A week ago at church the pastor preached on Mark 1:21-22, on Jesus’ authority. We learn at the very beginning of Mark’s gospel that Jesus used His authority to teach in an astonishing way (Mark 1:22). He cast out demons and unclean spirits by His authority (Mark 1:23-27). He used His authority to heal the sick (Mark 1:29-34). And by His authority He calmed the storm when His friends were afraid (Mark 4:35-41). Jesus even used His authority to do something unheard of: by His divine authority He forgave sins (Mark 2:1-12). Jesus continuously used His supernatural authority to teach, to help, and to heal. This was so unlike anything anyone had ever seen before, the people were absolutely amazed.
The sermon on Mark 1 got me to thinking about the emphasis on authority within the LDS Church, and how Melchizedek priesthood holders claim Christ’s authority to teach, to help, and to heal. I’m not going to talk about the technical aspects of the Melchizedek priesthood today. Instead, I’m going to write what’s in my heart.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine, who has recently left the LDS Church, related a conversation she had with her still-active LDS friend. The active Mormon woman has had great tragedy and grief in her life over the past few years. In suggesting that my friend should consider returning to the LDS Church, the Mormon woman said, “I could not have made it these past two years without the priesthood.”
My immediate thought was that if she had Jesus, she would not miss the Mormon priesthood. Yet, I knew that I needed to make more of an effort to understand this woman’s comment. She had been through such a deep valley. If I were in the midst of deep trials, would I sense some sort of lack, having only an unseen Jesus to comfort me? Would I wish for the opportunity to receive a blessing like Latter-day Saints receive? Would I long for men claiming God’s authority to lay hands on my head and tell me what was to come? Would these things bring me greater comfort in times of trial? I didn’t think so, but how could I know? Perhaps it would take a trial of my own.
Well, today my family is a family in limbo. Two precious little lives hang in the balance. We pray, we weep, we hope; most of all, we trust. Our season of trial has just begun, and may last a long, long time. Yet in faith and comfort, by the grace of God, we lack nothing
In the midst of the valley, I find that Jesus is enough.
I serve an amazing God. He is King and Lord, yet He is with me – me – a mere human being. Just one in six and a half billion. An unworthy woman with an imperfect faith. God Himself comforts me. He Himself blesses me. He Himself wraps His arms around me and gives me peace. I cannot see Him, but I know He is here. With me. Every moment.
And at the hospital. Every moment.
And cradling those babies. Every moment.
I find that I don’t need to be told what the future holds. I don’t need or want a promised blessing that will be mine if I’m just worthy enough to receive it. My God and King Himself whispers “Trust Me.” And then, amazingly, He grants me the faith to do so.
The veil in the Jerusalem temple was torn asunder when Jesus died on the cross. We who are alive in Christ have personal and direct access to God Himself. He Himself teaches, helps, and heals by His own amazing authority. Why would I want men to stand between me and my Comforter? Well intentioned and helpful as they may try to be, they are but a poor substitute for the real thing. My help and my hope come right from the Source, the Fountain of Living Water.
“Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in” (Psalm 24:9).
Because Jesus is more than enough.