“What ordinances, including the sacrament, do I need to receive, and what covenants do I need to make, keep and honor?”
That was the question Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a General Authority Seventy, posed during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference on March 31.
“I promise that participating in ordinances and honoring the associated covenants will bring you marvelous light and protection in this ever-darkening world,” he said.
Focusing his remarks on saving ordinances, Elder Wakolo — a convert of 24 years from Fiji — shared how ordinances “bring you and me marvelous light.”
Recognizing that a saving ordinance is a sacred formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood, Elder Wakolo spoke of the important steps every person must take — be baptized, confirmed, ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood for men, the temple endowment and the marriage sealing.
“Like two sides to a coin, all the saving ordinances are accompanied by covenants with God,” he said. “God promised us blessings if we faithfully honor those covenants.”
Sharing the experiences of John and Bonnie Newman, Elder Wakolo told of how, after participating in and attending Church for 39 years, John decided to be baptized so he and his wife could be sealed in the temple.
After being baptized in 2015, and 20 years after his wife had received her own endowment, the couple was sealed in the Memphis Tennessee Temple.
“Their 47-year-old son, Robert, said of his father, ‘Dad has really, really blossomed since he received the priesthood,’ ” Elder Wakolo said. “Bonnie added, ‘John has always been a happy and cheerful person but receiving the ordinances and honoring his covenants has enhanced his gentleness.’ “
Although all need the ordinances of the gospel, those ordinances will neither redeem nor exalt, he said.
“In fact, we need not only the ordinances and covenants to return to our Father, but we also need His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement,” he said.
Elder Wakolo reminded listeners that after the Savior received the ordinance of baptism, He was still subjected to the temptations of Satan. Like the Savior, “our temptations do not end after baptism or sealing, but receiving the sacred ordinances and honoring the associated covenants fill us with marvelous light and give us strength to resist and overcome temptations.”
The counsel of prophets, seers and revelators, in addition to the power of the Holy Ghost and partaking of the sacrament, help individuals see the distractions and temptations coming their way.
“The sacrament is an ordinance that helps us stay on the path, and worthily partaking is evidence that we are keeping the covenants associated with all the other ordinances,” he said.