Thursday, March 6, 2008

Preface - Reflections of a Mormon

While I was serving as a full time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I wrote the following book reflecting on my beliefs. Reflections of a Mormon is a compilation of my studies and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I welcome you and thank you for allowing me to share this work with you. There are 13 parts and my testimony at the end listed on the right side of the screen. You can feel free to go through any or all of them. Also, if you wish to read this work in French, there is a link to the French site above the picture.
Thank you!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Magnificent. It is found in its plainness in the scriptures which testifies of Jesus Christ and His ministry. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I often reflected on how plain the teachings of the prophets are. Those writings are available to all of us. As I study the Bible and the Book of Mormon, two witnesses of Christ, I can see the greatness of the plan of God and the principles Christ taught as He established His church on both Eastern and Western hemisphere. These Holy writings He has given us are His words through the mouth of His faithful servants, the prophets. I know that through those writings we can find the fullness of the Doctrines of Christ.

Christ is the center of the “Mormon” religion. Mormonism is not a cult. As its name professes, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is lead by Jesus Christ. Through this study, we will discuss the Doctrines of Christ and how they are taught in the Church of Jesus Christ. We will see that all of Christ’s doctrines are found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I express my deep thanks to all those that made this ‘journey’ possible. Among those, I express my deep respect for President Thorderson who helped me, during my mission, to develop, within me, the desire to search and understand the message of the scriptures. Acknowledgment is also given to sister Black for her great help as well as the office staff of the Utah Salt Lake City mission and some close missionary friends for their support. I also express my gratitude to all the people I met during the course of my mission who instilled within me, the desire to understand better the Doctrines of Christ as found in His Church.
Above all, I give all my gratitude to God for His inspiration, guidance, and love that I felt throughout the preparation of this work. Glory be in His name.

June 30, 2000

The insights represented in this book were acquired to a great extend as I was serving as a missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission. I have a deep sense of gratitude for these insights and the influence they have had in my life. It is my sincere hope and prayer that it may also influence the life of others.
In invite anyone who would like to share their feelings, observations or comments, to write me at the following e-mail address:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


There are reasons I decided to write this book. The first reason is for the glory of our Father in Heaven and to add this simple witness from myself to all the witnesses that have been borne before me, and will be borne in the future, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.It is a firm belief of mine that Christ, though a great prophet, was the divine and only Begotten Son of the Father. Unfortunately, there are many misunderstandings coming from a lack of information and knowledge about the Church of Jesus Christ.
Through this work I hope to express, with sincerity of heart, our beliefs as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. Christ is the center of our faith. "Mormons" are Christians. We are called Mormons because of an ancient record abridged by a prophet named Mormon, concerning the people living on the American continent. It is an ancient record that has been given to us, for the benefit of man, and is another witness of Jesus Christ as the Bible. The Book of Mormon gives us further light on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His life through the testimonies of ancient prophets, and an account of their civilization.
Accompanied with the Bible, the Book of Mormon helps us all to understand the divine mission of the Savior and the way He established His church on earth.Mormons love the Lord. We also love the people around us. Families are a divine gift from God that we want to preserve. We have a living religion, and strive to live it day after day.Mormons have a heritage of faith since the restoration of the Gospel in our day. The early Mormon pioneers set the example of faith, traveling in their wagons and handcarts across the United States so they could freely live their beliefs; sometimes sacrificing all they had to follow the commandments of the Lord. Because of the exceeding faith of these Mormon pioneers, great blessings were bestowed upon generation after generation.

Mormons are a “simple” people that have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord.Through studying the scriptures, we will see the teachings found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the teachings of Jesus Christ. He personally has established His Church. The doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Church are not man made, but rely on revelations given through prophets from the day of Adam to our day.I pray with sincerity of heart that these words, under the influence of the Spirit, may soften hearts and change opinions. It is my hope that through this book answers may be found. The gospel of Jesus Christ contains all the truth for those who diligently seek it.
This work uses ancient and latter-day revelations from the teachings of both ancient and modern-day prophets as a means of interpreting and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ.This work is not an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even though it explores some of the teachings of the Church.

The principles mentioned in this work focus only on the basics of our beliefs; the basics of Christ’s teachings while he was on earth. In this study, I will refer to the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of great price.1 This work also uses quotes from General Authorities of the Church.I express my love and deep respect to all the believers in God and His son Jesus Christ and hope that all non-believers may come to a certain knowledge and love of them.
Brief explanation of the standard scriptures used by latter-day saints

The Bible: The Bible is one of the most popular book in the entire world. It is the center of every Christian religion.The word Bible comes from the Greek word “ta biblia” meaning the books. The Bible is the compilation of different writings containing records of divine revelations and dealings of the Lord with His people in the Eastern Hemisphere.The Christian Bible is separated into two divisions; one being called the Old Testament and the other called the New Testament.The Old Testament deals with events between the creation of the earth to the birth of Christ. It represents the covenants (or promises) between the Lord and His people. This old covenant as it was given to them is known as the Law of Moses.The New Testament is a new covenant, which is known as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.The birth of Christ in the meridian of time separated these two testaments.For this work, I used the King James Version and also the New Revised Second Version, prepared and published in France (for the translation in French).
The Book of Mormon: “The Book of Mormon is a volume of Holy Scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel2”The book of Mormon contains a record of three separate migrations of people from the Holy Land to the Western Hemisphere.The first one occurred about two thousand years before the birth of Christ. This group left the Holy Land at the time of the tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues3. The book of Mormon records the dealings of God with those people called the Jaredites, after the name of their leader Jared, in the writings of Ether: “Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.4”It is recorded in the Bible, that at this time, the earth was divided in different masses separated by oceans. “ For in his days was the earth divided5”. The Book of Mormon proves this division by the record of these people scattered at that time.The second group departing from the Holy Land occurred about six hundred years before Christ. This group consisted of people living in Jerusalem, departing to the Americas. The prophet Lehi led this group after receiving the commandment from the Lord. Lehi was a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt 6 .

The Lord had made great covenants with Joseph: “ For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord, which he made unto Joseph.7”Jacob, Joseph’s father, gave one of these blessings to Joseph’s’ seed about 1800 years before Christ. The blessing to Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh was that their seed “ may grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth 8”. Why would not this include the Americas?The third migration occurred five hundred and eighty seven years before Christ after the invasion of the Babylonians in Jerusalem. Mulek, according to the Book of Mormon, was the leader of this group. They were called the Mulekites. Around 200 years before Christ, the Mulekites were discovered by some descendants of the second group9 :“Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla (or Mulekites) came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.”At that time, in the Bible, the Lord's prophet was Jeremiah. He prophesied “ Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them...And ye have done worse than your fathers.... Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not…10 “The Book of Mormon contains the dealings of these people with the Lord.“The crowning event, recorded in the Book of Mormon, is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites (descendants of Lehi) soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the Gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the hill Cumorah about 400 years after Jesus Christ. On September 21, 1823, this same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith11 and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God. The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto him and obey the laws and ordinances of his gospel may be saved12”

The Doctrine and Covenants: “It is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the Kingdom of God on earth in the last days. Most of the revelations in this compilation were received through Joseph Smith Jun., the first prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is unique because it is not a translation of an ancient document, but is of modern origin and was given of God through his chosen prophets for the restoration of his holy work and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth.13”In it, is recorded all the things Joseph Smith needed to know to restore the church of Jesus Christ.

The Pearl of Great Price: “The Pearl of Great Price is a selection of choice materials touching many significant aspects of the faith and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These items were produced by the prophet Joseph Smith and were published in the Church periodicals of his day.14”From the Pearl of great price and for the purpose of this work, I decided to use:The selections from the book of Moses: As explained in the introduction of this book, the book of Moses is an extraction from the book of Genesis of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible.The book of Abraham: Also, mentioned in the introduction of this book, the book of Abraham is a translation from some Egyptian papyri that came into the hands of Joseph Smith in 1835, containing writings of Abraham.
Joseph Smith-History: it is an excerpt from Joseph Smith's official testimony and history, which he prepared in 1838.
The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: This is a statement by Joseph Smith published in the times and season, March 1, 1842

In 1820 Joseph Smith was a fourteen-year-old boy. He was living in the state of New York. His family consisted of eleven souls. His father Joseph Smith, his mother Lucy Smith; his brothers Alvin, Hyrum, himself, Samuel Harrison, William, Don Carlos and his sisters, Sophronia, Catherine, and Lucy15.

It was a time of great confusion. Many religions were contending one with another concerning their differing interpretations of the doctrine. While part of his family joined the Presbyterian faith, he couldn't decide which of these churches the right one was. In fact, all these churches were claiming to know and teach the truth about God, but their teachings were so different. Joseph Smith knew he needed to join a church so that he may get closer to God, but which one? He explained his confusion in this way:“During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof16 from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.17”

It is evident the confusion the young Joseph was going through was extreme. Though he was confused, he explained that he kept visiting the different churches. He expressed some of his feelings in this way: “In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?18”. Many of us go through this kind of confusion while on earth. Joseph Smith knew one way he could find out about God and His truth was through the Bible. In some way, if a person were sick, this person would go to a doctor, being the one having the knowledge and the ability to give him a diagnosis, and not a mechanic, or a fireman! In the same way, the Bible contains the word of God. God knows the truths about us and the earth better than anyone else does. He was the best person for a diagnosis on a religious matter. “While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contest of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not19; and it shall be given him. Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of a man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did...20”.

It is impressive to see how much this verse helped him overcome his confusion. “At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to " ask of God," concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.21”

The young Joseph Smith decided to follow the teachings of the Bible. He would go and ask God. One spring morning, he went into a nearby grove of trees to make an attempt to pray.He said “It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.22” Joseph Smith had great faith, and was fully expecting an answer from God. Because of his faith and determination, one of the greatest experiences happened to him. In his own word he said: “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said pointing to the other- This is my beloved son. Hear him!23”Joseph Smith had just received the powerful visitation of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. His purpose in praying was to ask which church of these churches he should join. He was not expecting the answer he received. He was told not to join any of those churches24. All the churches were teaching some correct principles and doctrine that would help people lead a good life, but many truth had been lost centuries before. The fullness of the truth was to be re-established again on earth.

Through this experience and many more, Joseph Smith was chosen and called to be a prophet of God. He was like Moses and other biblical prophets who learned from firsthand experience the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were commanded to preach it.From that day on, Joseph Smith received many visitations from angels, who prepared him to restore the Kingdom of God on earth, which is His church. Among those, was the angel Moroni, the last prophet of the Book of Mormon25. He, as a resurrected being, visited Joseph Smith and through different visits prepared him26. Since that day, Joseph Smith knew the truth and God knew that he knew the truth. He was the first person claiming that God and Jesus Christ were two separate beings. For this reason, and many others, he was persecuted all during his life. He was foretold by the angel Moroni that this would happen “He called me by name, and said unto me, that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.27” He was commanded later, to translate the Book of Mormon by power and inspiration of God.

There is an interesting story that is worth explaining about Joseph Smith History and a prophecy of Isaiah in the Bible. Isaiah said: “For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.28” This deep sleep spoken about is the Apostasy, or dark ages, a time of spiritual blindness.29 “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.30” Now a few centuries later, during a time of confusion about truth and religion, a young man, not learned, Joseph Smith received a book divinely inspired.A few years later, as he started the translation, this is what happened to him. This is an account of Martin Harris, a person helping Joseph Smith to do the great work of translating this book:“I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him. He then said to me, “Let me see that certificate”. I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, “I cannot read a sealed book.” I left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation.31”

It is interesting to see the realization of the prophecy of the great prophet Isaiah. Isaiah described the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a “ marvelous work and a wonder.32” A revelation from the Lord given to the prophet Joseph Smith in February 1829, gave the same vision of this work: “Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.33” For every Latter-day Saint, this is a marvelous work and a wonder!

To explain the beliefs of the latter-day Saints, we will describe those thirteen articles of faith that are the basis of our beliefs. Those articles of faith were not produced by some scholars, but came right from the mouth of the prophet Joseph Smith through inspiration of God. “It is a declaration of that which is the most assuredly believed by the Church, for one making earnest inquiry about the truth.34”It is a declaration of belief to the entire world. We will explain in more details those beliefs and include the doctrines of Christ through the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The articles of faith are totally in harmony with the doctrines of Christ. Through those articles of faith, we will see the plain and simple truths taught by the Savior and his prophets. We will explain the “Mormon” beliefs and ways of worshipping Almighty God.

Part 1-The Godhead

“ We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

A) God, the Father
God! Who is he really? Does he really exist? When we look around at the beauty of the world and its organization, everything denotes and testifies that there is a God. Everyone, at least once in their lifetime wonders about it. It is reasonable to say that most of the people, here on the earth, believe in a supreme being, called by many different names. From God to Allah, from Buddha to the Great Spirit.
It is a true and basic belief that we have, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that there is a God! A living God. He is perfect, all wise and all-powerful! The prophet Joseph Smith once said: “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.1” Through a revelation concerning the church organization received in April 1830, the prophet Joseph Smith recorded: “By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and his own likeness, created he them; And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.2
Many Christians believe in a God and a Son, as one being. After studying the Bible in depth, the true gospel of Jesus Christ appears in its simple truth. “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.3” What a beautiful way for our Father in heaven to show us His great love. His Son came to earth and gave his life for us. While on earth, Jesus Christ was baptized by immersion, by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Matthew gave an account of this baptism. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water....And lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.4” What a beautiful experience. If a voice was coming out from heaven saying "This is my beloved Son", how could Jesus Christ and God the Father be the same beings ?
Later on, after Jesus Christ was resurrected, he appeared to Mary Magdalene in the Garden and reaffirmed the same truth when she tried to touch him, wanting to make sure that the person she was seeing was real. He said “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.5” Jesus Christ was acknowledging his Sonship and the greatness of His father, who is the Father of all. The final and great truth about the Godhead6 was announced while Jesus Christ was praying to his Father for those who believe that he has sent him7: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one8” Jesus Christ expresses his desire of unity between the saints and their Lord just as God the Father is united with his Son Jesus Christ. God the Father is literally a Father.
The Book of Mormon reinforce this eternal truth by giving us a little more insight on the subject: “And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.9” These are the words that the Lord addressed to his people while visiting on the American continent. We believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate and different beings although, one in unity and purpose. God the Father being the Father of all, living from eternities to eternities.

B) Jesus Christ, the Son
Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to redeem us from our sins and showed us the way to return to the Father. Some confusion may occur in the fact that the Son, Jesus Christ, may also be called the Father; having taken part in the creation of the world with his Father.
And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness...10”. Moses knew whom was this "us" spoken about in the book of Genesis. He gave an account himself of the creation while he was being taught by the Lord: “And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man after our own image, after our likeness...11”.
“Us” was God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ created the earth and every one of us under the direction of his Father.
Many centuries ago, Jesus Christ asked his Apostles while they were at the coast of Ceasarea Phillipi: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?12” . Proof of the confusion of the time is that they referred to him as John the Baptist, or any other prophet. With a desire to find out what they, the Apostles thought about him, he asked: “But whom say ye that I am?13” . Simon Peter answered: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.14” At that time, the divine Sonship of Christ had been revealed to Peter Simon, not by men's knowledge but by the Father, which is in heaven15."

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is also our Savior and Redeemer; He was the only one pure and perfect enough to take the sins of the world upon Him. One of the prophets of the Church, David O. Mckay said: “ The gospel teaches that Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. No true follower is satisfied to accept him merely as a great Reformer, the ideal Teacher, or even as the one perfect Man. The Man of Galilee is not figuratively, but literally, the Son of the living God 16.
Jesus Christ, during his mortal life, showed us the way to return to our heavenly Father. He, being “The way, the truth and the life.17” He taught important truths that help us become more like him and our Father in heaven. He simply asked us to do by the simple thing: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.18” Because he paid the price for us, he obtained the right to judge us. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son [..]. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father, which hath sent me19”, said Jesus Christ. The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son who seeks to do the will of his Father “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth.... And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.20” In fact, John expresses the idea that Jesus Christ will be our advocate with the Father21.
Each of us will be judged by our works and the desires of our hearts. A revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith from the Lord expresses the truth: “For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.22

C) The Holy Ghost
We have treated of two essential beings constituting the Godhead. The third one is called the Holy Ghost; being a personage of spirit. “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. A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.23” He has a real importance in the Godhead. He testifies of the truth. His role is to testify of Jesus Christ.
While Jesus Christ was with his Apostles, just before his crucifixion, he explained to them that he was about to leave and return home to His father. But he wouldn't leave the Apostles alone. He would send them the Holy Ghost or Comforter: “But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proccedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.24” The Holy Ghost testifies of the truth, about Christ; just as Christ testifies of the Father.
The Holy Ghost often times is referred to as the Comforter. He also has the power to enlighten our minds, to stimulate our conscience through feelings, and witnesses of the truthfulness of all things. “ And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.25
The Apostle Paul identified these feelings from the Holy Ghost, while he was teaching the people in Galatia. He used the analogy of a spirit tree and explained the fruit coming from this tree, just like every tree produces fruit. Any truth, coming from the Lord is confirmed by the Holy Ghost. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.26” From the Mormon Doctrine, we read: “The Holy Ghost is the Comforter, Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Holy spirit, Holy Spirit of Promise, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of the Lord, and Messenger of the Father and the Son, and his companionship is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy. 27

Any truth can be confirmed through the power of the Holy Ghost. Those feelings mentioned by the Apostle Paul are some of the ways the Lord uses to talk to his children. It is the way the Lord has provided so that his children can find the truth and not be lost in darkness and confusion.
In the world many truths are given, many truths are taken. The Lord loves us so much that he made it possible for us to recognize which is from Him, and which is from man. God the Eternal Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are what we call the Godhead. Three different beings, all witnessing of the other and having the same purpose which make them one. It is fundamental to know them; to appreciate them, and recognize their role and their importance.
1. Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 343
2. Doctrine and Covenants 20: 17-19
3. John 3: 16
4. Matthew 3: 17
5. John 20: 17
6. Godhead meaning “God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and The Holy Ghost”
7. See John 17: 20
8. John 17: 21-22
9. 3 Nephi 11: 32, 36
10. See Genesis 1: 26
11. See Pearl of Great Price; Book of Moses 2: 26
12. Matthew 16: 13
13. Matthew 16: 15
14. Matthew 16: 16
15. See Matthew 16:17
16. David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, pg. 46
17. See John 14: 6
18. John 14: 15
19. See John 5: 22, 30
20. See Colossians 1: 16-17
21. See 1 John 2: 1
22. Doctrine and Covenants 137: 9
23. Doctrine and Covenants 130: 22-23
24. John 15: 26
25. Moroni 10:5
26. Galatians 5: 22-23
27. Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pg. 359

Part 2-Our Own Responsibility in God's Plan

“ We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

It is a common believe in different faiths that we are punished because Adam partook of the forbidden fruit. As a consequence, we have a judgment upon us, which we are not responsible for. It is a hard concept to accept once we know God, as a loving Father, has given us the gift of free agency. The chance to freely choose between good and evil. The prophet Lehi, in the book of Mormon expresses this idea after a revelation from the Lord: “And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. [...]Wherefore men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.1

A) Adam and Eve’s responsibility in God’s plan
Since the beginning of time, the Lord established the truth that we have receive this wonderful gift of free agency. While giving some counsel to Adam in the Garden of Eden, he said: “...Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.2" The account of Moses gives us more insight on the creation " ...But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.5” God gave him an opportunity to choose for himself.
Here on earth, there is an opposition in everything so that we may be able to learn to make correct choices. Lehi, talking to his son, said: “For it must be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good or bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.4
And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.5

God, a true and loving Father, gives us the conditions; the blessings for obedience and punishment as a result of disobedience. But we make our own choices. When we talk about the act of Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, we express the act as a transgression and not as a sin. Adam did not sin in eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because, in His great plan, God had decreed that he should eat and fall. Why would God have given such a commandment? Another early prophet of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, gave is opinion on the Fall: “Just why the Lord would say to Adam that he forbade him to partake of the fruit of the tree is not made clear in the Bible account, but in the original as it comes to us in the book of Moses it is made definitely clear. It is that the Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain as he was in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so. So really it was not in the true sense a transgression of a divine commandment. Adam made the wise decision, in fact the only decision that he could make. 6” So the main question to be decided by Adam and Eve was to find out whether they desired to remain in the Garden of Eden. If they did, they were not to partake of the fruit of the tree. They would remain in their state forever and we would not be here now. If they partook of the fruit, the Lord would forbid them to stay in the Garden but they would be able to “be fruitful and replenish the earth.
Once Eve had partaken of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, she would be cast out of the Garden of Eden7. Adam, having received the commandment to replenish the earth, saw the design of the Lord and his plan. So, he did partake of the fruit to be with Eve and to fulfill God's command “ to be fruitful and replenish the earth
The fall was necessary for us. Without the fall, we would not be here and experience our mortal life. We believe that it was God’s plan since the beginning, just as much as it was His plan that Jesus Christ would be our savior.

B) Necessity of a Savior
Adam and Eve were cast out of the presence of God. As a result, they were subject to mortal death. To this end, God provided a Savior who would overcome this physical death. Through the Atonement, we can also overcome spiritual death, which come upon us as a result of our sins. We are not responsible for the transgression of Adam but we endure and suffer the consequences of physical and spiritual death. Those consequences help us grow and learn while in this life. It is also through those consequences that Adam and Eve were able to learn and grow spiritually by choosing between good and evil. Through the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, we will be able to return and live with our Heavenly Father.

C) Our free agency
Although Christ paid the price for us, it does not eliminate our personal and individual responsibility. We need to follow the steps that Christ set up while he was ministering on earth. During this life, we choose between good and evil. Sometimes, we fall short of perfection and we sin. Sin is to act knowingly and willfully against the will of God. The death and the sufferings of Jesus Christ in Gethsemane for our sins give us a chance to repent and be forgiven of these sins.
Because of our free agency, we will have to answer for the decisions we make during this life. Adam transgressed, but it is denying the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the power of redemption he offers us, to say that we are under condemnation.
Adam is not responsible for our sins and we are not responsible for Adam's transgression. We will be punished for our own transgressions: “ Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.8” It is a truth that has always existed and the Saints knew it in the Old Testament time.
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.9” Thus was the Law of Moses given. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son…10

D) Children are free from Adam’s transgression
Because of our imperfectness, each of us sin and fall short of the example of Jesus Christ. That is the reason why repentance and baptism must be taught to every one who is accountable and capable of committing sin. The prophet Moroni recorded in the Book of Mormon: “ Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach- repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin…11”. Some religions believe that little children or babies need to be baptized because of the transgression of Adam. They teach that the punishment, as a result of this transgression, is over the little ones
The same Moroni, 400 years after Jesus Christ came and established His church on earth, knew that this practice would eventually come. He express his feelings about it: “ And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is a solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.[....] Little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell. Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy. And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.12

The Atonement of Jesus Christ removes all obstacles. The Atonement of Jesus Christ helps us overcome the obstacles of sin and death. Jesus Christ took upon him the effect of sins of all humanity. Through the Atonement, we will be back At– One with God; only if we use it in our life through repentance.
1. 2 Nephi 2: 5, 27
2. See Genesis 2: 16
3. Moses 3: 17
4. 2 Nephi 2: 11
5. Helaman 14: 30
6. Joseph Fielding. Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 4: 81
7. See Genesis 2: 17
8. Exodus 32: 33
9. Deuteronomy 24: 16
10. Ezekiel 18: 20
11. See Moroni 8: 10
12. See Moroni 8: 9, 11-13, 19-20

Part 3 The Atonement of Christ and it's Effect in our life

“ We believe that through the Atonement1 of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is one of the most wonderful gifts Christ has given us. Jesus Christ paid the price for us. Two major obstacles were standing in our way to become like our Heavenly Father and to return to him as result of the fall and of our own sins.
A) Obstacles of physical death and spiritual death
The first obstacle is the obstacle is death. The bodies that we have are imperfect; for a purpose. Imperfect, because we are subject to the laws of this world which he has created. As a result of this imperfection, we experience sicknesses, pain and sorrow... These imperfections play a great part in our progression. These imperfections also help us to appreciate the good things of this world: “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things [...] And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon, wherefore all things must have vanished away[…]. And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man [...] it must needs be that there was an opposition...2

In addition to being imperfect, our bodies are mortal. The body of our Father in heaven is perfect and immortal. So, every one of us will die to end this mortal life. It is a process that each of us will experience. Death is a result of the fall; “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.3” It is part of the plan of our Father, which is in heaven, that we are able to become like him. From the teachings of the prophets in the book of Mormon, we learn the same truth: “ For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must need be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the Fall [...] Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement-save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption[...] And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.4
Once we die, which is physical death5, a separation occurs between the physical body and the spirit. As we see in our civilization, the body is buried or cremated depending on personal reasons and opinions. On the other hand, the spirit continues to live as our spirits live now and goes to a place prepared by our Father in Heaven. This place is called the Spirit World. Many Christians call this place “spirit paradise”.

Jesus Christ, crucified and buried in the tomb, went as a spirit, to preach unto the Spirits in Spirit prison. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.6” “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in spirit.7
During these three days, He taught those who had not received a knowledge of Jesus Christ and His gospel. At death, a judgment takes place separating those who have been baptized and faithful, being in a spirit paradise, and those who have not received the gospel.
What wonderful proof of the love that our Heavenly Father has for us! He gives a chance for everyone to know the gospel that they may decide for themselves to follow or reject it; that they may be judged justly.

We cannot overcome the obstacle of death by ourselves. Jesus Christ overcame this obstacle for us. On the third day after his death, his followers gathered to the tomb “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not were they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together, and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie. And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.7
What a wonderful experience. The teaching by Jesus Christ about the resurrection, to His Apostles, was finally being understood by them. His body was not there. Jesus Christ, the Son of God was resurrected!
His physical death had been overcome and now, His spirit had been reunited with his body. He received a glorified, immortal body. As Mary went to touch him, when he appeared to her, he said, “ Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father...9
The prophets on the American continent knew about this plan for us. They knew about Jesus Christ as recorded in the Book of Mormon “And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary10” King Benjamin, a great prophet, prophesied this a hundred and twenty four years before the birth of the Lord. They knew as Jesus Christ explained; that He was and still is the only way to return to the presence of God, the Father; For Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me11”. “And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.12"

Another great personage in the Book of Mormon, a missionary at the time and about eighty-two years before Christ, taught the people in America about the resurrection. “Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death. The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt. Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its proper frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit...13” Jesus overcame this obstacle of physical death for us. This gift of the resurrection is given to every Man.14
Every person born on the face of the earth receives the right to partake of the gift of resurrection and will stand before God to answer for this life. Thus, we can see that the Lord is merciful and full of love toward us.

The second obstacle keeping us from returning to our Father in Heaven is our own sins. This obstacle is called the spiritual death15. Because we fall short and because of our acts against the will of God, we withdraw ourselves from his presence “ But your iniquities have separated between you and our God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.16
Sin is something that we all do. None can say that he is free from sin because we are not perfect. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us17”, said John in his epistle. Our imperfection, our natural man that is carnal and devilish, is being tempted by the devil. Thus all mankind is lost unless God redeems his people. We must realize that one part of the challenge we have is to overcome this natural man by yielding to the enticing of the spirit. King Benjamin, a prophet in the western hemisphere enlightened his people with this truth: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth of the natural man and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to the Father18.” To give us a chance to grow spiritually and become more like him, we learn to choose between good and evil, between obeying God or disobeying him. There is no middle way.

Sin makes us unhappy. Sometimes it might bring a false sense of satisfaction to some of us; the time comes up rapidly when remorse covers the soul of the sinner. We feel sorrow for those sins. More than bringing unhappiness and consequences in this life, it brings consequences in the life to come. Jesus Christ prepared a way for us that cleanse from our sins; “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleaneth us from all sins.19
In the garden of Gethsemane, Christ personally paid the price for every one of us. Thus said Amulek in the Book of Mormon “And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an Atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which is expedient should be made.20
Without the Atonement, the supreme sacrifice of our Lord, we could not return to the presence of God, because of this state that we are in.
B) Importance of Christ’s Atonement to overcome physical as well as spiritual death
A story, that was presented to me while I attended an Institute of religion class, may illustrate the importance of Christ and His important role as mediator in the plan of God so that we may return to him.
A man wanted to buy a house. It had always been his desire but he did not have the money to afford it. He knew that if he could borrow some money, he could work hard and make enough money to pay back the loan. A lot of us who have a house may recognize this kind of situation. So, he went to see a banker to whom he asked to lend him enough money to buy the house. The banker accepted with one condition. The contract was that in a year, he would get his money back. If not, he will take all the possession of the man and send him to prison. The young men accepted the contract knowing that he could work hard and make enough money to pay the debt.
As the days pass by, the young man started to work really hard, until friends came around and tempted him with worldly pleasures in the city. The young man decided that he would have enough time to pay the debt, so he followed them. Little by little, it went from an hour to an entire day till it became a habit, to the point that he was spending a lot more time spending money than earning it.
The day eventually came. He was asked to pay the debt by the banker. The young man realized that he didn't have enough to pay the debt of the contract. There is a law of Justice that demands that the money should be given back to the banker. In this case, the young man, not having the money, will lose everything he has, and will go in prison.
The young man asked for mercy because to him, it did not seem just that he had to go in prison.
Those two men are debating between two great laws, the law of Justice and the law of Mercy. None of them can be satisfied. One was asking for Justice, the other begging for Mercy.
A third person came into the home. With much love, he turned to the banker and gave him the amount of money necessary to leave the young man alone. In this way, the law of Justice was satisfied. The banker had the money he was looking for. The third person turned back to the young man and expressed that he loved him and he would pay for him because he is full of Mercy, and in return, the young man will have to serve him until the debt his over.

In a similar way, we are all like this young man. We have been given a life to better ourselves and prepare to go back to our Heavenly Father. The worldly pleasures stand in our way to accomplish this goal. In this life, we commit sin by disobeying the law our Eternal Father has lovingly given us. Because of our sins, a law of Justice existing since the foundation of the world, demands that we must be accountable for those sins and suffer the consequences of them; which is being cast out of the presence of God. Jesus Christ, the great Mediator, came into the world and took upon him the sins of the world that all may be saved in him. In this way, we are in debt to him. No one else could have paid the price. Through Christ, we are made free from the effects of a broken law, but only through repenting, meaning forsaking the sin and not doing it again, Man is cleansed through the Atonement. He asks us to follow him, as the perfect example that will allow us to come back in the presence of God. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.21
Through the Atonement of Christ, bonds of death are broken and Man will be resurrected. The repentant will not have to suffer for their sins.
Because of Jesus Christ's Atonement, we are not responsible for Adam's transgression. He removed the bonds of death. We are all indebted to Jesus Christ, the only one who could make it possible for us to return to God. In Adam we die, In Christ, we are resurrected! 22
And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory23.

Faith and repentance are two of the steps that Christ asked us to follow to make this atonement effective in our lives; He had set up the requirements: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.24
And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned, for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.25” Again he said while he visited the people in America and established his church among them: “And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing enter into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.26
These are basics steps, which are called the first principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will discuss those in more details, in the next part.

References Part 3
1. Atonement meaning “deliverance from the penalty of a broken law though an act, which cleans, disannuls, redeems, forgives, pardons, and reconciles. Atonement also means at-one with God through the sacrifice of Christ.
2. See 2 Nephi 2: 11, 13, 15
3. 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22
4. See 2 Nephi 9: 6-7
5. Physical Death: Through the fall of Adam, man became subject to death. The fall made it possible for God’s spirit Children, us, to obtain a body and earthly experiences.
6. 1 Peter 3: 18-19
7. 1 Peter 4: 6
8. John 20: 1-9
9. John 20: 17
10. Mosiah 3: 8
11. John 14:6
12. Mosiah 3:17
13. See Alma 11: 42-44
14. See 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22
15. Spiritual Death: Man, while in mortality, transgresses the laws. A law of justice, given in heaven, demands a price paid for a broken law. The price is a separation from God.
16. Isaiah 59: 2
17. 1 John 1: 8
18. Mosiah 3: 19
19. 1 John 1: 7
20. Alma 34: 8-9
21. Hebrews 5: 8-9
22. See 1 Corinthians 15: 21-22
23. Alma 22: 14
24. John 3: 5
25. 2 Nephi 9: 23-24
26. 3 Nephi 27: 19-20

Part 4-The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

“ 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 sin; fourth, laying on of hand for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Since Jesus Christ is the great mediator, everything is centered in him. We have faith in Jesus Christ. We repent of our sins through Jesus Christ. We are baptized into the church of Jesus Christ by immersion, just like Jesus was. We receive the Holy Ghost by His authority. Jesus Christ gave us principles and ordinances that he wants us to follow so we can get back in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
The difference between principles and ordinances is that an ordinance is performed by one having the authority such as blessings, baptisms, laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. A principle such as faith and repentance require individual research and development of the principle until it becomes a gift from God.

A) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
The first principle of the Gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A truth is given in the Old Testament, in the book of Hebrews, and explains the importance of faith: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him1.” Thus we know that without faith it is impossible to please God.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2” Faith in Jesus Christ is to have a firm belief that he is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. How can we expect to be saved by someone in whom we don't believe? Faith is an important part of the plan of our Heavenly Father. We know that faith in Jesus Christ is essential to our salvation. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.3” The prophet Moroni, in the Book of Mormon express the same truth: “ For no man can be saved, according the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made4.
How can we obtain faith?
The first step is through hope: “faith is things, which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until the trial of your faith.5” Moroni added “ And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ...6” Once we obtain hope in Christ, we need to listen carefully to His words. The prophet Alma teaches, in the Book of Mormon how we can obtain and develop faith: “Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts…7” We need to nourish this seed: “And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get roots, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us...8” In all we do to develop our faith, we need to have the hope and belief that we shall receive answers to our prayers. God is a rewarder of those who seek him; Christ taught: “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be done unto you.9

Once we are “ meek, and lowly of heart10”; once we open our eyes and hearts11 and receive this good word of Christ, we will get to know him through our own studies or by the testimonies of those who have faith: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.12”. To obtain and develop faith, we need to obey the commandments13 and exercise this little particle of faith into works “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Faith without work is dead.14” Thus we will build our foundation on Christ: “ And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which yea are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.15” Faith comes little by little, step by step, from a simple believe to a sure knowledge.16
Once we obtain faith in Christ, we will love him and his teachings. We know that he wants the best for us. We, then, accept his atonement and all that he has asked us to do. We will follow his example and put our trust in him.
Faith is a wonderful gift that the Lord gives to those who diligently seek him. “But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold, it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.17
Faith in Jesus Christ is the essence of the Gospel. It is a step to our salvation. A few examples of faith in the Book of Mormon will show the kind of determination faith brings. After leaving Jerusalem in 600 BC, Lehi, a prophet had a vision that they needed to carry with them the records of the Jews and a genealogy of their forefathers they had left behind. Nephi, a righteous son of Lehi was asked by his father to go and bring back those records. He said: “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.18
Later on, Nephi is talking to his brothers who are loosing their faith because of the tribulations they had to go through in the wilderness on their way to a promised land: “Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him. And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise.19” It is this kind of faith that motivates us, that helps us overcome the trials and difficulties of this life.

B) Repentance
As we exercise faith in Christ, we will want to repent of all the wrong choices we make. Repentance is only possible through Jesus Christ; He being the only one that took upon him all of our sins; He being the one to whom we are indebted to.
The process of repenting is not something new. Repentance is a principle that has existed since the fall of Adam. In fact, this life is a probationary state. It is a time granted unto us to learn to choose between good and evil, repent of our sins, and prepare to meet God. “And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead20.” Another prophet, by the name of Nephi, talked about this time granted unto us: “ And the day of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men.21
True and sincere repentance can follow a simple pattern of four steps.
The first step is to realize and admit that we have done something wrong, something against the will of God “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me,22” said David pleading for forgiveness. It might be the hardest step because of the tendency we have to rationalize everything that we do. The tendency we have to find excuses or ways to call the bad, good! But, none of the excuses or rationalization will change the fact that we acted against the will of God, and committed a sin. Of course, God could have made us perfect from the beginning without giving us a chance to grow spiritually by learning to choose between good and evil. This, was the great plan of the devil. The devil wanted every one of us to have no agency. In this way we would all come back in the presence of our Heavenly Father and him. Lucifer wanted to receive all the glory of the Father. The Lord revealed some truth concerning the creation of the world to the prophet Moses: “Satan said: Behold, here I am, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul should not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and chosen from the beginning, said unto me- Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord had given him, and also, that I should give unto him my own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down.23
The plan of our Father in Heaven was to give us a chance to learn by ourselves, to distinguish good from evil, that we may learn from our own experiences and decisions. He would provide a Savior, his Only Begotten Son, who would redeem us from our sins. He knew that we would fall short of perfection. Repentance is granted unto those who sincerely have the desire to change and humble themselves instead of suffering for the consequences of our disobedience.
God's plan was accepted by every one of us. It is interesting to see the difference between the plan of God and the plan of Lucifer. By eliminating our free agency, Satan was looking for his selfish desire to obtain God’s glory. He was taking away from us any choices that would allow us to progress toward becoming like our Heavenly Father; any chance to progress spiritually by choosing between right and wrong. This total act of selfishness and lack of love toward us was to satisfy his own desire to obtain all the glory, even the glory of God. On the other hand, the plan of God, supported by Jesus Christ, was not selfish. Instead of looking with selfishness to his own glory, his first preoccupation was that we may be able to grow spiritually; that we may become like him someday. It required a lot of trust for his children, whom he loves individually. He would send them into the world, give them the light of Christ or conscience, laws, the Holy Ghost, and inspired leaders to help them recognize the truth in this dark world and to follow it. But the final decision would depend on each individual to follow him or not.

Inevitably, all will sin in this life. We must feel sorrow for the sins we have committed. The prophet Lehi expresses his feelings: “Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things, which I have seen and heard. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.24
We also need to ask God to forgive us through sincere prayer. Another personage of the Book of Mormon gave a great account of his dealing with the Lord in asking for remission of his sins: “ And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins [...] My soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.25” It might require long prayers and humility; for “Because ye are compelled to be humble, blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance.26” It also requires a sincere desire to change our hearts. In addition to asking for forgiveness, we need to show, by our acts, that we are truly sorry for the things we have done. We need to do everything we can to correct the problems that our actions may have caused. Paul is calling the Saints to repentance: “But showed first unto them... that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.27
Finally, if we truly and sincerely repent, we need to experience a “change of heart”. Alma explains the meaning of experiencing a change of heart: “ And now behold, I ask of you...have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? [...] Or do ye imagine to yourself that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say - Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth- and that he will save you...28
We need to overcome these sinful acts. This means to turn away from these sins, and desire to do these things no more. “O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation,29” is the invitation from the prophets of old. A revelation given to Joseph Smith on the subject reaffirms this truth: “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.30
By overcoming temptations and falling short of perfection, we work toward our perfection and overcome our imperfections, as a result of our own weaknesses. Through this process, we need to exercise faith that the Lord will forgive us; because he will. He loves us. He wants us to be happy. “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.31” Jesus Christ gave a wonderful parable while teaching the Pharisees32 . This parable illustrates a prodigal son. We can learn from it the importance of repentance and how important it is to forgive ourselves as well as others.
Sins make us unhappy and miserable, and make the devil happy. On the other hand, sincere repentance brings us the peace that we need in our life and a witness that we've been forgiven.
The principle of repentance is not a one-time process. Even after we have accepted Jesus Christ in our lives and decided to follow his teachings, we continue to fall short of perfection and we sin again. Repentance is a process we need to use throughout our lives. Whenever we make wrong decisions by disobeying the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we need to repent. Repentance is a principle that will change our hearts. Amulek, in the Book of Mormon talked about repentance: “And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witness, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doeth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world...33” As important as the principle Amulek teaches us, we cannot take a chance on our salvation by procrastinating. We might have a tendency to say that it is all right, that we have time to repent or there is no need to: Christ does not redeem his people in their sins but from their sins. He redeems his people through their repentance34 .
If we don't repent, we put in danger our own salvation: “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.35
C) Baptism
Repentance is an important part in the preparation for baptism. Moroni, in the Book of Mormon, gave the requirement to join the Church of Christ: “Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they are truly repented of all their sins.36” That is another reason why infant baptism has no justification.
Once we exercise our faith in Christ and repent of our sins, we prepare ourselves to receive the ordinance of baptism. On the day of Pentecost, while Peter was teaching the people and testifying of the resurrection of the Savior, a divine gift was given him “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.37” Through the Holy Ghost, they could speak in different tongues to all those that assembled themselves to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Apostles. People from many places were assembled38 . They were amazed! Those prepared and receptive to the spirit could recognize a divine manifestation of the power of God “And they were all amazed...39”; those not in tune with the Spirit and not receptive to it could not recognize anything, so, they were mocking not understanding “ Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine.40” Through Peter's teaching, the Spirit confirmed the truth to the people “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?41” These wonderful feelings explained came from the manifestation of the Holy Ghost 42 testifying of the truth.
Having received this witness and recognizing the truth they asked Peter what they had to do ?!. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.43” Peter was expressing the simple and profound teachings of Jesus Christ.
The word baptism comes from the Greek word “baptizo”, meaning heavy dipping or immersion. Jesus Christ showed us the way; the perfect example. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and cometh thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.44
Why would Jesus come out of the water if he were not baptized by immersion? Baptism by immersion is a symbol of his death, burial and resurrection. “ Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.45” Baptism is also a symbol of the end of our old life and the beginning of our new life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon teaches us additional truth concerning the meaning of baptism and gives us some insight concerning Christ's baptism: “Wherefore I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world. And now, if the Lamb of God, he being Holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfill all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfill all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent, ye, repent, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying :He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.46” We see that Jesus Christ, being perfect and having no need to be baptized, received this ordinance to express complete obedience and submissiveness to the commandments of his Father; setting an example for us. We need to express the same kind of submissiveness to all the commandments of the Lord.

Through the ordinance of baptism, we make a covenant with God. A covenant is a sacred promise, a real agreement with God. Our part of the covenant is, to accept Jesus Christ, to become his followers, and do so by keeping his commandments and endure to the end of our life. A covenant is a two-way promise. Heavenly Father promises that our sins will be forgiven, and that we will have His Spirit to be with us, as long as we keep our part of the covenant.
Thus, the people that Peter and the Apostles were teaching received a confirmation of the spirit and were baptized; three thousand of them “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day they were added unto them about three thousand souls.47

Jesus answered Nicodemus' question in the Book of John “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.48” Baptism is the gate by which we enter the kingdom of God. We must be baptized to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Baptism has to be performed by someone who has the authority of the priesthood, and is authorized to perform ordinances in the name of Jesus Christ. As we would not accept a speeding ticket from a milkman, there is no validity to a baptism performed by someone who has not received the authority to baptize.
John the Baptist was the one who had the authority to baptize unto repentance, at the time of the Savior. Once the Savior came, he bestowed upon his apostles a higher authority, a higher priesthood giving them authority to confer the Holy Ghost. The first presidency of the Church have the right and keys to this priesthood. So we see the need for some people to be re-baptized: “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them; have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whither there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.49
Baptism is a sacred ordinance, which is to be performed by the proper authority and in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Mormon gives us more knowledge on how to prepare ourselves for baptism. We need to believe in Christ “And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved...50” We need to have a determination to serve him, “And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.51” We need to be desirous to be called His people52 . We need to repent and be willing to keep his commandments53; “And the Father said: Repent, repent and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son54”. It is important to develop a broken heart and a contrite spirit “Neither did they received any unto baptism save they came with a broken heart and a contrite spirit...55
We become like a child: “And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive this things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God,56” said the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Alma taught: “And now, as ye are desirous to come unto the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; Ye, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death...; Now I say unto you, if this is the desire of your hearts, what have ye against being baptized in he name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his spirit more abundantly upon you ?57

Baptism is a wonderful way to show our acceptance of the Lord and seal our desire to follow him.
On baptism, especially infant baptism, the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation from the Lord which states: “ Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name. No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and his capable of repentance. Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent- The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.58
The Lord has set the age of accountability at eight years of age; “And again, inasmuch as parents have children of Zion, or in any other stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. 59
The Lord holds parents responsible for teaching baptism to their children and provide them an understanding of the meaning and purpose of this ordinance.

D) The Gift of the Holy Ghost
After baptism, we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the lying on of hands by someone who has the authority from God. At this point, it is important to express the difference between the spirit of Christ or light of Christ, often mentioned in the scriptures, and the Holy Ghost, comforter, or spirit of truth.
The spirit of Christ or light of Christ is given to every man that comes into the world. It has the power to stimulate the mind and gives inspiration to men for discovery and talents.
The Holy Ghost or Spirit of truth is a personage of spirit. He is part of the Godhead as mentioned earlier. He serves us in two different ways.
The first way is through the power that He has. The power of the Holy Ghost can be with man before being baptized to convince and witness to him the truthfulness of Christ and His gospel. As a witness of the Savior, he also testifies of His teachings and works; and also a witness of the servants of Christ. Through its power, he may guide us while we are in contact with the truth, but will not remain constantly with us.
Second, the Holy Ghost is a gift directly from God. As a gift, it is given to those who have been baptized and have accepted Christ's teachings. It is bestowed upon men by the lying on of hands by someone having the priesthood authority from God. Once the gift is given, members of Christ’s church are entitle to his influence constantly as long as they remain worthy of it. The gift of the Holy Ghost is only conferred on man after proper and authorized baptism 60. In the Book of Mormon, it is recorded that Jesus Christ gave the Nephite disciples the power to confer the Gift of the Holy Ghost: “ The words of Christ, which he spake unto his disciples, the twelve whom he had chosen, as he laid his hands upon them - And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine Apostles. Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of his first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.61” The gift of the Holy Ghost is a sanctifying and purifying power. He is spoken of as "Fire". The Holy Ghost helps us recognize the truth, and helps us through the difficulties of life. Referred to as the comforter, he comforts us in times of trials and sorrow. The Holy Ghost has the power to bring things to our remembrance: “ But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you62.” He also has the power to guide us by letting us know what we should do; “Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things, which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.63
The Holy Ghost has the power to testify of the truthfulness of all things; “ And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.64
One of the early Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Parley P. Pratt, said about the Holy Ghost: “It quickens all the intellectual faculties; increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use…. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features…. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.” What a wonderful gift which brings light to the countenance to those that enjoy its presence.
The Holy Ghost is felt whenever we pour out our souls to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the key to communication with God. It is the key that opens the way between Heaven and us. One of the early leaders of the church wrote: “Every prayer is heard, and every sincere prayer is answered. They who pray should be content to await the answer at the time and in the manner comporting with God’s wisdom. He knows what is for our good and bestows His blessings accordingly. The testimony of untold millions, that their prayers have been heard, is a convincing testimony that God hears and answers prayers. A prayer is not complete unless gratitude for blessings is expressed. It is by the power of the Lord that we live and move and have our being. This should be stated gratefully as we pray to our Father in Heaven. 65

E) Enduring to the end
Once these steps are complete, we can start on the straight and narrow path of life. When we are baptized, we want to show our Heavenly Father that we can live the full Gospel plan. The Holy Ghost is here to guide us in this path but it is our responsibility to follow its prompting. It is called “enduring to the end” in the scriptures: “ 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. And then ye are in the strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive. And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.66
To keep our baptismal covenant or promise and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we must keep the commandments of God throughout our life. Some look at the commandments as restrictions, but God gives us commandments to point the way we can return to live with him. Just as airplanes need lights on both side of the runway to assure a perfect landing so that the passengers may arrive at their destination safely, commandments are the lights along the way to assure us of our return to our destination; to live with our Heavenly Father. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.67” “For behold, it is easy to give heed to the words of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss...68
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what is good for us and he knows what makes us unhappy. He also knows what will take away our free agency.
The commandments are given unto us to define the straight and narrow path, which leads to our Heavenly Father.
Only by obeying the commandments of God, can we find real and lasting happiness.
The prophet Isaiah said: “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked69”. The prophet Samuel predicted six years before Christ appeared on the American continent “But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the days of your salvation until it is everlastingly to late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head70”.

Jesus Christ and his Apostles invited everyone to exercise faith , be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Followers and servants of the Lord , in our days, invite everyone to follow the teachings of the Savior.

1. Hebrews 11: 6
2. Hebrews 11: 1
3. Mark 16: 16
4. Moroni 7: 38
5. See Ether 12: 6
6. See Moroni 7: 41
7. See Alma 32: 28
8. See Alma 32: 37
9. See Moroni 7: 26
10. See Moroni 7: 43
11. See John 12: 40
12. Romans 10: 17
13. See Doctrine and Covenants 1: 17-21
14. James 2: 17, 20
15. Helaman 5: 12
16. See Alma 32: 26-43
17. Alma 32: 41
18. 1 Nephi 3:7
19. 1 Nephi 7: 12-13
20. Alma 12: 24
21. See 2 Nephi 2 : 21
22. Psalms 51:3
23. See Moses 4: 1-3
24. 2 Nephi 4: 16-17
25. Enos 1: 4-5
26. See Alma 32:13
27. See Acts 26: 20
28. See Alma 5: 14-37
29. 2 Nephi 9: 45
30. Doctrine and Covenants 82: 7
31. Hebrews 10: 17
32. See Luke 15: 11-32
33. See Alma 34: 33-36
34. See Helaman 5: 10-11
35. Luke 13: 3
36. Moroni 6: 2
37. Acts 2:4
38. See Acts 2: 9-11
39. See Acts 2: 12
40. Acts 2: 13
41. Acts 2: 37
42. See Galatians 5: 22-23
43. Acts 2: 38
44. Matthew 3: 13-16
45. Romans 6: 3-5
46. 2 Nephi 31: 4-12
47. Acts 2: 41
48. John 3: 5
49. Acts 19: 1-6
50. See 3 Nephi 11: 33
51. Moroni 6: 3
52. See Mosiah 18: 8
53. 2 Nephi 31: 11
54. See 2 Nephi 31: 10
55. See Moroni 6: 2
56. 3 Nephi 11: 37-38
57. See Mosiah 18: 8-10
58. Doctrine and Covenants 20: 70-74
59. Doctrine and Covenants 68: 25
60. See Acts 8: 12-25
61. Moroni 2: 1-3
62. John 14: 26
63. 2 Nephi 32: 6
64. Moroni 10 :5
65. John A. Widsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1: 313
66. 2 Nephi 31: 17-20
67. Proverbs 6: 23
68. See Alma 37: 44
69. Isaiah 57: 21
70. Helaman 13: 38