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Foundational Principle and Ordinances of the Gospel

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Understand the Basic Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent. And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh. And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.

~ Moses 6:50-52 ~

And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; and the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God

~ Moroni. 8:25–26 ~

In Word: Prior to his ascension – Jesus Christ gave the disciples a specific set of instructions. He charged them with the following: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:16-20). Throughout the New Testament – we find the sacred covenant of Baptism by immersion as a central and key ordinance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even the Savior himself came and was baptized to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).

The Apostle Paul taught the very nature and principal truth of this ordinance in Romans 6:1-14. Yet there is the prevailing belief that relegates baptism as a nonessential ordinance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is relegated as a mere public affirmation of one’s commitment to Christ. Baptism goes beyond mere ritual cleansing and remission of sins. It is in similitude of the Savior’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection. It is in similitude of our death, burial, and resurrection two-fold. First, it is symbolic of us putting off the natural man that is at enmity with God (Romans 8:5-10, 1 Corinthians 2:14; Mosiah 3:18-19).

In Deed: Since we are living in what is known as the dispensation of the fullness of times the pure doctrines of Jesus Christ are restored unto us. This includes the sacred and covenantal ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins by proper authority. And with the restoration of the ordinance of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, we learn the symbolism and meaning as it relates to the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ. And this ordinance was not something akin to the New Testament. The Old Testament hints at the sacred ordinance of baptism. The Flood (1 Peter 3:19-21).

The ritual cleansing of Aaron and the Priests before they entered the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16:3-4). Elisha and Namaan (2 Kings 5:10-14). The Prophet Elijah – whom Christ mentioned regarding John the Baptist – Matthew 11:13-14 (1 Kings 18:30-39; cf. Matthew 3:11-12; cf 1 Peter 3:21). This sacred ordinance is of spiritual significance to each one of us. It is a covenant we make with our Heavenly Father. It is the reason for us to partake of the sacrament each week: (1) Eat and Drink in remember to the body and blood of Christ, (2) As a witness unto God to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, (3) Always remember Him, (4) To keep His commandments, and (5) To always have his spirit with us. All of this prepares us to endure to the end and stand with a clear conscience before God.

The essential truth of Christ’s infinite atonement – and the baptism for the remission of sins – means we are justified before God through Christ, sanctified through the Holy Spirit and our willingness to walk in humility and obedience, and are glorified through Christ’s resurrection and infinite atonement unto immortality and eternal life. Once we are baptized, we walk a path and journey where we are perfected unto Christ (Moroni 10:32) by the process of repentance and forgiveness.

Take a Moment and Ponder: As we come to understand the full scope of our Heavenly Father’s plan to bring about our immortality and eternal life through Jesus Christ, we come to know the plain truthfulness of the Fall of Adam. The essential and sacred ordinance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How does this impact you and your faith in God? In Christ’s infinite atonement? What aspect of this message appeals to you? What challenges do you face in relation to seeking forgiveness of sins and walking the path of repentance? Seek comfort through the Holy Spirit.