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The Power of…?

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love un-feigned; By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile…D&C 121: 41-42.

 

What is power?

There are 895 mentions of the word “power” in the scriptures as canonized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“ You keep using that word.  I do not think that word means what you think it means”

 – Indigo Montoya, “The Princess Bride”.

The common definition of power in physics is simply the rate at which energy is applied to the accomplishment of work?

What is work, then?  That is defined as the mental or physical effort required to achieve a desired purpose or result.

One might now ask, “What purpose or result?”  Might I suggest that work is the effort required to change the existing state of something into another state – whether that be moving, converting, destroying, building, etc.  In other words, we are not satisfied with the state of something, so we apply energy for the purpose of changing that state.

Power, then, is the energy applied toward achieving or fulfilling the desire to change the state of existence of something.

“ You keep using that word.  I do not think that word means what you think it means”

 – Indigo Montoya, “The Princess Bride”.

 

Again, what is power?

Switching gears, though, from power in physics to spiritual power.

What is the “power of the priesthood”; the “power of God”; the “power of the Holy Ghost”?

What is the power of man?

What did Jesus mean when He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”?

Is there a difference – between physical and spiritual?

Physical power implies the use of force.  Whether it be atomic power, police power, IRS power…power is used to change the state of something by the use of force.

But force isn’t really an option for God, is it?  I mean, doesn’t the use of force require compromising the agency of the object of that force?  That’s why force is required isn’t it?  The object doesn’t really want to change.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

So, the power of God cannot rely on force.

It can’t rely on the threat of punishment, either, because that is the threat of force.

It can’t rely on guilt, or fear

So what is the power of God?  How does God exercise that power?

Oh, yeah:

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love un-feigned; By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile…D&C 121: 41-42

While this scripture from Joseph Smith’s trial in the Liberty Jail clearly refers to man, I maintain that it applies equally to God.

God’s power is the power of love; of persuasion, of invitation, of patience.  Any other exercise of that power, and He would cease to be God, at least the God that I know.

It is not the power of judgment under threat of punishment, or of destruction, or the fear thereof.

It is the power of invitation:

“Come unto me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye will find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

How many throughout the centuries, and how many today, bow under the burden of the threat of damnation?  How many carry each day the burden of judgment of themselves and of others?  How many crave the purity of oneness with Christ…with God…yet remain separated by their reliance on, and blindness to, the philosophies of men?

My friends, God love is real.  It is active.  It is patient, it is unconditional, and it is forever.  There is no fear in love, and there is especially no fear in God’s love.

Love Him.  Then love yourself, and love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.  No separation.  No comparison, no contention, no control

Strip yourself of jealousies and fears, and see for yourself that He is, and that He is love.  Jesus gave His life that we might know this.

So, that we might know this…is my prayer on this day.

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2 comments on “The Power of…?

  1. I really love Power vs. Force, by David R. Hawkins. It is amazing, and you can read it for free online. It resonates with what you express here.

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