The First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood
The first token of the Aaronic Priesthood teach's you of an outward ordinance that you will receive and of the covenant that God will make with you. If you know this token, visualize it and how it is given and received, if you do not know this token, you still can learn from what is being taught here. To those who are familiar, it then should be apparent in its meaning that it represents all the outward or physical ordinances that you will make to include those in the temple, however this token has specific reference to baptism by water, an outward ordinance, and also of your need for repentance an outward change, and this is the gate by which ye should enter. (2 Nephi 31:17).
The outward change in your behavior is a sign of your obedience and commitment to Him and the covenant He made with you. You are baptized, you entered into the waters freely and you keep the commandments voluntarily and you begin to live your life in a way that a disciple of Christ would as is demonstrated by the sign that is given, with exactness.
President Brigham Young (1801–77) said of the endowment: “Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” [sic] (Come to the Temple, Elder Boyd K. Packer, 2007)
The name of this token is a "new name" (D&C 130:10-11, Isaiah 62:2). The sign of this token if you are familiar, visualize it, it demonstrates to you that you will receive this covenant and its associated promises through being baptized by water, but also by exactness, exactness to what? The Lords commandments, and with that, He fulfills His promises to you and reveals further knowledge and you receive it by covenant. You receive further promises and blessings, and these will be a covenant between the Lord and you.
Just as when you were born you received a new name from your parents, you are symbolically being born again by water and you receive a new name, this new name allows you to approach the literal veil that separates us from the presence of God and commune with the Father and the Lord for further light and knowledge, this is also demonstrated ritualistically in the temple as you are instructed that this new name has place or reference elsewhere and is used to be recognized at the veil and thus enter into His presence. Not just figuratively as done in the temple, but literally. The new name is revealed to us in the scriptures as "Christ", this is your literal new name (Mosiah 5:9). The one in which you covenanted to take upon you, or in other words that His name would become your own, for you are Christ's, He having spiritually begotten you. You are Sons and Daughters of Christ (Mosiah 5:7). Therefore, you receive your father's name, which He is when you are born again of the water and also the spirit. You are His seed by His blood that was shed for you.
Take upon you the name of Christ [New name], and speak the truth in soberness, and as many as repent, and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Behold Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved; Wherefore all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day : Wherefore if they know not the name by which they are called, they cannot have place in the kingdom of my Father. (Book of Commandment XV (15) v. 23-26, p. 36-7, See also D&C 18:23-25)
This in part is what is meant by taking upon you the name of Christ when you are baptized, you receive His name and He is like unto you a husbandman, more precisely, a father and thus you shall be called His Sons and His Daughters and by His name (Mosiah 5:7).
And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. (Mosiah 5:7)
There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ [New Name], all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ. And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the lefthand of God. And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts. I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you. (Mosiah 5:8-12)
As mentioned previously this token teaches you of an outwardly change that you must make in your life. Such things as putting down the childish things, being obedient to the commandments of God, repenting, seeking and searching for knowledge and of the things of God, the sign shows the exactness by which you need to live in order to receive. Through repentance and the atonement, we can through Christ live our lives with exactness. He is a saved being and whom we must become like in order to be saved, all these things point to Christ, they teach of our relationship and of the path forward to return to Him.
Previous to the change in the 1990 endowment, you would have also learned of the punishment by sign, that conveys to you the eternal consequences for having been baptized, received a covenant from the Lord, taken upon you His name and you turning away altogether from Him. The sign and penalty of this token conveys to you the consequences for disobedience to the commandments of the Lord, whereas the other sign and token teach you of the path you must walk back to the presence of God and of the associated blessings and promises.
This token also has reference to the Light of Christ. Having received the First token of the Aaronic Priesthood and the associated covenant, laws and blessings you are now prepared to receive the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood.