Thursday, February 18, 2010

Faith, Repentance, Baptism and the Holy Ghost

Okay, so here are some connections I have recently made in regard to the FIRST PRINCIPLES of the Gospel (Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and Repentance) and the FIRST ORDINANCES of the Gospel (Baptism by Immersion for the Remission of Sins and The Gift of the Holy Ghost).

These connections are made with the references of Moroni 8:25-26 and Alma 7:14-16.

First, here is a cool process chart that says exactly what is found in Moroni. (I even had my 10 year-old son read it to me without reading the scripture first and even he thought it was pretty cool! AND, I even figured out how to the chart in Presentation - all! by! myself!)
Now for the wordy application taken from Alma 7:14-16

Alma teaches the following points in jus three verses. Take note that he touches on the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel (Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost).

In order to be born again, one must REPENT.

REPENTANCE is the key that allows us to enter into His kingdom.

BAPTISM + REPENTANCE = washes us from our sins.

Washing away our sins requires FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. He is the One who takes away our sins, saves us, and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

Then, after going over what we would consider the “Fourth Article of Faith,” Alma begins to teach the importance of – the imperativeness of - repentance by simply saying: Do Not Fear Repentance!

Do not be afraid to repent. No matter what it takes, do not be afraid to repent!

So in my non-math, but gospel-formula mind here’s how I “see” Alma’s counsel:

If Repentance ≠ Fear, then Repentance = Faith. (see Mark 4:40)

Alma also tells us that it’s the EASY sins that are going to get us down. Of course my “easy sins” may not be your “easy sins.” But we have “easy sins,” nonetheless, and they are the ones (the wicked sins) that will BIND US DOWN TO DESTRUCTION.

I find it very interesting that we are never “Bound up” in sin. “Binding up” is what the Savior does to us when we chose to come unto Him and repent. However, we are bound down, dragged down, chained down by Satan.

“Come and go forth” is what Alma encourages. “Show unto your God that [you] are willing to repent.”

This repentance, then, leads to baptism.

Which leads to faith.

Which gives us strength to keep His commandments.

Which leads to the remission of our sins.

Which changes our hearts.

Which allows the Holy Ghost to enter and teach us, remind us, protects us, testify to us.

Which fills us with His love, His perfect love, even charity.

Which qualifies us for eternal life. To dwell with Him forever. And ever.

Which is exactly the diagram found in Moroni 8:25-26!

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