16 Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.
This verse appears in the middle of an explanation of the priesthood which the prophet Alma gave in the city of Ammonihah. After describing how priests were ordained, he attests that many were sanctified “and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” (verse 12). Now, he tells us that the very purpose of priesthood ordinances is to accomplish that outcome–to point our minds toward Christ, so that we can receive a remission of our sins through His Atonement and enter into the rest of the Lord.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the disciplining function of ordinances–establishing order in our lives. Today, I’m thinking about how much we need those ordering activities to accomplish the main purpose of the gospel: to come unto Christ. It is one thing to know that we need Him and to want His help. It is another to formally approach Him and seek His help, as we do through prayer and through the ordinances of the gospel. I certainly appreciate the additional focus I’m able to achieve as I partake of the sacrament each Sunday and as I attend the temple. The formal nature of the event helps me to ignore distractions and point my mind toward the Savior. Furthermore, participating in these activities frequently helps me to keep my mind pointed toward Him consistently.
Today, I will be grateful for the disciplining power of ordinances in my life. I will remember that priesthood ordinances can help me turn my mind toward the Savior so that I can eventually be sanctified and enter into His rest.