Monday, June 23, 2014

Me and the Priesthood

One night, when I was a little girl, I remember lying in my bed and feeling scared. At the foot of my bed I could see my open closet. I was certain something bad was lurking inside. I became more and more frightened of some dark presence hiding in my room. As my fear intensified, I hugged my pillow and blanket tightly around me for protection. Then I remembered the words of my mother, "Angie. Believe in God and that He will protect you as you call on his name. Jesus Christ has more power than anything on this earth." I sat up and said, in my small little girl voice, "I command you, in the name of Jesus Christ, to leave me alone." Immediately the fear I felt left, and again my room felt safe and sure. When I was in college, I got an ear infection, but for some reason I forgot I could go to the doctor and get better. The ear infection became worse and worse, constantly aching and pounding in my head. The pain went on and on for over a month. I finally remembered I should ask for a priesthood blessing and that I could be healed. My father laid his hands on my head and said, "By the power of the priesthood, and by the faith you hold, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command the pain in your ear to leave!" I knew that God could heal me. I believed that He could take my pain away. Immediately, at my fathers words, and by my faith to be healed, the pain left my ears. One sunny day, down a dusty road in a small town of Campinas, Brazil, my Brazilian companion and I were confronted my a man on a motorcycle. I felt the same fear that I had felt as a little girl lying in my bed with the dark closet before me. My companion and I started to walk quickly towards the mouth of the road to reach a more open area. The man walked quickly behind us and grabbed my back side. We quickened our pace. I could hear the man's feet coming up behind us even faster. I turned around and yelled with all the power and depth of my voice, "Do not touch me!" I felt adrenaline and fire coursing through me like I had never felt before. I was scared, and knew that this man could hurt me and my companion. But I also knew that I was in control if I believed God would help me. I felt like the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, when he commanded his brothers who wanted to kill him to, "Touch me not!" As I yelled at the man, I felt God's power protecting me. I imagined an angel standing above and around me holding a flaming sword that would cut the man down if he came any closer. The man ran to his motorcycle and rode away as fast as he could. As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I have never felt like I have been limited in my actions or faith because I am not an official holder of God's priesthood. On the contrary. All my life I have felt that men value my opinion and believe that my faith in God is just as important and powerful as their holding of the priesthood. As I have served in callings, I have felt strengthened by men all around me. I have felt their support and their belief that, as a woman, I am wonderful and have the potential to do anything that my faith in God demands or needs. I am thankful to be a woman. I believe in God and that he has given both men and women the opportunity to learn and grow in life regardless of the responsibilities they hold. As a woman of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have never felt restricted in my power to call upon the name of God and ask for help. I know He is there when and wherever I may need him.