Covenants and Ordinances of Mormonism

05 August

There are six saving ordinances a Mormon must receive to have eternal life.

  • Baptism (by one holding the Mormon priesthood)
  • Confirmation and Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (by someone holding the priesthood)
  • Receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood (if you’re male)
  • Washing and Anointing (occurs in the temple during the Initiatory)
  • Endowment (in the temple)
  • Marriage Sealing (in the temple)

In this article I will be focusing on the fifth ordinance, and the covenants attached to it.

There’s a stark contrast between what covenant means to me now as a Christian and what it meant for me as a Mormon. Covenants are promises Mormons to make their god when they’re baptized, and during their temple rituals.

The covenants Mormons make at their baptism are:

To take upon the name of Jesus, and always remember him.

Keep his commandments, and serve him to the end.

When a Mormon partakes of the sacrament (bread and water) they renew these covenants with their Jesus. The commandments spoken of in the promise aren’t the Ten Commandments you might be thinking of; because Mormonism has a works based system for righteousness their commands far exceed God’s.

After you’re a member of the church for a year your next stop is the temple, it’s here you’ll make more covenants to the god of Mormonism. I think it’s important to note that before the endowment ceremony begins attendants receive an impending warning from the ceremony’s officiator telling them not to speak of what they see and experience outside of the temple, for if they do, they’ll be under the judgment of God.

Note to the Mormon reader – As a saved Christian and follower of Jesus Christ I don’t believe the promises I made in the temple are binding, and have no fear of the Mormon god or his “judgment”. With that said let’s begin!

These are the covenants Mormons make to their god in the temple during the endowment ceremony:

Sacred Undergarments

The first covenant Mormons make in the temple is to wear their “scared undergarments” for the rest of their lives. This occurs in the Initiatory before the Endowment Ceremony.  They’re told to always respect them, never letting them touch the ground or be defiled, and if they follow this command and keep their covenants the garment will serve as a protection for them.

The covenants they make in the Endowment Ceremony are as follows:

The Law of Consecration –

With this covenant Mormons promise to live the law of consecration as found in their book the Doctrine and Covenants. They also promise to give themselves, their time, talents, and everything God has blessed them with or anything he may bless them with to the building up of the Mormon Church.

Notice how with this covenant they not only make a covenant with their god but to their religion as well?

The Law of Obedience –

This covenant requires women to promise to “keep the law of the Lord” and to seek their husbands counsel. The men promise to “obey the law of God” and keep his commandments.

The Law of Sacrifice –

Here Mormons promise to sacrifice all they possess, even their own lives if necessary to sustain and defend their religion.

Again they promise allegiance to a religion to the point of giving their lives for it.

The Law of Chastity –

This is where Mormons promise to abstain from all sexual relations outside of marriage.

The Law of the Gospel –

Here the Mormons are given a charge to “avoid all light-mindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain, and every other unholy and impure practice, and to cause you to receive these by covenant.”

As a Mormon I always found this one a little confusing. I wondered what “loud laughter” meant; did it mean I couldn’t laugh out loud when someone told a funny joke, when I saw something amusing on TV, or when I heard a baby laugh?

In addition to these covenants Mormons are shown Four Tokens (handshakes).

Each Token has its own name and sign. When you’re shown these handshakes you promise to never reveal them or their accompanying name and sign. They’re considered “solemn covenants” and obligations made in God’s presence.

Mormons like to compare the covenants they make in their temple to the covenants God made with His people. There’s just one huge problem, where’s the blood? Where’s the death that took place for them to have a covenant with their god?

In the Old Testament covenants were made by the shedding of blood as a sacrifice for sin. This sacrifice only covered their sins; it didn’t cleanse the sinner or take their sin away. However when Jesus came He brought a new covenant with Him, it’s through this covenant we can have our sins washed away because of His sacrifice on the cross for us.

We learn from God’s word that blood is always involved when “cutting” a covenant.  Knowing this I must ask again, where’s the sacrifice for the covenants Mormons make in their temples? They call themselves a “covenant making people”, and yet they have no proof God has made a special covenant with the Mormon people. There’s no blood sacrifice attached to any of their covenants.

As a Mormon I never really thought about what covenant actually meant. I thought covenant was if I obeyed God by doing x, y and z he would bless me, and believed if I did my part by doing all that I could do, he would do his.

As a Christian I now know what being in covenant with God truly means. As a partaker of the new covenant I’m freed from all the mistakes of the past. Through the blood of Jesus I’m not held captive by my sins, I’m washed clean forever, completely forgiven.

I’m not bound to temple rituals, dietary restrictions, or frivolous works that are nothing more that dirty rags. Nor should I ever think there’s something I must do to atone or add to the atonement already made for my behalf.

I love to hear testimonies of people being saved from Mormonism and into a relationship with Jesus Christ. My heart rejoices to learn they are no longer bound to any so called covenant made in the Mormon temple, and are now enjoying the benefits of being part the new covenant with Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that all Mormons one day will experience the joy of knowing Jesus and being in a covenant relationship with him.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes

melissa@lifeafter.org

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