One of the most powerful laws given to the children of God is the law of consecration.
It is designed to bring a covenant person and people into the full possession of the Kingdom of God and receive all that he has.
Living the Law of Consecration is the final covenant that brings us into the presence of the Lord while in the flesh.
What is this Law?
To consecrate is to make something sacred. And it is made sacred by God by committing that thing to him.
My life has been one of negotiating with God. I will take this, and you can have that. This is mine, and this is yours. If you make me rich, I will serve you.
If you give me this, I will do this for you…
And if I understood, or had been taught, the law of consecration when I made the covenant to keep it, my life would have taken a very different path. (In theory)
The law of consecration is living in a way that we cease building our own kingdoms, and we build the Lord’s kingdom on earth.
Everything in our possession – our home, our cars, our children, spouse, career, vacations, entertainment, bank account, physical body, our money, our time – everything we have, becomes the Lord’s. And we retain no portion for ourselves.
But we become stewards.
When something is committed to God it becomes God’s, and you become a steward of his kingdom. You do not become the one who owns a possession. You become one in possession. You live the law of atonement. You live at-one in all things. This is the law of consecration.
You both share that thing. It is God’s, and you participate in the ownership as a steward.
Everything we have becomes His. And we become stewards of His Kingdom on this earth. It is no longer our kingdom, it is His kingdom.
On one occasion, I was praying about the law of consecration and how to keep the law even though we don’t formally keep it as an economic system in the church.
The answer, again, was very clear. Treat all of your possessions as a stewardship.
Your job is a stewardship.
Your bank account is a stewardship.
Your car, your home, your clothes. They are all stewardships.
My wife is a stewardship. She is not mine, she is a gift that must be consecrated. I must give her to the Lord and treat her as a stewardship. This is the most sacred of all of my stewardships.
And of course your time. Is every minute of my day spent building the Father’s Kingdom, or my own?
Even though I have miles and miles to go to fulfill this law, the Lord has started to frame it for me.
So, how does one live the law of consecration now?
One suggested way is to first ask a couple of questions:
What do I possess that I cannot wholeheartedly give to the Lord as a consecrated offering?
If I own something, for example, that can’t be consecrated – should I retain that possession?
If I own a car that is nicer than what I need, or if I buy a home that exceeds a consecrated offering, will I be justified in that thing?
And we have to be honest. If we aren’t honest about it, and are repenting of collecting possessions that can’t be whole-heartedly consecrated, we cannot move forward in the sanctification process.
The governing law is this:
Do I have more than is sufficient for my needs?
That is it. It is the great question of consecration. How we answer that question will completely govern our relationship to God, and our experiences with him.
More than anything else, how we answer the question, Do I seek more than what is sufficient for my needs will completely determine the types of spiritual manifestations I have on this earth, and whether my calling and election will be made sure.
If you live the law of consecration you will be free from the mortal fear of not having sufficient for your needs.
If we fail to live this law after it is given to us, we will not be prepared to live a Celestial glory.
This, for me, is a doctrine that pricks me, and requires brutal self-honesty.
Failure to live this law is a primary reason why the fullness of the priesthood is not available to almost all men who are ordained to receive it.
Are we possessed by our possessions?
Let me give an example that convicts me:
If I buy a home that is hundreds of thousands of dollars more than what I can completely dedicate to the service of God, and am diverting the resources God has given me as a steward to my own excessive comfort and display of financial glory, I am also withholding those same resources from the poor or from other things the Lord wants me to steward.
If I am retaining earthly possessions, in any form, for my own excessive comfort and glory, I am not prepared to receive all that my Father has.
If I watch tv, or golf, or participate in entertainment that can’t be consecrated, then I am not keeping this law.
Of course the Lord does not withhold entertainment from us, but if it is not carefully consecrated, it will turn to our condemnation.
Are the vacations I am taking consecrated to the Lord? Are they excessive? Are they for my glory or his?
Is the food I eat consecrated to him or is it used to consume on my lust?
Expensive Clothing is a Sign of Breaking the Law of Consecration
Do the clothes I wear glorify God and are stewardships, or are they used to make me into an object or adulation or even worship?
Wearing expensive clothing is always a sign that people are breaking a covenant and are consumed in pride.
“And it came to pass in the eighth year of the reign of the judges, that the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen, and because of their many flocks and herds, and their gold and their silver, and all manner of precious things, which they had obtained by their industry; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel” (Alma 4: 6).
Consider these longer passages. There is so much to learn from them.
First, we learn that if we are living collectively the law of consecration the Lord gives abundantly.
“And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth…“
And with that abundance it is clear that we should clothe and serve others who do not have resources.
“And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need...
And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church…”
And the Lord again lists the consequences of those that do not live this law. And again points out that those that wear expensive clothing are breaking the covenant.
“For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible” (Alma 1: 29-32).”
As a prophecy of the Latter-Day churches, Moroni prophesies that we will fall into this same pattern that destroyed the church in past generations.
“And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted” (Mormon 8: 36-37).
Clothing is a sign. It is the sign of God. We are clothed in the robes of the Holy Priesthood as a sign of the covenant we make with God.
When we are not formally wearing the the robes of the Holy Priesthood, do we then put on the robes of the priesthood of the God of this world?
What sign do we take upon ourselves by what we wear? Are we humble followers of Christ, or are we trying to signal that we are better than our brother or sister?
Are our homes and cars and all of our possessions any different?
Can we consecrate the excessive living if those resources are being diverted from the poor to building our own kingdom?
We are either building the Father’s Kingdom or we are building our own.
If we are building our own kingdom, then we have our reward.
And so we continue the prayer process in exploring all of these questions for ourselves. Does the Lord want me to have the house I live in, or is it an abomination? Does he want me to drive the car I drive? Or is it a sign that I have rejected his Celestial law?
One good test is to ask:
If God removed this stewardship from me, would my heart freely give it?
And these are very hard questions. We have to be strictly honest. And we have to repent wholeheartedly in order to move forward to the final great step of the transformation of prayer – to being able to part a veil.
Consecrating Our Children
A few years ago, my son was three and he was suffering from night terrors. It was a hard time because of the sleep deprivation experienced being up with him much of the night trying to get him to calm down and go back to sleep.
I had more than one breaking point staying up with him. One night, when I had hit a breaking point an was loosing my temper and my mind out of complete fatigue I prayed to the Father for him and about him.
The answer came swiftly and clearly: “He was my son before he was yours.”
I felt the Father’s love for my little boy. And I learned he was a stewardship, not a possession.
This changed how I felt about my son and how I related to him. I am to give my boy all that I have just as the Father is giving me all that he has. I am to do all that I can to deliver him to the Father – prepare him, teach him, comfort him, and return him to the Father to be clothed in Priesthood.
And will do the same for my daughters.
Consecrating Sexual Intimacy
Preparatory to receiving the law of consecration, we receive the law of chastity. If understood properly, we understand that chastity is a pure form of consecration.
We come to understand by asking a few questions.
Are my sexual practices consecrated? Are they holy? Or are they a way that I consume on my lust? These principles apply even in marital intimacy. The covenant of marriage is not a free pass to be lustful. It is just the opposite. It is a covenant that you will sanctify and consecrate the holy act of sex with another consecrated being. It is a priesthood ordinance.
Is your intimacy sacred?
Is it consecrated?
Does it bring an increase measure of the Holy Ghost?
Does it bring you into a revelatory state?
Does it bring you into a stare of at-one-ment with your covenant spouse?
Consecrating Our Words
Are our words consecrated? Are they holy? Do we speak the word of the Lord in all things?
This is, perhaps, one of the final stages of complete consecration.
Isaiah experiences this as he is prepared to part the veil.
I know there are deep layers of meaning to this passage. But consider the relevance to consecration:
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged” (Isaiah 6: 5-7).
All Things Are Created First Spiritually, Than Physically
If consecration becomes the great desire of our hearts, if we live the law with all of our being, then the Lord will bless us to live it physically in a formal economic order.
The reason why the formal order is withheld from us is because we have collectively broken the covenant in our hearts.
We desire our own kingdom, with the vain hope of also receiving his.
In my experience, the view I hear the most is that when it is time to live the Law of Consecration, the president of the Church will direct us all to do so.
This will not happen. It will only happen if the people desire it. And we will know that the people desire it when we collectively fast and pray and plead for the the priesthood order to be restored to us.
Do we really desire it? Are we praying, or even pleading, for it? Is it the great desire of our hearts?
Do we really understand it?
It can be distilled to this fundamental Celestial principle:
If you consecrate all that you have to the Lord, he will consecrate all that he has to you.
Is there a greater blessing?
This is why it is the law of the Celestial Kingdom.
You cannot receive all that the Lord has unless you have literally consecrated all that you have to him first.
Parting the Veil
Joseph Smith taught:
“Those, then, who make the sacrifice (consecration) will have the testimony that their course is pleasing in the sight of God, and those who have this testimony will have faith to lay hold on eternal life, and will be enabled, through faith, to endure unto the end, and receive the crown that is laid up for them that love the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who do not make the sacrifice cannot enjoy this faith, because men are dependent upon this sacrifice in order to obtain this faith; therefore, they cannot lay hold upon eternal life, because the revelations of God do not guarantee unto them the authority so to do; and without this guarantee faith could not exist.
All the saints of whom we have account in all the revelations of God which are extant, obtained the knowledge which they had of their acceptance in his sight, through the sacrifice which they offered unto him: and through the knowledge thus obtained, their faith became sufficiently strong to lay hold upon the promise of eternal life, and to endure us seeing him who is invisible; and were enabled, through faith, to combat the powers of darkness, contend against the wiles of the adversary, overcome the world, and obtain the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Lecture 6).
When we live the law of consecration it is a consecration of having our eye single to his glory. All things we possess become single to God.
When we consecrate everything, our whole bodies will be full of light and we will comprehend all things. There will be no more division within us. And as the Lord promises: “the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you” (D&C88: 67-68).
This law parts the veil. And is the final preparatory covenant we keep that brings us into the presence of the Lord.
We don’t part the veil because we try to carry too much through it. We want to bring our self-images, our identities, the kingdom we built for ourselves, our wealth and possessions, into the presence of the Lord.
And this keeps us from his presence.
After we have offered a sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit we transition into the law of consecration which draws us into his presence.
He cannot withhold himself from you in this law, even his physical presence and the revelation of all of his creation.
Because now you share in that creation.