I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gospel Message Day 55

Temple Ordinances, Part 3

After the ordinance of baptism, a person is to receive the confirmation ordinance. In this ordinance, the person received the gift of the Holy Ghost and is confirmed a member of the Church. I really like our Bible Dictionary definition for this:

The word is not found in the New Testament, though the rite itself is mentioned in several places. (1) We are told (Acts 8:14–17) that after Philip had baptized the converts in Samaria, Peter and John prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost; they then laid their hands on them, and the Holy Ghost was given. (2) On Paul’s arrival at Ephesus (Acts 19:1–6) he found men who had received a form of baptism that they incorrectly supposed had come from John the Baptist. After they had been properly baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle laid his hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
In these instances there is illustrated the greater authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, compared to the Aaronic Priesthood. The latter has authority to baptize in water but not the power to lay on hands to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Melchizedek Priesthood has power to do both (JS—H 1:70–72). Baptism of water without the bestowal of the Holy Ghost would be incomplete and would be but half a baptism (HC 5:499).
No information is to be found in the Bible as to any special age for confirmation, but it is clear that it followed close after baptism. From latter-day revelation we learn that baptism and confirmation can be administered when a person reaches the age of eight years (D&C 68:25–27). Confirmation includes more than conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost. Toconfirm means to “make more sure.” The ordinance of confirmation completes the ceremonial process of becoming a member of the Church, and as such, it is complementary to water baptism. See also Baptism.
The sad thing is that some times I get a sense that we as members take this ordinance for granted. For ourselves, we are often given a blessing with the confirmation. I don't remember anything my father said in mine; I was 8. But in the temple, it is just the confirmation. It takes maybe 30 seconds to complete this ordinance. It goes by quickly. We know the words, but we don't often think of them. And I think we gloss over just how magnificent this ordinance is.

We receive some amazing gifts in this life: a physical body; a chance to grow in all aspects; agency; repentance and forgiveness; prayer; the ability to love and laugh; best and most importantly, the Atonement. I think 'the privilege...to receive continual guidance and inspiration from the Holy Ghost' is a gift that ranks right up among these. (Quote found here.) So, even though the ordinance in the temple goes by so quickly, and you can perform this vicariously for 5 people in so many minutes or less, it would behoove us to 1) give thought to what these deceased people are receiving, 2) remember this same gift that we have received for ourselves, 3) show gratitude for what the Lord has so graciously given.

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