What is a wedding garment? How does it relate to the sacrament? We’ll use a parable, the garden of Eden, and the sacrament emblems to illustrate.
The Parable: In Matthew 22 is a parable of a king preparing for the wedding of his son. The following is a summary:
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. He sent servants to invite those whom he called to come, but they would not come. They made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise (they were distracted by the cares of the world). Those that remained took the servants and treated them poorly and slew them.
Such a treatment made the king angry, so he sent his armies and destroyed those who rejected the invitation, and burned their city.
This kinda ruined the king’s plans for the wedding, so he extended the invitation to those in the highways, as many as they found, both bad and good.
Both bad and good attend from the highways. But, when the king sees his guests, he noticed that a man didn’t have on a wedding garment. The king commanded the servants to bind his hands and feet, and cast him into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
So what’s that significance of the symbol of a wedding garment? This leads us to the garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were given such a garment.
The Garden of Eden: In the garden, a garment was prepared for both Adam and Eve. An animal offered it’s life as a sacrifice, symbolic of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son. Christ then makes, of that sacrifice, coats of skins for Adam and Eve. Then Christ clothes both of them with this garment. Christ is the one who clothes, and it is the sacrifice with which the garment is made that He clothes you with light.
The garment was made of the sacrifice. When the sacrifice is an acceptable sacrifice, it necessarily represents that offering up of all things, including the giving up of your life. While all things to Abraham may have been expressed differently than that of Lehi, both sacrifices were the very same- it was everything! It will be no less for us.
When the sons of Levi finally offer up an offering in righteousness, through a sacrificial offering, which is in similitude of the Only Begotten Son, then can Christ appear and clothe you in a wedding garment, preparatory to the wedding feast of the King. What we wear, in ceremonial rituals of endowment, are only symbols. Symbols are meant to instruct us. They are not the the actual wedding garment. Acquiring ceremonial rites is for instruction, to get the real thing. And it’s the Holy One of Israel that clothes. He hires no servant at there (2 Nephi 9:41).
The ceremonial clothing is simply an invitation to seek it. The real wedding garment will be a clothing of light, which will fill us up. Being anointed with oil, wearing white robes, with 6 different clothing pieces (symbolic of the creation), were all intended to point our minds to seek further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord. The garments of sacrifice that Christ clothed Adam and Eve with offers instruction for us, instructing what we must offer up in order to be clothed with a wedding garment ourselves. Which leads us to the sacrament.
The Sacrament: The bread of the sacrament is broken, and then blessed and sanctified, so that those who partake of it express “willingness” to take upon themselves the name of Christ. When we take upon ourselves His name, our sacrifice must be after the manner of the same as Christ’s- All Things! Obviously, what we offer as all things will be far less than what Christ offered. “But” …it will be all things!
The only way to truly offer up all things is for us to always remember Christ, and to keep His commandments which He (Christ) has given you. Those commandments are static at first, but they were intended to be dynamic and individual, as we became sensitive enough to hear His voice. As our sacrifice gets closer to looking like the offering of Christ, Christ’s spirit can always be with us.
However, no matter what sacrifice we offer, it will never measure up to the sacrifice offered by Christ. For this purpose the atoning blood of Christ was intended to make up the difference. It is in the this part of the sacrament that Christ clothes you in a wedding garment with His redeeming sacrifice, His blood. In the garden of Gethsemane, Christ purged Himself of blood, and was filled with light. At the crucifixion, they could not kill him. He was filled with light. It was necessary for Christ to give his life. His light was sufficient that after three days He could take up His body once again. He is the light and the life of this world.
The bread is your sacrifice. The wine is Christ’s. When the sacrifice of Christ is reflected in our offering, then that sacrifice will most assuredly be accepted by Christ. However, symbolic sacrifices are not sufficient, as in the case of Cain, the brother of Abel, and Tera, the father of Abraham. Cain’s sacrifice was rejected because it did not represent Christ’s. Tera unsuccessfully sacrificed Abraham, but it did not reflect Christ’s. However, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was in similitude of the Only Begotten Son, and it produced for Abraham a wedding garment and an eternal covenant for himself and all of his posterity.
Conclusion: Through the ordinances, the power of godliness is manifest unto man. Without it, the power of godliness cannot be manifest unto men in the flesh (D&C 84:20-21). The sacrament is the ordinance that we have been given, to instruct us how to offer up an acceptable sacrifice, and to provide opportunity for Christ, through the atonement, to clothe us in light. The wedding garment that will set us apart is not ceremonial garb, given to us by men of rank or office. That garment comes from Christ alone. Read 3 Nephi 19:19-36, and you’ll see Christ clothing the Nephites in light. Pay close attention to the ordinance of the sacrament, so as to avoid taking the Lords name in vain. The invitation has been offered. The question to be answered is, “How will you respond to the invitation, and will you be wearing a wedding garment?