Tag Archives: priesthood

Mark 1

Mark 1 – Mark’s approach to documenting the Savior’s ministry is something of a populace approach. He talks of how Christ performed many miracles in healing the sick. This isn’t a bad thing, because repeatedly he is dealing with issues of logistics throughout this first chapter.

First Christ goes into a synagogue in Capernaum. He there preaches with authority, and then casts out  a devil that declares his divinity. Christ silences the devil’s testimony.  Shortly there after Christ heals Simon’s (Peter’s) mother-in-law in Simon’s home. She, upon being healed, prophecies to the entire house.

It appears that he’s still in Capernaum at this point, but by the time the events at Simon’s house conclude, evening has come and the fame of Christ (because of what had happened in the synagogue) is now spread throughout Galilee and the inhabitants of the city of Capernaum are at the front door of Simon’s house with their sick and diseased. Many lame are healed; many devils are cast out (He continued to silence the testimonies of the devils.)

The following morning, Christ departs into the wilderness for solace and a quiet place to pray. Soon Simon, and his other disciples whom he had called, arrived and inform the Savior of his fame in Capernaum. Jesus then says that they are going elsewhere to preach, explaining that this was their purpose.

Now near the end of the chapter, Mark records that Jesus heals a leper, and then charges the man  to not make it known. The healed man does not follow Christ’s mandate to “say nothing to any man.” The consequence of that man’s disobedience was this (vs. 45):

Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places.

Fame impeded Christ from doing his work, and being able to openly come and go in the cities to heal those who needed him.

So this chapter is a chapter of logistics and how to get the power of Christ to the people. The obstacles that impeded that progress, and the very establishment of the priesthood leadership (the calling of his apostles) that would make it so that he could do his work, are the focus of this first chapter of Mark.

Defining Myself: Minister of the Gospel

“I promise you that if you are faithful… to the Melchizedek Priesthood and happy to go teach the Gospel to others… joy will fill your soul.”

There will always be opportunities to teach the Gospel in your life, always.

(Why do spiritual impressions that I feel in connection with these thoughts also link me to home building? At first it was the thought of my plans from the past for adobe house construction, but I feel that the impression has to do perhaps with a different kind of home building. Perhaps, the building of family. How deceptively close the two feelings are!)

Scriptures for consideration here:

Doctrine and Covenants 84:33 & 34 –

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies

They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:14

And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

Signs and wonders cannot change us more than opening our mouth by the Spirit. This is the only way that we can magnify our callings.


Reviewing my role as a minister of the Gospel to my own family. My children are closed to me. How do I get them to open to the light?

Priesthood and Personal Prayer

Just re-read this talk on priesthood and personal prayer and there are passages that I want to commit the principles to memory:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/priesthood-and-personal-prayer?lang=eng

This is what I’ve learned: God is not interested in long prayers. Rather He is interested in specific prayers, and us knowing what we should be praying for.

“Ye worship ye know not what… Salvation is of the Jews.”

Here are the paragraphs that I need to come back to:

So you will pray for the way to know their hearts, to know what things are amiss in the lives and the hearts of people whom you don’t know well and who are not anxious to have you know them. You will need to know what God would have you do to help them and to do it all, as nearly as you can, feeling God’s love for them.

It is because you have such important and difficult priesthood calls that President Smith suggests that when you pray, you always plead with God that He will bless you with His Spirit. You will need the Holy Ghost not once but as much as God will grant it to you for your constant companion. That is why we must always pray that God will guide us in our service to His children.

Because you cannot rise to your priesthood potential without the Spirit going with you, you are a personal target for the enemy of all happiness. If he can tempt you to sin, he can lessen your power to be led by the Spirit and so reduce your power in the priesthood. That is why President Smith said that you should always pray that God will warn and protect you from evil.6

He warns us in many ways. Warnings are part of the plan of salvation. Prophets, apostles, stake presidents, bishops, and missionaries all raise the warning voice to escape calamity through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and making and keeping sacred covenants.

As a priesthood holder, you are to be part of the warning voice of the Lord. But you need to heed the warning yourself. You will not survive spiritually without the protection of the companionship of the Holy Ghost in your daily life.

You must pray for it and work to have it. Only with that guide will you be able to find your way along the strait and narrow path through the mists of evil. The Holy Ghost will be your guide as He reveals truth when you study the words of prophets.

Getting that guidance will take more than casual listening and reading. You will need to pray and work in faith to put the words of truth down into your heart. You must pray that God will bless you with His Spirit, that He will lead you into all truth and show you the right way. That is how He will warn and guide you into the right path in your life and in your priesthood service.

Spiritual Priorities

We are entering another period of transition in our family, and while the obvious tendency would be to focus on the transitions and even boast of the blessings that will result, I’ve felt in a reproving Spirit remind me that there are other priorities that should be my focus (not that I need to stop or pull away from the superficial, as they will help to facilitate the priorities that are more important).

Priority #1 is the spiritual development of my children. I’m coming to realize that I have much more to do with this than I have given attention to, both in assisting in the Church-produced activities and programs, but also in attending to my own parental duties to my children. Next to my wife’s well being, this is my most important matter before me.

Priority #2 focus on work projects, not the home or sustainability items. There is a specific mission for me to accomplish with my animations and filmmaking pursuits that should be a priority over home projects. Not that home projects don’t have their place, but all things in their proper place. This is primarily for during the working hours of the day. This is not nearly as high a priority though as #1.

Our covenants are at the heart of all that we do, and if they are a central part of our worship experience, it goes that priesthood authority must be legitimate. It must come from the proper channel and from those authorized to administer it as such. Because of our covenants we are given the power to do. Christ’s ministry started with the covenant of baptism. He ended his ministry by giving us the covenant of the sacrament. The power in that weekly  covenant is at the very heart of our discipleship and our ability to prepare to return back to God.