|Parable of the talents|
In October 2010 conference Pres. Monson said: "The priesthood you bear is a special gift, for the giver is the Lord Himself. Use it, magnify it, and live worthy of it." I think magnifying is to find ways to use it and to make it of worth to others and also when we allow the Priesthood to inspire us to put forth the effort to purify and better ourselfs--the bearers of the Priesthood.
I've wondered about this "magnify" in this context in the past. I've wondered if the danger wasn't that we would make too big a deal of it, or rather think we are great because we have it. That we might try to do things that were not part of our responsibility and try to take over other people's responsibilities thinking to enlarge or magnify our calling. So when I heard the following phrase by Kathleen Hughes back in 2004 I understood her concerns and appreciated what she taught us.
"I, like many of you, have had numerous callings in the Church. Some have been easier for me than others, but I have tried to magnify each one. But does the phrase “magnify your calling” ever make you nervous? It has worried me! Recently I read a talk in which President Thomas S. Monson said on the subject: “And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it” (Kathleen Hughes, “Priesthood Power,” Liahona, Jan. 2000, 60; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 51).
In other words, don't bury it or do nothing with it, or avoid opportunities to use it but do the service that is part and parcel with it. When we magnify the call then we call upon God to magnify us as Henry B. Eyring mentions in the following quote: "Just as God called you and will guide you, He will magnify you. You will need that magnification. Your calling will surely bring opposition. You are in the Master’s service. You are His representative. Eternal lives depend on you. (Oct. 2002 Conference) So we get magnified when we accept and follow through on the responsibility.
Something he wrote to his brother in 1873 showed the seriousness he took in his work with that population. "...I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ." Doesn't it sound like something Paul would have said? Eleven years later, Father Damien, did indeed contract the disease and five years after that died at the age of 49 literally having taken on the illness of those he had served.
In a later year Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a letter chiding a detractor of Father Damien: "But, sir, when we have failed, and another has succeeded; when we have stood by, and another has stepped in; when we sit and grow bulky in our charming mansions, and a plain, uncouth peasant steps into the battle, under the eyes of God, and succours the afflicted, and consoles the dying, and is himself afflicted in his turn, and dies upon the field of honour - the battle cannot be retrieved as your unhappy irritation has suggested. It is a lost battle, and lost for ever. One thing remained to you in your defeat - some rags of common honour; and these you have made haste to cast away."
|Ten healed lepers, one of which expresses his gratitude.|