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).
While traveling throughout Scandinavia in July 2019, our family had the privilege of worshiping with the Danish Saints in the Frederiksberg Ward. During Sunday School with the youth, the discussion turned to the First Vision.
After reading James 1:5 — “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him,” — one of the young men commented that the word “liberally,” directly translated from Danish, means “with cupped hand.” He then likened the scripture in a way that easily resonated with his class. “For instance, if someone wanted to give me candy, I would not hold my hand out flat. I would hold it out cupped so that I could receive as much candy as possible,” he said.
I have reflected upon this experience often, asking myself, “Am I approaching the throne of the Lord with ‘cupped hand?’ Am I humbly seeking and ‘draw[ing] liberally upon the Savior’s power to help my family and others [I] love?’ And most specifically, am I prepared to receive all that God has to offer?”
I love the inspired words of Elizabeth Barret Browning:
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
“And every common bush afire with God,
“But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”
The temple is where I go to “see.” It is where I go to understand my role more fully in the work of salvation and exaltation and the priesthood power that enables me to fulfill the full measure of my creation. My favorite titles of Christ are Mediator, Redeemer and Advocate.
In the temple, we learn that God’s power is about unity as righteous men and women have the sacred privilege to walk side by side with the Savior and participate in part as mediators, redeemers and advocates on behalf of those who have gone before.
In Ezekiel, the Savior refers to the temple as “the place of the soles of my feet” (Ezekiel 43:7). What a glorious thing to envision, Christ walking the very halls of His house, not with His shoes, but with His bare feet. For He is home, and home is holy ground.
As we “draw liberally upon the Savior’s power” through making and keeping sacred covenants, our homes will become an extension of the temple; and, as we walk the halls with the “soles of our feet,” we too will be walking on holy ground where the Spirit dwells, miracles unfold, and the “power of Godliness is manifest” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:20).
I have learned from experience that covenant women endowed with priesthood power can call upon divine help from heaven to perform the miraculous.
Our oldest son was serving in the Italy Milan Mission during the time that I was battling cancer. My treatments were scheduled to end a few weeks before he completed his missionary service. His highly anticipated arrival home was a beautiful light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
As his return date gradually approached, I started having trouble with my chemotherapy access port. If my port stopped working, I would need to postpone my treatment to have it surgically replaced. Such a delay would mean that I would be home battling the side effects of chemotherapy instead of enjoying the long awaited moment of embracing my son at the airport.
I will never forget the day in the infusion room when my port eventually “died.” The nurse had tried multiple times to access it before she summoned the help of the head nurse; the one who had a gift for tapping even the most stubborn port. After she had also made several unsuccessful attempts, it was determined to try once more before beginning a difficult conversation regarding replacement.
A feeling of dread washed over me as deep concern settled upon everyone’s face. Calling upon the powers of heaven I uttered under my breath, “Heavenly Father, I need your help and I need it now!” The only way I can describe what happened next is that “something moved, something seemed to pop.” I asked the nurse what had just happened, and she replied, “I have no idea, but your port is working.”
I testify that as we study the scriptures and the words of the holy Prophets, we will have eyes that see, hearts that feel, and minds that know that the power of Godliness, priesthood power, can be manifest in our daily lives, predicated not by gender, but by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. May we use this sacred power daily to create a sanctuary in our homes, a refuge from the storms of life where all can come and partake of the fountains of living water liberally and thirst no more.