It is one thing to discuss the power of the Gospel – to analyze JS-H 1:19 (which I will do here eventually) and dissect what it means to “deny the power (of godliness).” It is quite another to discuss the power of the Church.
A little while ago, our home ward saw some major organizational changes. The Primary Presidency and the Relief Society Presidency were changed – with two new presidents who felt overwhelmed and inadequate. (I know this, because they each said so on their individual blogs.) They received no detailed training, except for what they had observed in previous callings. They were given the keys that pertained to their callings (the ones that unlock physical doors) and some printed materials to read, told to talk with the persons they were replacing and thrown into the deep end of the pool – with a command to swim. They weren’t given the option to sink; they simply were promised the ability to swim – even if they had never been taught to swim.
The power of the Church does not reside in its prophets and apostles – although they are necessary to distill the authority under which the real power operates. The power of the Church does not lie in its Presiding Bishopric, its Quorums of the Seventy, its Stake Presidents or its Bishops and Branch Presidents – although the latter men directly oversee and facilitate the exercise of that power. It is found in the hearts and spirits of all of the average, normal, unexceptional men and women who willingly shoulder burdens and responsibilities they can’t carry – and carry them anyway. It is found in the growth experienced by Sister P and Sister M – the same growth that Sister R and Sister L will recognize whenever they hand over their keys and handbooks to their replacements and pick up whatever burden the Lord has in store for them at that time.
Church Headquarters provides vision and unanimity and direction for the body of Christ, but the members of each ward and branch do the leg work that builds the muscles that drive the heart that powers the Church – and in that lies the glory and power of God.