3 Yea, and the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses; for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled.
Boyd K. Packer pointed out the relationship between three words: order, ordain, and ordinance. He noted that one definition of “ordain” is “to put in order.” One definition of “ordinance” is “arrangement in ranks or rows.” After sharing these definitions, he said:
It is my purpose to fix in your minds so serious an interest in the ordinances of the gospel that you will seek to qualify for each ordinance in proper sequence, to make and keep the covenants that are connected with them, and to make sure that everything in this regard, for you, is in proper order (“Ordinances,” BYU Fireside, 3 Feb 1980).
In the grand scheme, I can see how priesthood ordinances, including baptism and eternal marriage, form markers in our lives which create order from what might otherwise be a chaotic sequence of events. On a smaller scale, I recognize that I need that kind of structure in my daily life. Personal religious habits, including prayer, scripture study, and journal writing, function like the stakes of a tent in my daily life, anchoring me firmly so that the unexpected events of the day don’t overwhelm me or distract me from my long-range goals.
Today, I will remember the power of ordinances and personal religious practices to set my life in order. I will resolve to be “strict in observing” these practices, so that I can have order and stability in my life.