Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eternal Life for Dummies

I think everyone, at one point or another has wondered, "Will I make it to heaven? What do I have to do to get there?" Really, its pretty simple, let me break it down for you. Simply stated, te only way back to our Father in Heaven and eternal life is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Mormon, we read, "that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:18).  This gospel is broken down into five easy steps, five things we can do to ensure that we will be welcomed home to peace and rest by God. President Joseph Fielding Smith laid it out simply and clearly in a talk called, "The Plan of Salvation." He said,

"First, we must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; we must accept him as the Son of God; we must put our trust in him, rely upon his word, and desire to gain the blessings which come by obedience to his laws.

Second, we must repent of our sins; we must forsake the world; we must determine in our hearts, without reservation, that we will live godly and upright lives.

Third, we must be baptized in water, under the hands of a legal administrator, who has power to bind on earth and seal in heaven; we must through this sacred ordinance enter into a covenant to serve the Lord and keep his commandments.

Fourth, we must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; we must be born again; we must have sin and iniquity burned out of our souls as though by fire; we must gain a new creation by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Fifth, we must endure to the end; we must keep the commandments after baptism; we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord; we must so live as to acquire the attributes of godliness and become the kind of people who can enjoy the glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom.

Now I thank the Lord for his goodness and mercy and grace in revealing anew to us in this day the terms and conditions upon which salvation may be won. I thank him for the restoration of the priesthood and power which enable us to perform the ordinances of salvation so they will be binding on earth and sealed everlastingly in the heavens."

(The full talk is amazing, I reccomend you all read it)

When I read this, it really helped me put everything I do as a missionary into perspective. The process of obtaining eternal life is easy! We must first have faith in Christ and the hope he offers. Then we must act on that faith, and repent, or change, to be bring our lives in closer harmony with His teachings.  To show Him that we are truly repentant, we enter into a covenant with Him and are Baptized. Because we promise to always follow Him, our Heavenly Father promises to give us the Holy Ghost, which we recieve through the priesthood authority. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are then well equipped and able press on through life more easily, always striving to be better and continue repenting. 

I know that through the constant application of having faith, repenting and renewing that promise that we make at baptism, we can continually progress and change until we reach that perfect day. We probably won't get there soon, but because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are able to progress. I am so greatful for the price he paid to offer me the wonderful blessing of eternal life. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have been able to find peace and joy in this life, and a hope for the same in the next. I know that those same blessing are available to you as you live the gospel as well. 

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