Ordinances 

“In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.”

 

http://www.lds.org/study/topics/ordinances?lang=eng 

Holman Bible Dictionary; “Conclusions*. Christ instituted both ordinances. Both portray publicly and visibly the essential elements of the gospel, and both symbolize realities involving divine activity and human experience. Baptism is a once-for-all experience, but the Lord’s Supper is repeated many times. Baptism follows closely one’s profession of faith in Christ and actually in the New Testament was the declaration of that faith. The Lord’s Supper declares one’s continuing dependence upon the Christ proclaimed in the gospel, who died, was buried, and rose for our salvation.

The significance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper will increase as churches and people commit themselves anew to the Christ proclaimed by the gospel. This commitment will recognize that, in observing the ordinances, they are presenting in a unique way the gospel of Christ and committing themselves fully to its demands. Calling upon Christ the Savior and Lord to provide strength and leadership for the people of God individually and collectively, believers will leave the observance of the ordinances to give faithful service in His world.” 

*Under the term “ordinances” in Holman Bible Dictionary there are three entries; baptism, communion and conclusions. We’ve listed the conclusions section to save space. The Bible is clear the only two things Jesus mandated for us to do were these two things; baptism and communion. If there was anything else we needed to do for our salvation then our faith is in vain. As it says in Galatians 2:16 we are to live knowing that we aren’t justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. 

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” 

Why does the Church insist there are countless ordinances that need to be performed for our salvation when in fact the only two ordinances Jesus instructed us to observe are done because we are saved?  

Baptism isn’t done to save us, rather it is public display that he saved us and we consider our old life buried as we’re resurrected in a new life.  And the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, is taken as our non-verbal observation to His Lordship in our life. You’ve accepted that the unleavened bread represents His body which was given for your life.  The wine (or grape juice) is representative of His blood that was shed to wash away our sins. 

Communion is an ordinance given to us by the Lord for our comfort. It wasn’t given as just another “job” we must do each week or month.  Instead Jesus gave us this gift as a reminder of His soon return and that He paid the price so we wouldn’t have to.  What a joy and comfort this is for us!

Sadly, the LDS Church thinks both of these ordinances are mandates given by the LDS god as part of their exaltation or salvation process (Mormon Doctrine, pgs 548, 660.)