Saturday, May 14, 2011

We Believe: All People can be Saved

"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." (Articles of Faith 1:3)

Because God is our loving Heavenly Father He wants each of us to return to live with Him.  He has given us the way to do that.  Through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentence, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End we can all be found worthy to enter God's presence and live with Him forever.

   Faith is a principle of action.  We show our faith to the Lord by doing what He has asked.  As we obey, we are blessed with greater faith and greater opportunities to show the Lord that we will follow Him.
   As we exercise faith we feel the need to change those parts of our lives that are not in harmony with Christ's teachings.  We feel Godly sorrow for our sin.  This sorrow comes not from being caught in our actions or from being hurt by our actions, but from a realization that our actions have displeased God and are contrary to His will.  As this realization comes, we must confess to the Lord that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness.  If our sins have harmed others, we must do what we can to repay them.  Repentance is not sincere or complete if we intend on repeating our sinful actions.  We must forsake our sins completely.
   Baptism naturally follows the change in life that is represented by repentance.  Through baptism by immersion by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God we can be completely cleansed from all of our past sins.
   The baptism of water must be followed by the "baptism of fire" to be complete. (2 Nephi 31:13)  This is receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.  The Spirit's influence can be felt in anyone's life, but the full presence and guidance of the Holy Ghost only comes to those who receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and live worthy of the Spirit's presence.  Those who do this can have the Spirit as a constant companion.

   As we continue through our lives we need to endure to the end.  All of us will sin and fall short though.  Every day we need to act in faith and repent of our sins.  Every week we have the opportunity of partaking of the sacrament to renew our baptismal covenants and to be cleansed from our sins again.  As we do these things, the Holy Ghost will stay with us and guide us and teach us in all things.

At the Judgement, the Grace of Christ can make up the difference between our own best efforts and what is required to enter God's Kingdom.  We can all live with God again.