Editor’s note: This narrative is part of a Church News series titled “Women of Covenant,” in which women of the Church discuss their personal experiences with priesthood power and share what they have learned through following President Russell M. Nelson’s counsel to “labor with the Spirit to understand God’s power — priesthood power” (“Spiritual Treasures,” general conference, October 2019).
I was sitting on the stand in the Conference Center behind President Russell M. Nelson when he gave the talk Spiritual Treasures in October of 2019. When the closing prayer began, I had to lean down and wipe the tears off my face knowing that the lights would come back on and the TV cameras would be pointed toward the stand.
I was emotional because President Nelson had confirmed and expanded for me many things about women’s relationship to priesthood. I felt like a spiritual treasure had been handed to me to unwrap and study.
One of the most riveting ideas President Nelson taught that evening was that: “The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood.” He said if we truly understood that truth in our hearts it would change our lives.
I have thought a great deal about this since the conference. How exactly do I do that? In what form does it come? What are my limitations? In what ways will it change my life?
President Nelson said: “You won’t find this process spelled out in any manual. The Holy Ghost will be your personal tutor as you seek to understand what the Lord would have you know and do. This process is neither quick nor easy, but it is spiritually invigorating.”
Over the months, I have been learning new things from this personal tutoring.
“Your prayers, fasting, time spent in the scriptures, service in the temple, and family history work will open the heavens to you.”
There are people I love who are going through excruciating trials. Sometimes I don’t have any idea what to do for them. So I pray.
One night, I was pouring my heart out, pleading with the Lord and I opened up the scriptures and read Doctrine and Covenants 98:2 — “… your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament — the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.”
I felt a little stunned. It felt almost as though a conversation had occurred between the Lord and me specific to the problem I had brought to Him. I could feel what President Nelson promised was true.
“Your power will increase as you serve others.”
Often, I feel the Lord asks a familiar question: “Whom shall I send?”
In the spirit of Jesus Christ, I have the chance to reply: “Here am I, send me.”
Nephi expressed the same idea when he wrote: “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”
Each day when I wake up, I try to say “Here am I, send me.” Usually, the errand isn’t hard — but I have found I have to do it. I can’t procrastinate. I want the Lord to know He can count on me to faithfully respond.
But what power increases by doing so? My power to see what others really need.
“You have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love.“
Through these last months of pandemic I have been intensely aware of those I cannot reach physically. But I know I can call on the Lord to bless them anyway. Time and space are not barriers for Him.
He can bless patients who may be very ill and alone, isolated from those who love them. He can strengthen exhausted professionals straining their mental resilience to treat patients under impossible conditions. He can inspire community workers waging an unlikely battle to keep disease out of dense places where people live crowded together without the luxuries of space and soap.
It feels to me like an unbelievable privilege to be able to access power beyond mortal limits.
Recently, I read a story of a woman making an altar cloth for the new Denver temple. She wasn’t experienced and had labored hard with lots of help from others so it would be fit for the House of the Lord. One day when her little grandson was supposed to be taking a nap, he went into her sewing room and took a big pair of scissors and snipped right through her painstaking work and left a big hole. When she saw it, she was sick. She tried various ways to repair it and finally realized she must start over.
I envision priesthood power as a single, fine, smooth white thread that comes from God and loops in and out, up and around, seeming to have its own direction in our lives. But over time an intricate pattern is revealed. That design covers the altar of God, the holiest place where we bind on earth and bind in heaven.
There is always going to be some event that comes along in our lives and snips a big hole out of our offering. It can make our hearts bleed as we feel all we have done with the best intention is wasted. But we each have the privilege to draw upon priesthood power and skillfully begin to repair each strand or even start fresh if needed.
Whenever I see an altar cloth in the holy temple, I feel it is one of the temple’s most powerful symbols for how the Lord lends His power to His faithful children in order to gather and bind together in an intricate, holy design.
These are spiritual treasures to me.