different personalities, dispositions, etc., but my biological father knows that my step-father is a good man and that he loves us. He doesn't love us perfectly (who does?) but he loves us and would do anything for us, and that's what matters. It's kind of strange. I've never thought of my step-dad acting on my biological father's behalf before, but in a way, that's exactly what it is.

I imagine it's somewhat similar with Heavenly Father and our surrogate God-Fathers. Yeah they have different dispositions and whatnot, but that's to be expected. What's important is that their purpose is the same--to love us and to help us feel God's love. Wow. That's just amazing.


(I have a dozen or so half-baked entries in my 'unpublished' pile. I don't want this one to get lost among those so I'm publishing what I have so that I'll have the incentive to come back and finish it before long :)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Learning how to be a student

I've been thinking about what it means to be a student, and how one approaches learning the restored gospel of Jesus Christ via the role of a student versus as a teacher/leader. I realized this morning that to be a disciple, really, is just to be a student.

For all my life I've had it flip flopped. I saw discipleship as a form of leadership--which it is, I guess, if one learns how to be an 'exemplar' student. But what does it mean to be a student? My questions began last week when a lady in my Sunday School class asked a "Do you think" question instead of sharing an "I think" statement. I decided to try a do you think question too and wow. It revolutionized the way I think about teaching and learning. I've been so focused on leadership I think I've missed a few things. My new goal is to learn what it means to be a student, and what the Savior taught about how to be a student/disciple.

I prefer to identify myself as a student rather than a teacher. It's less stressful. I don't have to be perfect. I can mess up, like a lot, and still feel safe as long as I'm trying to learn from my mistakes and not play the scapegoat blaming games--projecting my own faults and failings on other people, things, and situations. I can own my imperfectness and embrace my role as student. Heck, that's why a student's a student. We have lots of room to grow and we know it, so we do something about it :)