Selected Teachings on
We are Adopted by Obedience to All the Laws,
Ordinances, & Covenants of the Gospel

See Scriptural Teachings

Joseph Smith (President)

All men who become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fullness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fullness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole. (History of the Church, 5:424)

Bruce R. McConkie

By obedience to the fulness of gospel law, righteous men are adopted into the family of God so that they also become heirs, Joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:14-18; Gal. 3:26-29; 4:1-7), inheritors of all that the Father hath (D&C 84:33-41). (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd Ed. [1966], p. 394)

As men [and women] pursue the goal of eternal life, they first enter in at the gate of repentance and baptism, thereby taking upon themselves the name of Christ. They then gain power to become his sons and daughters, to be adopted into his family, to be brethren and sisters in his kingdom. Baptism standing alone does not transform them into family members, but it opens the door to such a blessed relationship; and if men so live as to obtain the Spirit and are in fact born again, then they become members of the Holy Family.

Then, if they press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, keeping the commandments and living by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, they qualify for celestial marriage, and this gives them power to become the sons [and daughters] of God, meaning the Father. They thus become joint-heirs with Christ who is his natural heir. Those who become sons [and daughters] of God in this sense are the ones who become gods in the world to come (D&C 76:54–60). They have exaltation and godhood because the family unit continues in eternity (D&C 132:19–24). (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:414)

Russell M. Nelson (Quorum of the Twelve)

Children of the covenant have the right to receive His doctrine and to know the plan of salvation. They claim it by making covenants of sacred significance. Brigham Young said: "All Latter-day Saints enter the new and everlasting covenant when they enter this Church.… They enter the new and everlasting covenant to sustain the Kingdom of God." (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 62) They keep the covenant by obedience to His commandments. At baptism we covenant to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew that covenant and declare our willingness to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. Thereby we are adopted as His sons and daughters and are known as brothers and sisters. He is the father of our new life. Ultimately, in the holy temple, we may become joint heirs to the blessings of an eternal family, as once promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity. Thus, celestial marriage is the covenant of exaltation. (“Covenants,” Ensign, November 2011, p. 88)

Joseph Fielding Smith (Quorum of the Twelve)

The Lord has given unto us privileges, and blessings, and the opportunity of entering into covenants, of accepting ordinances that pertain to our salvation beyond what is preached in the world; beyond the principles of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, and baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and these principles and covenants are received nowhere else but in the temple of God.

If you would become a son or a daughter of God and an heir of the kingdom, then you must go to the house of the Lord and receive blessings which there can be obtained and which cannot be obtained elsewhere; and you must keep those commandments and those covenants to the end....

The ordinances of the temple, the endowment and sealings, pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom, where the sons and daughters are. The sons and daughters are not outside in some other kingdom. The sons and daughters go into the house, belong to the household, have access to the home. "In my Father's house are many mansions." Sons and daughters have access to the home where he dwells, and you cannot receive that access until you go to the temple. Why? Because you must receive certain key words as well as make covenants by which you are able to enter. If you try to get into the house, and the door is locked, how are you going to enter, if you haven't your key? You get your key in the temple, which will admit you. (Doctrines of Salvation, sel. Bruce R. McConkie [1954-56] 2:40-41)