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#1 Shelly200

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

I was wondering if anyone could explain to me more in depth about the LDS ordinances. Here is what I know so far: 1.) Baptism = 8 years old, full immersion, dressed in white, by a priest 2.) Laying on of hands = I know this happens, but don't know when/where/by whom/etc. 3.) Marriage = in a temple, for all eternity, a sealing, I assume by a priest?, special white clothing 4.) Communion = called the Sacrament, blessed by young priests, every Sunday, bread and water 5.) Confession = I know some sins need to be told to the bishop... 6.) Baby blessings = I know babies are blessed... by multiple men? 7.) Blessings = priest can give special blessings to certain people 8.) Patriarchal Blessing = a special blessing, done by only certain priests, you only get one once, it has to do with your whole life 9.) Endowment = in a temple, special white clothing, learn about creation? 10.) Proxy ceremonies = baptisms, marriages, sealings, and endowments can be done for the deceased That's all I've got. Is any of that right? All of it wrong? What are all of the practices? Which ones are necessary, and which ones are voluntary? Which levels of the priesthood are allowed to perform which ordinances? P.S. = By "priest" I mean "priesthood holder"... "priest" just seemed easier.

#2 Jennarator

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:06 PM

I basicly know most of the answers, but I garuntee that others on this site will explain it all better than I would. I can't think of any others at the moment. (Unless you want to count it as an ordanance when someone is ordained to the preithood.)

#3 Vort

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:12 PM

[quote name='Shelly200']I was wondering if anyone could explain to me more in depth about the LDS ordinances. Here is what I know so far:

1.) Baptism = 8 years old, full immersion, dressed in white, by a priest[/quote]

Correct. In fact, baptism is done by someone holding the Aaronic Priesthood office of "priest" or by a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood, so you're right about the "priest" part.

[quote name='Shelly200']2.) Laying on of hands = I know this happens, but don't know when/where/by whom/etc.[/quote]

"Laying on of hands" is a general term for most Priesthood blessings, since they are performed by laying hands on the person. You are probably referring specifically to receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmation into the Church. These two things are done in the same ordinance, and are a part of the overall baptism. They often take place "at water's edge" immediately following the baptism. Also common is to baptize on Saturday and have the confirmation on Sunday in front of the congregation.

[quote name='Shelly200']3.) Marriage = in a temple, for all eternity, a sealing, I assume by a priest?, special white clothing[/quote]

The sealing is done by a "sealer", a man who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and who has been specifically ordained with the authority to seal.

[quote name='Shelly200']4.) Communion = called the Sacrament, blessed by young priests, every Sunday, bread and water[/quote]

Correct. Priests perform this, though if no priests are available, any Melchizedek Priesthood holder can officiate.

[quote name='Shelly200']5.) Confession = I know some sins need to be told to the bishop...[/quote]

Confession is not an ordinance. Rather, it is an administrative necessity. In general, sins need be confessed only to God and to the offended party. But some sins are so serious that they threaten your very standing in the kingdom of God. These sins, such as fornication or (obviously) adultery, abuse, murder (obviously), and illegal activity, must be confessed to a bishop so that he can judge whether ecclesiastical action must also be taken. The bishop is also there to help those in need, so if you're struggling with behavior that you don't "need" to confess but that you want help with, you can always go to the bishop.

[quote name='Shelly200']6.) Baby blessings = I know babies are blessed... by multiple men?[/quote]

Typically several men join in blessing the baby. This is a type of father's blessing, assuming the father is able and worthy to participate. This is not a "saving" ordinance; there is no stigma attached to not having been blessed as a baby. I have seen children of the newly baptized sometimes given a name by blessing when they're no longer infants, but I have never seen such done on an adult or older child.

[quote name='Shelly200']7.) Blessings = priest can give special blessings to certain people[/quote]

Only holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood can bless through the laying on of hands. They can offer a blessing basically to anyone who requests it.

[quote name='Shelly200']8.) Patriarchal Blessing = a special blessing, done by only certain priests, you only get one once, it has to do with your whole life[/quote]

They are given by a man called a patriarch, who holds a special Melchizedek Priesthood office called (unsurprisingly) "patriarch" and who is specifically ordained to the office in order to give such blessings. The blessings are considered revelatory and are held sacred by the recipients.

[quote name='Shelly200']9.) Endowment = in a temple, special white clothing, learn about creation?[/quote]

The endowment is a series of covenants and blessings presented in a ceremonial drama, officiated by high priests (another office in the Melchizedek Priesthood). Since the endowment presentation begins with the creation, many people think it's a depicition of the creation of the world. My own belief is that we are not being taught about how God created the world or its inhabitants; rather, we are being instructed on what our relationship is with God. It's not a lesson in divine engineering mechanics.

[quote name='Shelly200']10.) Proxy ceremonies = baptisms, marriages, sealings, and endowments can be done for the deceased[/quote]

Correct.

[quote name='Shelly200']That's all I've got. Is any of that right? All of it wrong? What are all of the practices? Which ones are necessary, and which ones are voluntary? Which levels of the priesthood are allowed to perform which ordinances?[/quote]

Baptism by water and its renewal, the sacrament, are performed by Aaronic (lower) Priesthood holders called priests. All other ordinances are performed by holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Temple ceremonies require officiating by high priests, and patriarchal blessings must be given by a patriarch*.

*I have been told that a father, who is the natural patriarch to his own family, can provide a patriarchal blessing to his children. However, the Church does not record and store patriarchal blessings provided by men who are not ordained patriarchs. Also, during a patriarchal blessing, the patriarch names the tribe of Israel to which the recipient belongs or is adopted. I do not know if fathers are authorized to receive this revelation and make this pronouncement for their children.

The "saving ordinances" include baptism and confirmation, receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), and the temple covenants, including marriage sealing. In addition, if a child is born to parents who have been sealed, that child is considered "born in the covenant" and inherits blessings deriving from his/her parents' sealing. If a child is not born in the covenant, s/he must eventually be sealed to his/her parents (who must themselves be sealed together in marriage), at which point s/he receives all the blessings of being born in the covenant.

Edited by Vort, 10 February 2012 - 03:15 PM.

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#4 Dravin

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

Some more info on the form of some of the ordinances you asked about, in addition to Vort's excellent answers: Priesthood Ordinances and BlessingsĀ 
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#5 trubludru

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

1.) Baptism = 8 years old, full immersion, dressed in white, by a priest
Baptism is the first what we would consider essential ordinance, it is performed by either an Aaronic priesthood Priest or any holder of the Melchezidek priesthood. It is the ordinance by which members gain membership to the Church of Jesus Christ and enter into a covenant with God to receive remission of their sins by taking name of Christ upon themselves, promising to keep his commandments, have fellowship with the other members of the Church, etc.

2.) Laying on of hands = I know this happens, but don't know when/where/by whom/etc.
The laying on of hands is referred to as a "confirmation" or "receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost" It to is an essential ordinance and is considered the second half of the baptisimal ordinance. It can only be performed by holders of the Melchezidek priesthood. In short it is a baptism of the Spirit wheras the initial Baptism ordinance is a baptism of water. The purpose is to bestow the right to have the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, (generally referred to as Holy Ghost) continually through out our lives.

3.) Marriage = in a temple, for all eternity, a sealing, I assume by a priest?, special white clothing
Sealings are also considered an essential ordinance. Temple sealings are typically performed by holders of the Melchezidek priesthood (typically a Melchezidek Priest, know as a High Priset) who have been specifically granted permission to do so ultimately from the President/Prophet of the Church who holds the "keys" to seal things both on earth in heaven. Sealings can be performed between both a husband and wife (any children born after the parents have been sealed are considered "born in the covenant" and are automatically sealed to their parents. Other children born before their parents were sealed may also be sealed to their parents.

4.) Communion = called the Sacrament, blessed by young priests, every Sunday, bread and water
The Sacrament while perhaps not "essential" is perhaps on the most important ordinances. This ordinance is allow a regular renewal of other covenants that have been made, in particular the Baptismal covenant. Basically, as we strive to repent, remember God and the atonement of his son, Jesus Christ, and keep God's commandments, God will continue to forgive our sins and we will be able to continue to have the Holy Ghost with us. The actual officiating and blessing of the Sacrament is done by an Aaronic Priesthood Priest or a holder of the Melchezidek priesthood. The preperation/clean-up is typically done by an Aaronic preisthood office known as a Teacher and passing/distributing the Sacrament to members is typically done by the Aaronic priesthood office of a Deacon.

5.) Confession = I know some sins need to be told to the bishop...
Confessing to a Bishop is not an ordinance, but is considered a necessary step to repent from a major sin. There are probably several reasons confession is necessary for sins. One, it is a sign that you do actually acknowledge that have sinned and desire to change. Two, big sins such as adultery, etc. typically put us in a position where out ability to have the Holy Ghost with us is disrupted. That often leaves people feeling confused, guilty, not sure what to do. The Bishop as God's representive is entitled to receive revelation to guide a person in what they can do to repent/change and become worthy to have the Holy Ghost again.

6.) Baby blessings = I know babies are blessed... by multiple men?
Baby blessings are done by a holder of the Melchezidek priesthood, typically the father or another close relative. Though other holders of the Melchezidek priesthood such as close family members or friends are often invited to participate. The men typically hold the baby in their hands or arms while creating a circle around the baby. This is not an essential ordinance. The purposes include recognizing the infant as a new addition to a family in the church and entering their name into the church records (though they are not technically a member until Baptism and Confirmation) and to bestow the rights to certain blessings as directed by the Holy Ghost to the priesthood holder giving the blessing.

7.) Blessings = priest can give special blessings to certain people
A few types of blessings exist, none are essential. One specifically is a "blessing and anointing" for a sickness or other affliction. This is usually done upon the request of an individual or a parent on behalf of a child. One Melchezidek priesthood holder anoints the sick individual's head with olive oil that has been previously been consecrated for the healing of the sick and lays their hands on their hand and pronunces a short blessing saying they are anointing the person with the oil. Then typically another Melchezidek priesthood holder lays their hands on the individual along with the first priesthood holder and confirms the anointing and pronunces any additional blessing or counsel as directed by the Holy Ghost.
At other times an individual may seek a blessing of counsel or comfort from a Melchezidek priesthood holder. Typically this is at time of great trials in the individuals life, the priesthood holder lays his hands on their heads and pronouces any direction or counsel he is prompted to by the Holy Ghost. In addition, a father who is a Melchezdek priesthood holder may at times choose given a blessing of counsel to a family member before important events in their life.


8.) Patriarchal Blessing = a special blessing, done by only certain priests, you only get one once, it has to do with your whole life.
Patriarchal blessings are performed by a special Melchezidek office known fittingly as a Patriarach. They do only happen once in your life. It is similar to a blessing a father might give, but it is recorded/written down. The blessing itself typically confirms the individual as a belonging to a specific part of the house of Israel meaning they are entitiled to the blessings God bestowed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. and often points out specific gifts or abilities of the individual, certain responsibilites they will have and promises specific blessings all dependent on their faithfulness to God.

9.) Endowment = in a temple, special white clothing, learn about creation?
Yes a large part of the Endowment involves learning about the creation. More importantly, members enter into additional covenenants with God that are perhaps best described as more specific and higher than the Baptismal covenant. Receiving the Endowment is an essential ordinance and a precursor to being able to be sealed to a husband or wife. It contains many specific promised blessings. Due to the sacred nature of these covenants members of the Church typically do not discuss specific details of this ordinance, though the covenants entered into are typically more specifc aspects of the Gospel that are found in the scriptures. And I can assure there isn't anything deviant or wildly bizarre involved. It is carried out by both male and female temple workers (typically Melchezidek Priests know as High Priests and their wifes who function under a temple president who receives his authority from the President of the Church. Typically received before serving a full-time mission or in the early twenties or prior to sealing if not received already.

10.) Proxy ceremonies = baptisms, marriages, sealings, and endowments can be done for the deceased
Correct, these are performed in temples. These ordinances are all performed by Melchezidek priesthood holders. Live people stand in as proxies for the deceased person. Aaronic preisthood holders (typically teenaged boys) and teenaged girls may act as proxies for Baptisms and Confirmations, while endowed members are proxies for other essential ordinances.



That's all I've got. Is any of that right? All of it wrong? What are all of the practices? Which ones are necessary, and which ones are voluntary? Which levels of the priesthood are allowed to perform which ordinances?

The Aaronic priesthood is typically composed of teenage boys presided over by the Bishop of the ward. The main ordinance that the Aaronic priesthood is in charge of is the Sacrament. Priests also may baptize people though they cannot Confirm them. All other ordinances are performed by holders of the Melchezidek priesthood. All essential ordinances and also the Sacrament may only be performed with proper authority permission of specific preisthood leaders, i.e. a random Aaronic Priest or Melchezidek priesthood holder isn't supposed to go around having random Sacrament services. The "authority" to hold a Sacrament service is held by a Bishop of a ward as he is the President of the Aaronic priesthood in that ward. He of course authorizes Sacrament services to take place in his ward even if he absent due to vacation, illness etc. He may also authorize Priesthood holders to perform Sacrament services for members who are unable to attend the normal ward sacrament service due to health reasons etc. Well, I hope that is an exhaustive anser to your questions.

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#6 bytebear

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 02:10 AM

There are two main divisions of the priesthood: Aaronic and Melchizedek. The Aaronic is the lesser priesthood and is mainly for the temporal needs of the church (i.e. the physical needs) and the Melchizedek is for spiritual needs. Each of these priesthoods is conferred upon male members by the laying on of hands. Once the priesthood is conferred, the person is ordained to an office within the priesthood. There are age specifications on the Aaronic priesthood. Deacon at age 12, Teacher at age 14 and Priest at age 16. Bishop rounds up the Aaronic priesthood offices, and that is held by an older male and He must also be a High Priest. His calling as a bishop is temporary, but he still holds the priesthood office even after he is released from the calling. So if a man is called to be bishop twice, the second time, he is only set apart in the calling and not re-ordained. Temple baptisms for the dead can be performed at around 14 (not sure exactly) Melchizedek offices are Elder, Seventy, High Priest, Patriarch, and Apostle. Elders are ordained at age 18 and you must be an Elder to be a missionary and to attend the temple. High Priests can be bishops and officiate in the temple. A Patriarch is a special priesthood needed to give patriarchal blessings. Seventies are General Authorities who oversee regions of the world. And Apostles hold the keys collectively to all the Priesthood offices, the prophet and president of the church also holds them. All apostles are considered prophets, seers and revelators, and special witnesses to Christ. Each group of priesthood holders are organized in quorums. All priesthood holders are either part of a quorum or "set apart" as a part of a presidency. Locally wards have quorums of Deacons, Teachers, Priests, Elders and High Priests. There are specific numbers for each quorum and if a ward has more than 12 deacons, they have two quorums. You don't need a full quorum but you cannot exceed the max number of members. I believe for deacons its 12, and teachers it's 24 and priests it's 50 (but I could be wrong). Globally there are quorums of Seventies, which can hold up to 70 people (get it?) There is a 1st quorum of Seventies which is a life long calling, and a 2nd quorum of Seventies which is a temporary calling (to which they then fall back into their local High Priest quorum but remain Seventy). There is only one quorum of Apostles, and it is always filled with 12 men. One man is the president of the church and is an apostle too, but not in the quorum. He often has two counselors, and they are usually apostles too, but that is not required. But they too are not part of the quorum of 12. So there are 15 total apostles in the entire church, 12 in a quorum and 3 set apart as the First Presidency. The office and calling is also a lifetime one. Like the church presidency, Stake Presidents and Bishops also have two counselors. Interesting, a Stake President who presides over several congregations is not an official priesthood ordained office. He is a High Priest set aside for the office as a calling. Similarly there is a presiding bishopric (bishop and counselors), essentially a bishop for the entire church looking to the temporal needs of the church. So, in summary, one is conferred the priesthood, then ordained to an office, and placed in a quorum or set apart as part of a presidency. Then one elevates in office (deacon->teacher->priest) and is ordained (no need to re-confer) and placed in that quorum. Once ordained, one keeps the office. So all Elders are also deacons for example (or at least can perform the duties of a deacon).

Edited by bytebear, 11 February 2012 - 02:22 AM.


#7 Gramajane

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:06 AM

I understand that some teachings are like learning math-- first you need to learn the symbols (formation of the numbers) and the value of each and how they increase when fit together, then how to add, multiply and divide etc.--- It is not really helpful to try to understand algebra or calculus etc when in the beginning stages of learning, and it might even overwhelm one and just confuse them more. It works best when one learns line upon line and precept upon precept. We need milk before meat (and then meat sparingly?) ---- The most important things we need to know are what to DO to be Christlike, and if we get those basics right-( love the Lord thy God with all thy heart might mind and strength and love thy neighbor as thyself), and we come to church, study, learn and obey the rest of the commandments, we will progress. However, if we ONLY learn doctrine, but do not have a heart changed to Christlike love, so we act (pay tithing even) because we LOVE God, not because we fear but wish we could keep our money, then the actions will not really be a help to us, as God judges us by our heart of hearts MAINLY and also by our actions which usually proceed from our hearts. So what do we take with us when we die? The Christlike love and actions we have given away and the knowledge we gained?

#8 Gramajane

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:08 AM

Just realized that I should have also said that Jesus showed us to be baptized (and how- immersion by one with the proper priesthood authority) and left apostles and prophets that HE would guide, to help us keep on the path. Later also restoring his church, again calling a prophet and apostles. :)




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