On Saturday, Jared and I took Ashton on a special hike preisthood-preparation hike in the mountains near by. Jared planned the whole thing out. After a weirdly snow-less winter, it finally snowed on Friday night and we woke up to a winter wonderland. The snow made the hike perfect in a way we couldn't have imagined. We had the mountain to ourselves and it was gorgeous.
When we reached a lovely overlook with a nice gathering of rocks to sit on, we sat down and Jared pulled out some scriptures. We read and discussed the passages that explain all about the duties of the priesthood with a focus on the duties of the Aaronic priesthood and of a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. Ashton had good questions. I love that the Lord entrusts humble, eager, wide-eyed 12-year-olds with a piece of His power and expects them to step up to certain duties. We sat there talking about God's power surrounded by God's creations. It was beautiful and quiet and holy.
We finished our little meeting with some hot chocolate. Jared brought a little camp stove and kettle and we drank in the warmth of that nice chocolaty stuff while looking out across the valley and talking to Ashton about the climbs and vistas he has ahead of him in life.
Saturday afternoon, I took Ashton shopping for a nice new white shirt and a sport jacket for his big day the next day. After initially turning up his nose at the idea of dress-up clothes, when we found the right shirt and coat, Ashton came out of the dressing room with a big smile and a swagger and wanted to wear the new stuff home. We didn't need to buy him a tie. We have 4 ties that belonged to Jared's dad who passed away a couple years ago that will go to each of our boys. We figured they could each pick one of them to wear on the day they receive the priesthood. Ashton got first pick.
On Sunday at church, Ashton received the Aaronic (or preparatory) priesthood and was ordained a Deacon. As a priesthood holder himself, Jared was able to lay his hands on Ashton's head and confer the priesthood upon him and my dad, my brother Eli and other good men from our congregation stood in a circle around Ashton, placing one hand on Ashton's head and the other on the shoulder of the man next to him. I felt that power. It is real.
At the close of the blessing, Ashton hugged or shook hands with each of these men. I love seeing these circles of good, humble men, using the priesthood to bless others.
I love that there are certain things that only I can do for our children and certain things that only Jared can do.
As a newly ordained Deacon, Ashton had the chance to pass the Sacrament for the first time. He was so nervous and excited. He did an excellent job. I caught his eye as he passed the tray to the row behind me and he flashed me a beautiful quiet smile of accomplishment. This boy is ready, willing and able to do God's work. I love this boy of mine and all the wonderful men in my life who honor the priesthood and use it in love and humility.