A House of Order, a House of God
April 1998

“A House of Order, a House of God,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 57

The Visiting Teacher:

“A House of Order, a House of God”

Early in this dispensation, the Lord instructed his people to “organize yourselves; … establish a house, even … a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119). Order is characteristic of the Lord’s work. “Mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion” (D&C 132:8).

Order in the Church

The Lord governs his people—and his people help one another—in an orderly way through an organization directed by the Lord himself. There is great peace in knowing that Jesus Christ governs his church. Under his direction, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles provide inspired leadership. What could be more comforting than knowing that a perfect, omnipotent God continually watches over his children in this way? President Brigham Young explained: “The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother’s arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 138).

President Gordon B. Hinckley reaffirmed: “God is at the helm. Never doubt it. … The truth is in this church. The authority is in this priesthood. The leadership is in this great body of priesthood at every level of governance” (“God Is at the Helm,” Ensign, May 1994, 59).

Serving through the Church Organization

As governed by the Lord through his priesthood on earth, the Church provides an organized way for members to support and care for one another. The Relief Society is an important part of that organization. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. explained that Relief Society members “encourage the heavily burdened and despondent, they hold up the hands of the faint-hearted, they sweep despair out of the hearts of the distressed” (in Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, comp. James R. Clark, 6 vols. [1965–75], 6:77).

One sister, shortly after moving to Idaho in the United States, suffered a devastating illness that left her nearly bedridden for almost two years. She describes how the sisters of her new ward, working through the Relief Society organization, blessed her life.

“A loving and sensitive Relief Society president visited often, and other sisters checked on me every day of the week. I forged bonds of friendship with each one as we shared feelings of the heart, discussed current affairs, laughed at the small indignities of illness, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. One sister quietly did my laundry, freshened my dogs’ food and water, and brought her grandchildren to visit. Another … made delicious custard for me when I could eat no other food. …

“I rarely was able to attend church during my illness, but I still felt right at home in the ward family” (JoAnn Jolley, “Encircled in the Arms of Love,” Ensign, Sept. 1994, 51–52).

Such service provided in a loving, orderly way is always a hallmark of the Lord’s people.

  • Why is it important for us to know that the Lord is at the head of the Church?

  • How does the Church organization bless its members?

Illustrated by Sheri Lynn Boyer Doty