Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spiritual Consecration

As we have been discovering in class, by studying the early history of the LDS Church with regard to the revelations received by the prophet Joseph Smith through the valuable resource we now know as the Doctrine and Covenants, it is plainly manifest that the saints of that time had a realistic goal in mind. The goal that they so desperately wanted to achieve, enough to “pray for it continually”, was that of a Zionist Society, one in which they could share the sociality of the Savior continually in their midst. They understood the reality of this goal because of the restored doctrine taught to them through the revelations contained in the Pearl of Great Price, more specifically in the book of Moses as Joseph Smith, through the blessing of continued revelation, added back those “plain and precious truths” that were inadvertently removed from the records of the Old Testament. The goal of Zion was taught more fully through the example of the great prophet Enoch and the progress he made with his city.

With Zion in their hearts they prayed to know what they could do to gain the same blessings as these earlier saints and obtain rest from this world. In answer to their prayers and desires for that blessing the Lord, in His Eternal wisdom, gave unto them the law that would correspond with their desired blessing. The law that was given was the Law of Consecration. This Celestial Law of Consecration was designed to help them live with “one heart and one mind” making sure there was no poor among them. First the Lord gave to them the temporal or worldly aspect of the law. This required that they learn to sacrifice what they perceived to be their individual earthly possessions for the building up of the kingdom, for the greater good of the whole. They were then taught so beautifully the principle of “stewardship” versus ownership, acknowledging the true owner of all is the Lord Himself.

In Section 46, the saints then learned about the Spiritual side of the Law of Consecration by learning about the Gifts of the Spirit. In verse 10 the Lord is very specific about who those gifts are given to:

10 And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church.

Just like He is the owner of all that the Earth has to offer and we are simply his stewards that are given the responsibility of taking care of His creations, He is also the giver of gifts and He gives them to His Church, through the medium of the Holy Ghost. Each of us individually are given gifts that can be used by all, for the building up of His kingdom here on the earth.

9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.

11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.

12 To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

As we each become consecrated individuals we become something much bigger than just “us”. Working together with our “one heart and one mind” we become like a fine tuned machine or instrument, all using our gifts for the benefit of one desired goal, ZION. This the apostle Paul described so beautifully to the people of Corinth with the analogy of the body.

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one abody, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the ahead to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be amore feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The prophet Moroni also knew how important it was that we, as His Church, understand this great principle of Spiritual Consecration, for his final words before burying up the record is in regard to this very principle.

Moroni 10:17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.

18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.

We have been told three different places in our scriptures almost the exact same thing in regard to these Spiritual Gifts, the Doctrine and Covenants, The Book of Mormon, and The New Testament. Three times we have been instructed. This is important stuff to know, but more importantly to share!

But this is not all the cool stuff in Section 46...more insights tomorrow.

1 comment:

the Warden said...

Great post. Section 46 is a great way to learn about the Law of Consecration.