Ordinances are sacred rites and ceremonies. They consist of acts that have spiritual meanings and must be performed by the authority of the Priesthood and confirmed by the Holy Ghost in order to be effective. Ordinances can also refer to laws and judgments revealed by God.
- Baptism by Immersion (see Matt. 3: 16; D&C 20: 72-74)
- Bestowal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20: 68; 33: 15)
- Ordination to the Priesthood (for men, see D&C 84: 6-16; 107: 41-52)
- Temple Endowment (see D&C 124: 39),
- Marriage Sealed in the Temple (see D&C 132: 19-20)
In addition to these ordinances, there are others that are practiced by Mormons. The major ones include:
- The Sacrament (see D&C 20: 77, 79)
- Administration to the sick (see James 5: 14-15)
- Blessing of children (see D&C 20: 70)
- Dedication of graves
Each of these ordinances must be done under certain conditions in order to be acceptable before God.
- Ordinances must be done by the proper priesthood authority.
- Each ordinance must come at the proper stages of the person's life. Baptism for instance, is performed only after a person has turned eight years old. Young men are ordained to the various offices of the Aaronic Priesthood starting at age 12 and to the Melchizedek Priesthood starting at age 18 or 19.
- The endowment and marriage ceremonies are done only in dedicated temples of the Lord.
- For all ordinances, the person must be willing and worthy to receive the blessings and responsibilities associated with the particular ordinance.
In order to maintain the blessings of each ordinance, a person must continually abide by the promises they made and keep themselves worthy before God. Since the creation of the earth, God’s children have always been expected to participate in sacred ordinances. Ezekiel 11:20 states, "walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances." The Mormon Church continues doing this and firmly proclaims that ordinances are essential to salvation, “All mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel (see Article of Faith number 3).
Ordinances are important because through them an individual can become better acquainted with God. Doctrine and Covenants section 84 says,
- And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh.
Participating in ordinances allows us to better understand the order in God’s kingdom. We also better understand the Atonement, forgiveness, and the plan of salvation by participating worthily in ordinances.
Additionally, all of these ordinances can be done in behalf of the dead in Mormon temples so that all may be partakers of God's love. Names of deceased persons come from the Church's Family History program.