Monday, July 6, 2009

The Temple, The Great Magnifier

In 1832, during the month of September, the elders who had been sent on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had started returning to Kirtland, Ohio. It was a time of joy and reunion as they returned to give their homecoming reports regarding their labors in the eastern states. During this time the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, blessed them with continued instruction about the priesthood that they held, and the blessings that are promised to those who magnify their callings in that priesthood. Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants is that recorded revelation.
Although Section 84 is known as the revelation on the oath and covenant of the Priesthood, it explains in beautiful detail the blessings that are given to the saints through the Melchizedek priesthood. Up until this point those who held the Melchizedek priesthood were given authority to use it solely to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to manifest all other blessing through the gifts of the spirit. Even though these blessings of the priesthood are necessary for salvation, I believe the Lord was attempting to teach them of the greater blessings that would be given because of this priesthood. These greater blessings are manifest only in the Temple of the Lord.
The ordinance of Baptism is given through the ministrations of the Aaronic priesthood, or preparatory priesthood. This priesthood holds the keys for this ordinance.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, ...
The gift of the Holy Ghost, which is given following baptism, is an ordinance that requires the Melchizedek priesthood. The Holy Ghost is the avenue by which the power of godliness is manifest.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
The Holy Ghost is given to members of the Church to help them to progress further in their walk with God. This gift is only magnified by the ordinances received in the Temple.

To magnify something is to make it bigger or enlarge it. The Melchizedek priesthood, which these 1832 Elders held, allowed them to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost. They were admonished to continue on in that endeavor until the full magnification of the Melchizedek priesthood could be given within the sacred walls of the Temple. This enlarging process is one in which ordinances are administered in the Temple wherein the “fullness” of the Holy Ghost can be manifest. Thus, the gift of the Holy Ghost would become magnified as well.
The Temple of the Lord allows both men and women to magnify the priesthood of God, enlarging on the responsibilities that both are given. The woman’s role of providing physical birth is enlarged by the sanctification process which is felt in the Temple unto the renewing of these bodies. The men’s role, which is the responsibility of providing for spiritual birth, or administering the gift of the Holy Ghost, is enlarged by the process of receiving the fullness of the Holy Ghost in the Temple.
The Temple is the place where our baptismal covenants become magnified as well. We partake of the Sacrament to renew those covenants weekly, but upon entering the Temple those covenants become magnified or enlarged. With the enlarged covenants, greater obedience is required, and by law, we are given greater or magnified blessings culminating in the “Fullness”.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
Yes, the Temple is the great magnifier.

1 comment:

Heatherlady said...

I really like the insight that physicality of the temple ordinances is to help strengthen women's bodies to bring physical life-- I think next time I do initiatory I am going to listen with totally different ears.