03 June 2013

The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood (Man's Four Oaths)


The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood
The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood is found in Doctrine and Covenants 84 and is one of the greatest blessings for those who enter into its contract with God. Interestingly, I have found very few priesthood holders who actually knew what the oath and covenant is. The picture above shows the covenant that men enter into the second they obtain the priesthood of God. On the left side of the photo we see the 4 oaths man makes to God and on the right side we see the 4 covenants that God makes with us. However, I feel to voice my opinion and thoughts about man's covenants.

FAITHFUL IN RECEIVING THE 2 PRIESTHOODS (D&C 84:33)
Man receives the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood by first being faithful in receiving the 2 priesthoods namely the Aaronic and the Melchizedek priesthoods. However, this is not part of a list that can be checked off as once fulfilled. This is a daily struggle as the forces of good and evil are so subtly and visibly before us. Each day we must decide if we are going to be faithful in receiving the 2 priesthoods. We reject the priesthood each time we do not follow the counsel given in D&C 121:35-45  Doctrine and Covenants 121 is special to priesthood bearers in that it teaches us what to do and what not to do in order to be worthy of the priesthood. I have broken them down into "Thou Shalt Not's" and "Thou Shalts."

THOU SHALT NOTS
We must not have our hearts set upon the things of this world (D&C 121:35)
We must not aspire to the honors of men (D&C 121:35)
We must control and handle the rights to the priesthood by principles of righteousness. (D&C 121:36)
We must never cover our sins, gratify our pride, or vain ambitions (D&C 121:37)
We must never exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon others in any degree of unrighteousness (D&C 121:37)
We must not be hypocrites (D&C 121:42)
We must not be with guile (D&C 121:42) 

THOU SHALT
Thou shalt be persuasive (D&C 121:41)
Thou shalt be long suffering (D&C 121:41)
Thou shalt be gentle (D&C 121:41)
Thou shalt be meek (D&C 121:41)
Thou shalt have love unfeigned (D&C 121:41)
Thou shalt be kind (D&C 121:42)
Thou shalt have pure knowledge (D&C 121:42)
Thou shalt have charity towards all men (D&C 121:45)
Thou shalt let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly (D&C 121:45)

    MAGNIFY YOUR CALLINGS D&C 84:33
    We make a covenant with God that we will magnify our callings but what does this mean? Some dictionary descriptions may help us understand this term better. Dictionaries say that to magnify something means, "to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect, to increase in significance."  Wikipedia is helpful in helping us understand this term also, "Magnification is the process of enlarging something only in appearance, not in physical size...Typically magnification is related to scaling up visuals or images to be able to see more detail, increasing resolution, using microscope, printing techniques, or digital processing." 
    What tools can we use to magnify our callings? Scripture Study? Fasting? Prayer? Part of magnifying our calling requires us to know our duty. Carlos E. Asay of the Seventy once said in a conference: One magnifies a calling— By learning one’s duty and executing it fully. (See D&C 107:99–100.) Apostle Gordon B. Hinkley also spoke clearly about this subject at a conference: 

    GIVE DILIGENT HEED TO WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE (D&C 84:43) Where are the words of eternal life? The scriptures teach us that Jesus has the words of eternal life. "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." John 6:67-68 At another time we read, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ" John 17:3; ( D&C 132:24; ) We know God and Jesus Christ through the study of their words found in the scriptures and modern day prophets and apostles. YOU SHALL LIVE BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH FORTH FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD (D&C 84:44)
    When Jesus Christ was in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights Satan came tempting him saying, "command this stone to be made bread." (Luke 4:3) However, Jesus rebukes this temptation by replying with scripture, "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4:4) This does not mean to blindly follow after the prophets. Apostle George A. Smith once received a letter by a concerned non-member when he read an article posted by the improvement era of June 1945. The improvement era stated that, "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done." After hearing this George A. Smith replied to the concerned member by the following: 
    I am pleased to assure you that you are right in your attitude that the passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church. Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings. This plan the Authorities of the Church try to follow. The Prophet Joseph Smith once said: “I want liberty of thinking and believing as I please.” This liberty he and his successors in the leadership of the Church have granted to every other member thereof. On one occasion in answer to the question by a prominent visitor how he governed his people, the Prophet answered: “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”
    Location: Mapleton, UT, USA

    ABOUT AUTHOR

    BYU Carpet Cleaner

    I carpet clean the Mission Training Center and love the gospel of Jesus Christ. These posts contain my experiences, thoughts and opinions on spiritual things.

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