Why Are Ordinances Important in My Life? By Anthony Sweat

This is an awesome article about the importance of ordinances! He is such a great teacher!

Anthony Sweat is also a popular EFY and Time Out for Women speaker, best-selling author, former seminary teacher and religion professor in the department of Church History and Doctrine at BYU. You can see all of his books HERE.

Best Seller: Mormons An Open Book.... by Anthony Sweat

Anthony discusses ordinances and priesthood and much more in his best-selling book MORMONS: An Open Book.

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Why Are Ordinances Important in my Life?

By Anthony Sweat

One of the special blessings of my life is that I have full access to all my wife’s gifts and abilities and resources—her knowledge, wisdom, talents, strength, goodness, and just down-right cute-ness. Why am I so fortunate to have all of Cindy Sweat’s resources at my fingertips? Well, because I married her. I gave my life to her, she gave her life to me, and we became one—The SWEATS (Man, what a name. Love ya, forefathers). It’s the marriage ordinance that connects me to her and her to me and gives us full access to what each other can offer the other.

Now, why I am I telling you this about marriage? Let me explain with a verse from the Doctrine and Covenants: “Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.” In other words, gospel ordinances give us access to God’s power in our lives and help us become more like Him. Just like how a person gains full access to their spouse’s gifts, abilities, and powers through the ordinance of matrimony, we gain access to God’s gifts, abilities, and powers through the ordinances of the gospel.

The following is a list of the saving ordinances of the gospel and some of the “power of godliness” we potentially receive from each ordinance:

ORDINANCE POWER OF GODLINESS

Baptism (sacrament) The purity or cleanliness of God (see Moroni 6:4)

Holy Ghost The will of God—his mind and heart (see D&C 8:2-3, 68:4, 97:1)

Priesthood The authority and power of God (see D&C 121:36)

Temple endowment The knowledge of God (see D&C 95:8, 105:11)

Temple sealing The eternal increase of God (see D&C 131:1-4, D&C 132:21-22)

(Teaching tip: Follow bullet #2 under “introduce the Doctrine” or “Begin the Learning Experience” and have your youth list all the saving ordinances they can think of on the board. After the ordinances above are listed, read D&C 84:20-21 together and ask them to list what “powers of godliness” they think each ordinance provides. You can have them read the scriptures I listed above to the right of each power of godliness to help them out. Ask them to share what God-like blessings they have received from being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost, and other ordinances. This will better help them understand why God gave us these saving ordinances and how they are related to becoming more like God).

Without the ordinances of the gospel, we cannot have these powers of godliness made available to us in our lives. It’s the ordinances that give us God’s power, purity, eternal family, divine understanding and knowledge, etc. Without the ordinances, having full access to that power is limited, or not available at all. It’s like my wife’s Jr. High crush trying to get her to balance his family budget today. Sorry hombre. No ordinance means no power. Because of my marriage ordinance I now have access to that Cindy Sweat power of balancing budgets. Try as we might, “without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh” (D&C 84:21). And that is why gospel ordinances are so important in each of our lives.

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For printable study and teaching helps on this topic, click here:  July:  Oridinances and Covenants.

These are designed specifically around the Come Follow Me curriculum. But these would be so great for anyone’s personal study, lesson preparation, or family scripture study!

 

13 thoughts on “Why Are Ordinances Important in My Life? By Anthony Sweat

  1. I’m sad that there isn’t a lot of helps or printouts handouts for Sunday school teachers while I can adapt some of it (because it is the same monthly theme) it’s sad because it makes me feel (not just here) that Sunday school isn’t as important. And sometimes I worry that i repeat what the other teachers hand out by trying to make the YW YM helps work.

    1. Hi Kelsey!
      We are working on the Sunday School pamphlets now and hope to have them up by saturday. The focus of these are pretty different than the Ym and Yw lessons, so I really hope these are helpful for you and other teachers.
      Thank you for your concerns!
      Shannon 🙂

  2. Thank you SO much for these helps and tips. I feel so inadequate teaching these lessons sometimes and it’s so great to have someone “lay it out” simply. Maybe I make it harder than it needs to be?? Thanks for helping me!

  3. I agree with Kelsey’s comment, not much thought being given to Sunday School. I was talking to a YW’s president this week that admitted she never realized that youth Sunday School was teaching the same topics. Seriously, was struck silent, saddened. I was checking what the other auxiliaries outlines were not to “step on” their topics or understand what they were being asked to do, only to find out those leaders didn’t understand the Come Follow Me program was to be an interdisciplinary approach for the youth.

  4. I wanted to say thank you too! I also am a youth Sunday School teacher and I have a harder time too finding helps for Sunday School. (Like Kelsey) Your tips and pamphlets are the best. I really really appreciate you taking the time to share!

  5. thank you! your lesson helps help me to have the confidence to teach my lesson and have a plan for my lesson so I don’t feel frazzled and better able to keep the spirit there. I really appreciate your effort and replying to my comment! You are secretly teaching many youth all over the world through your website you should be proud.
    thank you

  6. This is wonderful! Thank you! For the Sunday School teachers, I am so sorry you feel you aren’t being considered as YW and YM leaders plan their lessons. I’m sure that is so frustrating. If we are teaching by the Spirit, our youth will be provided the lessons they need from both auxiliaries. This whole curriculum is so new to all of us, it’s HUGE and a bit overwhelming. I think we’re all doing our best to teach the youth AND get the hang of this amazing new curriculum. Have you met w/your YW/YM presidencies? I bet they’d be willing to work more closely w/you if they knew you were feeling this way. How wonderful for you all to meet together and to prayerfully consider the needs of those you teach and how, together, you can best meet those needs. I will be suggesting to my presidency today that we do this. Best of luck to you all.

    1. THAT is a great idea Bekah! To meet with the leaders… that is kind of ground breaking actually.

      I have been thinking about these comments, and wondering why I have so unevenly provided more content to the YW organization. I have to say that it is because, 1- I have been a YW leader, and 2- those are the most comments/emails I receive.

      BUT, looking at the analytics on the store, comparing the sunday school pamphlet to the YW/YM one – they are neck and neck. So that is a great insight for me!

      So Sunday School teachers… I know you are out there and more is coming. 🙂

      Shannon

  7. So pleased that you have seen for yourself that the Sunday School teachers need and want your wonderful insights for our classes. I used and loved the first lesson help last week (Ordinances) and feel sad that there is nothing available (yet) for this week (Covenants.) Looking forward with anticipation! Thanks so much for all you do to help us.

    1. Hi Kathi!
      I am so happy you found that pamphlet useful! We do have the covenants pamphlet available – HERE it is.
      And we will also have the rest of the month’s up soon, and will definitely be including them each month from now on. 🙂
      Thanks!
      Shannon

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