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Consecration and Covenant

Latter-day Saints are called "saints" because we are consecrated people, set apart for God's service by the covenants we make at baptism and in the temple. Consecration is a commitment to love and serve God—and thus to love and serve our fellow beings—with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, as well as with all our time, talents, and means (Mosiah 2:17; D&C 4:2; Matt. 22:37-39). Tithes and other offerings are a token but tangible demonstration of our commitment to render to God all that we have and are (Mosiah 2:34). Wearing the temple garment reminds us of our covenants and the work for which we have been set apart. Similarly, keeping the Word of Wisdom reminds us that our bodies, like temples, are dedicated for God's work (1 Cor. 3:16).

Traditionally, Latter-day Saints have expressed their identity as people of covenant by identifying with Israel, whom the Bible describes as consecrated to God's service (Ex. 19:3-6; 1 Pet. 2:9-10). The Restoration calls Latter-day Saints to the same work that the scriptures assign to Israel, which is also the work of the Messiah: to feed the famished, to liberate captives, to rebuild in the wake of desolation, to bless all families and minister to all nations (2 Ne. 21:7-10; Abr. 2:9-11). Fewer Saints now than in the past believe they are literally descended from Israel. But traditions such as declarations of lineage during patriarchal blessings can still symbolize the Saints' commitment to Israel's messianic mission.

Abraham O. Woodruff: May God grant that we may be true and faithful in keeping His commandments, and that we may feel to dedicate our lives and all we possess, realizing that He is the giver of all, to the building up of His kingdom and to the benefitting of our fellow men. We should not wish to live selfish lives. Let us not live for ourselves alone, but live for our fellow beings, and try to spread this gospel of peace on earth and goodwill to all . . .
Collected Discourses (Burbank, CA and Woodland Hills, UT: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992)

David O. McKay: The true way to serve God is through service to man. This is the highest ideal of religion ever given. It is the antithesis of pure nature. Nature's law is the survival of the fittest. God's law is, use your personal power and possessions for the advancement and happiness of others. Jesus saw clearly that before the kingdom of God could be realized, men must give up their cynical indifference and unbelief and become reconciled to God and to one another. Jesus, in short, marked out a new way of life for . . . all humanity—the way of genuine love.

Home Memories of President David O. McKay, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1956), 236

Stephen R. Covey: By consecration I mean seeking for God's glory, the attitude of "how can I best serve?" Consecrated people have given or dedicated all they have or ever will have to the Lord's purposes. They look on their time, talents, and possessions as stewardships—ones for which they are to give an honest accounting from time to time. Nothing is their own, in this sense. Everything is the Lord's . . .

Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970), 27-28

Lowell L. Bennion: Latter-day Saints call themselves modern Israel. Patriarchal blessings declare them to be descendants of Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh. We are also a covenant people, called to fulfill the mission [of] ancient Israel . . . God needs a people who will lead the rest of humankind to faith in God and his righteousness as taught by the Hebrew prophets and Jesus.

The Unknown Testament (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988), 143

Hugh Nibley: Consecration is the whole of the covenant of Israel. The chosen people themselves are consecrated, qadosh meaning "cut off, set apart," the same meaning as saints—sanc-ti, sancti-fied (cf. sanctum, "a place set apart"). They are called sigillim, which is translated "peculiar" in our King James Bible, but which means "sealed, reserved." What is con-secrated is then made sacred, withdrawn from the ordinary economy, dedicated to a particular purpose and to that purpose only.

Approaching Zion (Salt Lake City & Provo: Deseret Book & FARMS, 1989), 388-89

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