Friday, April 23, 2010

The Sealing Power- Section 132

This is a continuation of my last post on the New and Everlasting Covenant as taught to Joseph Smith by the Lord in Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Considering that the beginning of Section 132 was probably given early on in the history of the Church, the information contained therein is very instructional and enlightening. As I previously stated, The New and Everlasting Covenant is the process or “order” by which we enter the presence of the Father. That said, this order is dictated by the Lord himself.

It is in Section 132 that we start to become instructed more fully on the Sealing power, which was restored in the Kirtland Temple with the return of the prophet Elijah who held those keys. We get a better understanding of how important the actual sealing ordinance is by the following instruction:

Section 132:7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.

This instruction makes it very clear that anything we do or receive in this life must be given the “sealing” stamp of approval to be accepted as valid in the world to come. Believe it or not, even baptism is of no efficacy unless one progresses further and receives the sealing blessing which is preformed in the temple. It becomes apparent by this instruction that being “born in the covenant” is truly a blessing because of the sealing blessings pronounced upon the heads of the parents, benefiting the child even before they enter into future covenants. In that way, the hearts of the children are turned to their fathers in thanksgiving.

Not only is the sealing ordinance itself necessary to allow for the continuance of blessings in the next life, but also the ratifying power of being sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise must be given. This Holy Spirit of Promise is received conditionally and is dependent upon the recipient’s personal commitment and worthiness. The Holy Spirit of Promise validates the blessings that have been sealed upon the individual because of their individual worthiness to actually receive them. In other words, not only is it necessary to receive the actual sealing ordinance itself, but one must also learn to feel of the surety of that blessing that comes from the Holy Spirit of Promise who acts as a comforter and witness. This happens when one fully lives up to the covenants they have made.

The Lord gives three examples to illustrate what he means by the above teaching:

Example #1: (not by authorized priesthood authority)

15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.

16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

Example #2 (by priesthood authority, but not ratified by obedience to the covenant)

18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.

Example #3 (priesthood authority, and ratified by the Holy Spirit of Promise)

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

The Lord gives clear instruction and teaching so that we will have no excuse in the Day of Judgment. The explanation given in Section 2 also comes more fully into focus by understanding the importance of the sealing power.

Section 2:1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.

3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

Without the sealing keys which allow all the work that each individual does here upon this earth to continue with them in the world to come, our existence, or life here, would have been simply a waste. Without the sealing keys we are damned, and progression stops.

It is really evident that when we are baptized we are proving that we are “willing to take His name upon us”. The promise made is that we will keep walking on the path to the Temple where we ultimately receive His name and become His through the sealing ordinances performed there.

It is no wonder we teach this concept to our children early.

1 comment:

Heatherlady said...

Maybe you will get to this in another post but do you understand what the "law of Sarah" is that is talked about in vs. 65 is? Those verses 63-66 have always been so confusing for me. I feel they can be interpreted two different ways... and as much as I've studied them and studied them I still don't feel I understand fully what is being said. I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on those verses--- when you get to that part.