The First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail
This token teaches you both of an outward and inward ordinance that will take place with you and also the covenant that you will receive from God, 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, to those who are familiar, it then should be apparent in its meaning that it represents both an outward and inward ordinance that takes place with you, both the flesh, sinew, blood, water and spirit as it were are completely and wholly involved, said more simply, the flesh and the spirit are pierced as the Son of God was pierced in his hands, through and through, so also will this ordinance change you, through and through.
This token, its name and accompanying sign has reference to the Son of God. The name of this token reveals to you of a fellowship that takes place between you and the Lord, a fellowship or Sonship with the Son of God, whether male or female, these are received ceremoniously in the endowment equally and without regard to gender, so then also is The Fellowship of the Sonship of the Son of God without regard to your being male or female, but rather has reference to the Son and your relationship with Him, hence Sonship because of the Son. The name, token and sign of the Son of God reveals to you your relationship with Him, it also teaches you how this relationship is obtained, and it is obtained by a covenant by sacrifice, even the laying down of your own life should it be required and in gesture this is made by the sign and also by this sign we see that it is by exactness to the commandments of God that we will receive these things, that for us to come to and know the Lord can only be done by sacrifice, and by an offering that is made unto the Lord in righteousness.
Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was? (D&C 132:8-11)
He appoints unto you your specific sacrifice and offerings, as the Son of God has made an offering of Himself by sacrifice, we too must also take up our cross and follow Him, and make a sacrifice and offering of ourselves with Him, which sacrifice consists of a broken heart and contrite spirit.
Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. (D&C 59:8)
As we draw nearer to the throne of grace as demonstrated by token and sign in the endowment we see that truly all are begger’s before God, we ask for alms or a covenant by the sign given, asking that He would place something in our hand, and that you are willing to receive the covenant from Him, even by sacrifice. What you receive in the endowment is to be instructive and to teach you by ceremony and ritual of what actually takes place between you and the Lord as you seek Him, the endowment is an authoritative injunction for you to act, it itself does nothing if you will not apply the knowledge that you have received from it.
As with all the ordinances of the Lord, it requires you to do something, and in connection with your performances the Lord blesses you and performs His act, His strange act and it cannot be duplicated by man, He is the gate keeper and He employs no servants there. (2 Nephi 9:41). Hence the saying is the power of godliness manifested in the ordinances thereof, which godliness is a performance of ones character and a walk by which you must learn how to walk yourselves, Christ having laid out the pattern before you. The endowment was given for this purpose, it was authorized by God to man on Earth to teach us of His ways and of the path to return to Him and this by obedience to His commandments can we come unto Him. The endowments purposes is to instruct the least of these so that they may know by which walk they must walk and by which path, and the way is Christ Jesus. He having showed us the way perfectly, and by what performances you must also, like unto Christ, perform yourselves, so that you might receive, He showing us that there is no other way to come unto the Father but by Him and by His word. It is necessary for these things to be restored and taught so you may know how to approach Him, and by what means that are acceptable, so that He will recognize you at the veil when you petition Him.
To reflect on what is being taught thus far, the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood has reference to baptism and is performed by one who has authority from Jesus Christ and you entering into the waters of baptism take upon you the name of Christ and by the water you keep the commandments, and the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood is performed by the Spirit, and you receive a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost and by the spirit you are justified, and by the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail you are baptized by blood, by the blood of the lamb who is the Son of God, and that He has made you clean from the blood and sins of this generation and by His blood you are sanctified, whereas the baptism of the fire and of the Holy Ghost cleanses you of your sins and inequity and you are now justified to receive more, this baptism brings you into full fellowship with the Son of God, and by His blood having been cleansed from the blood and sins of this generation are you sanctified and made Holy by the Lord, having been anointed by Him.
For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified; (Moses 6:60)
The name, token and sign also has reference to the Second Comforter of which this also entails, which is more than His personal appearance to you, though before He appears to you, and before you see Him face to face, He will come to you, test you and try you, you will need to make a sacrifice to Him that is acceptable, one that he will choose for you and He will comfort you as you struggle to find your way and to do all that He shall place upon you, and you will receive Him by degrees, or from grace to grace and one shouldn’t be dismissive in saying that only a personal appearance of the Lord qualifies as having received the Second or promised other Comforter, when this relationship and fellowship with the Son entails so much more, but as a finale if you will to your journey, coming into His presence and beholding the Son of God certainly is part of the greater whole, but one cannot measure it against all that He does in coming to you as you turn and come to Him. The sacrament also has reference to this token and sign, that His Spirit may always be with you. Elsewhere we have learned that the other comforter also consists of the Father, that both He (Christ) and the Father will take up their abode with you and visit you, converse with you and comfort you, so you cannot nail this down to one specific grand incident but by coming to and by recognizing the fruit of His labors with you, can you begin to see all that He is doing on your behalf and as promised if you are true and faithful you you shall see His face and know that He is. (D&C 93:1).
All this is done, so that He may prepare you and bring you before the Holy Father that He may declare unto the Father that you are clean and that you are His, as also is the Sign of the Nail indicating you are His, and having proven faithful to the Lord are now prepared to be presented to the Father clean, Holy and sanctified by the Son. This is the literal application and transition that is taking place, this is the whole point of the endowment, it is to teach you by a process of which you become a Son of Daughter of the Living God, being pronounced clean and presented to the Father and the heavenly Hosts. This is a process of days, weeks, months, years even decades and according to His own will and timing. Yours’ is to be true, faithful, endure faithfully which it may not be until at the very last moments of you life before receiving this and if so be it, then so be it, see to it you have not labored in vain by turning against God at the end of your days because you did not receive the way in which you thought or ought to have received, for He will defy your logic, thinking, and understanding to show He is greater than us all and that by small means He accomplishes great things. Have faith, hope and charity and serve Him all the days of your life and you shall hear His voice and He will welcome you home at that day, then will you be able to see that He has and did fulfill His promises and covenants with you.
The First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, additionally has reference to your Calling of Election and also the Holy Spirit, whereas the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood has reference to the Light of Christ, and the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood has reference to the Holy Ghost. Having received the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, its accompanying name and sign along with the associated covenant, laws and blessings you are now prepared to receive the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Patriarchal Grip, or Sure Sign of the Nail, which also has reference to the Son of God and establishes your relationship to the Father.