Thursday, August 23, 2012

Baptism and Confirmation

Each of us deals with the challenges of life.  We try to learn and make correct choices about how to live our life.  We follow the dictates of our conscience.  However, each of us falls short and makes a wrong choice from time to time.  Actually we all slip up daily, if even only in one small thought.  These sins and mistakes create a burden of guilt and shame in our souls.

We need relief from this shame and guilt.  Repentance is the cost of this freedom.  As we repent, we recognize our mistakes and change our actions to avoid the same transgressions in the future.  As we make the necessary changes in our lives we are led to make a covenant (promise) with God.  We desire to always remember Christ, take upon us the name of Christ, and keep His commandments. (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:37, 77, 79)  We also desire to help and lift and serve everyone around us. (see Mosiah 18:8-10)

This covenant is available through the ordinances of baptism and confirmation.  Baptism cleanses us from our sins.  Confirmation gives us the gift of the Holy Ghost (the Spirit).  The Lord covenants that He will bless us with His Spirit's presence always as we keep our promises to him.  The Spirit will guide and direct us in making righteous choices throughout our lives.

This pattern of repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost is what the Apostle Peter taught on the day of Pentecost.  As the people of Jerusalem heard the Apostles preach "they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"  Peter replied "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."(Acts 2:37-39)

I know that this is the gate by which all must enter to gain eternal life.  I know of the peace that comes as I strive to keep my life clean and fulfil the covenants I made at baptism.  God does love us.  That is why He makes covenants with us that will bring us greater peace, joy, and safety in this life.