See also: Ether 12:27
I would like to consider with you five of the elements of a consecrated life: purity, work, respect for one’s physical body, service, and integrity.
As the Savior demonstrated, the consecrated life is a pure life. While Jesus is the only one to have led a sinless life, those who come unto Him and take His yoke upon them have claim on His grace, which will make them as He is, guiltless and spotless. With deep love the Lord encourages us in these words: “Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day” (3 Nephi 27:20).
Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require. This is what King Benjamin called putting off the natural man, yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and becoming “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19). Such a one is promised the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit, a promise remembered and renewed each time a repentant soul partakes of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (see D&C 20:77, 79). . . .
A consecrated life is a life of integrity. We see it in the husband and wife “who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102) We see it in the father and mother whose demonstrated first priority is to nourish their marriage and ensure the physical and spiritual welfare of their children. We see it in those who are honest. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Reflections on a Consecrated Life,” Ensign, November 2010, pp. 16–19
Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory. It brings release from the raucous, overpopulated cell block of selfishness and emancipation from the dark prison of pride. Yet instead of striving for greater consecration, it is so easy to go on performing casually in halfhearted compliance as if hoping to “ride to paradise on a golf cart.” (Henry Fairlie, The Seven Deadly Sins, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979, p. 125)
But is being consecrated and “swallowed up” a threat to our individuality? (See Mosiah 15:7.) No! Heavenly Father is only asking us to lose the old self in order to find the new and the real self. It is not a question of losing our identity but of finding our true identity!
When, at last, we are truly pointed homeward, then the world’s pointing fingers of scorn can better be endured. As we come to know to Whom we belong, the other forms of belonging cease to mean very much. Likewise, as Jesus begins to have a real place in our lives, we are much less concerned with losing our places in the world. When our minds really catch hold of the significance of Jesus’ atonement, the world’s hold on us loosens. (See Alma 36:18.)
Increased consecration is not so much a demand for more hours of Church work as it is for more awareness of Whose work this really is! For now, consecration may not require giving up worldly possessions so much as being less possessed by them.
Only when things begin to come into focus “with an eye single” do we see “things as they really are”! (Jacob 4:13.) What a view awaits! Only to the degree that we respond to life’s temptations as Jesus did, who “gave no heed unto them,” will we be “free” – free at last! (D&C 20:22; John 8:32) — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Settle This in Your Hearts,” Ensign, November 1992
We tend to think of consecration only as yielding up, when divinely directed, our material possessions. But ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God. Heart, soul, and mind were the encompassing words of Christ in describing the first commandment, which is constantly, not periodically, operative (see Matt. 22:37). If kept, then our performances will, in turn, be fully consecrated for the lasting welfare of our souls (see 2 Ne. 32:9). . . .
A stumbling block appears when we serve God generously with time and checkbooks but still withhold portions of our inner selves, signifying that we are not yet fully His! — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Consecrate Thy Performance,” Ensign, May 2002, p. 36
In pondering and pursuing consecration, understandably we tremble inwardly at what may be required. Yet the Lord has said consolingly, “My grace is sufficient for you” (D&C 17:8). Do we really believe Him? He has also promised to make weak things strong (see Ether 12:27). Are we really willing to submit to that process? Yet if we desire fulness, we cannot hold back part! — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Consecrate Thy Performance,” Ensign, May 2002, p. 38
Thus, brothers and sisters, consecration is not resignation or a mindless caving in. Rather, it is a deliberate expanding outward, making us more honest when we sing, “More used would I be.” Consecration, likewise, is not shoulder-shrugging acceptance, but, instead, shoulder-squaring to better bear the yoke. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Consecrate Thy Performance,” Ensign, May 2002
True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives – that is, our time and choices – to God’s purposes. In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Reflections on a Consecrated Life,” Ensign, November 2010
Victor L. Brown, former Presiding Bishop of the Church, said that until we “feel in total harmony” with the principle that everything we have belongs to the Lord, “it will be difficult, if not impossible, for us to accept the law of consecration. As we prepare to live this law, we will look forward with great anticipation to the day when the call will come. If, on the other hand, we hope it can be delayed so we can have the pleasure of accumulating material things, we are on the wrong path. — “The Law of Consecration,” 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year , p. 439
Under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith, early members of the Church attempted to establish the center place of Zion in Missouri, but they did not qualify to build the holy city. The Lord explained one of the reasons for their failure:
“They have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;
“And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom” (D&C 105:3-4). . . .
Rather than judge these early Saints too harshly, however, we should look to ourselves to see if we are doing any better. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, November 2008, pp. 37-38
Message from the First Presidency:
It is a small matter to devote and dedicate ourselves and all we have to the cause of truth, and the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth, but it is of importance to rightly apply ourselves and our means where we may do the most good. It is important that we be obedient and passive in the hands of the servants of God, and when we have embraced the truth, and placed ourselves with all we have upon the altar, to so remain, regardless alike of friend or foe, sunshine or shade, peace or plenty, of war, famine, and pestilence. (Thirteenth General Epistle of the First Presidency) — President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, Deseret News, October 29, 1855; TLDP:433-44
It is our privilege to consecrate our time, talents, and means to build up his kingdom. We are called upon to sacrifice, in one degree or another, for the furtherance of his work. Obedience is essential to salvation: so, also, is service; and so, also, are consecration and sacrifice. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Drink from the Fountain,” Ensign, May 1975
Now for a man to consecrate his property, wife and children, to the Lord, is nothing more nor less than to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the widow and fatherless, the sick and afflicted, and do all he can to administer to their relief in their afflictions, and for him and his house to serve the Lord. — Joseph Smith, Letter to the Church from Liberty Jail, Mo., December 16, 1838; History of the Church 3:231
To whom do these elements belong? To the same Being who owned them in the beginning. The earth is still His, and its fulness, and that includes each one of us, and includes all that we seem to possess. . . . The ability which we have to bring them together we have received of the Lord, by His free gift, and He has made us capable of performing many things for His glory, for His wisdom, and for the exaltation of those creatures He has brought forth and made. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:300
I have nothing, only what the Lord has put in my possession. It is his; I am his, and all I ask is for him to tell me what to do with my time, my talents and the means that he puts in my possession. It is to be devoted to his kingdom. Let every other man and woman do the same, and all the surplus we make is in one great amount for accomplishing the purposes of the Lord. He says, “I will make you the richest people on the earth.” Now, go to work, Latter-day Saints, and make yourselves one, and all needed blessings will follow. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17:54
Church members should believe that all that they have and are is consecrated. (D&C 38:16) “If I believe that particular idea then I will understand that I must use my strength, my time, my talents, whatever I have, in the way the Lord would ask me to,” S. Michael Wilcox noted. The earth is rich and there is enough for everyone. (D&C 38:17) “If I don’t believe there is enough, what will my attitude be? I have got to get mine.”
Brother Wilcox also cautioned members to avoid debt. “I cannot consecrate what I don’t own,” he said. (Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, January 25, 1997) — Church News, February 8, 1997, p. 10