Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Articles of Faith #4

"We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

1. "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" (see Alma 32)
Faith is the first fundamental principle of Jesus Christ's gospel.  Without a firm belief in the Savior, nothing else in the gospel is worth it or even possible.  The Book of Mormon prophet Moroni tells us that we "receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith" (Ether 12:6 read the whole chapter for different miracles wrought by faith!).  Our Savior Jesus Christ created the earth.  He came down to Earth to teach people and establish His doctrine.  He also performed the Atonement and many other miracles.  When doing many of these miracles, especially healing, He did not take full credit for the mighty works.  Christ told the people "thy faith hath made thee whole" (see Mark 10:52)!  So our faith allows Jesus Christ to perform miracles in our lives.  This faith leads to sincere repentance.

2. "Repentance" (See Mosiah 18:20)
Repentance is sincerely desiring and asking for a remission of our sins.  We learn in Romans that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  Unless we are cleansed of this sin we cannot "dwell with God" (1 Nephi 10:21).  When we humbly recognize our sins before God and ask for His forgiveness, He will grant us the desire of our hearts.  The same way that faith leads to repentance, our true repentance will lead to us making the covenant of baptism.

3. "Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins" (See Mosiah 26:22)
Baptism is the first covenant we make with our Father in Heaven.  A covenant is a sacred promise.  We promise to keep the commandments, take Christ's name upon us, and always remember Him.  In return, our Heavenly Father promises us the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 4:3 and 5:2).  Without baptism, we cannot "enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).  For more on baptism, you can read my blog post, "Fulfill all Righteousness". 

4. "Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost" (see 3 Nephi 28:11)
Jesus Christ promised the Holy Ghost to come after He (Jesus Christ) was ascended into Heaven.  The Holy Ghost provides us with comfort and peace.  After we are baptized by Christ's authority, we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the same authority.  With the gift of the Holy Ghost, it is like we have Jesus Christ with us always (see the Savior's promise to His disciples in John 14:25-27).  The Holy Ghost has helped and will help all of us to make the right decisions and follow Christ.  Through prayer and obedience to the commandments, we can have that peace with us throughout our lives!

Christ's gospel has been restored!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom on the earth!  Through His apostles, Jesus has restored His priesthood, making it possible for all of God's children to return with Him someday.  I know this to be true and you can too!  Come unto Christ with faith and repentance in your heart.  Pray to know the truth concerning baptism and prepare to make and keep those covenants.  As you do, I promise that the Holy Ghost will help you know the truth!

For more on The articles of faith see http://mormon.org/articles-of-faith/.

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