These lofty and greater blessings flow from the Father, through Christ, through priesthood ordinances. (D&C 84:20) Saying it the other way around, the power of ordinances is derived from the priesthood, and the power of the priesthood is granted unto men because of the Atonement of Christ, which is all a result of the Oath and Covenant of the Father. (D&C 84:39) The significance of this simple statement is supreme. It defines the pathway from mortal man back into the presence of the Father.
Since all blessings flow from the priesthood, Zion also flows from the Priesthood. When we receive the full blessings of Zion they will come because of this Oath and Covenant which the Father has established. Therefore, to understand the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, what it is, what it promises, and where it is taking us, is to understand our full potential in the gospel, including the establishment of Zion!
To fully receive the promised blessings of the Oath and Covenant of the priesthood is to become a Zion soul.
The two are inseparably connected. It is not possible as an individual, or as a church, to fulfill our covenants and fully receive the blessings of the priesthood without becoming Zion.
The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood is laid out in verses 33 to 40 of the 84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. The first half of the first sentence describes what we must do to fulfill our obligation in this covenant:
33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling,
Everything that follows describes the blessings associated with its fulfillment:
. . . are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the Church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39 And this is according to the Oath and Covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this Oath and Covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.
It is significant to note that this oath and covenant was established by the Father. It exists because the Father of us all ordained a process whereby we could obtain the blessings listed above. It is a covenant that the Father always establishes between Himself and His righteous posterity. And, whoso is faithful unto obtaining these priesthoods and magnifying their calling will invariably receive the promised rewards because the covenant cannot be broken or moved.
The blessings received by obedience to the Holy Spirit (the Light of Christ) are preliminary and preparatory to this greater covenant offered by the Father.
45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.
48 And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he [the Father] has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world. (D&C 84:45-48, comments added, italics added)
In other words, Christ sends forth His Spirit into the hearts of all who come into the world to lead them to this greater covenant of the Father. This Christ does freely, and without any requirement that we ask for it, or even accept it. There is only the associated promise that if we choose to hearken to the voice of the Spirit, we will come unto the Father, and this greater covenant. We cannot be half-hearted or self-willed in our obedience to the voice of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, and hope to obtain these greater blessings.
In simpler terms, obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit brings the spiritual pilgrim to the receipt of all gospel blessings, including priesthood ordinances and ordinations. When such a person righteously participates in priesthood ordinances, they come unto Christ in a very real way. Having thus righteously begun that lifelong journey, the Father confirms upon them a promise given by His oath and covenant, that if they will magnify their calling, He will pour out an additional blessing that is so great and grand that many of us latter-day saints have yet to even glimpse what that blessing is. These are the blessings leading us to the veil, which are promised in the Temple, in scripture and in the revealed mysteries of Godliness. These are the blessings wherein Zion is nested.
The river of divine blessings that flows from the priesthood does not end there, but includes the promises and privileges that will enable us to establish Zion.
The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood bears a precious burden in regard to Zion. Buried within it is a promise so glorious that it defies mortal thinking, and stretches the fabric of faith, and thus easily falls prey to unbelief. Herein lies a “mystery of godliness”; a grand key to the establishment of Zion, and those things which “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Next Post: The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, (Part 2)
© June 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.
Paraphrased from The Triumph of Zion, pages 117-120