A House of Order

I’ve been listening to Supreme Court arguments the past couple of weeks. In each case, the attorneys are seeking a favorable outcome for their client. But because Supreme Court decisions influence outcomes in lower courts, the justices are focused on the broader implications of their decisions. What principles are they applying in this case, and how might those principles be applied to other cases? (See, for example, the exchange between Seth Kretzer, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh on pages 12-13 of Ramirez vs. Collier.)

I’ve thought about that dynamic as I’ve studied Doctrine and Covenants 132 this week. In this revelation, the Lord teaches some fundamental principles and illustrates their application with a number of specific examples. For me, the heart of the revelation is found in verse 7: “Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:8).

Order means an arrangement “according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method” (Oxford English Dictionary). In other words, something is ordered if it conforms to a set of organizing principles. King Benjamin instructed his people, “All things must be done in order” (Mosiah 4:27; see also 1 Corinthians 14:40). Many years later, as Mormon’s civilization was crumbling, he attributed the devastation to his people’s lack of order: “O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy” (Moroni 9:18).

According to Isaiah, one of the Savior’s purposes is to establish order. (See Isaiah 9:7, 2 Nephi 19:7.) Elder Vaiangina Sikahema recently emphasized this point: “Through His atoning sacrifice, the Savior helps us to restore order to our lives made chaotic or out of sequence by our own or others’ poor choices” (“A House of Sequential Order,” General Conference, October 2021).

Not only is the Lord’s house in order, but He also wants us to establish houses of order. To church members in Kirtland Ohio, the Lord said:

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:119

Today, I will strive to establish a house of order. I will remember that the Savior can help me overcome chaos and organize my life according to true principles.

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