The Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood
This token teaches you of an inward ordinance that you will receive and also of a covenant that you will make and 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 an inward ordnance, this is something that takes place inside of you specifically, this token has reference to the baptism by fire and of the Holy Ghost, and the receiving of the Gift of the Holy Ghost and all this that takes place, takes place inside of you.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 31:13)
Your baptism by water is not complete until you receive the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, whereas the first token is symbolic of an outward ordinance, an outward change, this token represents an inward ordinance and an inward change that is performed by the power of the Holy Ghost, you become converted to Christ and are changed from the inside out, you will not receive a remission of your sins until after your baptism of fire or baptism by the spirit has taken place, wherein you are changed inside and you become Holy, having been anointed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 31:17)
You are not your body, you are your spirit first and foremost and your body second, this concept is one that must be understood. Your spirit is enjoined with a body through a sacred ordinance that takes place within your mother, which is provided you through an ordinance a tabernacle of flesh for you to dwell, this holy temple is made without hands. Your body is an extension of you, it is more, yes, it is a holy temple – literally.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (KJV 1 Cor. 3:16-7)
The name of this token is your “own given name” (first name) and it along with its accompanying sign, which is the sign of the Holy Ghost; reveals to you, who you are and your relationship with God the Father. It also teaches you the place in which this ordnance will be performed, which is inside you, and thus it is an inward ordinance, this is demonstrated by the second token of the Aaronic priesthood, it conveys to you of something inward or in the middle of, where this happens. The token and sign are symbolic of this ordinance which can only be performed by the Lord.
If you are familiar with the sign, visualize it, it is the sign of the Holy Ghost, and the name thereof of its accompanying token is your own given, first names, it demonstrates to you that you will receive this covenant and its associated promises and blessings by exactness, your hand is also extended and you are asking God to place something in it, we are all beggars before God are we not, and you will receive these things by exactness to what? The Lords commandments.
After having been baptized by water and remaining true and faithful to those covenants and promises, having repented of your sins, the Lord then blesses you with a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost and He fulfills His promises to you and you are renewed, you are spiritually reborn, you receive a remission of your sins by fire which cleanses the inner vessel, your spirit, your ghost, and He reveals further knowledge to you by this token and sign. You receive the Holy Ghost, which is given to you of the father, or more precisely, the Father is revealing knowledge to you through the heavens by token, and sign of yourself through the grand keywords and signs of the priesthood, you are made Holy before Him and by Him, the knowledge of who you are is now revealed, receive it – receive what? “Receive the Holy Ghost”.
What is inside you?
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. (D&C 130:22)
We also read:
Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment. (Moses 6:61)
The name of this token and its accompanying sign, which is your own given, first names, as we learn in the endowment, is attempting to reveal if you will receive it, your identity, and perhaps the most revealing in my mind in addition to the above scriptures and what is taught ceremonially in the endowment, is also taught in one of the Facsimile of the Book of Abraham.
A Facsimile from the Book of Abraham
No. 2, Item 7
Facsimile 2 of the Book of Abraham, item #7, “Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove.” Joseph also taught the following in relation to the Holy Ghost, in whom by this token and sign from heaven it is revealed to you by your own given first name your identity.
The Holy Ghost is now in a state of probation which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same or a similar course of things that the Son has. (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 245; Sabbath address, 27 August 1843)
But the holy ghost is yet a Spiritual body and waiting to take to himself a body as the Savior did or as god did or the gods before them took bodies… (From: The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph. (Andrew F. Ehat, and Lyndon W. Cook, eds.. Orem, Utah: Grandin Book Company, 1996) , p. 382)
Can you see it, that part of coming to God requires you to learn who you are, to take upon you the name of Jesus Christ, that through the Lord you are made holy and clean, all these point to Him and all these by degrees, from one step to the next, prepare you to receive further light and knowledge until you are sufficiently prepared to come into His presence. You must learn not only what these things mean, and teach, but learn of the laws and covenants associated with them, by being obedient to the law do you qualify to receive a covenant, not the other way around.
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 the covenant from the Lord, taken upon you His name, receiving a remission of you sins by baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost and you turning away from it altogether. That sign and penalty of this token, convey to you the consequences for disobedience to the Lord, whereas the signs and tokens also teach you of the blessings associated with your obedience to the Lord.
All these are ritualistic, they strive to teach you what literally happens between you and the Lord in your day-to-day life as you seek Him and are obedient. The Lord writes His law in your inward parts, upon your heart and soul. The ordinances in the temple are an authoritative injunction for you to receive these things for yourself from the Lord. He will lead you along, these things are meant to instruct you in His ways, so that by learning them and you begin to obey Him that you might be added upon and receive the further light and knowledge that is promised you, the ceremonies, rituals, endowment are to help you understand a concept that transcends this mortality that is eternal and Celestial while in a fallen and telestial state.
The Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood has reference to the Holy Ghost, whereas the first has reference to the Light of Christ. Having received the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood and its accompanying name and sign along with the associated covenant, laws, and blessings you are now prepared to receive the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, which has reference to the Son of God.