Priesthood Blessings and Joy

I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror this morning, and my haggard appearance made me want to gag. It also reminded me of how fatigued and achy I am. Most disturbingly, my usual optimistic mood had been already been replaced by something darker and pessimistic.

The last few weeks I’ve been dealing with medical issues. This past weekend it seemed to grow prominently worse. Being one who does not like  to ‘slow down,’ this new change in my life only brings out the worst in me. I don’t like for anything to change my schedule, do not like sympathy, and do not like to be viewed as anything other than capable. So you can imagine that dealing with any type of illness is somewhat of a buzz kill in my life.

Yeah, I know. Pride, much?

After a few freak-outs in my head (only because I was too tired and sick to freak out on anyone in person) it finally dawned on me to ask for a blessing.

It has been over a year since I’ve received any type of blessing. I hate to impose on anyone and whilst my logical mind knows better, this not wanting to ask for help is not in any way helping my situation. (Again! With the pride!)

After a moment of prayer, I received some clearing of the negative debris covering my mind. A sense of peace and clarity filled my soul. It became clear that not only did I want a blessing, but I needed a blessing!

A priesthood blessing is sacred. It can be a holy and inspired statement of our wants and needs. If we are in tune spiritually, we can receive a confirming witness of the truth of the promised blessings. Priesthood blessings can help us in the small and great decisions of our lives. If, through our priesthood blessings, we could perceive only a small part of the person God intends us to be, we would lose our fear and never doubt again. ~President James E. Faust

Priesthood Blessings

Wanting healing through prayer is not in conflict with  the miracles of medical science from one’s life. (It shouldn’t be.)  Brigham Young would ask those who asked for healing through a blessing, “Have you used any remedies?” When the individual would reply no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us,” President Young replied: “That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and [then] to ask my Father in Heaven … to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.”  (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe (1954), 163.)

D&C 90:24 tells us to pray always and so whilst we are using wisdom and faith simultaneously, we should not deny ourselves the blessings God has bestowed to us, especially when it is because of pride.

The Apostle James taught that we should “pray one for another, that ye may be healed,” adding, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). When the woman who touched Jesus was healed, He told her, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matthew 9:22). 3 Similarly, the Book of Mormon teaches that the Lord “worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men” (Moroni 10:7). ~Dallin H. Oaks

Last night, after 8pm, two members of the Priesthood from my Ward, came to my house and gave me a blessing. It wasn’t earth shattering, the walls didn’t shake, the Heavens did not open, nor did I instantly feel better. What did happen was that I immediately felt at peace, my fear of what is wrong disappeared and the worry I felt about my doctor’s appointment today vanished.

This morning, I feel better. Not 100%, but better, mostly due in part of feeling at peace and some of that negativity I allowed to erode my mind is gone.

My husband also got to witness the experience for the first time. This is a miracle in and of itself.

One of things I’ve learned since my conversion is this: Joy is something vastly different from happiness. It’s different from the surface of physical comfort. In my opinion, joy is divinely inspired and goes with the flow of our emotions. It’s a constant contentment during the most troubling of times. It doesn’t go away when we are facing challenges, yet because we mistake joy for happiness, we may feel we are joyless. My discontent in being sick made me think all the joy in my life had been sucked out of my life, but the truth is, my life is joyful. Before my conversion when things seemed to be the worst that they could be, there was not anything to bring me back to the feeling of love my God has for me. Now, I feel His love, and also the joy of knowing how intense and true that love is. Where there was once a sense of bleakness…there is now joy.

The more we know of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the more joy we will have, no matter the circumstance. A friend once told me that life does not have to be easy to be joyful and I took her words for granted, not understanding the depth of truth she spoke.

I understand now.

Tips to Begin Your Day in a Positive Light

Having to deal with insomnia when your workday begins at 4:45am should be non-existent. There should be something to prevent this from ever happening. I went to bed at a decent hour, but could not fall asleep. I found myself wandering through the house, flipping through books, the television, going back to bed trying those silly sleep exercises like counting sheep and saying the alphabet backwards…but for whatever reason…sleep wouldn’t come.

Well, I finally succumbed to sleep around 4am. And my alarm promptly went off at 4:45am.

Needless to say, I found myself in one of my moods this morning, shuffling through the house in my PJ’s and even driving my daughter to seminary in them. I thought of all the million and one ways in which my life could be better and systematically pondered on all the negative things going on in my world. Somehow in the midst of this thinking, I had decided that today was going to be a pretty terrible day and went ahead and counted all the ruminations that would undoubtedly make it so.

Without realizing it I had confessed in confidence that I would have a terrible day. Did I want a terrible day? No, of course not. But in my negative mood I didn’t seek happiness or even want it. I was miserable and couldn’t see pass my misery.

I’m a charmer in that way.

Years ago, I had printed out a list of things for my family and I to do individually to prepare for a good day. I haven’t been following the tips because in my need to be an ultra control freak, I guess I had decided I didn’t need it.

I’m cute like that.

I figured this morning would be as good as any to put these tips into practice and also use it for today’s post:

TIPS FOR BEGINNING YOUR DAY IN A POSITIVE LIGHT

  1. Give a prayer of thanks. Make time this morning to give thanks to your Heavenly Father for all the blessings in your life.
  2. Ask Heavenly Father to give you wisdom and protection as you go throughout your day.
  3. Take a few minutes for some scripture reading. Write down a verse and keep it on you today.
  4. Did you make a To-Do List? Look over your list and make a plan for the day to accomplish your tasks.
  5. Pamper yourself this morning. No matter what the day holds, make yourself beautiful. Feeling good about yourself makes you shine with confidence and you will undoubtedly help others you come in contact with shine.
  6. Make sure to tell your loved ones you love them.
  7. Make someone’s day today by doing something for them. An act of service is a blessing for both parties!
  8. Remember to laugh today.
There you are…eight little tips on how to start your day off right. If you need me I’ll be napping in a corner somewhere…
Do you have tips of your own to start your day off in a positive light? Please share in the comment section below!