Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Articles of Faith 4

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Each of us who has been baptized has done so as a sign that he or she has changed their life and is willing to obey the principles that lead toward exaltation. But just being baptized is not enough. At that time, we began a new way of life, and to obtain the blessings of that new life, we must continue progressing and improving ourselves. The prophet Alma, concerned about his priesthood brethren after their baptism, told them: “And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?” (Alma 5:14). These questions are just as important today. Have we all felt a change in our hearts and experienced a spiritual rebirth since our baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ? Many people enjoy a spiritual feeling at the time of their baptism. One member described it this way: “I will never forget the emotion inside my soul; to be clean, to start fresh as a child of God. … It was such a special feeling!” Baptism is the beginning of the “mighty change” we must all experience in order to return to our Father in Heaven (see Alma 5:13–14 and Mosiah 5:7–9). As we live up to our covenants, our desires and actions change and we become more and more like our Father in Heaven. When we are baptized we are placed under the water. The scriptures compare this to burying, or leaving behind, our old self (see Romans 6:4; D&C 76:51). When we come out of the water, we are washed clean of sin and begin a new life. This new life began with a lasting agreement with God; and if we do our part, He will do His. As we obey Him, He will help us change and lead us back into His presence. THE GOSPEL IS GROWING, WE HAVE 4 BAPTISMS THIS SATURDAY........

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