Monday, August 1, 2011
The Holy Spirit of Promise
I was teaching a class the other day in High Priests Group on the Plan of Happiness. I had proffered my contention that each ordinance we receive must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise (Holy Ghost) to be of force. It is my view that when a person receives an ordinance the Holy Spirit of Promise “seals” that the ordinance was performed correctly regarding form and authority, and the associated law was received and has been kept (assuming that person is living that law - or it is later sealed when the person does live the law).
I used a paragraph in the "Guide to the Scripture" under “Holy Spirit of Promise” which reads in part:
“He [the Holy Ghost] confirms as acceptable to God the righteous acts, ordinances, and covenants of men. The Holy Spirit of Promise witnesses to the Father that the saving ordinances have been performed properly and that the covenants associated with them have been kept.”
This notion was challenged by one of the good brethren, because of the following paragraph that reads:
“They who are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise receive all that the Father has, D&C 76:51–60 (Eph. 1:13–14).”
The distinction being where I contend that each law and ordinance must be sealed upon a person, he read the reference to mean that at some point, all at once they are all, including exaltation sealed upon a righteous person.
I would argue that the next line also needs to be considered to understand this concept:
“All covenants and performances must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise to have force after this life, D&C 132:7, 18–19, 26”
I believe that baptism is a critical ordinance, even for a person who never has “all that the Father has” or exaltation sealed upon him. But, that each ordinance and its corresponding law, including baptism, must be sealed upon each of us. If not, we are son’s of perdition (in the case of baptism).
The same would hold true for each ordinance and law. I would further contend that what ordinance and corresponding law we receive (we receive law by ordinances) dictates the resurrection we will receive. This is clear in the Doctrine and Covenants. Regarding the Holy Spirit of Promise we read:
“...All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise ...are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:7)
And then to the point of the law we keep or abide determines our resurrection:
“22For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
23And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
24And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88)
I suspect that for most of us we receive the ordinances and the laws, and we grow into the law some time in the future. When we do, we have some spiritual experience and don’t even know that it was the Holy Spirit of promise sealing those ordinances upon us. And like those who receive “all the Father has” or have their calling and election made sure in this life, we may spiritually digress and return many times. But, we have proven that we can live the law, and only a full rebellion will separate us from that kingdom sealed upon us.
What think ye?