Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Temple, Part VI: House of Order

"Establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" -Doctrine & Covenants 88:119

 All the ordinances done in the church is done using the power of the priesthood. Which priesthood? Joseph Smith taught, "All priesthood is Melchizedek; but there are different portions or degrees of it." This power and this authority governs the affairs of the Kingdom of God on the earth. Everything must be done in the proper order. Anciently, this priesthood was called "the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God". It is the Savior's priesthood; therefore, all things must be done in His order.

In the Temple, we learn about this order of the Holy Priesthood. And all things are done in order. Some wonder why we only let members into the Temple. It's not because we don't want outsiders to see. It's not because we feel like having major secrets to keep people interested in us. It's because there is an order that must be followed.

One cannot participate in the ordinances of the Temple without access to the Priesthood of God. Men must be ordained and have the priesthood conferred upon them to participate in any ordinances. Further, they must have the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred on them to officiate in the higher ordinances of the priesthood. Men and women alike must be baptized and be worthy of the Spirit to experience these ordinances. Yes, it is exclusionary, "But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things" (2 Nephi 2:24).

There is beauty and serenity in the order of the Temple. It is a protection and a refuge from the storms of life that are ever around us. By having it so structured, we know that God is never going to make any sudden changes, and will allow us to learn and to grow, and ultimately return to Him despite us slipping up.