1 And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church.
We all like things to be organized. Chaos is unpleasant. Uncertainty creates anxiety. We want to have confidence that the things we are involved in are well planned and carefully executed.
After preaching to the members of the church in Zarahemla, Alma the Younger, who was the high priest over the church, did a number of things to organize the church in the city:
- He ordained people to serve as local church leaders: priests and elders. The word “ordain” comes from the Latin word ordinare, which means to “put in order” or to “arrange” (“ordain,” Online Eytmology Dictionary).
- He helped repentant people who were not in the church to be baptized.
- He removed from church records the names of people who were no longer repentant, following the pattern his father had received from the Lord. (See Mosiah 26:29-32.)
- He instructed members of the church that their meetings were to be open to all, and that they should pray on behalf of people who didn’t believe as they did.
Then, he went on to another city, Gideon, where he taught the people according to the “holy order by which he was called.”
In a revelation recorded by Joseph Smith in 1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois, but probably received more than a decade earlier in Kirtland, Ohio, the Lord said, “Behold, mine house is a house of order…and not a house of confusion” (D&C 132:8).
If the Church needs to be orderly, then our homes also need to be orderly, with appropriate routines and clearly defined expectations. President Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Church and the family “work hand in hand to strengthen each other. The Church exists to exalt the family. And the family is the fundamental unit of the Church” (“Set in Order Thy House,” General Conference, October 2001).
Today, I will be grateful for the order that is found in the Lord’s church. I will be grateful that the organizational structure is clearly defined and easily understood. I will be grateful for predictable activities, including a sacrament meeting which I can count on participating in each Sunday morning. I will be grateful that our Heavenly Father is a God of order, and I will seek to emulate the structure and predictability of His church in my home.