A while ago now, I offered a prayer and asked from where does Heavenly Father’s power originates. While I still do not feel authorized to share that answer, consistent therewith I find this scripture of particular interest, which I have previously understood only superficially.
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. (Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46)
This was referenced in sacrament meeting a couple of weeks ago, under a completely different context, and answers (at least in part) a question that has been on my mind and in my prayers nearly continuously for months. My eyes were opened. Note that there is a certain parallelism between the two phrases in bold text. If dominion is to mean at least in part, authority, then we have two aspects of priesthood that come to us continuously and gradually. In engineering terms, there is no implication of a unit step function.
Here again, we come in conflict with that pesky word, all. If God is fully omnipotent and omniscient, then this could not be true of Him and would leave God’s priesthood capped (doesn’t continue to distill or flow). If on the other hand, this statement is intended to describe an eternal principle, one that applies to all :- ), then priesthood has an entirely different construct and meaning. While you muddle through the implications, consider this question, what better description of God is there than this (derived from the above scripture and taking editorial license)?
God’s bowels are full of charity towards all; His thoughts are ever virtuous.
Should that should be in Proverbs? :- )
These represent two exceedingly different perspectives on who God is, and what might become of us if we faithfully follow His example. So, does this principle only apply to us, or does it apply to all?
Is it not curious that the concepts of “distilling” and “flowing” each have an implicit time (temporal, telestial) component. How can this be true in a realm and for a being not bound by time? Forever is after all a rather long time. :- )
Epilogue: a few related quotes of interest
…the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
(TPJS, 3, Many Called But Few Chosen ¶1 • TPJS p. 142 ¶1)
The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. (TPJS, 4, Priesthood Everlasting ¶1 • TPJS p. 157 ¶2)