True Power Series

A Four Week Motivational Monday Series on obtaining True Power in Life.

The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
“she had me under her power” – Definition of Power on www.google.com
Power is one of the biggest motivators known to man. There are many different definitions of the word, but for the sake of this series, I am talking about directing or influencing others or events. Some people find power via a position they have obtained in this world, some by the influence they have with others. Power is probably one of the biggest motivators for most activities in this world.

Is Power Wrong?

We have heard it said over and over again that power is evil or bad. I can think of several quotes like “Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely” by Lord Acton and others. I do not believe power in its purest form is bad. But I think that it has the uncanny ability to corrupt man if it is not used for the right purposes or obtained in the right way.

How does one wield power justly or obtain it in a right manner?

So getting to why this has become an idea for a series for me. This past week in an unrelated instance I was given a chapter in Doctrine and Covenants 121 to read by a dear friend of mine. As I read that chapter I was impressed upon by the questions Joseph Smith had for God and God’s responses to Joseph. But these verses at the end impacted me more than them all.

38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to akick against the pricks, to bpersecute the saints, and to cfight against God.
  39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the anature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little bauthority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise cunrighteous dominion.
  40 Hence many are called, but afew are chosen.
41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by cpersuasion, by dlong-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By akindness, and pure bknowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the csoul without dhypocrisy, and without eguile
43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.
45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant acompanion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of brighteousness and truth; and thy cdominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. D&C 121:38-46

What does D&C 121 have to do with power?

Real Power Series 1 - Obtaining Real PowerJoseph Smith was in one of the darkest times in his life. I suggest any student of this book of prophetic revelations check out the book Revelations In Context. I really love it because it frames in our minds why these revelations came to past. Liberty Jail to me sounds like an experience that would kill me. Dark, damp, nasty. People coming to look at folks as if they were zoo animals. Food so wretched and corse that it could not be eaten except when driven to that point by hunger, only to immediately regurgitate it because of how nasty it was.

Add on top of that the fact that his people were massacred at Haun’s Mill, driven from the state. Not allowed to see their families or visitors. Jailors who constantly tormented them. And at this point it seemed he was in the most despair, he begged God for help, and God decided it was time to teach a lesson?

It was actually the best time for a lesson on power.

Joseph Smith was facing enemies outside of the church and within. He could not quite have known the effects the religion Christ founded through him would have on the world. One day this religion would be one of the fastest growing in America. But at that point, he probably would just like to have regular food. He could not see how his suffering would bring true power.

It was not power how we think though. What I liked about this response to his prayers in the verses above listed was this one.

D&C 121:34 – “Behold, there are many acalled, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
  35 Because their ahearts are set so much upon the things of this bworld, and caspire to the dhonors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
  36 That the arights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.

Not Many Can Handle Josephs Mantle

Look at those above verses. Not many are chosen because their hearts are on the things of this world. Aspiring to the honors of men. How many preachers or leaders can you see this in, that they aspired to the honors of men? They only see the things of this world. The powers of heaven are not controlled by our aspirations. They are only controlled or handled via righteousness.

Later in that chapter, God promises Joseph the Holy Ghost as a scepter. I mean imagine that. The Priesthood which is true power, more real than any power on earth. For the worlds were crafted via virtue of the priesthood, not out of worldly power. So the first lesson I want to impress upon my readers from this study of Doctrine and Covenants 121 is that real power is not something we can “obtain”! Real power does not come to us because we have the prestige or because we worked super duper hard at it. It comes from God. So I leave you with this one last verse from that chapter.

D&C 121:46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant acompanion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of brighteousness and truth; and thy cdominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

In Conclusion

True power, real power is everlasting. We cant obtain that power through our own works. If we follow Christ and hold to righteousness true power will flow (not be drawn, not compelled, etc) unto us forever and forever, not based on anything we do. Come back next week for a new lesson in Power!

Last Weeks Motivation Monday Article

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