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