Our Latter-day Faith Virtual Fireside in February, 2023 discussed the topic of “Consecration.” It was an amazing discussion, and we hope you can join us in future Latter-day Faith Virtual Firesides.
Consecration is a profound word in Mormon doctrine and culture. At one end, it refers to the establishment of Zion, a world where people were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them. At the other end, it can mean being “all in” to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to the end that we are willing to give all to the Church.
The word “consecration” means to make something or someone holy. When Temples are dedicated, they are consecrated — made holy — as places for God to reside. This same concept applies to when other Christians “consecrate” their cathedrals. Likewise, Catholic bishops are “consecrated” — set apart — to their calling: they are called to holiness.
Latter-day saints use the word “consecration” in a somewhat unique way. While it includes making something or someone holy, it also means to “give” or “donate” your time, talents, and everything you have and are, to the Church. This idea of giving everything to the Church — the original “Law of Consecration”, had to do with the “United Order”, the communitarian social orders practiced in Kirtland, Missouri, and in pioneer Utah. For the most part, Latter-day Saints no longer practice the United Order, yet the “Law of Consecration” remains: we remain “under covenant” to give all we are and have to the Church.
This unique use of the word “Consecration” can be difficult for many in our faith journeys. Yet the notion of living a life of holiness is not foreign to the faith journey, it may well be the very essence of it. We wonder if we can reclaim the concept of “Consecration” in way that not only promotes personal holiness, but leads to the emergence of Zion, a world where we are freely of one heart and one mind in the fulness of our diversity, and can practice social justice for all of us.