According to the plan of salvation, we must receive all ordinances essential for salvation and exaltation, as well as keep the covenants accompanying these ordinances that we have made with God, in order to return to His presence. These ordinances include baptism, confirmation, Melchizedek Priesthood ordination (for men), temple endowment and temple sealing.
It is through priesthood ordinances that we can feel and be blessed with the power 1 of godliness in our lives. I had a profound experience while serving my mission. One day, my companion and I were asked to give a member’s mother (a non-member) a priesthood blessing. I did not know her at all, nor the exact reason why she needed a blessing. However, after the blessing, she was full of tears. As an instrument in the hands of God, I knew it was not because of what I said; rather, it was the power of the Holy Ghost that she experienced through the priesthood blessing, her knowledge that the Heavenly Father understood the challenges she faced along with her heart’s deepest feelings, as well as her recognition of Heavenly Father’s love for her.
When we keep the covenants accompanying the ordinances essential for salvation and exaltation, we will be blessed and will receive godly power. President Nelson taught us: “We also increase the Savior’s power in our lives when we make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision. Our covenants bind us to Him and give us godly power.” 2
“We also increase the Savior’s power in our lives when we make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision. Our covenants bind us to Him and give us godly power.”President Russell M. Nelson
The power of covenants helps us stay on this gospel path. The current Taipei Mission President Michael L. Peterson served a mission in Taiwan when he was young. He got to know many wonderful people there.
Even though he had a considerably good relationship with these people then, the fellowship would have faded away with time or even ceased to exist had its members not received the covenants with its accompanying ordinances essential for salvation and exaltation. By contrast, gospel fellowship continues throughout eternity. 3 Before he was about to return home, Elder Peterson got to know the Wang family from Taitung through tracting. They were baptized after Elder Peterson went home. After 36 years, President Peterson returned to Taiwan for service and met this family again, and found himself reminiscing about the old days. He discovered that the bond between him and the family had not weakened over time, but instead was strengthened through the joy of seeing each other’s progress along the covenant path. It was just like the joy Alma the Younger and the sons of King Mosiah felt when they met again. 4
For missionaries and members alike, to minister effectively with eternal effects, we must help others keep their covenants and to prepare in making future covenants as they progress along the path. When we minister, keep this in our mind: How can we help individuals or families we minister to receive the next ordinance they need? 5
As an individual prepares to receive an ordinance and its accompanying covenant, it shows determination for undergoing a mighty change of heart as well as determination for real action. When we are determined to put off the natural man, we rely on the power of God to change and build on our divine nature. 6 This determination comes primarily from feeling the power of the Holy Ghost and the conviction that comes with it. This miraculous transformation is possible when we have great support and when we feel the love of our Heavenly Father. Missionaries helping friends of the Church to come unto Christ, parents helping their children to prepare for all ordinances essential for salvation and exaltation, and all those ministering to others, need to learn Christlike charity and to put it into practice - for this is how the children of God can show determination as they prepare to receive ordinances and their accompanying covenants, as well as exhibit steadfastness in keeping their covenants till the very end.
When one receives the ordinances and covenants in an atmosphere of love and support, the joy and wonder of the experience as well as the efficacy of the covenant will accompany the receiver always, providing him or her comfort and strength in times of need. Wonderful saints who have received this love and support will in turn be inspired to help other children of God prepare to receive ordinances and covenants, and to love them and support them when they are lost and helpless. For God so loved the world that in these latter days, He has provided all the ordinances and covenants essential for salvation and exaltation through the restoration of His true Church by Prophet Joseph Smith. Every child of God who has covenanted and faithfully endured to the end will receive salvation and exaltation through the power of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God, having the fullness of truth as well as the priesthood authority and keys, in addition to the ordinances and covenants essential for salvation and exaltation. I am fully grateful for the goodness and truth of these things, and I leave my testimony in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen. ■
1. see Doctrine and Covenants 84:19-21
2. Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives, April 2017, General Conference
3. see Doctrine and Covenants 130:2
4. see Alma 17:2
5. The Purpose That Will Change Our Ministering, January 2019, Liahona
6. See Mosiah 3:19