"Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regard
religious ordinances not as arbitrarily established but as purposefully instituted by God
and eternal in scope."
"No society or group exists without both social and sacred ceremony.
Among Latter-day Saints the fundamental importance of ceremony, and of divine authority in
its performance, are given expression in a unique latter-day scripture: "In the
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" (D&C 84: 20-21)."
"Ordinances performed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints are to 'be done in order' (D&C 20:68) by one who is ordained. The common
linguistic root of the words 'ordinance,' 'order,' and 'ordain' implies fixed succession,
privilege, right, and solemn responsibility."
Laying on of
"The laying on of hands on the head of an individual as a religious
ceremony has served many purposes historically and continues to do so for The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
"Latter-day Saints believe, as do many Christians, that baptism is an
essential initiatory ordinance for all persons who are joining the Church, as it admits
them to Christ's church on earth (John 3:3-5; D&C 20:37, 68-74)."
"When a person enters into a Latter-day Saint baptism, he or she
makes a covenant with God. Baptism is a 'sign
that we will do the will of God, and
there is no other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for man to come to Him
to be saved' (TPJS, p. 198)."
"Once a person joins The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
circumstances requiring rebaptism are unusual."
for the Dead
"Baptism for the dead is the proxy performance of the ordinance of
baptism for one deceased. Joseph Smith taught, "If we can baptize a man in the name
of the Father [and] of the Son and of the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins it is just
as much our privilege to act as an agent and be baptized for the remission of sins for and
in behalf of our dead kindred who have not heard the gospel or fulness of it"
"Latter-day Saints believe that Christ ordained and sent his
disciples, in ancient and modern times, with the promise that through faith they might
"Confirmation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a
sacred ordinance essential for salvation."
"Dedication is the act of devoting or consecrating something to the
Lord, or "setting apart" something for a specific purpose in building the
kingdom of God. It is a priesthood function performed through an official and formal act
"An Endowment generally is a gift, but in a specialized sense it is a
course of instruction, ordinances, and covenants given only in dedicated temples of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
"Latter-day Saints cherish priesthood blessings as a
vital source of grace in facing the crossroads, crises, setbacks, anxieties, and decisions
of life. Those who give and receive blessings at the hands of the priesthood in this
spirit are lifted up and sustained, and healed in mind, body, and spirit."
Shaking the Dust
from the Feet
"The sharing of the gospel must always
be accompanied by the bearing of testimony as a witness that the message is true. Those
who are recipients of the message may choose to receive it or reject it according to their
use of their agency. There may be occasions when someone rejects it in such a way as to be
offensive to the Lord. Under such circumstances, the Lord may desire that the testimony of
the elders be sealed by the shaking off of the dust of the feet as a testimony against
those who so rejected the message." L. G. Otten and C. M. Caldwell
Moses ordains his brother Aaron to the Priesthood
"The term "blessings" is used in two different ways in The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a broad traditional sense as used in many
cultures, the word applies to all good things that come in a person's lifethe
wonders of nature, the joys of family, the benefits of liberty and educationanything
and everything that enriches life. Such blessings are often pointed to as a manifestation
of God's love for his children. Latter-day Saint writings are interspersed with this
usage. In more specific terminology, blessings refer to ordinances performed under
The blessing itself is to be given as dictated by the Spirit and may
contain prophecy concerning
the child's future, a statement of gifts or promises, and instruction or promises to the
parents or siblings of the child.
For the earthly blessing to be honored in heaven, it is necessary
that a father has been baptized, has received the Holy Ghost, and bears the Melchizedek
Priesthood. Through these ordinances and covenants, the father may claim the powers of
heaven to guide his thoughts and ratify his words. To give such a blessing, the father
places his hands upon the head of his child, and assures the child by word and spirit that
the blessing, spoken by a loving parent, comes with divine approval and inspiration.
Members have the right to go to the stake patriarch for a Church blessing.
In Latter-day Saint usage, Sacrament designates that
ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ as a means by which worthy Saints may renew their
covenants with their Redeemer and with God the Father.
This page contains the text of the Sacrament prayers.
Do We Partake of the Sacrament With the Right Hand?
There are numerous passages in the scriptures referring
to the right hand, indicating that it is a symbol of righteousness and was used in the
making of covenants.
This is the authority by which 'all covenants, contracts, bonds,
obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations' can be
'made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise' and receive 'efficacy,
virtue, or force in and after the resurrection of the dead' (D&C 132:7).
"The First Presidency may
cancel temple sealings when the
circumstances of a request for cancellation warrant it."\
The ordinances performed only in the temple are
baptisms for the dead, washings and anointings, endowments, and marriages or sealings for
A 'sealing,' as a generic term, means the securing, determining, or
establishment of a bond of legitimacy. Among members of the Church sealing refers to the
marriage of a husband and wife and to the joining together of children and parents in
relationships that are to endure forever.
Washings and Anointings
The washings and anointings of the biblical period have a parallel
today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Washing of Feet
The ordinance of washing of feet performed by Jesus Christ after the
Last Supper with his apostles was a gesture of humility.