i’m going to explain the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. There is faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end.
First is faith in Jesus Christ. Let me start with asking a question, what is faith? Faith is a hope for things which are not seen, which are true. (Alma 32:21) An example would be, a light switch. When you walk into a room and flip the light switch, you expect the light to turn on. You don’t see the electricity flowing from the switch to the light bulb, but you know that it’s there. It’s the same for having faith in Christ, we know that he is real and that he died to save us from our sins and rose from the grave. None of us saw this happen, but we know that it’s true.
Second is repentance. We are given commandments from God but everyone slips up and then we need to repent. Repentance is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments. There is a parable in the New Testament that is very well known, The prodigal son. In this, the youngest son asked for his portion of goods that would fall to him and left on a journey. He spent his money unwisely and eventually ran out. He began working in the fields and there came a great famine. He was starving and realized that he could stay with his parents as a servant. So he made his way home. When he returned, his father ran and greeted him with great love. The son told his father that he wanted to be a servant in his house, for he was no longer worthy to be called son, but the Father would hear none of it. His father prepared their best calf for a welcoming dinner. At this, the oldest brother was angry and would not come in for dinner. His Father came out and spoke with him. The brother told his father of the unfairness of the situation, for he had stayed and served his father and the prodigal son had gone away. The father told him to rejoice in the return of his brother for “thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:11-32) The teaching in this is, we often stray from the path of God whether in little or very big ways. But Heavenly Father is always willing to accept us back, as long as we are willing to repent.
The third is, baptism by immersion for the remission of sin. Baptism by immersion symbolizes the death and burial of the man of sin; and the coming forth out of the water, the resurrection to a newness of spiritual life. By participating in this sacred ordinance, we are taking upon us the name of Christ and promise to strive to follow all of God’s commandments every day. It is necessary for each person to be baptized by someone who has the proper authority given by God to enter into the kingdom of God. The Savior himself was baptized by John the Baptist. If even Christ, who is perfect, needed baptism, then why not ourselves?
Fourth is, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is that voice in the back of your mind guiding you to do the right thing. 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 you. (John 14:26) The Holy Ghost comforts us and guides us during our lives. After we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. As shown in the picture above, a member of the church with the priesthood, lays their hands on our head and give us a blessing and we are asked to receive the Holy Ghost. From that point on we will have him with us at all times, but if we are doing something unholy or we purposely put ourselves in a situation that is bad, the Holy Ghost will leave us until we have taken ourselves out of it.
The fifth and final is enduring to the end. We live in a world of a lot of evil, but through God, we are able to live this life and still return to him. Heavenly Father gives us so many ways to guide us back to him. We have prayer, through prayer we are able to have a personal relationship with God. We have the scriptures, which give us not only the teachings of Christ, but the teachings of ancient prophets. We have the Holy Ghost to guide us and teach us the truth. Heavenly Father loves us, He loves us so much that he sent his son to suffer and die for our sins so that we can have the opportunity to be reunited with him again.