Elder Dobrovnik has always been obedient. As a child, his stern, Russian parents didn’t even bother hiding forbidden sweets from him because they knew if they told Dobrovnik he must not eat them, he would do just as he was told.
The tall, strapping boy’s ability to follow rules has served him well. He joined the church two years ago and has only been a missionary for a year, but he has already been called to be one of the mission president’s Assistants to the President.
The boy derives a lot of joy from this position. He feels important when checking in with the Zone Leaders. He loves the daily meeting the two APs have with the mission president.
For Elder Dobrovnik, this service is the most important thing he has ever done.
Just a few weeks into his calling as AP, the mission president pulled the boy aside.
“You’re an outstanding missionary,” president said, resting his hand firmly on Dobrovnik’s muscular shoulders. “There is a man I would like you to meet. He is one of our area authorities.”
He continued, “I have received a recommendation that you should receive a special calling, but before I tell you more you must agree to never disclose the secrets of the temple.”
“Bow your head and say yes.”
The words sent a lightning bolt through the boy. At least, that’s what it felt like. A powerful electric surge from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. He felt a simultaneous rush of excitement. His body was physically responding to some unseen force that he had learned to call “promptings.”
Dobrovnik bowed his head and said, “yes.”
Before his mission, Elder Dobrovnik went through the temple. At the time, the experience shocked and surprised him. There was so much that he did not anticipate.
But now, it seemed his president was suggesting the possibility of other secret ceremonies and ordinances in the church beyond what he knew about.
It was indeed exciting, but he was also nervous.
“There are secrets in the temple that we do not make public. You have been invited to the temple when it is otherwise closed to the public. Before you go there are two things you should know.”
Handing the boy a packet the president continued, “Take a moment tonight to read about the Second Anointing.”
“Second, do not go to the temple tomorrow unless you are prepared to be totally and completely obedient. No matter what is asked of you.”
The boy read and reread that packet several times before he went to bed. And then before dawn he was out of bed doing his morning routine of pushups and situps until his chiseled abs and arms were aching.
But his mind was crystal clear. No matter what was asked of him, he would quickly and immediately obey.
Dressing slowly, smoothing his freshly ironed shirt and pants in front of the mirror, Elder Dobrovnik felt ready.
When he arrives at the Temple, ten minutes early, a handsome, salt and pepper haired man greets him. He introduces himself as the secretary to President Oaks. He leads the boy into his office.
“Tell me, Elder,” the man says as he begins to leaf through the boy’s membership record in front of him. “Do you think I’m powerful?”
Confused, Dobrovnik looks down. “Yes sir,”
“If I told you where true power and authority comes from, would you be interested in attaining such power?”
Unsure how to answer this question, Dobrovnik takes a moment. He wants to give the correct answer and perhaps this question is a test, to expose his greed and sinfulness.
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