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Why are ordinances important in my life?

An ordinance is a sacred, formal act that has spiritual meaning. Ordinances are performed by the authority of the priesthood and under the direction of those who hold priesthood keys. Ordinances help us remember who we are and remind us of our duty to God. They help us come unto Christ and receive eternal life.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the young men to help them understand the importance of ordinances?

Matthew 3:13–17 (Baptism of Jesus Christ)

Acts 19:1–6 (Paul rebaptizes individuals who were not baptized correctly)

3 Nephi 11:21–26 (Jesus Christ gives authority to baptize and instructs about the proper procedure)

Moroni 8:10–12 (Mormon teaches about baptism)

D&C 84:19–21 (The power of godliness is manifest in the ordinances of the priesthood)

Articles of Faith 1:3–5 (Ordinances are essential for salvation)

Robert D. Hales, “Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service,Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 34–36

Dennis B. Neuenschwander, “Ordinances and Covenants,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 20–26

Priesthood Ordinance and Blessings,” Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 20.1

Ordinances,” True to the Faith (2004), 109–10

Video: “Faith in the Power of the Priesthood”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Show the youth a picture or object related to last week’s lesson, and ask the young men to explain how it pertains to that lesson. How did they apply what they learned?
  • Ask the young men to list as many ordinances of the gospel as they can think of. Then help them identify which ordinances on the list are essential for exaltation (if they need help, they can read “Ordinances” in True to the Faith). Why did Heavenly Father give us these ordinances?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the quorum members understand why ordinances are important. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to read the section titled “An Endowment of Divine Power” from Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander’s talk “Ordinances and Covenants” or watch the video “Faith in the Power of the Priesthood.” Ask them to list on the board the ordinances mentioned and the blessings we receive from participating in each ordinance. Invite the youth to share experiences in which they have received or witnessed one of these ordinances (or other ordinances, such as a father’s blessing or a blessing of healing). How did these experiences bless and strengthen them?
  • Review as a quorum the list of four requirements for performing ordinances in section 20.1 of Handbook 2. Invite the young men to read 3 Nephi 11:21–26 and identify how these requirements are met in the Savior’s description of baptism. How does their administration of the sacrament meet these four requirements? What happens if a ordinance is performed without meeting these requirements? Ask the young men why it is important to know about these requirements as they prepare to teach others about ordinances.
  • Invite the young men to imagine that they are teaching someone of another faith about baptism, and he or she says, “I was already baptized in my church.” How would the young men help this person understand, in a sensitive way, why he or she would need to be baptized again? What scriptures or experiences would they share? You may refer them to the list of requirements in section 20.1 of Handbook 2; Matthew 3:13–17; Acts 19:1–6; 3 Nephi 11:21–26; Moroni 8:10–12. If possible, invite the full-time missionaries to share with the quorum how they explain to their investigators the importance of ordinances (obtain permission of the bishop first).
  • Share with the quorum the following statement from President Spencer W. Kimball: “Ordinances serve as reminders. That is the real purpose of the sacrament, to keep us from forgetting, to help us remember” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 112). Ask the young men to list the ordinances of the gospel (such as those on pages 109–10 of True to the Faith) and discuss what each of these ordinance helps us remember.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the importance of ordinances? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his feelings about the ordinances of the gospel.
  • Lead a brief discussion about how they should prepare spiritually to officiate in sacred ordinances.